Arsenal 1 (6) – 1 (5) Chelsea….Positives, Needs and Hopes

Happy Arsenal

Arsenal 1 (6) – 1 (5) Chelsea

International Champions Cup

Dublin · August 1, 2018


So: high press vs high press.
Both teams used all 120 yards too.
Generally, similar playing styles so very interesting match up!


Attacking 4-2-3-1 (best I could tell)
Defensively 4-4-1-1


  • Got out of Chelsea press often.
  •  Kolasinac much better on both sides of the ball
  •  Smith Rowe’s pro-active movement and Guendouzi’s passing range….. very good!
  •  Iwobi is playing with a more direct style over the last two games. He needs to add to his game so this is a plus.
  •  For me, for the third game running, Mateo Guendouzi was Man of the Match. Especially love his line breaking passes. Can dissect a block on the ground or over the top.
  •  Ozil gave many fantastic pre-assist opportunities. Still a difference maker.
  •  6 penalties out of 6, not bad.
  •  Positive for England…. I predict that Hudson Odoi, Jadon Sancho, Phil Foden and Maitland-Niles will all make their England debuts this season.


Ozil Scores

6 Penalties scored by Arsenal – always a good thing


  • It was always going to take longer than pre-season to fix the defensive organization so I’m not overly concerned, but Chelsea carved us open many times in the first half and had spare men available.
  • If I was to guess I’d say that we have been working on defensive and off the ball needs in training. Probably the right thing to do first anyway but I’m excited to see the offensive improvement when we start working on the attacking side of our game.  Currently we don’t look as devastating as our attacking lineup looks on paper.
  • Petr Cech on the ball… gives me the jitters!
  • I wish Mkhi would use Bellerin as a decoy and run with the ball more. I’m always surprised when Bellerin does something good offensively but I feel the opposite when HM gets the ball.
  • Chelsea players opened hips and therefore played quicker and took advantage of many 3v4 situations. We did sometimes. Smith Rowe as an attacking midfielder must open his hips more often. He often received after beating press but we weren’t able to take advantage.


guendouzi celebrates

Reason to celebrate – Matteo Guendouzi has been MOTM for all 3 -pre-season games imo

  • If we are going to play Guendouzi against Chelsea in a few weeks the central midfielders will have to support him quicker. Chelsea had clearly decided to press MG and he had to dribble out of pesssure frequently. Not ideal for a DM.
    FYI.. never lost ball all night under pressure. Kudos.
  • Without a natural winger we were too compact in the final third. The issue then became over passing rather than shooting. Smith Rowe and Auba in particular. Auba looked flat footed.
  • This is my opinion…. I’m writing this in the 70th minute and we haven’t created 1 clear cut chance, yet broken their press many times. Too often in this game and for many years previous we over pass especially attempting eye of the needle passes. Defenders hate dribblers who run at them at pace. Secondly, they’d rather you pass than shoot. So, for me 1) dribble then shoot/pass, 2) shoot 3) pass.
Cech Saves

Cech actually saved 2 penalties tonight: one in shoot-out and one in first half!


  • Please sign a winger, Arsenal!!
    Hudson Odoi showed us how 1 player can make such a big difference in bigger games. To me, the biggest difference in the first half was we passed and passed and only passed. Chelsea had a fast direct dribbler and gave him the ball often.
    BTW, I doubt Hazard was this effective at his age. If Chelsea loan him out with the other 73 loanees, they are mad!
  • I think this is a positive but I hope Morata plays against us in three weeks. He still looks out of form.
    Also, Alonso. Slow as a lazy snail.
  • The toughest part of the Wenger era was dealing with unfixed repeated mistakes. When EMS lost Rudiger for first goal, I was hoping he would have been not only told at half time but ideally not given responsibility of marking a centre back.
    Early days I know but I’m hoping and believing that Emery corrects repeated problems.
    I’m probably way over reacting as we sat lower in the second half which partly took care of the main CHO threat, so good adjustment 👍🏻
  • When we play Chelsea we have to get our AM or one of our forwards to deny Jorginho. He can and will dictate games.
lacazette lethal

Lacazette is lethal in front of goal – Emery is going to have difficult choices to make.

Confidence boost tonight. Happy guys go home happy. They look great at happy!


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4 Responses to Arsenal 1 (6) – 1 (5) Chelsea….Positives, Needs and Hopes

  1. DEW August 2, 2018 at 8:56 am #

    I have not watched the game, but from your post you remind me one important uncorrected repeated mistakes of the past era. one key issue in Arsenal defense tactic/technique is how the team is vulnerable for direct dribblers. There are some players that make their name by playing against arsenal since the time of Giggs.

    • lari03 August 2, 2018 at 2:30 pm #

      It was the high line. They kept sending balls over the top just to exploit the space behind Bellerin. I think we will look different when Lucas and Monreal become regulars. Lichsteiner could also add some steel to our right side, but Elneny did not provide a solid base in midfield which would have freed ESR

      • Mike mcdonald August 3, 2018 at 12:14 am #

        Well said! There was a breakdown in our midfield who either pressed at the wrong time or didn’t drop off to support.
        I’m really hoping Lichsteiner is given a chance. Bellerin is ok but not level needed

    • Mike mcdonald August 3, 2018 at 12:12 am #

      It’s not easy for anyone to defend against direct dribbling as you say. We have to be careful to have a midfielder as support to our full backs.
      On the other side, we need to buy our own version so we have this as an option

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