Chelsea vs Arsenal: First XI’s Analysed – Who’s Better?
In England, there are teams that stand out from the crowd for more reasons than one. London will be divided yet again as Chelsea and Arsenal battle for bragging rights in a contest where the winner always emerges as the ‘Pride of London’ for that day at least.
The last time these teams met Alex Song, Cesc Fabregas and Theo Walcott contributed immensely as Arsenal recorded an overdue win for Arsenal over their West London neighbors because Chelsea had been the top dog in recent meetings between the sides.
Chelsea hosts Arsenal at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League’s lunch-time fixture and I’ll like to give an analysis of each player in different positions on the pitch to see how the fixture can be predicted from the eyes of an Arsenal blogger. I intend to be unbiased in my analysis though.
My analysis will be done on the potential first team for tomorrow’s clash.
GOALIES: Petr Cech vs. Wojciech Szczesny
The records and experience speak for itself. Petr Cech is regarded as one of the best goalies in the business and he has proven himself over the years. A potentially serious head injury almost thwarted its career but it certainly played a small role because the Cech with a Rugby helmet after the injury isn’t nearly as good as the Cech that conceded only six goals in Stamford Bridge and nine goals away all season long to create a Premier League record for the best defense.
Wojciech Szczesny on the other hand is a young goalie that rising higher with each passing day and will certainly get to Petr Cech’s level in the foreseeable future. He has great reflexes and his command of his area is very impressive and his best years are certainly ahead of him.
Winner: Petr Cech
RIGHT BACKS: Branislav Ivanovic vs. Johan Djourou
Both teams go into the match without their regular right backs that have missed out due to suspension (Jose Bosingwa) and injury (Bacary Sagna and Carl Jenkinson) so both managers will have to make do with their deputies. Branislav Ivanovic is a very strong centre back that’s also adept as a right back and he certainly uses his attributes as a centre back to great effect on the right flank. His strength and stamina are powerful tools he uses against opposition wingers and he’s also a threat from corners and free kicks because of his aerial prowess.
Like Ivanovic, Johan Djourou is also a centre back that has been redeployed as a right back to help the club in an injury crisis currently suffered by the recognized personnel in the right back position. Bacary Sagna fractured his leg while Carl Jenkinson has knee troubles so Djourou will have his work cut out in Stamford Bridge as he continues to play in such an unfamiliar position.
Winner: Branislav Ivanovic
LEFT BACKS: Ashley Cole vs. Andre Santos
Cashley Cuntly Cole was a player with 100% Arsenal DNA and he marauded the left hand side with Robert Pires when Arsene Wenger coached his second generation of Arsenal stars. Pace, resilience, determination, work rate as well as bone-crunching tackles were attributes that are possessed by Ashley Cole and it was used to great effect by Arsenal.
Arsenal bought Andre Santos as a replacement for the departed Gael Clichy and he has even got his name of the score sheet when Arsenal hosted Olympiakos in the Champions League group stages. Even though Kieran Gibbs has selected above the Brazilian in recent weeks, injury has paved the way for the Samba boy to strut his stuff.
Winner: Ashley Cole
CENTER BACKS: John Terry vs. Laurent Koscielny
One can faults John Terry’s ability off the pitch; girlfriend shagging, racist abusing, you name it but on the field of play, John Terry is a general that put his body in the line for the entire 90 minutes for his side. His dedication to the cause almost cost him a lot when Arsenal played Chelsea in the Carling Cup final of 2007. Not many players would have fared better with a Shaolin Kick from Abou Diaby but the English captain was still fit enough to celebrate with his teammates when they edged their North London neighbors out with a 2-1 win thanks to Didier Drogba.
Laurent Koscielny arrived in the Premier League last season and he played close to 4000 minutes of football in his first season as he featured in all competitions but Laurent has really improved on his game and has become a threat in the air when defending high balls over the top. Koscielny will give Per Mertesacker a run for his money when Thomas Vermaelen becomes fully fit.
Winner: John Terry
CENTER BACKS: David Luiz vs. Per Mertesacker
The £21m man hasn’t spent up to a year in England but I’m pretty sure that the Chelsea faithful already have a theme song for the bloke whose hair reminds me of Ivan Campo and Carles Puyol. He’s a strong individual that has an attacking prowess likened to the great Lucio and he has done well to make the second center back slot his own.
Per Mertesacker is an experienced individual that has been there and done that in international football. With a height ranging up to two meters tall, Mertesacker is a very intelligent center back that reads the game like a novel before taking action to a move he always comes out on top.
Winner: Per Mertesacker
HOLDING MIDFIELDERS: John Obi Mikel vs. Alex Song
In the World Youth Championships of 2005, there was only one player that was better than John Mikel Obi in that tournament and that player has gone on to take the world by storm with his breathtaking goals, assists, dribbles and overall play. Mikel on the other hand was heralded as Nigeria’s Number. 10 after the retirement of the legendary jay Jay Okocha but the attacking midfielder was converted to a holding midfielder and has excelled in that role to the Nigerian national team’s detriment.
Alex Song is a gem that was carefully nurtured by Arsene Wenger and he has turned out to be a holding midfielder that can command a first team place in any team in the world. His close control and skills has certainly caught the eye but he needs to work on his passing though.
WINNER: Alex Song
CENTRAL MIDFIELDERS: Raul Meireles vs. Mikel Arteta
This Portuguese chap certainly takes his fashion seriously in his own personal way and his hands, body, back and even his neck have gone under the ink to have drawing that are probably permanent but his footballing abilities can’t be questioned. He may not be the best passer of the ball but he has a very high work rate and he’s a major threat from outside the area because he has a very sweet right foot that is technically blessed.
Arsenal’s new signing has vast of experience in the Premier League and forged his way into Evertonian hearts with his cultured style of play that ranges from passes, shots as well as his ability with a dead ball. He has been a major hit at Arsenal and has also played in every game since his arrival with the exception of the Carling Cup encounters.
WINNER: Mikel Arteta
ATTACKING MIDFIELDER: Frank Lampard vs. Aaron Ramsey
The old dog has refused to lie down and see younger Chelsea puppies take his place from him. Frank Lampard is one of those players that will certainly be celebrated in all corners of the globe when he decides to hang his boots. His contribution to Chelsea and football at large has been so immense and I’m sure that I’ll miss the Hunchback of StamfordDame, England’s own Quasimodo.
He’s certainly one of the younger ‘puppies’ at the Emirates but this ‘dawg’ already has vast levels of experience because he started playing at the highest level at a very young age. Injury almost halted his career last year but Aaron Ramsey worked tirelessly to gain full fitness and he has grown in his new ‘Fabregas-esque’ role at the club. His pass to Gervinho last week was a stuff made in dreams.
WINNER: Frank Lampard
LEFT WINGERS: Juan Manuel Mata vs. Gervinho
The little winger from Oviedo decided to take a big step in his career and he hasn’t been half bad in the start to his Chelsea career. He has also done well to hand on some assists and score some goals himself
The ‘foreheaded’ one has been an inspiration for Arsenal and he has picked up where he left off in his LOSC Lille Metropole days. Gervinho is a bag that has bags of tricks and he came into the party to hand on two assists for Robin van Persie when Arsenal hosted Stoke. Certainly Arsenal’s signing of the season in my books.
RIGHT WINGERS: Nicolas Anelka vs. Theo Walcott
These players have contrasting styles of plays and I’m pretty sure that most of my readers might not agree with my final outcome. Nicolas Anelka is a striker-turned winger that has a canny style of play and can pop up with the goods when they are needed while Theo Walcott is an explosive forward that has improved in his contribution on the pitch to Arsenal. Goals, assists as well as good tentative play.
WINNER: Theo Walcott
STRIKER: Fernando Torres vs. Robin van Persie
There was actually a point in time when these two strikers were incomparable but Fernaando Torres was still wearing a jersey that had the same colors with Robin van Persie’s jersey but after making the British transfer record to London and changed his jersey from Red to Blue, his career suddenly found the Blues but he’s picking his feet slowly and could be a real threat tomorrow.
Robin van Persie. Six goals in Arsenal’s last nine games, 25 goals n his last 26 Premier League games and 30 goals in 36 games in 2011. Enough written; for once, the records ‘speaks’ for themselves.
WINNER: Robin van Persie
After juxtaposing of the potential first team of both sides, Arsenal had six points while Chelsea had five. With the Chelsea backline winning with a victory that seemed flawless and Arsenal’s attack knocking Chelsea’s out with a technical knockout, a draw might just be the settler for such a tie but tomorrow will tell.
Remember that I made this analysis with my own judgment but I tried my best to give reasons to justify my final outcome. Feel free to prove me wrong with your comments.