Arsenal will be looking to heap more pressure on Chelsea’s “special one”, to do so Wenger will need to do something he has never done, to beat Mourinho in a competitive match.
It has been one of the most bizarre records in world football history, Arsene Wenger especially in his first decade at Arsenal enjoyed a lot of success against many, but one man seems to hold a hoodoo over the Arsenal Manager.
Jose Mourinho has been an obstacle that Wenger has never been able to quite overcome, but after recent events at Stamford Bridge, could he be about to end that chain of events?
Arsenal currently sit in a relatively healthy position compared to their Saturday opponents, something out of the ordinary appears to be happening to Jose Mourinho’s side, and Arsenal will be looking to capatilise on the uncertainty as they travel across London to Stamford Bridge.
The champions are really struggling and looking anything but contenders to retain their crown this season, only one win and three losses have seen them slump to 17th in the table. Uncharacteristically weak performances on the road against Crystal Palace and last time out against Everton appears to have already dented any chance of them being realistic contenders to Manchester City who are now in prime position to win the title at a canter, already.
Football is “a funny ol’ game” and only the most naive of fans, or pundits would right off Chelsea turning around their form, especially in time for the visit of Wenger’s side. If you were to critique the Frenchman’s record against the Chelsea manager you would surmise “could do better”.
As indeed the old adage goes “records are made to be broken”, there would be no better time for Wenger to break that Mourinho hoodoo as his Arsenal team look to close the gap to Manuel Pellegrini’s Manchester City side.
Wenger’s record against Mourinho should be a concern for the Arsenal faithful, it has always been one of things that the Arsenal manager has rightly been criticised for. Something that has repetitively been labeled at Wenger in the big games is his tactical decisions, this would fairly be attributed to the stranglehold that Mourinho and Chelsea have over their London counterparts.
In their 10 Premier League encounters, there have been four Chelsea wins and six draws. Where it makes grim reading for Gooners is the goals conceded column, they have been on the receiving end of 15 Chelsea goals. The most notable display was the 6-0 humiliation on 22nd March 2014, that was among a difficult period which saw them also get a hiding away at both Anfield and the Etihad.
As is with the majority of big clashes at the very highest level, it will be whoever can control the midfield, this is something that has been Chelsea’s achilles heal thus far in this campaign. For most of last season Chelsea were dominating possession and bossing the midfield, there has been a switch this season and with Arsenal’s creative midfielders such as Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey and Santi Cazorla this is where the visitors could really have some joy at Stamford Bridge.
It would be bordering on a criminal offence not to mention Petr Cech’s return to Chelsea in an Arsenal jersey, it was clear in the summer than Mourinho would fight tooth and nail to keep the Czech international, but due to his outstanding service owner Roman Abramovich adhered to the keeper’s wishes, the rest is history.
Cech has settled in nicely at the Emirates and has managed three clean sheets in his five premier league starts this season and will be looking to add to that good start. In Comparison Asmir Begovic, his replacement, has flattered to deceive and has conceded seven goals in his three premier league appearances. Begovic is likely to continue in the absence of Thibaut Courtois through injury.
Chelsea have been out-of-sorts, Arsenal and Arsene Wenger will never get a better chance to finally get “one over” on Mourinho who will be precariously looking over his shoulder, for another defeat could spell the end of his second term as Chelsea manager.
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