Chelsea welcome Arsenal at the Bridge this Sunday but Jose Mourinho and his men are no happy hosts.
Arsene Wenger has stated that the mood in the red and white camp ahead of the highly anticipated London derby at Stanmford Bridge on Sunday is that of retribution.
After a horrifying 17 minutes spell effectively ended this clash last year, within which period we had shipped 3 goals and lost a ‘wrong’ man, the manager is determined that the lads are not ready to turn in another sleepy performance against Chelsea this weekend.
Wenger has described that episode, which was the occasion of his 1000th game as Arsenal manager, as “a massive, massive disappointment… the lowest point of the season”. Having at least got on the scoreboard in a similar humiliation at Old Trafford and not many options, Wenger reckons that the 8-2 defeat was refreshing in comparison with the debacle at Chelsea last season.
He, however, believes it was not a normal game, and that there was no chance of such repeating itself this time, with “a big hunger to put that right” burning amongst his charges.
Wenger has not managed a victory over Jose Mourinho in all of his illustrious years coaching teams in the art of football, and after being unsuccessful in getting something from Jose’s Chelsea after attempts, the Frenchman is hoping to win this latest scrabble of wits, feeling very confident that his team will take the chance to do it.
Chelsea currently seat comfortably at the top of the log, 6 points off Arsenal. The quick adaptation of Diego Costa to the Premier League has seen him soar to the top of the goal-scorers’ chart with 8 goals in 6 games, including a hat-trick against Swansea. They’ve not been as excellent in defence as in attack, though, having conceded in every League game so far except in the home game to Leicester City, conceding twice against Swansea and three times at Everton. Like Arsenal, they are the only other unbeaten side this term in the League, presenting the prospect of a tight encounter.
Much of the build-up has centered around the reunion of Arsenal and former captain Cesc Fabregas – not quite a ‘reunion’ giving he’ll turn up in the blue and not red. Wenger has encouraged the gooners to show respect to their old boy, as he (Fabregas) will surely not be in a hurry to forget the enormous role both club and manager has played in the forge of his career till date. Fabregas has not found any hitches in readjusting to the Premier League after his 3 year absence in Barcelona. He has notched up 6 assists in the 6 games played, and Wenger will know better to create a disconnect between him and ‘killer’ striker Diego Costa, who Wenger has admitted to being an admire.
It will boil down to the manager’s ability to adapt his tactics to whatever Mourinho brings to the table on Sunday, invoking all the prowess of his 18 year glories. He cannot be too overawed by the Portuguese and his pesky remarks; while one has won two trophies in 100 days, the other has won nothing in two years of heavy spending.
Revenge is simply what Wenger is after when the two side meet at the Bridge tomorrow, in what is regarded by many as “a clash of titans”
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