It’s always painful to lose a derby to bitter rivals but it gets worse if you feel hard done by after the game. We simply couldn’t beat fourteen home players – the starting eleven of Chelsea and Mike Dean’s Refereeing Circus.
Here are the key points to take from the game.
1.Arsenal should make an official request for Mike Dean’s recusation from all future Arsenal matches.
Mike Dean has a history of poor refereeing against Arsenal including the home match verses Chelsea in December 2013 when he didn’t award a penalty to Arsenal for Willian’s foul on Walcott in the box and failed to hand Obi Mikel his marching orders for a dangerous tackle on Mikel Arteta (mind you, the game ended 0:0).
Our record with Dean in charge has been appalling and in most cases it’s his performance that makes the real difference at our expense. There is an institution of recusation where one can ask for a judge to be removed from the case due to different reasons (biases, prejudices or connections with the opposite side). In Dean’s case, there is a sample of behaviour over the years, where a number of wrong decisions have gone against Arsenal.
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Arsenal have been too quiet on this matter and it’s time to raise the alarm. Let’s not forget that Arsenal suffer financial damage if our final standing is affected. In 2014-15, the merit money was distributed in a way that each position rising up the table is worth £1,236,083 (via totalsportek.com). Perhaps Arsenal should consider at least a threat of a serious law-suit against PGMO for the damage caused by mistakes of their employees.
That would mean our majority owner Stan Kroenke can leave the shadow where he resides and make a statement or two of his own. Same goes for Ivan Gazidis and Sir Chips Keswick – this should be a matter of the highest priority so that the effort of those eleven on the pitch doesn’t get wasted by the incompetence (or something worse) from the referees.
We have had a perfectly good goal ruled out against Liverpool (which cost us two points). If Mike Dean had given a deserved red card to Diego Costa for slapping Laurent Koscielny, we may never have lost the game. That means at least one more point was taken away from us by the referees. If we had added those three points to our tally, we would have just two points less than the leaders Manchester City and be three places higher on the table. It simply has to stop there.
(Disclaimer: this isn’t a legal advice or anything similar. It’s a personal opinion about how Arsenal might handle this hot issue.)
2.There was nothing to blame Arsene Wenger for yesterday’s defeat.
It’s amazing, even if we have all witnessed a daylight robbery at Stamford Bridge, Arsene Wenger gets criticized for the defeat. There was nothing he could have done to prevent Mike Dean’s match-winning performance for Chelsea. He selected our best team and kept Chelsea at bay before the whole Diego Costa fiasco.
3.Gabriel has a heart of a lion.
It’s been a while since we had players who stood up for each other. Freddie Ljungberg once said that it was easy for him to play on the right wing because he had Lauren behind him to kick the s…t out of anyone who would touch him. Gabriel stood up for Laurent Koscielny yesterday. Unfortunately, he’ll have to miss some tricky fixtures against the Spuds in the Capital One Cup, Leicester away and Manchester United at home in the league.
4.Hector Bellerin gave another excellent performance.
The Spaniard did well given the circumstances against one of the best players in the world. He already looks like a top drawer fullback and if he continues to develop, we will have the best rightback in the world among our ranks.
5.Is Francis Coquelin on his way to join Danny Welbeck and Jack Wilshere on the sidelines for an extended period?
After the game Arsene Wenger has said that Coquelin, who is an irreplaceable player for us, has a little knee injury and that he is going to miss midweek game against the Spuds in the Capital One Cup (via mirror.co.uk). I will just remind you that Wenger’s prediction regarding Danny Welbeck’s return following his knee injury in May turned out to be terribly wrong (via dailymail.co.uk). Jack Wilshere hasn’t played a single minute this season despite the optimistic prediction made by Wenger in August (via www.adifferentleague.co.uk).
Whilst we have replacements for Wilshere and Welbeck, one could argue that they wouldn’t have been members of the starting eleven even if they had been at our disposal, it’s well-known that we don’t have adequate cover for Coquelin. Neither Mikel Arteta nor Mathieu Flamini can offer us the same level of energy and protection for our back four as the young Frenchman. Coquelin’s injury means…
6….that Santi Cazorla should be dropped in favour of Aaron Ramsey.
We have seen in Zagreb against Dinamo how a midfield axis of Arteta-Cazorla doesn’t cut the mustard. We have also seen against Chelsea that Cazorla can’t protect the back four. He made two bookable offences and there was a situation in the first half when Eden Hazard breezed past him on the counter-attack because the Spaniard had already received his first booking minutes before that.
Given that Coquelin’s injury probably means he’s going to miss more than just a single Capital One Cup game and Arteta will return to the starting eleven, Wenger needs to reshuffle his cards and move Aaron Ramsey back to the middle in order to add energy to our midfield. Now, given that neither Cazorla nor Mesut Özil play well on the wing, one of them should be dropped to the bench. Cazorla seems like a reasonable choice to drop even after his suspension ends. Although, speaking of Özil…
7.Will the most expensive Arsenal signing in history finally make an impact in a big match?
The German had a quiet game against Chelsea again. It wasn’t the first time that the German failed to deliver a final product in a big match. His price tag and reputation require more goals and assists in big matches than he has delivered so far, especially given that his defensive contribution is limited. He didn’t pull the strings against Dinamo either.
Özil might have suffered from the lack of a world-class striker in our ranks, after all he had played with the likes Karim Benzema, Gonzalo Higuain and Cristiano Ronaldo before he joined Arsenal, but it can’t be the excuse for his regular below par performances in big matches.
8.Aaron Ramsey and Alexis Sánchez need a goal each ASAP.
We had a great chance to take the lead in the first half but Ramsey opted for a cut-back instead of taking a shot from a good position. In injury time Rambo should have scored a consolation goal but his one-on-one attempt was blocked by Asmir Begović. Generally speaking, Rambo might have been a victim of our match preparation. Begović is prone to conceding goals from outside of the box – both Kevin De Bruyne (for Belgium against Bosnia and Herzegovina) and Steven Naismith (for Everton against Chelsea) have proven that this month, so we should have tested him from the distance. Ramsey is one of the best when it comes to shooting from outside of the box and it’s a bit ironic that what he was to blame against West Ham for shooting instead of passing and against Chelsea it was vice versa. Rambo needs goals for his confidence and goals will come if he improves his decisions in the final third.
Same goes for Alexis. The Chilean had a great chance to equalize but fluffed his lines instead. He is yet to open his account in the new season and there might be a case for moving him in the middle of our attack.
9.Our next league game is against the only undefeated team in the league.
Thanks to incredible West Ham’s away form, Manchester City didn’t widen the gap between them and Arsenal to eight points. That also means Leicester City are the only team without a defeat after six games (via premierleague.com). We are massacred with suspensions and injuries but we are still expected to bounce back with a victory. Cazorla will be back in the squad for that game with either Calum Chambers or Per Mertesacker coming in for the suspended Gabriel. A victory at King Power Stadium would also mean a lot for our confidence before a home game against Manchester United in the league.
10.Diego Costa and Jose Mourinho are a huge disgrace for football.
This one doesn’t need any further explanation. Costa should have been sent off for his backhand slap at Laurent Koscielny and Mourinho should have been tight lipped about “moaning” after poor refereeing because he has done it on many occasions in the most pathetic way (via www.telegraph.co.uk).