Arsene Wenger will be the longest serving manager in the Premier League next season, assuming that the Arsenal board and owner do not surprise everyone by sacking him. Alex Ferguson has been at Manchester United for over 26 years, while the man who will replace him at Old Trafford next season, David Moyes, is currently the third longest serving manager with over ten years at Everton.
Arsenal do not play again until Tuesday night, giving the Gunners 10 days between games, while our opponents Wigan Athletic will be facing their fourth game in the same period. It is not the tiredness of the Wigan players that could help Arsenal, however, it is the tiredness of the Chelsea players.
To be fair to them, Chelsea have been coping well with the massive amount of games they have had this season, but it seems to be catching up with them. This was evident in the second half against Tottenham on Wednesday and they face a young and energetic Aston Villa side in the early kick off tomorrow. Rafa Benitez also has a Europa League final to worry about next week and he has admitted that the players are feeling the strain.
Barring a minor miracle in Munich in a couple of weeks, Arsenal have only got the Premier League to worry about. It’s hard to find any positives in going another season without a trophy, but if it helps us to overtake Chelsea in the race for a top four finish, then the season will not have been a disaster after all.
Chelsea have got real problems at the minute, highlighted in the papers today with widespread reports of a training ground bust up between players and manager. Benitez has tried and seemingly failed to get everyone pulling in the right direction, and the cracks are starting to show. The last two performances have shown a lack of togetherness and urgency, and this is great news for Arsenal as they are now the team we need to overtake to be in fourth place.
Chelsea vs Arsenal preview, line up and score line prediction by KJ
It’s probably the biggest London derby of the season so far in regards to the positions in the table. If we win today, we’ll be 2 points off Chelsea and would be within a shout for 3rd… However, if we lose, we’ll be 8 points behind Chelsea and 3rd will be all but over (this is providing we win against West Ham – our game in hand).
This is going to be a very difficult but exciting game. Wenger and Benitez are old managerial rivals from Benitez’s Liverpool days meaning both will want that win a bit more than they usually would. Chelsea are a changed outfit from previous seasons. They are more possession oriented whilst we have become a more direct team.
Arsenal travel to Stamford Bridge on Sunday to face Chelsea in a game that could have a huge saying on the season for both clubs. The Gunners are coming off the back of the best performance in a while, knowing that a win will put us just five points behind Chelsea with a game in hand. The Blues, on the other hand, are in a bad way. The Blues have lost two and drawn one of their last three home games against Southampton, Swansea and QPR.
While Arsenal were producing some of their best football of the season to knock Swansea out of the FA cup last night, Chelsea were struggling to a draw against Southampton in front of their lowest home crowd of the season. The natives are restless at Stamford Bridge, and it has not helped their home form one little bit.
Since Rafa Benitez took over from Roberto Di Matteo, Chelsea have won just two of seven home games, against the less than spectacular Aston Villa and the Danish minnows FC Nordsjaelland. Even when they score and are winning, the crowd still boo Benitez. The Chelsea fans were probably hoping to get Pep Guardiola at the end of the season, and his decision to join Bayern Munich will leave them even more cheesed off. They might have to stick with the Spanish waiter now.
Romours and reports have surfaced that Pep Guardiola has told Arsenal that the Gunners are his preferred destination when he returns to football management. The former Barcelona boss is currently enjoying a year long sabbatical with his family in New York, but speculation is rife about his next club, which he is likely to join at the end of this season.
Guardiola is widely regarded as one of the best managers in the world. He has been linked with Manchester United and City, while Roman Abramovich apparently tried everything to persuade him to cut short his holiday and take over from Roberto Di Matteo. Arsenal fans should not get too excited about the rumours of his preference being Arsenal, however, because there is no evidence of it. Goal.com reports that a `source` informed them of the Spaniard’s wishes.
Newspaper reports had suggested that Arsenal were going to swoop for another of the French champions best players. The captain and versatile defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa was widely expected to be joining his former Montpellier team mate Olivier Giroud at the Emirates in January, but it now appears that they will have competition for the 23-year old from Chelsea.
The Star reports that scouts from Stamford Bridge watched the player during the French side’s victory over AC Ajaccio on Saturday. Chelsea are in need of a central defender, as John Terry’s recent absences have shown how fragile they can be at the back, especially if David Luiz has one of his moments where he forgets he is supposed to be a defender.
Football manager sackings are like buses in the Premier league this season, with two coming along at the same time this week. Arsenal could benefit, if the so called new manager syndrome kicks in for Chelsea and QPR this weekend. The bookies must have made a killing on Chelsea being the first club to sack their manager, as the early season favoutites were Liverpool, Southampton and Reading.
Arsenal fans should give a great big thankyou to Roman Abramovich. Nothing that happens this year will do the Gunners as many favours as the crazy billionaire Russian has done us this week. It is common knowledge that Abramovich was desperate to get his hands on the Champions league trophy, and the man who finally did what a host of other very well paid and expensive managers failed to do has been rewarded with the sack.
It couldn’t have happened to a nicer lad! News has just come in that the ex-Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez has been sacked by the Italian giants Inter Milan after just six months in charge.
He inherited a team that had just won the biggest Treble with Jose Mourinho in charge, and in previous seasons only had to turn up to win Serie A, whoever was in charge!
He has just come back from winning the World Club Championship, but that was not enough to save him, as the club currently lay in 7th position in the league, a massive 13 points behind their deadly rivals AC Milan, and Sky Sports has just announced his demise.
After last nights revelations from the Mirror that the Bordeaux strker Marouane Chamakh had agreed a £50,000 a week contract with Arsenal, another article, this time from The Sun, confirms that a deal has been reached and Chamakh has signed on the dotted line.
The article says: MAROUANE CHAMAKH will be an Arsenal player this summer after saying yes to a four-year, £10.4million deal.
The free agent Bordeaux ace has snubbed a BIGGER offer from Liverpool and put pen to paper on a Gunners pre-contract agreement.
There figures agree completely with the Mirror’s figure of £50,000 a week, but they even go further, and report that Rafael Benitez offered the Morrocan striker an extra £10,000 a week, but Chamakh turned them down in favour of Arsenal anyway!