'Arsenal's defeat to Chelsea was not a disaster'
PUBLISHED: 12:29 07 October 2010 | UPDATED: 11:14 14 October 2010
I don t think anybody can look at Sunday s game and say that Arsenal were dominated or bullied by Chelsea, but when the dust has settled they have lost the game and that is what counts. People are pointing to five defeats in a row against Chelsea and what
I don't think anybody can look at Sunday's game and say that Arsenal were dominated or bullied by Chelsea, but when the dust has settled they have lost the game and that is what counts.
People are pointing to five defeats in a row against Chelsea and what that symbolises, but for me each game has to be treated in isolation, and Sunday's game was not one Arsenal should have come away from empty-handed.
Goals change games - it's an old cliche but they tend to be true. Arsenal had some great chances to score the first goal and that can put a totally different complexion on a game. They didn't take their chances.
Even when it was 1-0 in the second half, Tomas Rosicky and then Marouane Chamakh had a couple of decent sights of goal, and Chamakh will have been disappointed not to get that late header on target.
Chelsea, and Didier Drogba in particular, seem to have the habit of taking those chances when they come along. That is why they are the champions and Arsenal have not won anything for the last five years.
This defeat was not a disaster, but coming on the back of the West Brom defeat it means a lot of questions will be asked of the team and Arsene Wenger - they have put themselves under pressure by losing that game at home, and now there is a significant gap to the leaders.
Seven points is not a huge margin given there are only seven games gone, but there is less room for error now - Arsenal have to put a decent run together after the international break.
To do that they will need some of the top players back, and obviously Cesc Fabregas could have made a big difference on Sunday, not to mention Robin van Persie and Thomas Vermaelen.
These are big players for Arsenal, the spine of the side, but Arsene will not use their absence as an excuse - he never does - he trusts all his squad to be able to perform but we all know you need your best players.
Jack Wilshere is fast becoming one of those, and he looked the part again at Stamford Bridge. There has been a lot of hype about him but he seems to have a sensible head on his shoulders and is just getting on with it.
He is getting his chance now at Arsenal and is making the most of it and that is good to see for everyone at the club and for England too. When you think he was only born in 1992, it certainly makes me feel old...!
Wilshere's displays are one of the reasons to feel positive about what is happening at Arsenal at the moment, and I still feel they can have a good season and will challenge for the big trophies once again.
They need the big players back, but there is a long way to go and it is too soon to judge them.