Thursday, September 28, 2023

Arsenal 3 – Chelsea 0 | 3 Key Takeaways As Wenger’s Waltz Confounds Conte

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Jon Depp (JD)
Eccentric writer, effervescent blagger. What he lacks in cheekbones, he makes up by being cheeky. The footballing Jack Sparrow pompously navigating the high-waves of journalism.2015 International Football Blogging Award Finalist, the pin-up boy of The 4th Official.

Arsenal FC 3 – Chelsea 0
Game week 6

Alexis Sanchez 11th minute,
Theo Walcott 14th minute,
Mesut Ozil 40th minute.

Venue: The Emirates.

#1 Conte’s Reactive Football Could Be His Undoing

Much of the same happened vs Liverpool at Stamford Bride, where for the first phase of the game, Conte instructed his team to stand off Juergen Klopp’s hounds from hell, in a manner that you’d dangle a bone at the end of a stick for a dog with a voracious appetite, to fall into the overly-elaborate pit of despair. What do you do, if the dog decides to lunge at you instead?

Chelsea came to the Emirates with a defined game plan in mind. Drilled impeccably, his charges were, you’d think, as Tony Conte is known to be fastidious with the details of each passage of play, drawing out the opposition to attack, giving his men enough precedent to spring a counter. That’s all well and good if you’re playing against most teams, most teams, but not Arsenal FC, who, for the better part of a decade or two, have picked up the happy knack of shredding teams who sit back, into ribbons, with glee and an overtly, obliging sense of generosity.

#2 This Was Arsenal At It’s Idealistic Best

This might seem like a bit of an exaggeration, and considering the tragic penchant this team has had over the year of flattering to deceive, a bit too early to say anything conceivably concrete – but this Arsenal performance reminds us of the heydeys.

Growing up supporting a rival of Arsenal Football Club, back in the noughties, my incorruptible faith and loyalty felt like it was being compromised when I used to tune into The Match of The Day. I made a point to not miss watching Thierry Henry, Bobby Pires, Nwankwo Kanu, and Dennis Bergkamp strut their stuff at their very pomp. At that time, I used to pass it off as an idealistic pleasure of watching football being played with a sense of duality rarely attained in long stretches, in the capricious nature of the sport – a duality of substance and a style that, all the while you hoped your team had, you could never begrudge. If, and that’s a big two letter word – IF Arsene Wenger can elicit such vein of form into the remainder of this season, use this result vs Chelsea as the springboard into attaining that, Arsenal may again start to be every idealistic football fan’s second team.

#3 Arsene Wenger’s Deserving Waltz

Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin
Dance me through the panic ’til I’m gathered safely in
Lift me like an olive branch and be my homeward dove
Dance me to the end of love
Dance me to the end of love
Oh let me see your beauty when the witnesses are gone
Let me feel you moving like they do in Babylon
Show me slowly what I only know the limits of
Dance me to the end of love

This match was a bit like seeing a young, pert Donna [Gabrielle Anwar] take a disillusioned, visually impaired, Lt. Col. Frank Slade’s [Al Pacino] hand, and leading him into a dance. It was a poignant scene from one of the prime romances of the better part of a half-a-century, The Scent of a Woman. This match was nothing less than what Arsene Wenger deserved. Another Premier League title or not, not even the harshest of critics can take this memory away from Monsieur Wenger; neatly filed in the library that is his mind, with the countless others collected in his 20-year-romance with Arsenal Football Club.

We, at T4O, thank you.

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