Category Archives: Chelsea

How will the Signing of Willian Improve Arsenal?

Brazilian winger Willian’s free transfer to Arsenal is set to be announced imminently, with the 31 year-old having agreed a three year contract worth £100,000 per week to move to the Emirates.

He will leave Chelsea once their Champions League campaign is concluded, after talks over a new deal at Stamford Bridge broke down.

The club were unwilling to meet Willian’s demand of a three year extension, which would see him remain a Blues player until he was 35.

According to the Daily Mail, Frank Lampard personally pleaded with Chelsea’s hierarchy to offer Willian the deal that he wanted but they refused to budge, allowing the Gunners to swoop in, making Willian the offer he wanted, with the option of extending his stay in North London for a fourth term.

The Gunners have seemingly won the race to secure the signature of the Chelsea man ahead of the likes of Barcelona and Inter Miami who were also interested, with the transfer set to be completed in the coming days. It represents a huge coup for the supposedly cash strapped club, landing such an established Premier League player for free from their near rivals.

Willian’s importance to Chelsea in recent years shouldn’t be overlooked. He has spent seven trophy laden years at Stamford Bridge, winning two Premier League titles, an FA Cup, an EFL Cup and the Europa League, whilst also scoring 63 goals in 339 games.

He was named Chelsea’s Player of the Year and Players’ Player of the Year in the 2015-16 season, and scooped Players’ Player of the Year again in the 2017-18 campaign.

Willian is a dynamic winger who has terrorised Premier League defences for years with his quick dribbling, explosive turn of pace and his direct style of play.

Operating on the right wing, Willian loves to dash past his marker and get to the byline before putting in a cross. Although right footed, he can also often be seen cutting inside and having a shot at goal on his weaker left foot. He was also known as a set piece specialists during his time at Chelsea, especially from free kicks.

Willian’s performances this season have shown that despite turning 32 on Sunday, the winger’s productivity hasn’t yet declined, something which would be attractive to Arteta, given that he is abandoning Arsenal’s routine transfer policy of signing younger, unproven players.

He registered nine goals this term, equalling his best ever goalscoring season for Chelsea, whilst also providing seven assists. He ended the season with a flurry, with four of his strikes coming after the restart.

He will add some much needed experience to Mikel Arteta’s young squad and a winning mentality which will serve the Gunners well off the back of their FA Cup win and their ambition to break back into the Top Four.

He will also be the perfect mentor for the likes of Nicholas Pepe, Reiss Nelson and Bukayo Saka, players who would love to emulate half of Willian’s success at Chelsea at the Gunners.

Being able to train with Willian everyday, having the opportunity to study his movements and his decision making up close as well as being able to pick his brains about how he made it to the top will no doubt have a positive impact on all the players, but especially young players coming through.

His arrival will help to create healthy competition, with at least four wingers now vying for two positions, leading players to raise their game to ensure that they retain their place in the side.

He knows the Premier League and London really well, and so won’t need time to adapt to the intensity of the league.

Although often deployed as a winger, he can also operate as an attacking midfielder and this versatility is particularly attractive to Arteta, given that he is actively looking for attacking options as he plans to switch to a more direct 4-3-3 system next season.

With both Dani Ceballos set to return to Real Madrid and Ozil out in the cold, Willian is seen as the ideal man to play the number ten role and add some much needed creativity to Arsenal’s solid midfield of Granit Xhaka and Ainsley Maitland Niles or Lucas Torreria.

He has been much more inventive than any of Arsenal’s attacking players this term, creating more chances than Pepe, Saka and Ceballaos. Arteta sees him as the perfect man to provide quality service to Aubameyang and Lacazette, who often have to feed off scraps for the majority of the game.

Willian also has a tremendous injury record, which seems to be another factor as to why Arsenal have no qualms about offering him a longer deal.

He has missed just four games through injury during his spell at Chelsea, a remarkable stat given the number of explosive movements the Brazilian makes during a game as well as the intensity of the league and congested fixture list.

He played 47 times for Frank Lampard’s men last year and has never played fewer than 40 games for the club in a season since arriving in 2013.

Lampard himself, is a big fan of the Brazilian, stating recently when quizzed on his departure:

“The way he is playing at the moment shows his worth to the squad and I hope we can get something.

“Whichever way, he has been a great servant to the club and if we can get there, I’ll be happy. If not, I will certainly wish him well as I have a lot of time for him.”

The only concerns for Arsenal fans will be Willian’s end product and his age. Although he had his best goalscoring season in the Premier League this term, he hasn’t ever hit double figures, which for a winger at a top club is worrying.

Another worry is of course his age, as whilst Willian is performing well now, will he still be playing as well when he is 35 in his last season at the club?

We have already seen how offering a large salary to a player who then goes off the boil can detrimentally affect the club, with Arsenal the prime example, as they still have Mesut Ozil on their books, earning £350,000.

His wages make it virtually impossible to move him on, as no other club would be willing to match his demands given his peripheral involvement in the first team.

Arsenal will be hoping that Willian can deliver performances which merit them splashing out almost £20 million in wages over the three years his contract would run.

Overall, whilst there are worries about Willian’s age and expected return, his signing should be viewed in a positive light.

Arsenal are getting a player who has experience of playing at the highest level for a number of years, a versatile winger who performs in the big games, will bring a winning mentality to the squad and who is rarely injured, all for free.

If he can be a key cog in Arteta’s midfield and they manage to secure Champions League football next term his signing may go down as one of the Gunners’ best in recent times.

Aubameyang double sees Arsenal secure their fourteenth FA Cup against Chelsea

This season was not the easiest for Arsenal as they struggled with manager Unai Emery, before making the change and bringing in former player and Manchester City assistant Mikel Arteta. After an improvement in their form since the restart, The Gunners were able to win the London Derby FA Cup matchup against Chelsea, 2-1.

The Blues were able to capitalise first after Christian Pulisic received the ball from Olivier Giroud and found the back of the net just five minutes into the game.

 

Twenty-minutes later, however, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored from the penalty spot after drawing a foul from César Azpilicueta, who was shown a yellow card for his actions.

 

In the beginning parts of the first half, Chelsea were looking dominant and it seemed like Pulisic’s goal was going to be the start of a great match. However, the latter half of the half was all Arsenal. Overall, it was not a great first 45 minutes for either of the defences.

After both teams had their fair share of chances to score, it was Arsenal who took the lead in the 67th minute. Captain Aubameyang was once again able to punish Chelsea, who felt that the goal should have been disallowed after an incident between Andreas Christensen and Héctor Bellerín.

 

Things went from bad to worse for Chelsea as Mateo Kovacic was shown a controversial second yellow card of the game by referee Anthony Taylor for his challenge on Granit Xhaka.

Ultimately, the fourth-place finishers of the Premier League were down to nine men when Pedro, who is set to depart London for AS Roma, needed to receive oxygen before being stretchered off the field to put the cherry on the top of what was already a horrendous match for The Blues.

Although Chelsea were able to have 60 percent of the possession throughout the match, it was Arsenal who were able to finish their chances. The eye-opening statistic was that The Blues committed 14 fouls compared to two for The Gunners. 

The North London-side were subsequently able to their 14th FA Cup in the competition’s history, which has helped them clinch a spot in next season’s Europa League, while also knocking out Wolverhampton from the competition.

 For Arsenal, they will start its preparations for the next Premier a League season, which is set to start on September 12. Chelsea, meanwhile, will face off against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena next Saturday, but are currently trailing 3-0 on aggregate.

Arsenal face Chelsea in all London FA Cup final

Saturday afternoon at 5.30 pm will see an all London Cup Final between Chelsea and Arsenal. These two London heavyweights will go toe to toe in what will be a unique occasion.

For the first time in its long and illustrious history, the final will be played in front of no fans.

Anthony Taylor will be in charge in his second FA Cup final. By some strange coincidence his first was the Final in 2017 between both of these sides.

These two London giants are used to meeting in a final at the end of the season, having been involved three times in the last four seasons with both sides having won two finals. Arsenal the FA Cup and Chelsea the League Cup Final and Europa League Final.

Arsenal are clearly the cup kings of England, having won the FA Cup a record 13 times and been involved in the final a record 21 times. The Gunners have also won their last six FA Cup Finals.

For Chelsea this will be their 14th FA Cup Final appearance with the Blues winning seven of their last nine finals. However both of those defeats were against Arsenal.

Back in 2017 Per Mertesacker captained Arsenal to victory over Chelsea by 2-1 at Wembley with Aaron Ramsey hitting a 79th minute winner to give manager Arsene Wenger his final piece of major silverware.

Thanks to second half goals from Ray Parlour and Freddie Ljungberg it was Arsenal who were crowned FA Cup winners in 2002, with the final being held in Cardiff.

Saturday’s FA Cup Final will see a contest with two up and coming managers at the helm. Gunners boss Mikel Arteta who is 38 and Frank Lampard 42, are the two youngest Premier League bosses and already have impressed the football world by their courageous tactics and game management.

Under Arteta, Arsenal’s two outstanding performances recently have been victories inside four days against Premier League champions Liverpool and an FA Cup semi-final triumph over Manchester City.

The Gunners have beaten Leeds, Bournemouth, Portsmouth, Sheffield United and Man City on their way to Wembley and only conceding two goals in the process.

Chelsea have had to overcome Nottingham Forest, Hull City, Liverpool, Leicester City and Manchester United in the semi-final to book their place at Wembley. Like Arsenal they have only let in two goals on their way to the final.

Both Arteta and Lampard have not been afraid to make ruthless decisions. Arteta’s refusal to pander to the whims of Mesut Ozil saw him excluded from the nine substitutes for the semi-final.

Lampard recently showed his merciless edge by dropping £71 million goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga for Chelsea’s crucial final game of the season against Wolves.

So the stage is set for yet another London Derby, but for this one a trophy is at stake. It will be interesting to see how both sets of players perform in the extensive heat promised on Saturday and how they will adjust in the surreal surroundings of having no fans present in the Stadium.

Some players will flourish on this, others will freeze on the big stage, whatever happens it should be another classic final with Arsenal set to start of favourites. Whichever captain will get the privilege of holding the FA Cup after the game will be in the strange position of displaying it to no fans inside.

I wonder what type of celebrations we will see come Saturday evening? One thing is for sure the 139th FA Cup Final will be remembered for the final will little noise.

Chelsea maintain Champions League spot with much-needed victory against Wolverhampton

Win or draw, keep your spot in the Champions League. Lose and you will be playing in the Europa League next season. Chelsea were ultimately able to rise to the occasion, defeating Wolverhampton 2-0 at Stamford Bridge.

After the first 45 minutes, it looked like this match was heading towards a scoreless first half. That was until Marcos Alonso was fouled in the attacking half by Pedro Neto. Mason Mount would eventually score the free kick to help Chelsea keep its Champions League spot.

 

In the fourth minute of extra-time in the first half, The Blues doubled their lead over Wolves following a fast break by the South London-side, where Mount found Olivier Giroud, who got past goalkeeper Rui Patricio and found the back of the net.

 

The two clubs had chances to score in the second half but both were unable to capitalise as the game ended at 2-0.

Overall, Chelsea dominated with 63 percent of the possession throughout the game, while taking 11 shots (three on target). However, Wolverhampton struggled with five shots in the game, only one which was on target (easily saved by Willy Caballero).

At the end of the Premier League season, Chelsea will finish in fourth place with 66 points after Manchester United’s 2-0 victory over Leicester City. On the other side, Wolverhampton slipped down to seventh place after Tottenham’s 1-1 result at Crystal Palace.

This season was unlike any other from Liverpool winning their first ever Premier League title to the COVID-19 pandemic delaying matches until June. It was not ideal but it was still a fantastic season filled with trials and tribulations for the 20 clubs in the league. 

Chelsea will prepare for their FA Cup final matchup on Sunday against crosstown rivals Arsenal. Wolverhampton, meanwhile, have a Europa League match at home against on August 6 Olympiakos, where they are tied at one on aggregate.

See the final Premier League table in link below:

https://247-football.com/2020/06/25/premier-league-table/

 

Liverpool celebrate first Premier League title with win against Chelsea in eight-goal thriller

On a night at Anfield where Liverpool were anxiously waiting to celebrate the club’s first Premier League title, they did it the best way possible. The Reds were able to beat Chelsea, the club that Steven Gerard had his infamous slip six years ago, which ultimately led them to not win the league.

Liverpool, who were honored as the champions after the final whistle blew, dominated Chelsea during the first half. This helped them get on the scoresheet first.

After Willian lost the ball, Naby Keita launched a rocket in the top right corner that a diving Kepa Arrizabalaga had no chance of saving.

 

Fifteen minutes later, Trent Alexander-Arnold scored a beautiful free kick goal that a flat-footed Kepa watched go by into the goal. This occurred due to a nice run by Sadio Mané, who ended up getting fouled by Mateo Kovacic. 

 

Things went from bad to worst for the South London-side when Olivier Giroud’s clearance of a corner kick fell right in front of Georginio Wijnaldum, who had a perfectly striked the ball for their third goal in a span of 20 minutes.

 

Chelsea were able to cut the deficit to two after Marcos Alonso passed the ball to Willian that was saved by his fellow Brazilian Alisson. However, Giroud was able to slide in to get the ball into the back of the net just before half-time.

 

The Reds, however, continued their excellent form in the second half by getting a fourth goal in the match courtesy of Roberto Firmino. The Brazilian, who had not scored at home this season, was able to head in a cross from Alexander-Arnold for his ninth goal of the campaign.

 

The Blues, who had made a triple-substitution moments before hand, were able to score their second after Christian Pulisic made a nice run, which included a nutmeg on Joe Gomez. He later found Tammy Abraham, who tapped in the ball past Alisson.

 

This electric game kept on going when Callum Hudson-Odom crossed the ball to Pulisic, who was calm and collected as he nailed the top right corner in their comeback attempt.

 

Just when it appeared that Chelsea were going to have a good chance to tie the game after being four one down,  Liverpool were able to capitalise on a fast break. Left back Andrew Robertson was able to find substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who put the result beyond doubt on a celebratory night for Jurgen Klopp’s men. 

 

If you are a football fan who adores offense, this was the game for you. The eight-goal thriller was a match for the ages as Liverpool were able to dominate on a momentous night for the club and its fanbase across the world.

Liverpool will close out the season on Sunday at Newcastle United. Chelsea, meanwhile, will look to keep their Champions League at home against Wolverhampton, where they will keep track of the Leicester City-Manchester United match for the remaining spots in European’s top club competition.

See updated Premier League table and remaining fixtures in link below:

https://247-football.com/2020/06/25/premier-league-table/