• Thursday, May 30, 2024
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BusinessDay

London Derby: ‘We’re hungry to put it right’- Wenger dares Chelsea

A new month heralds the first London derby of the season. The two remaining unbeaten sides in the Barclays Premier League lock horns today in a London’s oldest top-flight derby.

Last season, it was capital punishment for Arsenal as the Gunners were humiliated 6-0 at Stamford Bridge after being reduced to 10 men early on when Kieran Gibbs was mistakenly sent off instead of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

With memories of the Gunners’ 6-0 defeat still fresh in the Arsenal supporters’ minds and many will be fearful once again due to the form between the two sides.

Jose Mourinho’s side are top on the Premier League table, with five wins and a draw this season, whereas Arsenal have dropped points to Everton and Leicester City on their travels and their last away league win against Chelsea came in 2011.

Mourinho has never lost to Arsenal during his time as Chelsea manager and that could well continue this weekend.

Chelsea have enjoyed a fine start to the 2014-15 campaign, dropping just two points in their first six games.

A 3-0 win at home to Aston Villa last weekend ensured the Blues opened up a five-point gap at the top of the Premier League table, with Southampton their nearest challengers on 13 points.

Arsenal – who drew 1-1 with rivals Spurs in their most recent outing – are fourth behind with ten points from six matches.

Mourinho-wenger

Arsene Wenger’s men will hope to avoid a repeat of the result in this fixture last year.

With six defeats, five draws and no wins against Jose Mourinho in 11 attempts, it may be another unhappy return for Arsene Wenger as the Gunners this week mark the 18th anniversary of his arrival in England.

But the French tactician has vow to fight back saying his side are hungry to put things right after last season’s “hilarious” defeat at Stamford Bridge.

Wenger insists there will be no repeat performance on Sunday, and says Arsenal are motivated to make amends for that heavy defeat.

“It was not a bad day, it was a horrendous day for us!” Wenger said.

“We are hugely determined and have a big hunger to put that right on Sunday. We have an opportunity to do it and I am confident that we will take the chance.

Wenger says his side will go into today’s clash in good spirits after their 4-1 victory against Galatasaray on Wednesday night.

“It was a vital performance and we did it in style and in a convincing way,” he said. “That is good for the confidence of the team because we came out of a good performance against Tottenham when we couldn’t finish the job and we were much more efficient against Galatasaray.”

Wenger’s men will have to curtail the dreaded Blues goal poacher, Diego Costa, who has been in fine form since joining the Blues. His header against Villa last weekend did not only completed an exceptional team move but also brought his total goals to eight in six appearances since arriving in the summer.

Arsenal have been hampered with injuries this season. Wenger was so concerned with the issue he hired fitness coach Shad Forsythe from the Germany national team this summer and asked him to investigate training, treatment and rehabilitation methods.

Yet still they find players such as Aaron Ramsey, Mikel Arteta and Yaya Sanogo sidelined with muscular strains. Before succumbing, influential midfielder Ramsey had clocked up the most playing time of any outfield player, 30 minutes more than the next, Per Mertesacker, whose position as centre-back involves much less mileage.

Arsenal Fans are hoping that Arsene Wenger will finally break the unbeaten jinx against Chelsea’s Jose Mourinho side.

 

Anthony Nlebem