Arsenal take on Chelsea
April 21, 2012
Post created by Tim
Arsenal have a real chance of beating Chelsea at the Emirates, but to do so their midfield will have to cope with a barrage from Michael Essien and co, and the news today that Mikel Arteta won’t be part of that effort will have come as a bitter blow to the fans, not to mention Arsene Wenger.
Already missing his best playmaker in Jack Wilshire, the last few months have been characterised by the return to form of Tomas Rosicky, and the rise of Arteta, a player long considered to be talented, just not quite talented enough. In a Spanish generation with Xavi, Iniesta, Xabi Alonso and Fabregas Arteta has never got a look in, and his career has reflected his struggle to prove himself.
£20 FREE at Unibet: Arsenal: 7/5 | Draw: 17/10 | Chelsea: 57/17
After starting out in Spain he spent time in Scotland before moving to Everton, and the spells at Rangers and Goodison have left Arteta with the ability to operate in the most hostile of environments, a sort of heavy-duty version of the flightier, slighter types seen in a Barca shirt, but his arrival to the top level at Arsenal has taken some by surprise.
It turns out that if you put him back onto the hallowed turf of a big, passing club Arteta has the ability to play all the passes without ever shirking a challenge, and his loss at this stage will be keenly felt by a team never far from the top of the injury table. His form has been aided by the rise of Alex Song from promising player to genuinely world-class holding midfielder, but Chelsea will be gald not to face him.
Instead it is likely Abou Diaby could feature, either alongside Aaron Ramsey or as a replacement, and the Frenchman will need to get into his stride immediately following a return from injury. If he can hit the ground running the Chelsea lot could be in for a shock, but I’m certain somewhere Arteta will be watching, wishing he could be out there, pulling strings.