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Hard to handle

Hard to handle

Arsenal won't be able to cope with Chelsea, says Paul Merson... especially with Manuel Almunia in goal.

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Comments (67)

Gyenom Dau (Arsenal fan) says...

I am of the opinion that Chelsea have not been too great this season and age is finally starting to tell on the team. Their first few matches in the EPL have been against mid or bottom level teams who played as if awe struck by Chelsea. When they finally met a team who payed them no respect we all saw the result. They also seem to tire in the second half of most of their games (the age factor?) Their strategy that has been successful so far has been to try and blow away teams early. Being confronted by a confident and talented younger team that will press them for 90 minutes may expose Chelsea''s weaknesses. If Arsenal can get their tactics right and give 100% commitment i don''t give Chelsea much chance of coming away with all three points on Sunday.

Posted 17:18 1st October 2010

John Simon (Aston Villa fan) says...

Spot on Merson.The problem with Arsenal fans is they have been brainwashed for too long by Arsene Wengers kids line, even though their players are old enough.Keep taking the medication you might have a nasty shock when you stop.

Posted 16:45 1st October 2010

Mpagi Paul (Arsenal fan) says...

Arsenal still have the pedigree to win sunday game.and besides in big games a teams with poor form have always won...lets wait its just a few days...

Posted 16:38 1st October 2010

Steve Ricketts (Manchester City fan) says...

Best news for the Premier league teams - Arsene signing a new contract.When they stop tackling and being competitive Arsenals 5 trophyless years might change.Smell the coffee Gunner fans your never win a title and get use to losing to West Brom as there is more too come..

Posted 16:32 1st October 2010

Jase Auluck (Manchester United fan) says...

Well, as much as I would like an Arsenal victory; it doesn''t seem like it will happen, especially with Cesc out too. Not sure if Wenger can round the troops and rally them up for this big game. He did it once before (when Flamini scored and Essien equalised) but they only drew that game. It seems to me Arsenal find just as hard as United do going to Chelsea and winning. I''ll put a random prediction out there. If its a dry sunny day, I''ll go for an Arsenal win or score draw with Arsenal playing well. If it''s a miserable day in London, greasy pitch, attracting ''dirty'' challenges, cold weather meaning every Arsenal player will wear long-sleeves plus gloves; I''ll go 3-0 Chelsea with a couple of Arsenal players being injured in the process! They are that sort of team - great at making football seem like an ''entertainment'' business, when in reality its a ''results'' business. I''ll pray for a heatwave for you Gooners.

Posted 16:21 1st October 2010

Ross Martins (Sunderland fan) says...

CH, Sunderland are the youngest team in the EPL now with their average age being a whole year younger than Arsenal''s who are second youngest, City 3rd youngest. The stats were published only weeks ago. I think Merson is right as well, I can''t see Arsenal coping with Drogba and can see this one finishing 3-0.

Posted 15:50 1st October 2010

Sean Sweeney (Arsenal fan) says...

Can someone please make Paul Merson Arsenal manager please! He talks so much sense all the time!! Goalkeepers - rubbish. No goals bewteen Rosiky, Eboue, Denilson, Diaby, Walcott was getting there but is made of paper, I love van persie but he is made of butter. No point in moaning we have injuries. Its the same culprits all the time. These players are all dead wood, Pires/Llungberg/Overmars all banged in goals for fun in their day - why dont we have this class anymore apart from players who can knock a ball about for 20 passes couldnt knock it in the back of the net if the keeper went for a cuppa! Wenger change your principles, your philosophy and your pride and get Merse alongside Pat Rice ASAP!!!!!!!1

Posted 15:32 1st October 2010

Wayne Kingston (Arsenal fan) says...

i reluctantly agree with you paul, we need steel at the back alongside a consistent quality keeper not a keeper that amazes us once in a blue moon (almunia, arsenal vs barca last year,1st half) i mean come on wenger, please reinforce the back and we''ll be fine, and get a new fitness coach as our players keep getting injured left right centre, gibbs played on tuesday and came out with a calf injury! i mean come on!!! chelsea will win or draw, and we''ll have at least 2 players with injuries come monday, mark my words!

Posted 15:27 1st October 2010

C X (Arsenal fan) says...

I also agree with Merson''s column today - in particularly that Arsenal will need both Almunia and Fabianski in goal to get a win at The Bridge. However, Arsenal are capable of putting in a good performance and coming away with something if the new centrebacks have more success in containing Drogba and Anelka then Gallas/Senderos have the previous seasons.

Posted 15:26 1st October 2010

Antonio Powell (Arsenal fan) says...

I think what paul merson is saying is true almunia and Fabianski are just not good enough. Our last best goalkeeper was seamen, schwarzer is a shoot stoopper wenger should of bought hart. We need someone of his quality. Iam getting board of hearing wenger looking for free tranfers he needs to stop thinking about the debt and think about silverware before certain players start moving on like nasir, ashavin etc.

Posted 15:25 1st October 2010

Matthew Topping (Arsenal fan) says...

Insightful and honest piece by Merson there and pretty much on the money unfortunately. Wenger is frustrating me at the moment, as I''m really baffled as to why we didn''t invest in a world - class keeper. Every top - class team in the world has a world - class keeper between the sticks; Petr Cech, Van der Sar, Reina, Casillas, Lloris, De Gea, Valdes, Julio Cesar, Buffon, Hart/Given etc The list is endless to be honest, which makes it even more annoying that Wenger kept faith in 2 keepers that are blatantly not up to the standard we need or deserve. Why in the hell didn''t Wenger cut his losses with Almunia or Fabianski and stop being so tight, with funds that are publicly there to spend??! For instance when Man City were trying to farm out Hart to anyone that would have him, why would didn''t Wenger offer £12 - 15m for him?? Then we would of been sorted for the next decade or longer because look him now apart 1 mistake this season, he''s No1 for club and country and lightyears ahead of ANY of the keepers we currently have maybe barring Sczcesny. Lastly I''ll just say this if Wenger doesn''t rectify the glaring mistake he made in the summer, it will be 7 seasons without any silverware and let''s face it that''s just not good enough for Arsenal.

Posted 15:25 1st October 2010

Richard Cotman (Norwich City fan) says...

paul im sorry mate but you are harsh on arsenal. they play the best football in the league they have a much better attack than chelsea, yeah chelseas defence is better than arsenals but there all old they will start to tire towards the end of the game, thats when arsenal will strike. if arsenal can play there keep style chelsea wont be able to get the ball away from them n thats where the game will be won ill go for a 1-0 to arsenal.

Posted 15:12 1st October 2010

Karl Bloomfield (Arsenal fan) says...

I agree with Paul merson, Arsenal will not win a thing until they spend some money on a top keeper for a start. I also feel that we need a strong holding middle of the park player as we never replaced Viera. The whole back 4 need a player in front of them to break the play up and reduce that pressure sometimes.

Posted 14:38 1st October 2010

Thomas Bryne (Arsenal fan) says...

It hurts that i have to agree wtih you paul but your right . We can all be optimistic but at the end of the realistically we dont have a chance

Posted 14:36 1st October 2010

Tapani Kauppinen (Derby County fan) says...

You got the score right but it''s 3-1 to Arsenal. And Anelka is going to underperform. You''re the backwardsman.

Posted 14:10 1st October 2010

Vincent Clark (Chelsea fan) says...

Paul Merson, great collom as always i think your bang on arsenal desparatly need a keeper and they should of got mark schwarzer in the summer transfer window, talking in terms of keepers i think chelsea need a back up keeper desparatly because turnbull and hilario are no where near up to standarrd as back up to petr cech what do you think of turnbull and hilario and what keeper as a back up chelsea should bring in. I think chelsea are the prime team to explot the dodgy keeper at the back and with chelsea size and power with arsenal injury to key player at the back and mid field im sure chelsea will prove to strong. Im going for a 3-0 victory for chelsea witch well prove a early set back for arsenal in the title race.

Posted 13:46 1st October 2010

Daniel Miller (Arsenal fan) says...

Totally agree with everything Merse says. This Arsenal team is packed full of talent, but until they learn to do the ugly stuff and grind out results when they aren''t playing well they will always come up short. Also, we have to get a new keeper!!!!!!!! Sort it out Arsene.

Posted 13:44 1st October 2010

Shahrukh Shah (Arsenal fan) says...

i''ve said it before and i''ll say it again, WE CAN BEAT CHELSEA, we have been written off year after year and year after year we have proven the critics wrong, our problem are the injuries and time spent of action by our main players, van persie, fabregas, rosiscky etc etc, i respect mersons views and i don''t think he is being too hard on Arsenal, being an ex player he is probably in better position to crtique, but we have injuries again this season, but i still feel we are better prepared than the last few season''s and we will only get better, we have more bite in our game and have shown that recently, Chelsea have started well and are a strong team, nuff respect to them, but i think we play the better football, but we must convert our chances and we create a lot of them, usually, i might be a little biased but i think we will win 3-1 Gunner 4 Life

Posted 13:29 1st October 2010

Emma Ahaneku (Arsenal fan) says...

Nice piece. But I strongly feel if Arsenal take there chances they''ve got a tremendous chance against Ch£l$k¿¥. They certainly will create a bagful. I hope the strikers come with their scoring boots.

Posted 13:20 1st October 2010

C H (Arsenal fan) says...

Have to grudgingly agree with a lot of what Merse has to say, although Wenger has done miracles at the club so I can forgive him the goalkeeping issue (he''ll sort it out next June). However one comment, "(arsenal) are not the youngest team around any more". Is he for real? Name one other premiership team that has a lower average age? Fabregas, Walcott and Nasri may be eastabilished stars but are still young whilst Wilshire and Gibbs are only 19 and 20. Even our older players like Vermaelen, Van Persie or Clichy are hardly old in footballing terms, they have years of top rate football left, something that cannot be said for Lampard, Drogba, Anelka, Terry, Ferdinand, Scholes, Giggs, Van der Sar (list just keeps going). Liverpool, Chelski and United all have much older squad ages, fact. (No point comparing to City as they simply have a massive squad of players and could fund a whole new team anyway)

Posted 13:09 1st October 2010

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