Post Match View – Chelsea F.C.

Didier Drogba is like a heavyweight boxer who doesn’t jab well. He’s a boxer who doesn’t have good feet. He’s a boxer who doesn’t box because he doesn’t feel it’s the best way to win so he never bothered to perfect the skills of a boxer. Instead, he learned to punch and to land his punches when and where he needs to.

He doesn’t win too many split decisions. He usually wins pretty convincingly. Most of his victories are by knockout. He is not a gifted boxer, but he is efficient and powerful.

In matches against Arsenal, he has knocked us out more times than not. I said a few years ago (before his run of excellence at Chelsea) that he was just a marginal player – how wrong I was. The man knows how to score goals.

We have players who know how to score goals too. We have match winners. Among the healthy, we have Cesc, Eduardo, Nasri, and Arshavin.

Until goalless defeats to Sunderland and Chelsea, we’d been on a record setting pace with goals coming from almost every player on the pitch. Seeing Drogba score reminded me that the difference in big games is not the quality of the play but how players express themselves and when they do. Our match winners did not influence the game sufficiently.

In big games, big players have to make sure that they are effective enough to get the result. Cesc and Arshavin did not express themselves. They are our most influential players now that Robin is out. In matches like today’s Arshavin especially needs to make his genius count.

There is no doubt in my mind that he is a class above everyone on the pitch, but he hasn’t shown it the way we need him to. Our season hinges now on his genius. He must take control of this team.

You might be thinking that it’s Cesc team, this current version. You are right but Arshavin can be the real mastermind. He has to be. Rooney deferred to Ronaldo and United won three titles. Cesc must defer to Arshavin but Wenger has got to buy into it and Arshavin has to embrace it.

In Robin’s absence, it is the best way to get the most out of the team. Chelsea did not outplay us. They outscored us without dominating the match. Arshavin has got to look at that and feel he needed to make a difference. It’s not that he can’t break through Chelsea’s tight defence.

We need him to be at his magical best now more than ever being 11 points behind the leaders.


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