Tomorrow is Arsene Wenger’s 1000th game at Arsenal. A remarkable achievement, especially in the modern game where, if you remove Arsene Wenger from the equation, the average tenure of a Premier League manager is a little over a year. Despite this acquirement, tomorrow, it being Wenger’s 1000th game is simply not important. Gaining 3 points is.
Tomorrow, we got to Chelsea, to face Mourinho’s Chelsea in a clash which will define our season. Much is made in the press about ‘most important game of the season’. I am usually of the opinion that the upcoming game, no matter the opponents, it our most important game of the season. Tomorrow, however, really is our most important game of the season.
The facts are simple, win and we are just 1 point behind Chelsea with a game in hand. Back in the title race. Lose, and we are 9 points behind, almost certainly out of the title race.
It is a famous statistic that Wenger has never beaten a Mourinho side. It is a statistic that has to change tomorrow. In fact, a lot of statistics need to be changed tomorrow. Arsenal have not beaten Chelsea in 5 games – the last being that 5-3 win at Stamford Bridge.
I remember back in the day, Arsenal held a hex over Chelsea. Between 1995 and 2004, Arsenal did not lose to Chelsea in the league. Then along came Roman Abramovic.
Since Roman Abramovic took over at Chelsea, parking “his tank in our front garden and it’s firing £50 notes” there has been a complete change around in results between the two teams. Arsenal might have won the first 3 meetings between themselves and ‘New Chelsea’ but things took a huge shift in the 2004 Champions League tie. Since Chelsea knocked Arsenal out of the Champions League, the record between the two clubs reads:
This includes a 10 game Chelsea unbeaten run. A victory tomorrow requires a complete turn around of recent form. The form over the last 10 years has also seen Chelsea over take Arsenal in a mini league between the ‘ever present Premier League sides’:
Victory for Chelsea tomorrow will see them open up a gap in this mini League, for the 1st time in Premier League history. 3 points is important.
What is important tomorrow is that we put our arguments over Wenger to one side. I have seen some say he has had 500 games too many. Others say they would be happy with him managing another 1000 games. Again, what is important is tomorrows single game. Not the last 500 games, or the next 1000. Tomorrows. No matter your opinion, ensure the atmosphere is electric.
On a side note, despite saying Arsene Wenger’s 1000th game is of little significance tomorrow and it is all about the 3 points, I would like to point out a record which I am sure we can all smile about;
Arsene Wengers Record v Spurs:
- 6 defeats in 42 games
- 17 consecutive years of finishing above the scum (soon to be 18)
- Has seen off 13 different Spurs managers (including caretaker)
To be frank, I could not care less if tomorrow is Wenger’s 1st game, 10th game, 100th game, 1,000th game or 10,000th game. I care about the 3 points.
People constantly go on about ‘It is Arsenal FC not Arsene FC’ and that is correct. Remember this tomorrow. Whether you back him or want him out, tomorrow is not about your opinion about Arsene Wenger. About his achievements, or lack of. It is about 3 points v Chelsea. It is about us getting back in the title race. It is about the Premier League title.
Back the boys. Sing loud. Sing Proud.