1) Tough game for the Arsenal today. How did you see the game?
@EducatedGooner - I'm hugely disappointed, but not angry or numb like last season. We were much closer this time; we had our fair share of the game, put up a fight and, most importantly, looked wiser defensively. I'm not one for clinging to poor refereeing as an excuse for being second best, but had Cahill been sent off, the game would've undeniably panned out rather differently. Alas, Cahill remained on the pitch and Atkinson continued to have a pretty poor match... C'est la vie.
We were undone by clinical and quality moments from Chelsea, whereas, despite our prodding, we lacked penetration. The defeat was probably smaller than most had anticipated in the lead up to the game (or so it seemed), but it is still damaging and highlights the fact that we still aren't quite there. Whether it's personnel-`wise or approach-wise, we need either strengthening or adjustment.
@kickarseHD - We were competitive but offered next to nothing in the final 3rd. Whilst not a fan of the new system I felt it gave us a solid base which meant we wouldn't be blown away early in the game like last season, unfortunately we never had that extra gear in attack to push on from a solid start.
@Lewbob91 - I think we played well, Chelsea are a strong side and I wasn't confident at all going into the game. However when I saw the teamsheets I felt as though we could maybe get something from the game
2) Where there any differences in performance from last season? If so what were they?
@EducatedGooner - Yes, big differences. As I touched on in the first answer, I thought we came into this game with a lot more fire in our belly and that's something that I think is important in games like these, especially when you're seen as the underdogs. Our unwillingness to roll over and better awareness in defence set a different tone to last year. Chelsea became more cautious and patient in their approach and we had a much less turbulent platform upon which to build.
@KickarseHD - We were smarter in our approach, less gung ho and never bullied. It was pleasing to see us really compete on a physical and to a certain extent mental level with a team that is more than likely going to be champions.
@Lewbob91 - Tactically I think Wenger was spot on today. Of course we didn't get the result but at least Wenger showed today that he knows how to set up a team to play a top side away from home. If we play like we did today at Old Trafford or Etihad we will get points I'm sure.
3) Are we any closer to a title challenge for you or is it more of the same?
@EducatedGooner - On paper, we're probably closer and, compared to this kind of game last season, we're closer. However, we still lost the game and we still looked slightly disjointed in attack and especially lacked execution in and around the box. These are things that will have to improve if we are to really trouble other potential contenders at their own grounds. Our defensive work as a team in the first half an hour was especially pleasing, purely because it was such an improvement on the same fixture last year and sets a promising tone for games yet to come this term.
@KickarseHD - Its odd because whilst we are more competitive today I don't see us being any closer come May. It seems there are too many things up in the air right now. We aren't sure of our best team, best formation, where to play our best players and that is disappointing given the solid base we had from last season and the confidence winning a trophy gave the club. I believe Arsene will fix all of this eventually but the dropped points whilst we adjust plus the 9 point head start has probably finished any chances we had of winning the title.
@Lewbob91 - Chelsea are a level above for me, they should walk the title. I think we're destined for another top 4 battle, which is a shame considering once again we seem to be just the 2 players short.
4) Who was your Arsenal man of the match and why?
@EducatedGooner - My Arsenal man of the match was Santi Cazorla. Even though he was rather disappointingly taken off in the second half, he put in a great performance and was really energetic and intelligent in possession. Plenty of our early attacking promise came through him and he could have so easily made the difference if others around him were performing half as well.
@KickarseHD - Can I give it to Arsene Wenger for treating Mourinho like a little boy in front of his adoring fans?
@Lewbob91 - For me it had to be Jack. Jack has probably been our player of the season so far and its so great to see a fully fit, in form Wilshere, a joy to watch
5) Who disappointed and why?
@EducatedGooner - Koscielny disappointed me today. Giving away the penalty was arguably unavoidable considering Hazard's run, but his poor decision making and positioning at other stages was concerning, especially considering he is usually so solid in the heart of our defence. The second goal was certainly on his shoulder's more than Per's, even though Costa split the two of them.
@KickarseHD - Oh Mesut. I know this system doesn't suit him and all but he was a passenger today. He was all the more disappointing given his last 3 performances, most notably vs Spurs where not only did he show his quality but his determination and fight. Here's to better days for Mesut in an Arsenal shirt, of which I'm sure there will be many
@Lewbob91 - I thought everyone played to a decent standard, Ozil will pick up critics as per usual but I actually thought he did some good things, I think Welbeck found it difficult and didnt really provide us with the goal threat we desperately needed today
6) Should Wenger have forearm smashed Mourinho instead of pushing him?
@EducatedGooner - Wenger should've dropped Mourinho, for sure. However, I was bloody impressed that he even went for the push. It set a tone with Arsenal today - we were much more combative, it's just a shame we didn't get anything out of the game to make Wenger's actions all the more satisfying.
@KickArseHD - I think what Arsene did was perfect, think Mr Miyagi vs John Kreese of the Cobra Kai. So Embarrassing for Maureen, he's been bullied by someone of near pension age in front of millions. Vine away people.
@Lewbob91 - He should have given him the rock bottom and then the peoples elbow
7) Any other thoughts
@kickarseHD - Theo will be back soon and I'm interested to see what happens to the formation when he returns. Him Alexis and Mesut simply do not fit in a 4-3-3/4-1-4-1 unless you drop Welbeck which would surprise me greatly. We have a 2 week break now and a decent run of games coming up, hopefully the break will give Arsene and the coaches some time to analyse things (VENGA DOESN'T DO ANALYSIS) and sort out the areas that we can improve on to correct the balance of the starting 11.
@Lewbob91 - Very encouraged by todays display, many more positives than negatives despite the result hopefully the players can take confidence from their display