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Arsenal 0-0 Chelsea: A colossal bore

Those are 90 minutes of my life I'm never getting back. Mind-numbing stuff from both parties at the Emirates on Saturday lunchtime results in a goalless draw, a result that does little for Chelsea in their pursuit of Champions League qualification.

I guess we'll just have to win the damn thing then.


I think I'd have rather been watching haunted television with Carol Anne than that mess we were witness to in London today. I'm serious, it was that poor.

So poor in fact that I see no reason to go into detail in recapping said poorness. Fuck, that's the most I've used the word 'poor' probably ever. Whatever, it's merited.

Caretaker manager Roberto Di Matteo made eight changes to the side that quelled Barcelona in midweek, leaving only the defensive trident of Petr Cech, John Terry and Gary Cahill in the fold. Truth be told, he probably would have switched it up in the center of defense as well had David Luiz been fit. Robert may be saying all the right things, that we're going all out on three fronts, but the team he fielded on Saturday said otherwise. There was a clear directive here, and it was to preserve the nucleus for Tuesday's trip to Camp Nou.

To be honest, even if this was widely viewed as a second-string side, it should have produced more than it actually did. This was a starting XI after all that, by a rough estimate, cost something like £130 million. And, really, it wasn't that horrible - that was until we entered the attacking third and turned things over to the loveable trio of Daniel Sturridge, Salomon Kalou and Fernando Torres. My word, what has come of these three?

Torres displayed some nice industry early, but faded and by the second half was almost nonexistent. I recall one instance during the second half in which Sturridge broke free down the right side and, once in the box, was hemmed in and in need of an option. Torres had kept up with play, but never put himself in a position to receive a pass. It was almost as if he was hiding from the responsibility or the prospect of actually giving us a lead. Bemusing stuff from a man that should be motivated to the fullest, what with the way Didier Drogba has been performing.

Then there was Kalou and Sturridge. Terrible. Both would probably have been better off plopping down in the middle of the Emirates pitch and lighting a spliff in recognition of yesterday's holiday. Sturridge has lost the plot completely, while I'm not sure Kalou ever grasped it to begin with. Wait, that's not true. Kalou has produced some solid shifts this season, but this was beyond poor. Sturridge, meanwhile, who was a genuine terror at the start of the season, has morphed into Steve Marlet. Well, he hasn't been that bad - but then again that may just be because he can't get a game under Di Matteo. Still, for a kid with the amount of talent he has, his form since the sacking of Andre Villas-Boas, and even just before, is highly alarming.

They weren't the only ones sucking their thumbs on Saturday, either. Michael Essien showed exactly why he's been out of favor and Florent Malouda, after opening the match aggressively and effectively, reverted to old form. What does that mean? It means he became a detriment, basically. Overall, it was a grand letdown coming off the extreme high that was the Barcelona win.

Don't get me wrong, we defended well - even if Arsenal hit the crossbar and post - and we controlled portions of the game, particularly early on. But, in a match we needed to win, we never looked likely to do so. That's disappointing.

Nothing left to do but move on, though. Tuesday is going to be epic in every aspect. Plus, you know, Barcelona, now losers of two consecutive matches (and their La Liga crown as well) are going to be hella pissed. We're going to need something historic here, people. Here's to hoping that our defensive solidity continues, and that our attack, restored to full strength, can do what many say is impossible. Until then, my friends. Carefree.

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