Paul Merson predicts a win for Chelsea over Arsenal this evening, believing the Gunners have serious problems with in-house division right now.
Merson gave his prediction to Sky Sports ahead of the match on Wednesday night. He warned that we should expect excitement.
“This is a good game. I have seen Arsenal a lot this season and they do give you chances. Going forward Chelsea are better than some of the teams Arsenal have played recently and I think they will pick them off as the game goes on,” he said.
“There doesn’t seem a lot of good harmony at Arsenal at the moment. That celebration the other day was worrying. When you are winning it’s OK but you don’t win that many games when it’s like that.
“Not everybody likes everybody in a football team, that’s fact. But when you get on the pitch whatever happens off the pitch you give your all together. That is what wins you trophies, not petulance like ‘I don’t like him so I won’t celebrate with him’. That doesn’t win you anything.”
The “celebration” Merson is referring to, is the one for Arsenal’s second goal against Crystal Palace last week. Thierry Henry highlighted that the team split into two groups to celebrate the goal. Graeme Souness argued that maybe half the team didn’t want to celebrate with Alexis Sanchez, the goalscorer, because of the rumours that he might leave.
However, club photographer Stuart MacFarlane already put this story to bed. He tweeted a photo proving that although players like Koscielny initially stayed around the half-way line, they then celebrated with Alexis when he came back to their half. That makes it much more likely they were just saving energy, rather than ignoring the Chilean.
— Stuart MacFarlane (@Stuart_PhotoAFC) December 29, 2017
As a result, I wouldn’t worry about that part of Merson’s prediction. The more concerning aspect is that Arsenal have looked very dodgy defensively, and Chelsea have the quality to pick them off.
A solid defence shouldn’t concede three goals to relegation battlers like Crystal Palace and West Brom. And now without Koscielny, the Gunners really need to step up, or the 49-year-old will be proven right.