Arsene Wenger has come out stating that he is relieved Drogba is no longer part of the Chelsea squad but also believes that without Michael Essien and with Frank Lampard playing a deeper role, Chelsea are not as robust. Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Oscar have brought flair rather than muscle to Stamford Bridge.
“When you think about them, they had Florent Malouda, Essien, Lampard, physically, contact-wise they were a very impressive side with Drogba on top of that,” he said.
“They wanted to change their style and maybe there are not the same players available now on the market. That Chelsea team won the Champions League, and you have to give them credit for that. With those players and Ashley Cole, John Terry and Petr Cech they have gone through thick and thin in the Champions League; but in the end they managed to do it because they accumulated the experience and efficiency. They were also fortunate last season because Drogba did not play a lot in the first part. ‘
‘He came into it and he was fresh, focused and still hungry to make it happen. And he had the quality to do it.”
“I am not sure they are as potent without Drogba, but we will find out,” said Wenger. “Torres on his day can be a handful and he is very mobile and looks to have found his confidence again.”
Although that’s true, Torres has never looked like the same player since joining Chelsea from Liverpool. He doesn’t hold the ball up as well as Drogba did. He’s a different striker to Drobga yet Chelsea implement him in the same way. If Torres has a bad game, Chelsea look dull. It will be up to the Arsenal defense to make sure the Spanish striker has a poor game.
A key for Arsenal in today’s match will be Mannone as he looks to shut out the Blues and try keep another clean sheet for the Gunners. When asked if Mannone could be Arsenal’s first choice keeper, Wenger said: “You can never rule out him becoming No1 one day. You can never say to a player, ‘No chance’, unless you let him go completely. The hierarchy is not set for ever.”