Why they will
Arsene Wenger – The Frenchman is currently his 15th year as the manager of Arsenal, securing them Champion’s League qualification in 14 consecutive seasons, a feat unachievable for most of his contemporary managers. Even though Wenger does not have the same quality of players that he has had over the years, the Frenchman has enough experience to guide the ship through.
Robin Van Persie – RvP, as the fans call him, has been in breathtaking form for the Gunners this season and possibly the only truly World Class player left in the squad. If Arsenal aspire to win any kind of silverware this season they need to keep Van Persie fit throughout the season, which is a big task in itself, given the injury record of the Dutchman.
Team spirit – Arsenal are showing signs that they are finally through the tumultuous period of negativity that encapsulated the team at the start of the season. It is said that a man comes out stronger from times of adversity and Arsenal seem to be an example of that. The team looks far more closely knit than the previous season and it seems like the players have taken it upon themselves to prove the doubters wrong.
Why they won’t
Inexperience – Although Arsene Wenger went against his policy to sign older and experienced players this summer, Arsenal are still far from the finished product. Of the latest recruits Andre Santos has barely played in the Champions league while he was at Fenerbahce, while similar things can be pointed out against Yossi Benayoun and Per Mertesacker. Mikel Arteta has never had any experience in the competition. The rest of the squad has matured as compared to the previous seasons but still have an element of naivety in them.
Lack of quality – No matter how good the 롤 대리 manager or the team spirit is, this Arsenal team clearly lacks the quality that has been Arsenal’s symbol over the years. The team boasts of only one name that can walk into any team in the world and that person is Robin Van Persie. Rest of the players, although talented, are not in the same bracket.
Why they will
Experienced squad – The current Chelsea team boasts of players such as John Terry, Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba, Ashley Cole etc. who can be regarded as stalwarts of the competition. Add to that list Juan Mata, Fernando Torres, Alex and Essien and on paper they look like World Beaters.
Andre Villas Boas – Though Chelsea have faced a few torrid weeks over the past month, there can be no doubt that they are playing some of the best football in recent years. This is because of the new style of play introduced by their young manager Andre Villas-Boas. He has brought back a sort of dynamism to the Chelsea sidelines that was missing since the Mourinho era. His passion alone is enough to spur players to perform better on the field.
Juan Mata – To single out one player is a bit of a hyperbole, but Juan Mata has proved to be the player that they had been missing since Gianfranco Zola. The Spaniard is capable of playing anywhere in midfield and has single handedly changed the way Chelsea pass the ball around the box. Chelsea need him to continue playing this way to ensure safe passage to the qualification round.
Why they won’t
Aging squad – This is somewhat contradictory to the above point, but the players pointed out above are all in their early thirties. While there is no supplement for experience, there also isn’t one for speed. All these players have lost a yard of pace over the years and the midfield and defense looks terribly out of sorts against counter attacks. This was evident against Arsenal recently when they were defeated 5-3.
Fernando Torres – Roman Abramovich signed the Spaniard for 50 million pounds last season who has flattered to deceive so far. What proved to be the tipping point for Carlo Ancelotti, might prove to be the same for Villas-Boas as well.