Chelsea and Arsenal’s Premier League matchups are always exciting, but the game on Sunday looks to be especially heated.
The Gunners visit Stamford Bridge for the first time since the Blues acquired former captain Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang in the summer. After the Gabonese player moved to Barcelona in February, Arsenal supporters would not have anticipated facing him again.
Football is a funny old game, and they would have never imagined Aubameyang joining one of their closest rivals.
The 33-year-old’s pre-game remarks, which Mikel Arteta could use to his advantage in his team talk, are possibly the most unexpected.
In a BT Sport TV promo for the game, Aubameyang is filmed saying, “Arsenal, it’s nothing personal” before adding, “I’m back, I’m Blue, I’m ready – let’s go”. Although he claims it’s nothing personal, the fact the striker has referred to his Arsenal exit speaks volumes.
Aubameyang has also given Arteta plenty of ammunition. After Arsenal’s opening day defeat to Brentford last season, Ivan Toney tweeted: “Nice kick about with the boys.”
That tweet was then used by a furious Arteta ahead of the return game between the two teams at the Emirates. The Spaniard’s rant was picked up by cameras in Amazon’s ‘Arsenal: All or Nothing’ documentary, which documented their 2021/22 campaign.
Arteta told his players: “All week we have prepared, we have looked at everything, we want to play as much as possible. I insist here, and this is great, but what is going to make the difference now is what happens in both boxes.
“Before I go, because it’s still in my stomach, and I have managed to keep it in my stomach for six months. This is Toney [show’s tweet] after the game when we played them at Brentford. You know what he did, you know his tweet?
“Nice kickabout with the boys this afternoon’. So, today they play in our house guys, and there is only one team in that f****** pithead. Only team, they don’t play, we take the f****** ball, we take the game and we go for it. Let’s win this f****** game let’s go.”
Arsenal went on to win the game 2-1 before inflicting another defeat on Toney and Brentford when the two sides met again in September. As such, there’s every chance Arteta will use Aubameyang’s words to inspire his team to three vital points against Chelsea.