There is plenty of anxiety among the Arsenal faithful before their team’s away fixture at Chelsea this weekend–and little reason to wonder why. Last season in their away games at the top three premier league teams–Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea–the Gunners lost all three matches by a combined score of 17-4, brutally exposing Arsenal’s defensive midfield weakness, and their manager Arsene Wenger’s unwillingness to change his tactics to better protect his back line against stronger opponents. Most notable of those away defeats, Chelsea and their coach Jose Mourinho ruined Arsene’s 1000th game in charge of the Gunners with a 6-0 thrashing. To add to the Arsenal fans’ angst, Arsene has never beaten a Jose Mourinho team. Arsene Wenger’s record against Mourinho is 0 wins, 6 loses and 5 draws in 11 tries.
This Sunday Arsenal fans will make the trip across London for the 9:05 AM ET kick off (NBCSN), knowing their coach did not address the team’s defensive midfield weakness in the off season. The Gunners must be hoping that Arsene has learned from the past and will set up his team to protect his back line from Chelsea’s ruthless counterattack. History offers little hope the Frenchman will budge.