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Chelsea v Arsenal: Can Wenger break the Mourinho curse?

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Chelsea v Arsenal: Can Wenger break the Mourinho curse?
chelsea-v-arsenal-can-wenger-break-the-mourinho-curse
It probably wouldn't be recommended to mention http://www.brownsnflofficialauthentic.com/BROWNS-MITCHELL-SCHWARTZ-JERSEY this to Jose Mourinho, but the man who scrunched up the formbook when it comes to Chelsea versus Arsenal was not actually him. Mourinho might appear to have put some kind of curse on Wenger (the latter has never beaten the former in 11 attempts) but it was not the cocksure Portuguese who was in charge for the moment that flipped the nature of this fixture. That was Claudio Ranieri, his benevolent Italian predecessor. Such is Chelsea's dominance over Arsenal these days, it's hard to believe that not so long ago the situation was completely reversed. In the early Wenger years, Arsenal enjoyed a spell where they went 17 Premier League games without loss against the team from Stamford Bridge. They also had the upper hand in the FA Cup during that period, knocking Chelsea out in four successive seasons. Then came the pivotal moment. In the spring of 2004 - which coincided with Roman Abramovich's decision to invite Mourinho, then the bullish manager of Porto, on to this yacht in Monte Carlo and thus giving the impression that Ranieri was a dead manager walking on the Kings Road - Chelsea shocked Arsenal in the Champions League with a late strike from former England left-back Wayne Bridge. The hoodoo was over. "I am mad with joy," bubbled Ranieri afterwards. This from a manager who had previously travelled across the capital to Highbury on the tube to watch Arsenal in the Champions League when Chelsea had not been regular qualifiers in the competition. Strange though it may now seem, back then the managers of the two clubs had an amiable regard for one another. Coincidentally or not, Mourinho has never taken to either of them. For Wenger, looking back over his 18-year span in London, this particular fixture can be split into two very distinct chapters, with that Bridge goal as the turning point. Since then, trips across London to SW6 have been mostly very dispiriting for the Arsenal manager. That downturn reached its nadir six months ago. Wenger was devastated by last season's harrowing trip to Stamford Bridge; the script could not have been any more excruciating. After the big build up in anticipation of his 1,000th match as Jerraud Powers Womens Jersey Arsenal manager, Chelsea eviscerated his team and the Blues supporters mocked Wenger by reprising one of Mourinho's callous one liners, chanting "specialist in failure" at him. The experience proved to be the lowest of the low. "It was a massive, massive disappointment," Wenger says on the eve of his return to the scene of the crime. "I will never forget that day." It was worse, somehow, than another defeat with a landmark feel about it, when Arsenal were thrashed 8-2 at Old Trafford in 2011 with a severely depleted team. "When we lost there we had no team on the day. We had nobody at the back so that was explainable," he says. "The players will want to put things right at Chelsea after last season and will be up for it on the day." So how do you block out sour memories? How do you alleviate any fear or a repetition? According to Wenger, it is all in the spirit of being a competitor. One thing Wenger refuses to do is feel defeatist as he journeys back into Chelsea territory. He is adamant there is no need to dwell on the past. "Why?" he asks. "In life you must always think you are there to change what happened before, or you are fatalistic. A competitive guy is somebody who wants to make history and change what happened before. We have an opportunity to do that." Can Wenger summon the moment to swing this fixture back in Arsenal's favour? With Chelsea in strong form, and history currently on their side, it is a tall order. Nigel Winterburn thinks revisiting Stamford Bridge with those 6-0 memories still fresh is a considerable test of the team's mettle. The former Arsenal left-back, who was part of the scene when his team routinely approached Chelsea games fuelled by souped-up http://www.nflpackersofficialonline.com/PACKERS-REGGIE-WHITE-JERSEY confidence, feels there is a bigger picture associated with this game. In terms of perceptions in crunch away matches, he believes changing the pattern is imperative. "It is up to the current players to break that cycle," says Winterburn. "The way things went last season was a complete disaster away in the big games. The points tally was absolutely shocking. That's got to change this season if they want to be taken seriously. The points tally against top teams has to improve dramatically." Winterburn scored a last-minute winner at Stamford Bridge in 1998, during the period of Arsenal supremacy over Chelsea. To this day it is the goal strangers talk about when they meet him.

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