The rivalry between Chelsea and Arsenal became far more established as the Blues received major financial backing from Roman Abramovich. Chelsea began challenging for titles and trophies whilst Arsenal had to fight for Champions League qualification.
This only grew the dislike of Arsenal amongst many Chelsea supporters and some would arguably say they look at the west London side in an even worse light than their north London neighbours. Social media has only increased the frequency with which fans of both clubs can debate between themselves.
However, The CareFree Chelsea writers and editor have decided to throw some controversial topics into the ring and were even polite enough to invite The Arsenal Way crew to respond to a number of what could be described simply as unpopular opinions.
Scott Clayton: Cobham is better than Hale End.
To start off we had one of our own, captain the side through the early years of London domination in John Terry who finished his career with fifteen trophies and finished his career as the defender with the most ever goals for a defender in the Premier League.
Over the last ten years or more, the club has dominated academy football and Arsenal haven’t been anywhere to be seen.
Sure, there have been some decent players to come through at Arsenal too, but you can’t sit there and say it’s stronger than Cobham.
Two UEFA Youth League titles, a next-gen title and seven FA Youth Cups in nine years with five coming back to back we owned academy football for over a decade and it’s shown with all the players we have scattered about Europe making a name for themselves.
Players that don’t make the cut in our academy often go to Arsenal after.
The clubs selling our academy players for £25m in Fikayo Tomori, £34m in Tammy Abraham and £20m in Marc Guehi. I’m not happy with these sales personally but the fact we can get around £79m for three academy players with many more to choose from shows the choices we have to choose from in the academy.
Arsenal has produced great players but for me, Fabregas is a Barcelona product they cling onto and shown his true colours as soon as he got the chance to return, Gnabry has become a great player after he left you. I wouldn’t shine a light on selling a player for £5m to become a top player while you spent £75m on someone doing half the job at best in Pepe.
Cobham has produced talents for many years and always have the most players from the club representing all England age groups any time an international break comes around. The conveyor belt never stops as you see with Tariq Lamptey, Tino Livramento and Reece James all coming through around the same time.
Chelsea loan out quality academy players as shown with Conor Gallagher, Billy Gilmour etc cause we are getting them ready to fight for winning trophies than just accepting a top-four finish. Levels to this game.
Chris Davison, content editor/writer, response:
Although I agree Chelsea have a strong academy, it’s still miles behind Hale End.
For years Arsenal has been producing some of the countries finest talents. Year after year us fans sit here and enjoy the success they are having at the Emirates. Whereas you produce them so slowly.
They work hard within the academy setup knowing that if they do well, they will get their chance for the Gunners – something that can’t be said for most of those poor youngsters at Cobham.
I mean, I can see why Chelsea is such an attractive option if you are a young player. You’ll get the chance to travel the world when the club sends you out on loan a thousand times. Not bad.
Come on Scott, we know there’s only one winner here.
Anita Abayomi: London became blue as soon as Roman Abramovich took over
Since Roman Abramovich took over, the trajectory changed. London was once the playground for Arsenal but then there was a power shift. Despite the incredible success of the invincibles and their remarkable achievements in the league, Chelsea has somehow overshadowed the Gunners in the last two decades thanks to that all-important takeover.
Two Champions League trophies coupled with two Europa League successes show the extent of the power shift in London.
Chelsea doesn’t accept a FA Cup and top four as a great season. Others including Tottenham, including Arsenal, including West Ham, would see this as progress whilst we would hail this as an expectation.
Times have changed, the dynamic has shifted, London is Blue and we will challenge anyone to take our crown.
Tom Canton, The Arsenal Way writer/presenter, response:
To deny that the power has shifted since the takeover of Abramovich would be naive however to argue that suddenly Chelsea became the biggest club in London is another thing.
Champions League trophies are a great achievement but picking up a couple does not supersede the gap of seven league titles. Once Chelsea close that gap we can start talking about the size of the club.
Should Arsenal not work to close the present-day difference between the clubs, the seven title chasm will surely close, but until then London remains red and the crown is too.
Jake Stokes: Arsenal fans are more obsessed with talking about Callum Hudson-Odoi than Chelsea fans
Any time you talk to an Arsenal fan they want to bring up Emile Smith Rowe, Bukayo Saka or Gabriel Martinelli to compare them with Callum Hudson-Odoi.
It’s easy to see they ignore Mason Mount who’s making assists in Champions League finals and shortlisted for Ballon d’Or and go after comparing to a player who got a serious injury to try and get one over Chelsea fans.
Hudson-Odoi has won a Champions League and Europa League and Super Cup before he turned 21 and you want to talk about appearances and one off games? Do they have anything to show for it?
He’s had a serious injury that’s slowed him down. It takes time for a player to get confident with the moves he was so good at doing before the injury, but if you want to compare them to a player that’s wanted by two well-run clubs in Borrusia Dortmund and Bayern Munich and offering £50m to yours then be my guest.
Bailey Keogh, The Arsenal Way writer/presenter, response:
Isn’t that the norm, to compare your great young players with other supposedly great young players?
Mason Mount is an excellent player and his development is ahead of the youngsters at Arsenal, due to him being a part of an amazing squad, but give it a couple of seasons before Emile Smith Rowe is in the same conversation, or if not better than him.
No, Hudson-Odoi did not win the Champions League, Europa League and Super Cup. His teammates did. This is a similar conversation when discussing Bojan Krkic or Ibrahim Afellay’s involvement in Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona success.
I am absolutely certain if Smith Rowe, Saka or Martinelli, even any other youngster for that matter, played the role that Hudson-Odoi did in the recent Chelsea trophy success, they would have the same medals too.
Daniel Childs: Willian, Luiz, Cech form is Arsenal’s fault
All three had much better Chelsea careers that obviously goes without saying but Arsenal are to blame for them not doing well. All three players played roles in Chelsea being successful but Arsenal didn’t know how to shape a team to get the best out of any.
All left Arsenal in poor circumstances either pushed out in terms of Willian or on the back off a drubbing from Chelsea in the Europa League final in Petr Cech. The man that was a key cog in Chelsea winning the Champions League years before and saved us was pelted with efforts as Chelsea got an easy win in Baku.
Willian started with a good opening day of the season where Arsenal fans thanked us for him thinking they got one over us. After that, we heard nothing from them again/
Tom Canton, The Arsenal Way writer/presenter, response:
This is a view I struggle to argue with. Arsenal should never have signed David Luiz or Willian. Petr Cech was a buy that made sense considering the goalkeeping situation at the time but the increased shots he faced at Arsenal was no surprise.
Thankfully, as Daniel points out, these were the mistakes of Arsenal but what Chelsea should worry about now is that they are learning from them.
The recruitment in 2021 was excellent and the days of signing bygone players have hopefully come to an end. Whilst Chelsea tries to get the best from their £100 million investment, Arsenal are building a side to progress them back to where they rightly belong.
The CareFree Chelsea team loved reading Arsenals funny responses to our facts.
Follow our CareFreeChelsea team Scott Clayton, Anita Abayomi, Daniel Childs and Jake Stokes on Twitter to get involved in the discussion and give us your thoughts in the comments section. Take a read of the Arsenal response to our unpopular opinions in the link below.