Well, I kinda gave it away in the blurb, didn't I? Anyway, We Ain't Got No History's David Pasztor and I had a chat about Arsenal vs. Chelsea; his questions, and not coincidentally my answers to his questions, are here.
TSF: Does Chelsea have an identified main striker, or is the team's approach more spread-the-love as far as scoring goes?
WAGNH: After years and years of toiling without a primary goalscorer, we've got at least two this year, Diego Costa and Eden Hazard. Even Costa's backup Loic Remy has been scoring at a regular rate whenever selected. And if we lump all of our tall defenders into one person, they're pretty threatening off set pieces, too. So I guess my answer is both?
TSF: Was the cliff Cesc Fabregas fell off this season anticipated, or was it a surprise?
WAGNH: Unsurprising, though perhaps overstated. The trouble isn't so much that his passing got much worse or his assist numbers tailed off (fewer converted chances tend to result in fewer assists, after all), it's that he reverted to being mostly useless as a defensive presence in midfield after improving his game in that regard in the first few months. But we knew this heading in to the Cesc experiment.
TSF: For all of Chelsea's youth development, very few Chelsea youth are or have become Chelsea first team regulars. Do you see that changing in the next few years, as FFP gets more entrenched and Chelsea's current players age out/move on?
WAGNH: Yes. The academy is stocked with an unprecedented level of talent. The management and the club's leadership are making all the right noises. I have to believe we'll make good on our promises, both to the youngsters and to the fans.
TSF: Complete this sentence: For Arsenal to beat Chelsea this weekend, the one thing they have to do perfectly is...
WAGNH: ...control the midfield. And by control I don't mean just possession.
TSF: Which Chelsea player should Arsenal fans fear most on Sunday?
WAGNH: Not sure about the fans, but the players should fear Hazard the most.
TSF: If Chelsea loses this game, does even the slightest doubt about the rest of the season start to creep in, or with what would be a 7 point lead at that point, is winning the league a foregone conclusion?
WAGNH: Some will always be worried, perhaps even when it's mathematically clinched. You know, FA campaigns and all. Personally, I don't think there's any doubt where the title will end up this year.
TSF: From an outsider's perspective, John Terry appears to be the Derek Jeter of Chelsea - once great, now running on fumes and living off his legend. Is that accurate, or is Terry still a major contributor to Chelsea's success?
WAGNH: I'd say that's inaccurate. JT is still the most crucial player in the Chelsea backline.
TSF: Chelsea haven't lost in 12 league games, Arsenal haven't dropped points in eight. Which of those streaks will be broken on Sunday?
WAGNH: Arsenal's, as I'm guessing this will be a draw.
Many thanks to David and WAGNH for taking the time to chat!