Sunday 4 October 2009

Blackburn dismantled, the walrus whines and Chelsea grind on

The attacking play was outstanding, I lost count of the excellent chances that came and went, somehow Blackburn stayed in a game for a lot longer than they deserved, but in the end our extra quality told. The midfield three of Cesc/Song/Diaby with the attacking trio of Rosicky/RVP/Arshavin, then the predictable back four plus Mannone in goal made up the starting eleven. Cesc sparkled, Rosicky and Arshavin tormented, RVP connected it all up, even Diaby didn't dwell on the ball today.

Blackburn took a very surprise lead thanks to some rather poor defending, a speculative Robinson hoof was flicked over the ponderous Mannone from around ten yards out. Watching replays I do think that the keeper was largely to blame for this, the ball was in the air for a hell of a long time and he really had to make it his when it was so close to his goal. We equalised thanks to a Vermaelen smashed, then Blackburn got lucky thanks to a deflected Dunn effort. Again the response was quick, RVP made it 2-2 and then a neat Arshavin finish put us ahead 3-2.

The moment that fat Sam wanted to dwell on was when the fat and irritating Dunn fell under a rather negligible Vermaelen challenge, Blackburn didn't appeal for the penalty kick and it would have been a very soft call, this wasn't the turning point, it was just something for the fat corrupt walrus to vent his spleen upon. The game continued to run away from Blackburn, the goals flowed, Cesc volleyed one neatly with his left peg, Walcott finished excellently when teed up by Cesc flicking on a great Arshavin centre, then Bendtner providing the icing with a thunderous twenty yarder that rocketed in off the post.

This season will not be dull, the football will continue to be brilliant to watch, we have a wealth of attacking talent, just think that several excellent players didn't even make it onto the pitch today. However we will not win the title if we do not sort out our defending. Blackburn had very little pressure or possession, but they did look dangerous when they crossed the ball in and when the played directly at our back four. Our defensive unit look static when the ball was crossed in from out wide, we just looked a tad ponderous when trying to defend the loose balls in the box. Obviously Mannone is not our first choice keeper and he does not command the box as well as Manuel Almunia, but I sense our defensive problems are a bit deeper than that.

Anyways I do not wish to whinge after a 6-2 victory, this will be another roller coaster of a season, we have by far the best attacking players of any club in England and possibly the world and they are a pleasure to watch. Watching Chelsea versus Liverpool did make me realise just what we lack at the back though, it was a dull game but both sides did defend pretty solidly on the whole, their back fours are big strong units, especially physically speaking.

Liverpool certainly have big problems in terms of midfield and attack, as they have very few options in reserve and are far too reliant on just a handful of players. Chelsea are dull, workmanlike and unspectacular, they don't move the ball particularly well and they are not particularly creative either; one thing they can do is defend and for that reason they will be a tough side to knock off the top of the league table this year. I'd love it if we could it though, fingers crossed.


K man said...

Fabregas finally showed up for the first time this season. Fantastic performance. Vermelen was awesome again. And six different scorers...

Spot on 1979, if we want to win the title we need to defend better. The forward play is fantastic though.

garima said...

you talk about defending being a problem in the match, fine... but it's a bit over the top to suggest that arsenal are not defending well generally as they were playing against a team whose one tactic is to long ball us. If you had noticed during the match, arsenal did eventually manage to deal with the aerial threat well after the two blackburn goals.

Steve D. said...

@ Garima

Totally agree. The first goal was a real fluke and Mannone learnt from it and started to come all the way to the penalty spot to catch the long punts. The second goal was also a fluke and other than that, the defence did pretty good. Off subject slightly, I can't believe more wasn't made of Dunne's assualt on Mannone - I guarentee if RVP had done that he would have been off.

This team is getting stronger all the time and although there's bound to be a slip up or two, with a little luck AW's men could finally silence the critics.

Uncle Mike said...

What a rollercoaster. At 1-0 Blackburn I was nervous. At 2-1 Blackburn I was furious. But once RVP equalised I knew we were going to win.

I was confused by the guys where I watched it: I was unaware of the word "walrus" in connection with Fat Sam. I thought they were imitating seals.

If Allardyce is "The Walrus," does that mean Phil Brown is dead? Who would be George and Ringo?

Then again, the Arsenal attack did seem to put "Four thousand holes in Blackburn, Lancashire."

And Steve is right, and I'll take it a step further: If Cesc had done that to Blackburn's keeper, fans all over England would be calling for his Spanish head -- emphasis on "Spanish."

Ted said...

Great Arsenal performance. Well played everyone - particularly cesc. He has taken some flak from me in recent months but that is simply because he can play like this when he is is the right mindset. he was fantastic.

Just think what we could do with Nasri and Eduardo fit as well.

I am extremely unconcerned about the two goals we conceded. Blackburn had about 6 shots in the entire game, whereas we had 24 and 66% possession. Song was terrific in midfield but he is our one disciplined midfielder, but we worked hard as a team off the ball and gave Blackburn no time or space to do anything.

That said, if any defensive mistakes were made, then they tended to be at full back again. Neither Clichy nor Sagna were great.

Ted said...

p.s. i'll just add that I am delighted that Theo and RVP are not in their respective international squads - for differing reasons obviously.

But its been about this stage in previous years when Arsenal are just on a roll and RVP and/or Theo hurts themselves.

marcus said...

Amazing performance--so good to see Cesc back!! But yes, the defensive weaknesses have to be cut out pronto. Can't see us ever beating this current Chelsea team. We haven't had an answer to Chelsea since Mourinho came to the PL. The only reason we won at the Bridge last season was because Drogba and Essien did not play and they had a weak manager who didn't focus too much on fitness. We don't ever seem to have an answer to an in-form, motivated Drogba (or Essien). Hell, even if he's not in form we don't have an answer to him. We are more capable of beating United with Cronaldo and all their other big names than this Chelsea team. Let's hope Villa can do us a favor tonight.

Ted said...

its just finished 1-1 at Villa Park. Quite a good result, I think, as it sounds like Citeh played fairly well.

I tend to agree with Marcus that Chelsea look strong. That said, they will have to cope without Drogba and Essien during the CAN so that could be a sticky patch.

Time also has to tell for those old bastards eventually - they have not lasted the distance in recent years compared to Manure and I don't think this season will be any different.

Uncle Mike said...

Arseblogger provided us with a "Get me the tannnnkh!" moment:

Arshavin: "Fabregas performed miracles."

Arseblogger: "And I'm told from an extremely good training ground source that at half-time much needed supplies had not arrived due to traffic problems so Cesc turned water into Lucozade Sport to allow our players to rehydrate properly for the second half. Ground staff also reported finding a cupboard entirely full of loaves and DISHES, which indicates he hasn't quite got the hang of his powers yet, but never mind."

If he can do stuff like that, let's see if he can raise Eddie Hapgood from the dead!

Fred said...

I think we've had a good start to the season but I can't stop looking at it half empty. I can't stop being annoyed by the losses to Man U and City. At least the players seem to have gotten over them.