Much of the build up to the game focused on the owner of Blackpool FC who appears to want to watch the club go under rather than cede to public opinion. Hopefully the large band of travelling Gooners were all aware that money spent in the ground was only going to benefit one person. The empty stands showed the depth of contempt there is for the man in Blackpool. Really sad.
The other big concern in the warm-up was Kos suffering with his back and having to be replaced by Jenks. Hopefully it was more of a precaution due to the ropey nature of the pitch, rather than anything long term.
An entertaining opening to the game should have seen Arsenal over the hill and far away but Blackpool did have the odd effort or two. Eddie didn’t read his script. First he tried a near post shot when going across the keeper was the obvious option. Then he was unluckier in that A.M-N’s ball across the face of goal was just at the limit of his stretch causing a miss that looked worse than it was.
Eventually we did take the lead when a Rambo free kick came off Shearing’s shoulder and flew against the post but fell nicely for Joe Willock to nod into an empty net. Jenks could have nodded for the net instead of back across goal from a delightful dink from Wobbly.
That man Wobbly was again instrumental in the second goal. Controlling a nice forward pass superbly on his thigh, he laid the ball into the path of the oncoming Corporal who crossed for Eddie whose little nick at the near post fell nicely for Joe to add his second.
Eddie then missed the easiest of his chances, not fooling the keeper in a one-on-one.
Didn’t see a lot of the second period but it sounded like I didn’t miss much. Wobbly popped up to seal the victory, tapping in after Laca had set up Rambo’s toe poke.
I was disappointed that Saka was given just a few worthless minutes at the tail end of the game whereas Laca was forced to play for a full half hour. Still what do I know, Saka for Eddie wouldn’t have made sense either.
Job done, no injuries hopefully if the rumour about Kos being cotton-woolled is correct. Fourth Round for us this year, unlike last, with the draw to be made after Monday night’s game at Molineux.
Good luck to the Blackpool fans in their quest to remove the offending excrescence from their club’s shoes.
Cech – only flapped at the odd one, otherwise competent … 7
Jenks – looked lively and involved in the game throughout – great for him to get a full game playing for his beloved Arsenal … 7
Lichtsteiner – a bit iffy in places but he was expecting to be terrorising a winger not having the extra responsibility of playing centrally … 6
Papa – enjoyed his duel with Blackpool’s big lad up front … 7
Wardrobe – his defensive abilities weren’t really tested … 7
Elneny – busy and efficient – not sure if he played his way into the first team though … 7
Ramsey – a class apart and seems to be enjoying his role as senior spoke in the second string wheel … 8
Willock – two goals and looked excellent on the ball especially in the first part of the game (i.e. the bit that I saw) – extra point for the brace … 8
Maitland-Niles – (definitely need a nickname for him?) another who looked above the level of the game but then again, you’d hope he would since we all have such high hopes for him … 8
Wobbly – Enjoyed himself at the seaside – another fine performance from the Nigerian Messi … 8
Eddie – shame he couldn’t take one of his chances – his running, movement and ability on the ball were excellent though … 7
Laca – When Unai was giving him instructions about coming on, you could see he would have preferred to stay snuggly in his sleeping bag – didn’t really affect the course of the game apart from freeing Rambo for the third … 6
Medley – had a nasty bump on the hip when flipped by a challenge while he was in the air, looked composed … 6
Saka – poor lad goes all that way to touch the ball three times … 6