Written by Harry
As the sun shone all over Bloomfield, Arsene’s battle weary troops took to the field with Lehmann starting his 200th game for the gunners…….No mean feat, apart from the fact his 199th was 3 years ago!! Manuel was injured in the warm up…….I think I heard that Eboue had tied his bootlaces together…Anyway Big Jens was in the spotlight…..
As expected Blackpool started like a rollercoaster, pace and purpose with a few ups and downs, survival is paramount to the seasiders and they tried to get at a vulnerable Arsenal defence, supposedly which is there for the taking according to some…….But Arsenal held firm with Squillaci and Kosceinly doing a good impression of a Centre back partnership..
And although Blackpool got some crosses in Lehmann took every catch with the air of authority as he marshalled the back line as if he had never been away, he has a presence about him, a calmness that really does settle the team…..
Fabregas was back and although not at his majestic best, his array of passing was on show as he looked to open up the seasiders, a delightful lobbed pass over the Blackpool back line saw van Persie’s control just let him down as the ball ran through to Kingston.
Arsenal really began to control the game as Blackpool found it difficult to maintain the early pace, Diaby intercepted and strode forward with purpose, laying off to Cesc, Diaby then thrust towards goal, as Cesc pinged the ball wide left to van Persie, who only needed to play the ball across the area to an Arsenal player, yes for once someone was in the area!! Honest!! As Diaby just ended the move he started with ease, 1-0……..
It wasn’t long before it was 2-0 with the goal of the game for me, Eboue cutting in from the right played a one-two with Wilshere, as he took the ball on the return in his stride and absolutely smashed in the far top corner….If that had been Rooney and Scholes, the press would have wet themselves, that was a goal of a high quality……
Arsenal tried to put the game to bed, but for the rest of the first half they had a bit of a Torres spell……Most memorable moment came when Nasri couldn’t quite get the ball out of his feet to get a shot off inside the area, he was pushed wide, he played the ball back across and darted into the box again as Fabregas sent a sublime chip into his path, as the keeper came out, nasri struck across the ball, which hit the post and away, that would have been a quality goal, one we all knew we needed.
Just before Half Time Blackpool signalled their intentions not to lie down, when they got down the right and put the ball across into a melee, somehow a faint touch from Lehmanns outstretched leg stopped the ball going in and Fabregas calmly took the ball away.
In the 2nd half, Blackpool took the game to Arsenal, with more gusto than a Talksport presenter criticizing Arsenal……
As Blackpool broke again, little Jack stretched to a tackle, but brought himself a yellow, Mason waved play on, Blackpool attacked at pace, as DJ danced into the box he took the ball towards the goal, Lehmann, came out and took him down, the ball fell to Taylor-Fletcher who tapped into the empty net, game on…..
As much as I rate Lee Mason as the worst referee I have seen in the premiership (he was the ref at the Everton home match), fair play to how he handled this phase of play……Lehmann could have seen red… (Lucky Break No1)
Blackpool really went for it and Arsenals steadiness of the 1st half was replaced with some ropey impressions of Bambi on ice, then lucky break no2, Koscienly took Taylor-Fletcher out just inside the area with what was a stone-wall penalty…..Mason waved them away, ying and yang somehow playing their part, me thinks….
Wenger made his first substitution with an inevitable early retreat for Arshavin, I think we could all see that coming a mile off. Walcott’s entrance would add an extra threat that would finally seal the points.
But the start of the move for the points bagger, must see high praise for Toto, who slid in for a perfect tackle, taking the ball away just as Blackpool threatened again, Diaby mopped up the ball but was under immediate pressure, he twisted and turned and got a chip pass through to Cesc, who first time helped it on to the jet fuelled Theo, who disappeared down the right faster than Rooney chasing a Camera man, he passed across to van Persie who passed the ball into the bottom right hand corner. Game over, planets re-aligned…..
Lehmann: 8: Probably a tad generous with his near red moment, but then it wouldn’t be Jens without that; I just liked the authority he has, barking his orders and berating the slightest error….keeps them on their toes. Made a couple of good saves as well……Does he have 7 more games in him?
Eboue: 8: Still has the ability to frustrate with his acting ability, but I love the way he takes the game to the opposition, not afraid to see a gap and attack it, his goal was superb.
Koscienly: 7: Solid enough game, but lucky not to give away a penalty, but apart from that I felt he did his job without too much problems.
Squillaci: 8: Very solid, read the game well, cannot remember any mistakes and his tackle that started the move for the 3rd goal was exceptional. For me, probably controversially, my MotM…
Clichy: 7: Had a decent game apart from his moment of “Total Liability” when he decided to dwell on the ball and acts like a lemming……For me it is a too regular occurrence, Spurs, Birmingham etc.
Fabregas: 7: Fantastic Passing, orchestrated attacking moves like only he can, just lacked a bit of sharpness in his movement, but he is nursing his hamstrings….
Diaby: 7.5: Started and Finished the move for the opener, and was instrumental in the 3rd, got a silly booking before half time. This is the Diaby I defend continuously….although he has even more to give, physically he can dominate games if his head is in the right time dimension.
Wilshere: 7: Although no where near his best in affecting the game creative wise, but he kept in there and was involved throughout in physical encounters, never gives up, has the right attitude for me.
Nasri: 7: Looked more himself today, still not as sharp as before his injury, but getting there. When we were on top he really was buzzing, probing and trying to get at their fullbacks. Nearly scored twice…….
Van Persie: 7: Good game, unfortunate the ball ran away from him on one occasion and another he just seem to half hit it. Took the goal well to seal the points, worked hard, just needs to be a tad more clinical at times.
Arshavin: 6: Not involved enough for me, after a couple of better performances lately, but he needs the team to involve him more. Personally I would play him behind Van Persie, would be much more effective, but I am no Professor…….
Walcott :7: Lively and Jet fuelled, want him to be more selfish when near the goal, but there again that’s not in our locker….
Gibbs and Ramsey: Too little time to judge…..
Wenger: 9: End of a turbulent week for Le Boss, his handling of the press set the scene for a punchy response from his team. Made the right changes to the line up and made the substitutions at the right times…..
Roast Dinner at Pub with Man United Mates: Priceless …………
Some decisions went for us, some didn’t, its argumentative who had the real key defining ones, although Kozzers’ was a stonewall penalty, but hey ho that’s football……..It was a great result and a much more impressive performance, still needs to be upped a level for the next seven games, all must win for me.
Away from home we definitely play with more freedom, less fear. With Blackpool fans epitomizing my firm held belief that a crowd can play its part, okay, they didn’t win, but the positive support helped them go through the gears with the speed of Jensen button…..
Probably could do without the talk of takeovers at such a crucial time, but just maybe the distraction could keep the fans from been so negative about the team and Wenger?
And if the takeover sees the return of Double D, this could reignite the successful times he enjoyed with Wenger till his acrimonious departure, I pray…….
Man City think they can buy our Jack for 40million?
For that amount of money they can have his boots, he isn’t going nowhere my middle eastern oil pumpers…..See you all next Sunday……