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Arsenal 24 Black Blackburn 7. Ecstasy.

It says something when Black Black Blackburn have more than twice as many shots on target (7) as Liverpool (3) on a sunday afternoon.

Arsenal were of course miles ahead on total number of shots – 24 – the other top clubs playing on sunday afternoon had under half that number and also committed more fouls than they had shots (Chelsea/ Liverpool for 14-17 on fouls but only 12-12 on shots, and that’s including all the shots off target).

Which tells you what a sensational game Arsenal Blackburn was.   The first goal for the Blackness (mentioned in dispatches yesterday) looked to me (upper tier to the right of the goal) like Mannone was one step too far forward – but that is how a lot of goals of that type are scored.  Nothing to do with Vermaelen’s height as was apparently suggested on Flemish TV.  (You see you get a world wide vision here).  No failure on Mannone’s part either.

It was truly magnifico.  I was there a few years back when we had the same scoreline against Black Blackburn  (Gilberto scored one with a sublime header) but that game was nothing like this.  This had perfect football all over the pitch.

One thing that is of interest is that no one is mentioning Diaby – because he actually had a very good match.  All that ability to get the ball no matter what from within any situation – it all came back and he played really well.

As of course did everyone.

So now the aftermath…

Today the Sun says that shock horror, Cesc might not go to Barca!!!   But I think that is a bit of post-modern irony.

As I correctly predicted yesterday all the focus in the media is on Liverpool, not us (which is fine).  And there was some unexpected good news too.  Theo is not playing in the Inkyland internationals so he can’t get injured by a bench.   Eduardo is obviously not playing, and the chances are that by the time all the nonsense is over in two weeks we might be looking at Almunia, and  Nasri (remember him) also being in or on the edge of the team, which will be good news.

What I haven’t seen is whether Mexico are playing their usual nine matches in 3 days, in order to wreck the career of Vela again.

Anyway, back to the match.  Me and Thierry were there – almost shaking hands we were.   Well he was in the boxes and I was in the upper level, but spiritually we were right next to each other.  Oh yes, and the Mirror says that Vieira is coming back to Arsenal in the January transfer imagination.

So what is there to worry about? I’m sure the doomsayers will find something.    How about: when Song is injured we’ll be scuppered?  Or, “well it was only Blackburn…”

On the issue of life without Song, (and Song was utterly sensational yesterday) the answer is play Diaby there, or play Coquelin there, or play 4-4-2.  There’s three answers to that one.  And by November Denilson will be back – remembering that he played more games than anyone last year, and we are hardly missing him at all.

So no story there.  But maybe it is more fun to watch the FA trying to find ways to let Sir Alex F Word off the hook with his “referees are not fit enough” statement.   Which is only slightly more amusing that watching Blackburn’s goalkeeper desperately trying to remember that the time wasting habit of a life time (pick up the ball, test it for inflation, bounce it, have a swig of water, bounce it, angrily wave the players across to the other side of the field, put the ball down, remove an imaginary piece of mud, take a swig, drop bottle, look up, angrily wave the players into a different position from last time, put hands on hips, run, and kick the ball) – all of that is really inappropriate when you are 4-2 down.

Tough business, tactics.

Hey ho – here’s some other news…

Don’t forget to buy Highbury High if you haven’t got it, ideal to pass the long boring days of the internationals

Start saving also for “Making the Arsenal” – only the second novel about the Arsenal ever to be published – out in about two weeks.

Take the occasional peek at the Woolwich Arsenal blog on Arsenal 100 years ago which also will start including extracts from “Making the Arsenal” as we get nearer to publication date.

(c) Tony Attwood 2009

34 comments to Arsenal 24 Black Blackburn 7. Ecstasy.

  • AnonymousGun

    Replace Diaby with Samir Nasri and we probably seeing more scorelines like this.

    But Diaby is really doing good today, only nitpickers would find fault.. Its just everyone around him doing so awesomely that all the good work from him will be ignored.

    What are the chances of Don Vito keeping his spot after interlull.. he doesn’t deserved to be bench just because Big Al returned.

  • walter

    Vermaelen may not be a giant in meters and centimeters but he plays like a giant, and that is all he needs to do.
    Some other good news on Van Persie: he also will not be traveling to Australia with the Dutch team because his wive is expecting birth one of these days, well I guess Robin is expecting it also ?
    Can you imagine a trip like that just to play a friendly game ? I think they lost their mind in Holland but be leavin Robin here they just showed a healthy brain in the end.
    About the game still enjoying the game … this was one of the best attacking performances against a Blackburn team ever seen I bet.

  • Jack

    I wish Robin was coming down to Aus just to see him in the flesh, but you’re right it probably is good for the Arsenal that he isnt travelling.
    And although diaby was much better yesterday, i think he could do well to work on his ball retention and quicker passing. that said, he was much improved from the fulham game.

    P.S love the blog, easily one of (if not the) best going around.

  • diceman1984

    As I said, this game was just sensational……Big Sam has got to be livid as he tried to play but ended up conceding 6 goals, could be even more if not for the ex spud who was on good form.

    Vieira to come back? Would be nice but I just don’t think Wenger will do it now, to me it’s better to bring Coquelin up. But maybe Pat is coming back also for a future coaching role?

    Anyway, back to the boring inter-games, so so so so so so so damn boring!

  • jazbo

    6-2 what a result, just goes to show how much i know about picking a team, what great way for the players to celebrate Arsene Wengers 14 years in the hot seat, a cameo by the great TH14 it’s just a pity that Paddy got to London too late to come to the party and ended up at Chelski.
    The best however was the after match interview given by fat Sam, no mention of his team being put to the sword by a rampent Arsenal, he instead chose to have a moan about the ref, great stuff!!!!

  • dj eboue

    i’d really love to watch man city receive this treatment. yea diaby is very helpful with attacking intent all the time! if vieira comes it will be funny looking in midfield.

  • Armin Medic

    And someone said we lack winning mentality, and cant be back in games because our lack of experience (we usually lack something, height, experience, winning mentality, defensive midfielder, scorer, creativity, stamina, and so on so on so on). So probably today in newspapers someone will write that this result is because Rovers underestimated us, or because of Big Sam phone carrier yesterday had problems with quality of signal.

  • walter

    The time wasting from Robinson, you can’t blame the lad. They are programmed by Big Brother Sam to do it always. Well in this case it was just to prevent an even higher score I think.
    And now…. 14 days of boring life with no Arsenal. How are we gonna survive this

  • steww

    Walter – I intend to watch endless reruns of the match to pass the international boredom festival. Also to look forward to seeing more first team players coming back from injury. Good to be a Gooner today.

  • Cape Gooner

    And I thought that I was the super optimist when it comes to the kiddies! But both Tony and diceman mention Coquelin! Remember where Song was three years ago. That is where Coquelin is today. Not that I think there is any limit to how good he can become. However, today I would choose Randall ahead of him for the CC.

    Today we have seventeen outfield players who are good enough to be part of a team to win the EPL and/or the CL – although not if were to simultaneously lose too many of our superstars. Djourou, Gibbs and Ramsey will be good enough soon. Senderos is a high quality backup. Merida and Wilshere will be next. And then a whole slew from the kiddies, including Coquelin.

  • anaconda

    Good post as usual Tony.

    About Mexico, they’ll play at 10th at home against El Salvador and at 14th away at Trinidad&Tobago. A likely win from the first game would ensure their qualification. They already had a friendly some days ago with young players from the Mexican league and some youngsters retained their place in the team. I think they might start in the latter game if Mexico wins at home.

    Giovani dos Santos is ruled out through injury, which could mean they’ll revert to 4-4-2 with Cuauhtémoc Blanco and Guillermo Franco starting. Of course Vela might start ahead of Franco. PLaying 4-4-2 is a bit funny, because they only named four midfielders in the team and have named six forwards.

    Wenger said it would be good if Theo would’ve had a call-up cause he needs the games. I would think same applies to Vela. I’m more worried about Arshavin, because the Russians have a big game against the Germans in the Lushniki Stadium and then have to play away to Azerbaijan. That’s two hard fixtures in tough surfaces and adding to insult the Azer game will be refereed by none other than Howard Webb…

    The full line-up of Mexico can be found here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mexico_national_football_team#Current_Squad

    When you are used to European line-ups it does look strange with only two goalkeepers and so many defenders. And of course the “youngsters” from Mexican league are actually older than Vela 😀

  • walter

    Good idea Steww, I also look forward to the reserves this evening

  • shotta-gunna

    Anaconda – You confirmed my worst fears. Arsha, as their star player, is going to be worked to death in helping carry Russia across the line in their titanic struggle with Germany for automatic qualification for the WC. It is not helped by the ancient rivalries between the two nations. As for Vela, the Mexicans tend to rely on their veterans when push comes to shove, so he might not be risked as much as Arsha.
    Nice post today, Tony.

  • LRV

    Thanks Tony for this paragraph: “One thing that is of interest is that no one is mentioning Diaby – because he actually had a very good match. All that ability to get the ball no matter what from within any situation – it all came back and he played really well.” Despite the excellent performance from the boys, some people (I am not sure I want to say fans) are still faulting Diaby. That is so unfair since I sense that their sentiment is based on past performances, not yesterday’s.

    By the way, I am still too far over the moon to come down to earth too early. Wow!!!!!!

  • anup

    tony, r u gone insane?? ur compairing chelsea vs liv with ars vs bla,it’s ridiculous!!!blackburn didn’t have defense equal to chelsea or liverpool n quite frankly neither do we….we shud had a cleansheet..truth is we can’t outscore chelsea or liverfool if our we keep conceding like that

  • Anup…

    I rather think that insanity is a pre-requisite of

    a) writing a blog
    b) writing the first novel about Arsenal FC for 80 years.

    So guilty as charged.

  • walter

    I can imagine some people at the end of the invincible season who were moaning about the length of the gras and the width of the lines at highbury ….

  • prick

    I agree with anup. We can’t outscore chelsea or liverpool. But only IF 1 or more of these conditions were met.

    1. 15 of our defenders we disintegrated by a meteor – out for 8 weeks (on paper, and 12 weeks in reality)
    2. Howard webb and / or mike riley have successfully cloned themselves and was put on as referee AND the linesman for the game. The game would be over as a contest during the 70th minute when the cloning machine cloned another 12000 of them to fill up the stands.
    3. Cesc wanted to put on a very very very bad performance so that all the stories linking him with barca ends, he scored 9 own goals.
    4. Chelsea / liverpool bought my cat to add to their strikeforce. This is relevant because my cat have the uncanny ability to fake his own death twice as long as drogba could.
    5. Rafa the shopaholic found 12billion sitting underneath a tree in one of the galapagos islands and bought half of the best attacking power in the universe (arshavin’s right leg and van persie’s left) for 11.5billion.
    6. Chelsea and Liverpool decided to gamble and hired one of IKBs as their manager and it turns out that they RKB (really know better, patent pending) and they revolutionised football forever and ever and ever and and and…

    other than that, i just couldn’t see how the two teams who play arguably (notice the word arguably here meaning that it is arguable, and i’m not saying it is backed by any 1 source) the most boring football in modern times to defeat the football we brought to blackburn yesterday.

    have a good day everyone. I heard this somewhere today i cant remember where “i can wash myself a 100 times but i cannot wipe this smile off my face”

  • stuartlondon

    Crap day at work. Came home and watched rerun of match. Feel better now.

  • walter

    Well I you want to recognise a Gooner today, just look at his face. 😉
    Great respons Prick.
    Can anyone tell me if possible. Today, at work, I saw on a site a video with TH on his visit or an interview ? My boss doesn’t like it that much if I would be sitting there listening to TH, all though he is a football fan, so I thought I see it at home and I can’t find it anywhere.
    Has anyone seen it ? It’s like my reading glasses.. never can find them back

  • LRV

    Anup: I hear Chavski are still enlisting fans and Liverplants are craving spy-supporters. Isn’t it better for you to go join either of these, rather than give yourself the heartache of supporting a team that concedes 2 goals while just managing to score a mere 6 goals? Uhnuhn!!!

  • Consolsbob

    The first goal was not a serious one to conceed in terms of mistakes. As you say, one step for Vito and, if you watch the replay, Vermaelen clearly got the sun in his eyes at a crucial moment. How many goals will be scored like that this season?

    The second, well, shit happens. Vermaelen is our best defender since Tony and Steve. Fascinating watching Billy respond. I loved Toure but he was seemingly the root of our defensive problems. Watch out Citeh.

  • eduardo

    have to disagree with you tony on your assumption that no one is having a go at Diaby cos he played well, he indeed did play well and has for the last few games, but it does not stop the idiots who have to have someone to moan about still going on and on that every fault in our side is down to Diaby, some even think that Ramsey has earned his place ahead of Diaby cos he was ok when he came on with the game won. Diaby even got blamed by some for us conceeding two goals, I think some blame him for the trains in some areas not running on time yesterday

    As for bringing back Vieira, it would be a monumental mistake, I can just see what will happen, each and everytime one of Denilson, Diaby, Ramsey, Song miss a tackle, pass, or shot we and they will be subjected to chants for PV4, how will that help them or the team, we will also have morons moan or groan or even boo when one of the above has their name called out prematch when picked ahead of PV4. Our team is growing and to put someone like PV4 in the squad will undermine all the hard work done in the last three years. IF wenger thinks we need an experienced old head then bring in someone totally new who the fans will not overrate due to his former ability and who the players will know they have a fair go from the fand in their fight to keep their place in the side

  • stuartlondon

    Just watched Villa v Citeh. What a treat! At one all after 60 minutes, both managers appeared to decide it would be too risky to try and score further, and the teams played out the rest of the match in midfield. The commentators called it a highly entertaining game and a fair result. Now feel depressed and physically sick. Only myself to blame of course. Will have to watch the Arsenal Blackburn game again to restore mental health.

  • notlager

    walter,

    do you mean this interview?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0SzsGKvzGc

  • Diaminedave

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/eng_prem/8289869.stm

    Piece by Lee Dixon. He always seems to give a good honest appraisal
    and I liked this piece.
    He talks about still learning when he was 32 so looking at it like that squad of stars can only get better. How good is that going to be.
    all the best Dave

  • Diaminedave

    There is a good piece on BBC sport by Lee Dixon. Have posted with a link but is in moderation.
    all the best Dave

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Nice one Tony .The team did play well as a unit but if there were more steel
    in them , we’d seen a rugby score .I did enjoy the ferociousness with
    which Vermaelen and Bendner scored their goals.Diaby was wasteful in not releasing the ball to his teammates earlier while our fullbacks have to improve their crossing when overlapping.
    Still allsaid it was a good weekend – hope for more of the same in future.

  • grand funk diaby

    Ramsey and Denilson will come in during ANC in Jan. Everything is in place.. This is the golden age of Total Total Football + good finance planning for any organization. Barazite has poise of Pires, just a little.

  • walter

    Thank you Notlager. This was indeed the picture I saw from the video.

  • arsenal4

    One positive that’s hardly mentioned is Rosicky.
    He’s one touch and passing is awesome – making the game very fluent for the team. And also rarely lose the ball. If Cesc scored from his assist and also scored himself (had a few glance on the goal) – am sure Wenger wouldn’t even think twice to give him new contract.

    This kind of display what makes me frustrated towards Diaby -he holds the ball too much. he tends to lose it and slowed the game. Makes me sometime think what’s the point of building the team around Cesc if we have some one playing the anti Arsenal way at his side. Obviously, I am OK with that if Diaby’s as good as Messi or Henry.

  • SDK

    There is absolutely no doubt that we could have been better defensively and avoided the goals we conceded. I felt that some of the clearances were way too weak and the team should work on better headed clearances for they always seem to fall to an attacking player just outside the box.

    However, the attacking play was just brilliant and a priviledge to watch. I personally feel that this is our best attacking performance after te 7-0 against Slavia Prauge(I am not counting the Carling Cup win by the kids)and the defense was much better than the Prague team.

    This is our fourth big win already in the first month and half and I don’t think that even in 2007-08 season we ever won matches so emphatically.

    If we do not add to our injury list in the internationals, we’d even have Samir Nasri coming back immediately(hopefully, he should be starting by the Tiny Tott derby) and if we can continue this kind of form we’d be competing at the top for a long time.

  • Jazbo

    The reserve game ended 2-0 to the Arsenal, it could have been more,we have such a stunning amount of very very good young players coming through it’s a worry as they all can’t play for us but i think were they to leave we’d be loosing a massive amount of talented players who would be worth an arm and a leg in todays market.

    I think we have several players who are way to good for the reserve team right now but what can we do ???

    Barazite, Coqulin, Lansbury, JET, Bartley, Randell, just to name a few.

  • walter

    yes Jazbo it was a good game from the lads.
    Coquelin was getting better during the game and at the end was very impressive. Chelsea almost didn’t get a shot in, 3 in total, so the kept them very quiet.
    And then there was no Merida, Wilshere….