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
- UK address (£12.00)…http://tinyurl.com/yekh4go
- Europe address: (£15.00)… http://tinyurl.com/ydorm36
- Rest of the world (£18.00)… http://tinyurl.com/ycal9cv
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
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