Arsenal v Blackpool: team selection thoughts and our opponents

By Bulldog Drummond

Well, my famed analysis of home and away form to give a prediction of the result didn’t work out against Palace, where everything pointed to another Arsenal win.   But I like to take a broader approach to things, and just because that prediction went wrong it doesn’t mean I am going to ditch the whole approach.

Blackpool are in League One – and are constantly linked with controversy over their owners and their disputes with the fans.   I won’t go into that as you can read it elsewhere and I’ve got no particular new insights or bits of information that the media isn’t publishing anyway.

So instead here’s the league table for our visitors… in 12th place with one or two games in hand over the clubs just above.

Pos Team Pld W D L F A GD Pts
1 Portsmouth 16 10 5 1 27 14 13 35
2 Peterborough United 16 10 3 3 33 21 12 33
3 Sunderland 15 9 5 1 30 13 17 32
4 Barnsley 15 8 4 3 28 14 14 28
5 Luton Town 16 8 4 4 27 19 8 28
6 Accrington Stanley 16 7 6 3 20 18 2 27
7 Coventry City 16 8 3 5 19 17 2 27
8 Doncaster Rovers 16 7 4 5 25 22 3 25
9 Walsall 15 7 4 4 18 19 -1 25
10 Fleetwood Town 16 6 5 5 24 16 8 23
11 Southend United 16 7 2 7 21 21 0 23
12 Blackpool 14 5 7 2 17 12 5 22

If we look at the away form only, they would be in 16th place, with just one away win this season, four draws and one defeat, five scored and five conceded.  So defensive and low scoring seems to be the order of the day.   Perhaps we can expect a back ten.

In the league table above we can see Coventry City in seventh, a team that played our under 21s in the Checkatrade Trophy, which we won easily.  So all things considered it should not be too hard, and we might expect a number of younger players to mix with the first team squad who have not had that many games of late.  Maybe a return of Jenkinson?  Maybe a first run out for Monreal since his injury?  Certainly a place for Elneny.  Smith Rowe too I would hope.

Blackpool went through an excellent 13 match unbeaten run which ended at the start of this month, but since then have had a couple of defeats.  Here are their last ten games…

Date Game Res Score Competition
08 Sep 2018 Blackpool v Bradford City W 3-2 League One
15 Sep 2018 Plymouth Argyle v Blackpool W 0-1 League One
22 Sep 2018 Blackpool v Luton Town D 0-0 League One
25 Sep 2018 Blackpool v Queens Park Rangers W 2-0 League Cup
29 Sep 2018 Peterborough United v Blackpool D 2-2 League One
06 Oct 2018 Blackpool v Rochdale D 2-2 League One
09 Oct 2018 Blackpool v West Bromwich L 1-2 League Trophy
20 Oct 2018 Blackpool v AFC Wimbledon W 2-0 League One
23 Oct 2018 Blackpool v Scunthorpe United W 1-0 League One
27 Oct 2018 Fleetwood Town v Blackpool L 3-2 League One

So even though this now includes a couple of defeats there are still five out of ten wins.  One of the defeats was to WBA in the Trophy and the other against Fleetwood, the local rivals (24 miles straight north/south along the Irish Sea coast).

That was, in fact, the first time ever in the entire history of history that Fleetwood had beaten Blackpool – although to be fair it was only the sixth time they had played each other, Fleetwood being only recently arrived in the League.

To get to this round of the League Cup Blackpool have beaten Barnsley (League One), Doncaster (League One) and QPR (Championship) so we’re the first Premier Club for them to play.

Date Game Res Score Competition
14 Aug 2018 Blackpool v Barnsley W 3-1 League Cup 1
28 Aug 2018 Doncaster Rovers v Blackpool W 1-2 League Cup 2
25 Sep 2018 Blackpool v QPR W 2-0 League Cup 3

In 2010/11 Blackpool did appear in the Premier League for one season but then sank back to the lower reaches. By 2016/17 they were in the fourth tier and returned from there by coming 7th and winning through, in the play offs.

This is the first time they have got through to the 4th round of the League Cup since 2007/8.  The last time they made it to the fifth round was 1972/3.

But we should remember that in our first Double Season (1970/1 for younger Arsenal supporters) we played Blackpool in the First Division.  They had three managers that season, and went back down to the Second Division.

Yet from 1937/8 through to 1966/7 they were in the First Division, and in 1955/6 were runners’ up.  Their most famous player was of course Stanley Matthews, and a few of us of the particularly older variety still remember seeing him play at Highbury.

We’ll have a look at the head to head next time around, and then of course the team we could be putting out (which as always in these games is a hard call to make).

There will be plenty of space in the stadium, with tickets just £10 downstairs and £20 upstairs, and (for this competition only) concession prices both for the under 16s and those old enough to remember who on earth Stanley Matthews actually was.



2 Replies to “Arsenal v Blackpool: team selection thoughts and our opponents”

  1. Apparently Elneny is out, some kind of injury. Pity.


    OT: In other news

    A 24 year old Brazilian football player was (almost) decapitated and was mutilated. I haven’t seen any mention of motive.

    A Spanish FA vice president is being investigated for corruption.

    There looks to be extensive grumbling about the state of NZ FA.

    Arsenal have opened a new twit account devoted to the academy.

    Apparently that non-fan TV station that supposedly has something to do with Arsenal had a program where someone got on Merson’s case.

    Deli Alli signs a renewal contract. Are there bonuses for diving?

  2. Under no circumstances will Arsenal not beat Blackpool in the Carabao Cup tomorrow night at the Ems. For, if there is any thing that is certain, it is the result of this match that will absolutely be to the favour of Arsenal that is that certain. Football is said is not mathematics, However, in the context of the Arsenal vs Blackpool match in the Carabao Cup tomorrow, the result of the match which will be to the favour of Arsenal can be mathematically calculated to the letter.

    Therefore, in this calculation, Arsenal will beat Blackpool tomorrow in the Carabao Cup with some ease too. A 6 nil walloping of Blackpool tomorrow by Arsenal is seriously on the cards. And there is nothing whatsoever that Blackpool can do to lessen this heavy defeat from happening to as Arsenal will heap on them the heavy defeat in vengeance making them pay for their been forced to a draw game in the PL at Selhurst Park last Sunday by Crystal Palace.

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