What an excellent game to kick start our next round of 14 unbeaten games (heh). Everything typical about Arsenal was present; Intricate footwork, cavalier football, brilliant through passes and of course, the ultimate Arsenal trait – conceding upon the first shot on target. Despite that, it was simply an excellent, excellent game.
The positives were plenty. Oxlade-Chamberlain put in a real shift and had 2 goals to his name, the first one of which I am 1000% sure Walcott would have blasted straight at Robinson upon the first touch. His direct running and pace were a constant threat to the Blackburn defence and it seems that Arsene’s patience with Arshavin has finally run out after the Ox’s 4th start of the season. Highlights and the goal here.
An unstable first half was made better by the presence of one Alex Song, who put in 3 Cesc-ish through passes to unlock the Blackburn defence. With a little bit more consistency, Song would easily be the best holding midfielder in Europe.
Also, it was nice to see King Henry scoring his first league goal since 2007 in what should be his last home game for the loan. It was obvious the others were busy teeing up for him to score and Robin showed real class not to pick out a 4th goal but to assist Henry for the team’s 7th. One for the fans, I suppose.
Robin’s goals were all tap ins and lesser fans would be quick to say that he didn’t have to do any real work. But a quick look at the replay would tell you that RVP positioned his feet well for all 3 goals and hit them at appropriate angles. Also, he was constantly looking for open spaces and the 3 goals were thoroughly deserved. 22 goals in the premier league, beating second place (Aguero and Ba) by 7 goals and on course to garnering the golden boot, easily.
A rather negative side (if any) to the performance was the centre pairing of MerteScielny. While they have done relatively well (I suppose), it seems that they are prone to being caught out by players attempting fast one-twos/turns near the penalty area. A very legitimate penalty was denied to Bolton last week and Blackburn’s goal against us was a result of Koscielny dealing badly to a quick turn by Modeste. It is without a doubt that once we have a left back return, Koscielny would be back on the bench with us starting a VermeSacker pairing, but I would really love to see Vermaelen pairing with the fast improving Koscielny (who apparently, has the highest tackle success rate in the league).
With that performance put away, we are really back on track and extremely capable of putting a few wins together. The FA Cup is within reach and a good run in the Champions League is definitely within our abilities. Still, it is important that we do not get carried away over just one win against a team facing relegation. Even with the 7 goals, it is only 3 points and we must do well to ensure that we consistently get 3 points over the next few games.
6 days later, we travel to the stadium of light to face a resurgent Sunderland who has collected 22 out of a possible 30 points since Martin O’neill took over. I wouldn’t begrudge a victory and neither would Arsene!
C’MON YOU GOONERS!!!
P.S. Today sees Chelsea taking on ManUre at the bridge. While accepting our title shot is over, I do still think 4th place for us is a right. And for that to happen, I GUESS we gooners might have to root for a ManUre win today. YUCKS.