It was a games of two halves yesterday. The first half wasn’t exactly vintage Arsenal, but it was close enough. The game’s match report can be found here, or goals can be viewed here. Apologies if today’s post is a bit repetitive, however I am still shell-shocked from yesterday’s result.
Just 10minutes into the game, when Gervinho scored his first competitive goal for Arsenal, the movement and passing of the ball was flowing so smoothly, I allowed myself the thought that today is going to be our day.
However, Yakubu equalised for Blackburn 15minutes later with a smart finish. He was played onside by Andre Santos, and with Koscielny and Mertesacker way behind him, took the ball, didn’t even look up, and just rolled the ball into the bottom right corner. Poor defending, great finish really.
Yet, even at 1-1, I was still confident that Arsenal would manage fine, and score the goals needed to win us the game. I need not have waited long, as barely 9minutes later, Arteta arrived in time to finish off a cut back from Ramsey and score his first goal for Arsenal. Arsenal went into the break with a slender 1 goal lead, but their performance were inspiring confidence that more goals would be forthcoming.
When the second half started, we were slightly nervy. It may have been the rain, which did not allow Arsenal to play with its usual passing game. Whatever it was, Blackburn capitalised on our nervousness, and pressed hard to try and seek an equaliser. They found one, albeit through an own-goal by Song. Blackburn had earned a free kick on the side of the box, and it was crossed into towards goal. The ball had barely touched Song before rebounding off into goal, with Szczesny unable to react quickly enough. It was unlucky really, before Song could even kick the ball away it just deflected off straight into goal. However, this may be showing that the zonal system is not working as well as Wenger said it is at the moment. If the players were not concentrating so much on their “zones”, they might have paid more attention to the ball and attempted to kick or head it out to where ever.
The next goal that came was suspiciously offside. But with our luck, it was allowed. ANOTHER set piece, this time from a corner, was hit into the box, and someone, I don’t remember who, and refuse to watch replays cause it hurts, that someone made a low pass to Yakubu, who was offside, and the Nigerian tapped in from close range. C***ty linesman and ref allowed it, 3-2 Blackburns.
Arsenal started to play with more urgency, eager to get the goals to win the game. Unfortunately it opened up our defense, and a clearance from the Blackburn box saw Olsson ran down the right wing, before a poor sliding tackle by Djourou which missed saw Olsson sprint clear. He made further forays into the box, and cut it back, and the ball rebounded off Koscielny into the net. I couldn’t really fault the Frenchman really. The blame, if truth be told, must go to Djourou for his tackle which missed and gave Olsson the space to run into our box. Szczesny was guilty as well, for coming out to try and stop the pass, but failing completely to even get a touch. 4-2 Blackburn.
This is when you start questions whoever, how can it happen not once, but twice. 2 own goals in one game, in addition to the offside goal by Yakubu. We must have offended some Footballing God somehow. You cannot be making shit like this up.
There was some hope of a comeback, when Chamakh scored his first league goal since November. A beautiful cross by Van Persie was headed in by Chamakh, after the Moroccan did fine to edge in front of both Dann and Samba to score with a fine header. Alas, further profligacy by Mertesacker and Chamakh meant that there was no chance of a comeback happening.
Before the game, over the net people were complaining that we were not good enough as an attacking unit. There was complaints that we lacked creativity, and would struggle to score some goals. I was one of those who believed that we lacked creativity, but would do enough to score 2 goals and win the game. The team went one better, and score 3 great goals. Beautiful.
However, Arsenal never fail to disappoint, and continued to score 2 goals behind as well. Jesus. Some of you may be arguing that the two own-goals were really unlucky. However, we make our own luck, and if the defense did their job properly, the crosses into the box would never have occurred. Yakubu may have been offside when he scored the 3rd goal, but where was the man marking? You have to question why Yakubu was allowed to be unmarked in the 6 yards box in the first place.
There has to be something wrong with the team. Luck, morale, defense, everything. You simply don’t lose a game after scoring 3 goals. You don’t score two own-goals in one game as well. I couldn’t possibly tell you what exactly went wrong yesterday, because everything was so wrong.
Arsenal are in their worst start ever to the Premier League. On the basis of this performance, we are about to experience our worst season ever. The time given to improve the squad with new players has passed. The person to sort out this mess is Arsene, and he best do it A-S-A-P. YOU SIMPLY DON’T SCORE 3 GOALS AND STILL LOSE OR DRAW A GAME. I am sorry, I am still shocked at how we capitulated to Blackburn. Forgive me, I shall come back another day when I am in a better state of mind. Below are Arsenal’s player ratings for yesterday’s game, and are my own opinions.
Szczesny – Absolutely poor showing from our Polish keeper. The youngster sets such a high standard for himself that he really had a poor game yesterday. He made an excellent save in the first half, however, looked shaky when coming to claim for balls and must hold some blame for the 3rd and 4th goal, as his missed interception twice proved costly. Furthermore, to concede 4 goals does not really speak well of a goalkeeper. 5 / 10
Sagna – As always, the right back is astute at his position, and until an injury caused him to come off, was looking good. Combined well with Gervinho down the right to cause Blackburn some trouble. 6.5 / 10
Andre Santos – Decent showing at the back, despite allowing Yakubu to be onside. Can’t be faulted too much, as the back line was made up of 2 new signings so communication and understanding is bound be lacking. That said, didn’t offer much going forward as well. 5.5 / 10
Mertesacker – Another one who put a reasonable performance at the back, but missed a header towards the end when he should have scored. 6 / 10.
Koscielny – His own goal probably summed up his performance. Poor, and even more so when he allowed someone in his thirties to run ahead of him to score the first goal. Also gave the ball away a few times, very careless of the Frenchman. 4.5 / 10.
Arteta – Tried hard to get things going, and managed to score a goal. 6.5 / 10
Alex Song – He did well in the first half. Breaking up plays, and laying the through pass for Gervinho to score. Was rather unlucky for the own goal. However, he has to be blame for the 4th goal too, as he was easily skipped past by Olsson. 5 / 10
Ramsey – The youngster could not be faulted for trying. Was running all around the pitch, trying to get things going for Arsenal. Eventually made the assist to Arteta for our 2nd goal. Could have been better though. 6.5 / 10.
Robin Van Persie – The Captain tried his best to bring us back into the game, but was foiled by Robinson twice with good saves. Also provided the assist for Chamakh. 6.5 / 10
Gervinho – The Ivorian started brightly, and scored his first competitive goal for Arsenal with a good shot. However, was wasteful when he had the chance to pass an unmarked Van Persie but chose to shoot instead. Will learn over time when to pass and when to shoot. Also had one too many dribbles at times, resulting in a loss of possession. 6.5 / 10
Arshavin – The Russian actually played quite well in first half. Creating lots space with his trickery and managed some beautiful passes. However, he made the foul which led to the freekick which the 2nd Blackburn goal came from. Couldn’t do much after and was withdrawn for Walcott. 6.5 / 10.
Djourou – Came on for Sagna. Played at right back and couldn’t do anything, as it wasn’t his familiar position. Tried to spark things down the right but failed. Even missed his tackle against Olsson, and allowed him to play a huge part in creating the own goal by Koscielny. Made a stupid foul by holding on to one of the Blackburn Rover player, and got yellow-carded too. 4.5 / 10.
Chamakh – Came on for Song, played a short while, and scored a good goal. But then he missed a good chance when he really should have scored. What can I say? 6 / 10.
Walcott – Came on for Arshavin, but without any killer passes provided to him, was unable to use his pace and hence was ineffective. 5 / 10
Arsene – Said our zonal system was working fine, Koscielny going to be brilliant. Epic fails Le Boss. 2.5 / 10.