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Sunday, 5 February 2012

Arsenal 7 - 1 Blackburn - a win to warm the cockles

Class


Arsenal's past, present and future combined yesterday to score six of Arsenal's seven goals against the hapless Blackburn Rovers. It was nice, first of all, to see Paul Robinson keeping up his consistent record against Arsenal - he is, without a doubt, the most overrated goalkeeper of his generation. Apart from that it was wonderful to have such a performance from Arsenal. I suppose it had to happen after the missed chances of Wednesday, though I would have preferred to not have one or two of yesterday's strikes if it had meant a win at Bolton as well.
I wasn't going to be able to get to yesterday's game even before I was ill, as work was intervening. It's annoying that my son has also been unwell and probably will not now get his chance to see Thierry Henry play for Arsenal (unless we get another instalment next season - unlikely). There is no doubt that The King's last minute goal was a real icing of the cake for Arsenal. It serves right all of those who either stayed away deliberately or who left early (why leave early from an early kick-off?) The so-called "black bin-bag protest" turned out to be, as you might expect and hope, a load of old rubbish.
The main part of the win was in place long before Thierry got his goal. That was thanks to the front three combination of Van Persie, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott. Just occasionally Theo gets it right, and yesterday was one of those. These moments are all too fleeting and brief, but it shows that he can do the business at times. I imagine Martin Olsson will be regretting his comments that Walcott was "no threat" when he last came up against him when playing for his Country. Perhaps Theo had taken note and was ready to show his stuff. Whatever it was, credit where it is due.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain seems to be one hell of a talent. He is exciting and powerful. He has an eye for a pass. He can finish. He is almost certainly going to go to Euro 2012, which is a tournament he could do without, frankly. The lad has real class. It's a shame that Wenger didn't get him in sooner as he would surely have been a better bet than Theo and Arshavin have been for most of the season. Now that he is in the team we have to enjoy his presence. He might, just might, provide a bit of inspiration between now and May.
At the head of it all, of course, is Robin Van Persie. His goalscoring since January last year is of Wright and Henry proportions. The fact that he has been fit throughout that period shows what he might have already achieved had he not been afflicted so badly by injury in his career. I still don't believe Robin will be at Arsenal next season - he still hasn't signed a contract - so we will have to make the most of him while he is here. Right now Robin is The Man and we could not do without him.
I'm not going to say too much more about the game. I could not see it live, so I feel a little detached to be honest. I've watched the whole game on Football First, with the idiotic Tony Gale as summariser (two-footed tackles are a "foreign thing" according to our Tony - what a clown) and it really was a marvellously dominant performance. I would say that Szczesny was at fault again on Rovers' goal as he sets himself up wrong at free-kicks - that's four or five this season that he hasn't got across to because he doesn't stand in the centre of his goal. I would also say that Alex Song's passing has undergone the most improvement I've ever seen in a player - the ball inside the full-back is now becoming a trademark for him.
The one other thing I want to address before I sign off is the ridiculous smugness of those who still believe in the Manager. It was a magnificent performance, a magnificent victory. It highlighted all that is great about Arsene Wenger and the team's he sends out. However, it does not excuse what has gone before this season. It doesn't mean that everything is now alright. It certainly doesn't make me "feel really stupid" for wanting Wenger out. Such sentiment, that was prevalent on the forums and Twitter etc last night, just sums up what a bunch of mugs some of our supporters are. Why can't we just enjoy the win without all that other nonsense?

Hopefully the blog will get back to normal ahead of a quiet Arsenal week as I recover from my recent ailment.

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