Arsenal 4-0 Blackburn; Paradise Attained

Match Reports

ESPNSoccernet: Andrey Arshavin opened his Arsenal account as an attacking masterclass saw the Gunners to a handsome 4-0 victory over Blackburn in their Premier League clash at the Emirates.

Telegraph.co.uk: Andrei Arshavin the inspiration as Arsenal move up to fourth

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Man of the Match

This one is easy and shouldn’t be too controversial: I’m giving MotM to Arshavin. I mean, all he managed was two goals and an assist. One of those goals was an early goal to boot.

I can’t stress the importance of early goals enough, especially against teams that play the Fat Sam style of football. If a team is there to harass and try to steal one on the break and you get an early goal, then that team has to go to plan B and try to attack. So, Arshavin’s early goal was the key to why Arsenal had such an open game against Blackburn yesterday and certainly helped furnish the 4-0 score line.

That said, I was really proud of the way he waved off the first goal. It was pure class to straight admit that he didn’t score the first. You can bet your ass that El Hadji Douche would have had a 4 hour celebration if his endeavor had led to a similar goal.

And the second goal… well, if Arshavin waving off the first was class, the second goal was pure class. Dummy the defender, dribble down the end line and shoot it straight at Paul Robinson, who collapsed into a heap as the ball sailed over his head and into the top of the net. All with stitches in his foot from a cut suffered in the first half, at the hands of some Blackburn foul, probably.

Goals have been coming for Andrei, you have to admit and it was a little glimpse of paradise to see him score the first two.

The Good

The midfield pairing of Song and Denilson were superb, again. It’s too early to hail them as the midfield of the future, but it is very nice to see them put in a string of performances like they have done over the last few games. Song was excellent in defense and would have had an assist had it not been for the serial wastefulness of Bendtner. Denilson, for his part, did end up with an assist (his 7th) and it was no less than he deserved for all his graft.

Who could have guessed that Eboue would come on as a late, defensive sub and would score two goals — one from a penalty? I certainly wouldn’t have. Hell, if you gave me 1000 predictions I wouldn’t pick The Pass Master to score from a penalty. Especially one that was won by someone else. Strange. But he did score a good goal after Arshavin’s shot caromed off the post and deserves credit for that.

Oh yeah, and Theo… he was electric wasn’t he? I can’t wait to have him get some games under his belt. His pace and width were crucial to Arsenal breaking Blackburn down and he was seriously unlucky not to have notched up an assist or two.

The Bad

I’m not going to pick on Bendtner. He played his heart out and was unlucky not to put in a couple of goals. That said, he had to feel miserable sitting on the bench and watching Eboue score a brace. I’m hoping it makes him double his efforts, that and a little speed training and he’ll be a hell of a  player.

The Ugly

On the one hand I wish that Eboue wouldn’t dance after scoring a goal (much less a penalty) on the other hand I wish that El-Hadji Douche would die in a fire. So, as you can see I’m a bit unsure of what I should write about.

I can’t understand how Diouf gets away with tackles like the one yesterday: it was studs up, late, intentional, and intended to hurt. This isn’t a Tiny Taylor situation where the argument could be made that he’s oafish and just not quite at the same level as Eduardo, plus, as they all said, he’s Taylor’s a nice guy.

No, El-Hadji Diouf is a cheating bastard who has a long record of dirty play that he’s somehow escaped censure for. Last year at Liverpool, he pulled a similar stunt on Arbeloa and similarly was given only a caution. I remember at the time, former refs and pundits alike were calling for retroactive action against people who commit fouls like yesterday’s.

I don’t care whether it’s rugby style post match reviews or if it’s more of an instant re-play like we do here in America. Something needs to be done before a no talent ass clown like Diof cuts down a promising young English keeper like Almunia.

He’s a spitter, a diver, a drunk, a foul mouthed shiat, and now he’s trying to add “leg breaker” to his resume. How much longer must the EPL suffer this person?

Conclusion

It doesn’t get much better than this: Arsenal are now 15 matches in the EPL without a loss and 4 consecutive wins in all competitions (I’m counting Roma as a win). Moreover, we’ve got Theo back, Arshavin is scoring, the midfield is playing well, we’re scoring goals, the defense is playing well, and if that wasn’t enough, Cesc and Adebayor will be back after the international break just in time for the match against Citeh and the sprint toward the finish line of the FA Cup, Champions League and the League.

Oh yeah, and we’re back in fourth place.

Truly, it’s goo goo goo to be a Goonah!

‘Kolo, we’re going to win’

My co-workers make me sick, maDe, made, sorry about that. My co-workers made me sick by coming in to work while coughing up a lung. And now, I’m sitting here, unable to sleep, but tired, coughing up what little lungs I have left, high on nyQuil.

This will either be the best or worst blog. evar.

My two favorite quotes ahead of the match today are the one in the headline, spoken by Eduardo, and this gem from Wenger

To be professional is to do what it takes for your team to be successful, no more than that. It does not mean that you go to paradise together. (emph. added)

To the first, after an injured Eduardo missed his penalty, he came back to the group, clearly distraught and instead of the woe is me that we saw from Ronaldo last year in their penalty shoot out with slippy boots Chelsea, simply said “Kolo, we’re going to win.”

I’ve been calling for a leader to step up on this team and it looks like we finally have one; a man who overcame the horror of Martin Taylor’s lunge to step back on the pitch and face hundreds of Taylor’s and score on them with flair.

Guts, Dudu’s got guts and sometimes guts are enough.

I’m also quite liking this Toure renaissance. Yes he spoke out about his feud with Cappy and I don’t like that, but he didn’t reveal much and in fact said that what happens in the locker room stays in the locker room. It was exactly the kind of clear the air that was needed.

Now, he’s out here, geeing up the club with all this positive talk. I see a lesson there for us gloom and doomers and the folks who like to jump on us: in ‘Merica we say, you get more flies with honey than with vinegar. Never mind that I don’t like flies because flies means fly eggs and fly eggs mean maggots, which are gross.

(BRING IT HOME, NYQUIL)

The point is, we could all use a dose of positive thinking and certainly some of the signs are there so it’s really good to see our stand-in captain saying really positive things. Sort of shining sunshine on those of us who have been a bit negative  of late.

I have some maxims and one is that “In a leadership vacuum, leaders always emerge.” It looks like we’ve got a few leaders suddenly emerging, and that give me great hope.

And them of course, you have to have a laugh at Wenger’s quote. “Go to paradise together” what does that even mean? Screwing on top of a rainbow? Unicorns and ponies for everyone?

I don’t get it, is that a French-ism?

Maybe it’s the nyQuil, but for me it sort of conjures up Kolo and Gallas walking off into the sunset, hand in hand, bluebirds are tweeting nearby and unicorns look up from grazing in a field of poppies by a deep blue lake.

No wait… isn’t paradise Kolo and Cappy raising Ole Big Ears while streamers pop-off near by and Cesc drinks from a giant glass of champagne held up by Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott and the final score was 13-0 and everyone scored except Eboue who scored a hat trick and the press write about Arsenal’s “miracle season” and we all go off into the summer sun singing

“We love the Arsenal we do, we love the Arsenal we do, we love the Arsenal, we do, oh Arsenal we love you!”

In that case, I actually want Cappy and Kolo to go to paradise together.

Back in reality, Arsenal face Blackburn today and they will need all the positive imagery they can muster to overcome Sam’s lump and crunch football.

I’m imagining an early goal from Arshavin… that would be a mini paradise wouldn’t it?

Big Sam Hoodoo Has Actually Been Dead for Years

either that or he's checking his tonsils.

Good morning kickers, quick blog today because, well, because I feel like it.

Straight in with a two footed tackle to the shins, our opponents on Saturday (Blackburn, a pack of no talent hacks plus the greatest diver of all time) are talking shiat because they had a huge win over, erm, Fulham on Wednesday.

Half man-half shrew Stephen Warnock has sounded the alarm bells and said that they plan to run Arsenal off the pitch because both teams played on Wednesday but Arsenal played 30 minutes more than Blackburn and that means Blackburn have an advantage.

Yeah.

I just want to point out two things:

  1. No Sam Allardyce team has run Arsenal off the pitch in nearly 2.5 years (Nov. 2006).
  2. “You should have been in the dressing room after the game – it was like we’d just won the World Cup final. The atmosphere was brilliant.” — Theo Walcott talking about the team atmosphere after the Roma match.
  3. While Arsenal did play a bit more than Bolton, I mean Blackburn, they have better squad depth and Wenger’s rotation will see fresh, quality legs like Andrei Arsaviour coming in to the match.

Now, I know that that’s technically 3 things, but I think we can sort of conflate them into two things: Arsenal are on a three game win streak (Roma is a loss but you can’t tell me that’s not a win) and Blackburn can go f*ck themselves.

On the injury front, it turns out that Eduardo pulled his groin in the Roma match (which might account for his soft penalty) and is back out for a couple of weeks. Sad, but that’s how that works: it takes time to get your body used to playing at the top level after having your leg broken by Steven Taylor.

Who Wenger will play is up for debate, feel free to hash it out in the comments.

Finally, Diaby has said he doesn’t mind being dubbed the “new Vieira” despite looking nothing like him and playing no where near the same style of game. Yeah, sure, he’s the new Vieira. Kind of like “New Coke” was the new Coke and everyone hated it.

Actually, I like Diaby and he’s grown a bit in my estimation the last few matches. I kind of touched on this when spoke about how both Song and Denilson both seemed to play better with Diaby in there rather than each other. But look, it’s a string of three games, I’m not getting ahead of myself and hailing him as the new anything until I see some more consistency. That he says “What I must do is work as twice hard in order to improve” goes a long way toward raising my hopes that he will one day be the new Vieira. But for now, I’d settle for him just being the New Diaby.

Irregardless, the match is on Setanta tomorrow and the 3pm GMT kickoff is actually at 8am PST — remember, we should be GMT -8 but owing to the ridiculous fact that we start daylight savings early over here we are temporarily GMT -7, also, this is where I usually make a joke about how Bush ruined time for America.

I can’t make it down for the live match because I’m being a responsible father but I’ve asked Doyle’s if they can record the game for me. We’ll see, maybe I can get down there around noon and have a pint and watch the game. Drop me a note in the comments if you’re in the same boat for some reason.

Ashita Mañana.