Wow! What a start to the home games programme. The opening game has been analysed by many others but it is still worth looking at the game again and the events surrounding it.
After last weekend, Ian Holloway was on cloud nine having just beaten Wigan by 4 goals to nil. He is an ebullient manager but recognised that his team and himself as a manager still had rough edges.
So much so that he has tried to set up a visit to watch Arsene train the gunners at London Colney. He acknowledged Arsene as a genius from whom he could only learn to improve his own managerial skills.
So full of enthusiasm and great hope after their astonishing opening day victory Holloway and his team arrived at the Emirates.
Lesson 1 was about to begin.
Neither he, nor the Blackpool players, can ever have come up against a team like Arsenal so full of consummate professional athletes with matching football skills. Theo has pace like few others outside of athletics, with the ability to run 100 metres in just under 11 seconds. Nasri, Rosicky, Fabregas, Wilshire, Diaby have sublime skills that the willing Blackpool players will never have encountered in games at Championship level.
During the game Theo dazzled us, not just with his pace, but also with his mature and considered passing, shooting and crossing. Why has he hidden this from us for so long? Long may this new mature Theo reign!
Tomas Rosicky came out of his shell and scintillated like the player of old. AA rediscovered his zest as did Diaby. Chamahk fought bravely throughout the game without quite looking the part, until near the end he paid Arsene back by scoring the first of the headed goals he had been bought for.
In fairness to Blackpool they tried their best and had one or two memorable attacking opportunities. Their defence creaked and groaned under the constant barrage from Arsenal, with Theo running Crainey ragged and the beautiful crisp football of Arsenal destroying their strategic formation.
The red card and penalty conceded by Evatt fatally undermined any hopes they may have had in keeping the score to a respectable level. The stupid rule requiring the “last” player, committing a foul and preventing a scoring opportunity, to be sent off, as well as conceding a penalty was very harsh. At that stage, it was possible that Blackpool would face a double digit scoring humiliation.
In the end, Arsenal contented themselves with what amounted to a training ground exercise, and stopped at six.
Probably with a view to next week’s game, Cesc came on to an outpouring of adulation and forgiveness. He was followed by RVP and Vela who came on to get some much needed “game time” and to add to our overall excitement.
A very satisfactory afternoon eventually drew to a close. What Bliss!
We are the Mighty Arsenal! Feel the power!
Written by Red Arse