Arsenal flog Blackburn but the defence looks creaky

Arsenal flog Blackburn but the defence looks creaky

Hello and a happy Monday to you all.

Arsenal continued their impressive run of form since the loss to Fulham with a comprehensive 4-0 victory over Blackburn Rovers on Saturday afternoon.

The starting side was as close to full-strength as it has been all season as Manuel Almunia started in goals behind the first-choice back four of Bacary Sagna, William Gallas, Kolo Toure and Gael Clichy. Denilson continued in the middle of the park alongside Cesc Fabregas while Theo Walcott replaced the injured Samir Nasri on the left and Emmanuel Eboue started on the right. Up front were the two usual suspects, Emmanuel Adebayor and Robin van Persie. 

And it was the two strikers who grabbed the goals. Van Persie got the ball rolling with the opener after just eight minutes, flicking home a shot after a penetrating run and pass by England’s man-of-the-moment Walcott. From then on it was the Adebayor show as the big Togo striker scored three goals; the first just before the break after heading home a lovely cross from Denilson; the second from the penalty spot after Eboue was ‘fouled’; and the third late on after collecting substitute Aaron Ramsey’s pass, rounding Paul Robinson and tapping into the empty net.

You can see all the goals from the match here.

Aside from the goals the boys created numerous other opportunities to score, van Persie’s side-netting shot, Walcott’s Henry-like curler which flew wide and Eboue’s power-drive immediately spring to mind. However, so too did Blackburn, and Paul Ince will have considered his side a little unlucky to come away as four-goal losers.

Indeed, the Arsenal defence was not at it’s best in this game – particularly in the first half – and I felt we were lucky to get away with a clean sheet after both Roque Santa Cruz and Keith Andrews missed relatively simple efforts. As a result, I was somewhat surprised that Arsene Wenger had this to say after the match:

Blackburn are a team that can be dangerous going forward and I feel that, as well as our good offensive performance, we had a good defensive performance. I am happy we didn’t concede and that we always looked fluid going forward. It was a well-accomplished away game.”

We certainly looked going forward but to say that this was a strong defensive performance was incorrect. Indeed, I would say that apart from the Fulham debacle this was probably the most fragile that our defence has looked so far this season. Whether it was a product of a lack of cover from the midfield by Denilson (who otherwise played quite well, mind you) or the return of the Toure-Gallas combination in central defence I don’t know. But I do think the manager has some work to do to get things working a little more smoothly.

While the defence needs some work, the attacking side of Arsenal’s game is looking superb. Both Eboue and Walcott had strong games, as did Denilson and Fabregas in the middle of the park. Up front van Persie looked sharp right up until his substitution and Adebayor was rewarded for his tireless workrate with three well-taken goals. The first one was particularly impressive as Arsenal sprayed a remarkable 27 passes around before the big Togolese striker nodded home. Or so I was told by my mate at the pub…

The game was made notable for the introduction of Jack Wilshere, who at 16 years 256 days become Arsenal’s youngest ever Premiership player. All I can say is well dont to him, and may there be many more games to come.

Other bits and pieces still hanging around from the weekend is the admission from Miguel Veloso’s agent that Arsenal are looking to organise a January deal for the player and some more comments from Mikael Silvestre about the fact that he is happy to play as a central defender at his new club.

To the first I’ll just say that I don’t really care right now, the transfer window is shut and I don’t want to think about who might be bought in 4 months time when there’s a heck of a lot of football to be enjoyed. And the to the second I’ll just say that I’m happy for Silvestre and that I just want him to get fit because he’s not much good to us – in any position – while he’s sitting on the treatment table.

Anyway, that’s it for today. I hope you enjoyed the thorough flogging of Blackburn and I’ll speak to you again on the blog tomorrow. Adios!

Have your say on Arsenal’s win over Blackburn by leaving a comment.

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17 Responses to “Arsenal flog Blackburn but the defence looks creaky”

  1. Grant
    September 15, 2008 at 7:02 pm #

    I’ve had a happy few weeks even while suffering “Arsenal withdrawal”… Now that they are back and flogging teams at will I’m even happier. Long may it continue.
    I only caught the second half actually, but I was impressed not only by the usual suspects, but also by Denilson and Eboue. Great stuff from them – something that can only be a bonus in my mind 🙂

  2. StewDog
    September 15, 2008 at 7:09 pm #

    we won four nil and you are moaning about the defence. sort it out mate your a joke

  3. Alex
    September 15, 2008 at 7:31 pm #

    do swallow the dive line the bbc and co have been pushing! eboue got a good hard kick to the back of the leg!

  4. Frichie
    September 15, 2008 at 7:58 pm #

    Whether it was a product of a lack of cover from the midfield by Denilson???

    You really cant shouldnt be saying that. Blackburns attacking threat came from Crosses into the box, mainly being swung in from Emerton or Pedersen, so if anything itshould be Walcott and Eboue stopping those balls, but even then our Defence should be able to deal with them all day! once or twice Blackburn tried to pass it through the middle and Denilson did well to nick the ball and set up two counter attacks.

    Take nothing away from Blackburn, they may not be the team they were last season, but that would be giving too much credit to Bentley, they still had a decent squad out, Arsenal just played them off the park, same as we did to the Barcodes.

  5. jay
    September 16, 2008 at 1:56 am #

    defence needs work, Andrews should have at least tested Almunia. Not getting the tackles in! Theo continued his good form and assisted well. great hat-trick from Ade.

  6. Phil Ralphs
    September 16, 2008 at 4:21 am #

    First i have to say is that we will absolutely on top form against blackburn, they had no chance we the football we were playing. I think theo looks a different player since that hattrick in zagreb and that can only be good news for us. On wednesday it looks like we have a few knocks with eboue, clichy and nasri doubts, i think this is a great opportunity to do some rotating, bring in carlos vela on the left, and silvestre could maybe a look in on the left and if not then move gallas over to the left and play djourou, but i really want to see vela. COME U GOONERS, MAKE IN 4 WINS WITHOUT CONCEDING A GOAL. THEO IS A LEGEND

  7. Demetrio
    September 16, 2008 at 6:20 am #

    @ StewDog its not necessary to call anyone a joke. If we would have lost everyone would be moaning about the defence, they weren’t good at the back against Blackburn. Wenger does need to sort that out because teams like Chelsea and Man U would take full advantage of it.

    Spuds are down 2-nile to Villa 😀
    Life is great when the Spuds are in last place!!

  8. jay
    September 16, 2008 at 7:28 am #

    Spurs rescue a goal back but when the gunners are currently 3rd and having only conceded 1 goal in the prem and scored 8 and you c spuds bottom of the premnothing can put a bigger smile on your face really, unless we were top i suppose. Against Kyiev i wud like to see Walcott, Wilshere, Vela, Fabregas, Clichy and Ramsey.

  9. darragh
    September 16, 2008 at 7:40 am #

    Tottenham bottom of the table! United in 13th! What a start to the league!

  10. Spanish Fry
    September 16, 2008 at 7:43 am #

    @ Stewdog – I was hardly moaning mate. The article is virtually all praise, I just indicated that we were not especially good at the back. Better sides would have punished us and I think 4-0 was a flattering scoreline.

  11. Spanish Fry
    September 16, 2008 at 7:43 am #

    @ Alex – Heh heh, I don’t agree. He dived and injured his right leg by falling awkwardly. Eboue is such a weird character – I thought he had a great game and then he went and got up to his usual tricks.

  12. LuxinBrasil
    September 16, 2008 at 8:37 am #

    reckon we’ve got the Brasil mentality….”defense is awful but it doesnt matter if you score more than the other team!”…
    must admit i havent seen the full game so cant comment on the defense but im more than happy with four goals…..saw the last Ade goal and was pretty impressed with Ramseys vision….is he the real deal or does he need time??…the loss to Fulham doesnt seem as horrendous considering their lofty league position!
    @ Demetrio and Darragh….totally agree lifes always better when the scum struggle!

  13. Andre 2000
    September 16, 2008 at 10:36 am #

    Eboue was very influential. He definitely got clipped.

    Not only that when he moved to the left side of midfield we looked safer defensively. As Emerton gave us problems early. Great tactics from Wenger.

    Eboue has always given us defensive stability. Now he’s learning to add to that going forward. Having a good season.

  14. Spanish Fry
    September 16, 2008 at 12:12 pm #

    @ Andre 2000 – That’s quite a good observation. I didn’t even notice the switch during the match – oops.

  15. Andre 2000
    September 16, 2008 at 1:15 pm #

    Nacer Barazite was one of the best performing Arsenal players at the weekend. His performance inspired Derby to their first win in 362 days. He was superb setting up the winner in a classy display. Can’t wait to see him in the first team squad.

  16. terry
    September 16, 2008 at 6:18 pm #

    Creaky defence! I agree, they seemed unable to cut out the high balls. A great win but I just hope that we do not get carried away with the result.
    An offside goal, a penalty shot that should have been saved. Can anyone tell me why Adebayor took the penalty instead of Van Persie? He appeared to tuck the ball under his arm to stop anyone taking it!

  17. Spanish Fry
    September 16, 2008 at 6:26 pm #

    @ terry – Read today’s post to find out why Ade took it 🙂

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