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Arsenal 6 Blackpool 0

The first home game of the season always feels like proper confirmation that the season has begun, as old routines are brought down from the loft, dusted off and reintroduced. So it was back to the Tavern to renew winter acquaintances. Though we did buck one trend, by arriving into the ground fifteen minutes before kick off as opposed to our usual fifteen seconds. The club officially unveiled the new Clock as well as the renamed stands, together with one of those slow motion montage type things that are cheesy as all hell but you know you love them. It certainly seemed to get the crowd going, together with the announcements of the names Fabregas and van Persie amongst the substitutes. The visiting support added to the cacophony that greeted the two sides as they were introduced to the inner circle of the Premiership`s VIP lounge.

In truth, the day out will be all Blackpool will be able to take from the game Arsenal simply overpowered them from the first minute to the last. After 12 minutes, any nerves were settled as the Gunners assumed the lead with a wonderful team goal. Arshavin played a one two with the kinetic Chamakh on the left touchline; Arshavin continued his run and Rosicky flicked the ball baletically into his stride with a beguiling flick of the boot; Arshavin found Walcott in an acre of space on the right hand side of the box and Arshavin`s measured pass was met with a precise finish for Walcott`s first of the season. However, Blackpool nearly planted a giant orange spanner in the works when they missed a glorious chance to equaliser just three minutes later. Stephen Crainey, for once free of the torment of Walcott, was given ample time to swing over a cross from the left; but Gary Taylor Fletcher inexplicably headed wide unmarked and six yards out. That was about as good as it got for the visitors, who spent the next 75 minutes firmly on the back foot. Vermaelen`s sweeping cross field ball found Walcott, he headed the ball to Rosicky, who in turn played a first time pass back to Walcott on the right. Theo tore down the line and picked an excellent ball to Arshavin on the back post, but his half volley was beaten out by Gilks. Wilshere then found Chamakh dropping off into space, who fed Rosicky with his back to goal. Once again, Rosicky touched the ball beautifully into the path of Walcott who made a beeline for goal, but smashed his shot over the bar.

It wasn`t long before Arsenal found a second and the game was officially over as a contest. The omnipresent Rosicky found a loose ball in midfield and made haste as the back peddling Tangerines back line, he fed an intricate slide rule pass through to Chamakh. But Ian Evatt hooked the Moroccan`s leg just as he shaped to shoot. Referee Mike Jones pointed to the spot and brandished a red card. I thought the tackle was half a yard outside the box and that the referee was perhaps hasty in his decision- he certainly pulled the card out very quickly. His assistant should have seen that the contact came outside the box. Arshavin stepped up and despatched the penalty to Gilks` left. With a two goal cushion and a man advantage, it was now only a question of how many Arsenal would win by. It was only another eight minutes before the home side stretched their tally further. Once again it was Rosicky who began the move, finding Walcott in the centre; he touched the ball wide to Chamakh who in turn found Wilshere in space on the edge of the box. Wilshere played the ball into Walcott with his back to goal. In one swift pivot, Walcott had turned and struck the ball into the bottom corner. Walcott and Chamakh swapped positions intelligently throughout the game and it was illustration of the kind of movement Blackpool could not live with.

The Gunners showed no sign of relenting in the second half either, demonstrating ruthlessness by moving into a four goal lead just minutes into the second half. At this stage I shouldn`t have to tell you that the move was started by Rosicky, who played an inch perfect pass to the onrushing Sagna. The pass was weighted so perfectly that it took the hapless Crainey out of the game as Sagna skipped beyond him; looked up and cut the ball back to Diaby who brilliantly steered a half volley into the bottom corner. The goal elucidated the improvement in Sagna`s delivery over the last 18 months- not that anyone credits it. Last season he finished with 5 assists, more than any other right back in the league. Walcott soon completed his afternoon`s sterling work by grabbing his first top flight hat trick. Diaby saw Walcott`s run behind the Blackpool full back; Diaby played the ball into his path and Theo took it right into his stride, slaloming past two players before placing the ball into the bottom corner with his left foot. Of course, when you`re leading by five goals against ten men at home, the last thing your opponents want to see is the sight of Fabregas and van Persie standing on the touchline hungry to enter the fray. But before they did enter the party to deafening applause, the Gunners should have made it six.

Rosicky`s pass down the line for Arshavin was as inch perfect as his other umpteen defence splitting passes that preceded it. Arshavin galloped past Cathcart and played a low cross which cut Gilks out, only for the sliding Marouane Chamakh to get under the ball and lift it over the bar from a couple of yards. As a rusty van Persie and Fabregas entered the fray, the Gunners rhythm seemed to desert them slightly. Rosicky took a more conservative role with Fabregas on and he wasn`t able to run the match in quite the same way. Substitute Carlos Vela added a party piece, juggling the ball over Baptiste`s head with a deft flick, before lobbing Cathcart and Crainey in turn on route to goal. Unfortunately, Vela was then left with no other option than to actually use his right foot and quite frankly, the embarrassing swing he took with his wrong foot should shame him into working on his weaker foot in training. It was a quite shameful sight to see a professional footballer not able to kick a ball properly. But from the resulting corner, van Persie`s delivery was met with a firm header from Chamakh, who had muscled his way above the static Blackpool defence. After his earlier contender for miss of the season, it is reassuring to know that he didn`t allow it to play on his mind and there should be a good deal more freedom in his play now he is off the mark in an Arsenal shirt. His movement was very intelligent all afternoon and the goal showed a little bit of that aerial prowess he will give us.

Arsenal nearly planted a cherry on top of the icing with a 7th, Fabregas found the run of Wilshere in the area, Jack stumbled around two challenges but managed to stub his foot into the ground with just the keeper to beat. The final whistle was punctuated by the familiar strains of Curtis Mayfield and it was back to the Bank of Friendship for a few more jars. The performance was incredibly pleasing; there will be those that scoff at the quality of the opposition and, to a degree, they have a point. But if we are to sagely nod at Chelsea walloping six past relegation fodder, it is only right we celebrate our own ruthlessness. I think two years ago, Arsenal would have stopped playing at 2-0. Theo Walcott will face tougher full backs, but it was satisfying to see him getting the basics right; his delivery, the choice of pass, keeping the ball under control at high speed. But for me, the man of the match was Tomas Rosicky who, having changed the game at Anfield last week; stepped into the Cesc role with aplomb and was at the heart of everything we did. The quality and vision of his passing was sublime; all first time layoffs and cutting slide rule passes. It`s the Rosicky of 2006 and a welcome change to the conservative, stale looking Rosicky of last season. Nobody in their right mind has ever questioned his ability, but since coming back from injury I have been vocal about his application of that talent. Let`s hope that a decent pre season makes all the difference and that he stays fit and in form. When he`s playing as directly as in his last two appearances, he is undroppable. In the meantime, a very pleasing three points and some ruthless play in front of goal should stand us in good stead for the far tougher test of Ewood Park next week.LD.

1.ALMUNIA(c), 3.SAGNA, 17.SONG, 5.VERMAELEN, 22.CLIHY, 2.DIABY (4.Fabregas `63), 19.WILSHERE, 7.ROSICKY, 14.WALCOTT (11.Vela `66), 23.ARSHAVIN (10.v.Persie `63), 29.CHAMAKH. Unused: 20.Djourou, 21.Fabianski, 27.Eboue, 28.Gibbs.




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The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday August 22 2010

Time: 2:37PM

Your Comments

Nice write up Tim, thank you. Really enjoyed the whole day yesterday, and I can proudly say that it was nice to be seated once again in the West Stand Upper !!! So, ok, we didn't have ' much to beat ' yesterday, but you can only beat who is put in front of you. A good all round performance from everyone, not least Rosicky and Theo. I always knew Rosicky was capable of those performances having seen some stunning things from him when he joined, but Theo shocked me. He put in a ' mature ' performance and finally managed to give us a real glimpse of the player that he can be. His running off the ball was just as impressive as anything else that he done yesterday. For me, the goal that completed his hat-trick was the best. His burst of speed in making his run, then shuffling the ball to his other foot whilst being surrounded by 4 defenders and firing low into the far corner of the net was reminiscent of another player who used to wear the no.14 shirt. To be fair to them, Blackpool kept going and looked to play their football. They were cheered on all day by the travelling army of tangerine shirts which was lovely to see and hear. Fingers crossed that although we will have less time on the ball next saturday, we can be just as effective.
Cockney Rich
I thought Rosicky was fantastic yesterday. His link up play really impressed. Not that I would look backwards but I'm wondering whether he should have started last week. Judging by a few scorlines so far this season (including Newcastle today which has 10 minutes to go) there could be some big goal differences this year!
navydave
I still can't Hansen dropped the "hasn't got a football-brain" mantra after his performance yesterday. I never had any doubts about this game. I think the game against Blackburn will be a bigger test than the Liverpool one. I'm pretty sure that the Walrus will make sure we don't leave Ewood park without at least one important player injured.
gronedrone
Though the contact on Chamakh started outside the box it, and the foul, continued inside the box. I seem to recall that we got caught out ourselves on that same distinction last season. The ref got it right on both occassions. Absolutely masterly performance from Little Mozart but quite right to point out the movement and involvement of Chamakh who, though he should have scored earlier, none of his chances were quite as easy as some might have you believe.
Amos.
well done Arsenal - We were clinically taken apart! That said The big clubs get the rub from the refs. Arshavin should have been booked for diving. I thought the guy Chamack was awesome and begs the question about why was Walcott left out of the England squad? He was immense but for me Song was the best player on the park - His presence and his use of the ball made us look like an ordinary championship side. Well done & really enjoyed your stadium!
nunu
Games like these give the manager a bit of a headache as to who to leave out. Will Cesc and RVP start against Blackburn, do Wilshere, Walcott, and Rosicky deserve to be dropped? The good thing is that we have an embarresment of riches against Blackburn (in attack) and our first choice defense is perfectly intact.
gronedrone
I look forward to the return game and a weekend out in Blackpool. I hope your attacking style of football keeps you in the premiership which usually favours the negative more defensive and agressive style approach i.e Stoke, Bolton, Birmingham, Blackburn
paul_ownz
Good performance gooners. Fat Sam and the Blackburn cloggers are up next. And, after their game at Brum they are not happy.
Clive 49
I'm worried about Bendtner..yes I know he's not that great..but he really is improving, now if Chamakh performing great week in week out, wonder what'll happened to him..Bendtner saved us many times last season..hopefully all our striker will have the same fare share of playing time and keep scoring this season. And Rosicky, please stay healthy and play every match!!!
Malaysian_GunnerZ
@Clive "And, after their game at Brum they are not happy" Of course they were, so did Stoke..wonder if they'll support video technology now....
Malaysian_GunnerZ
http://www.sevillafc.es/_www/actualidad.php?op=not&id=18304 Don't know spanish..but is this Squillaci medical at Arsenal tomorow?
Malaysian_GunnerZ
Great reporting, LD. Like Amos, I feel Chamakh's fouling continued into the box and deserved the call (still, I wouldn't complain much if it had been given as a free kick) as the decisive hacking was done inside the box.

Malaysian, I won't worry about Bendtner as he will get playing time; there is so much football to be played and players will be rested along the way. The present architecture of the team will only make it stronger with, at least, 2 good players for each position. Competition for places and some frustrated/disgruntled players will not do the team's winning spirit any harm. Such will bring out the edge in the players, a missing trait in the last few seasons.
Naijagunner
Hello all, Wow that was breathtaking. If only we could repeat that kind of performance every match (i don't mind 6 goals every match really). Credit must go to Little Mozart and Electroman. Rosicky was my MOTM. The entire team played well (barring the red card; recall last week). Next week's game is gonna be a lot tougher. I know we'll scale through with a win. For now, i'm basking the euphoria of the 6 goals trio. Being telling everyone around me - if you wanna win the league, win a match or two by 6 goals. I guess we are on course, right?
gunnerwest
@gunnerwest - oh no..please not...Chelsea already had two 6-0... @Najia - agreed. Hopefully it'll turned out just the way you said. I have high hopes for this season (as other seasons before that) :P
Malaysian_GunnerZ
Hey M_GunnerZ, that's an astonishing thing you found there. My Spanish is not really good either, but Google can translate stuff like that to some degree. Inserted: "SQUILLACI VIAJA A LONDRES PARA PASAR EL RECONOCIMIENTO MÉDICO CON EL ARSENAL. El defensa Sebastien Squillaci viaja en la noche de hoy a Londres al objeto de pasar este lunes reconocimiento médico con el Arsenal, club al que será traspasado después del acuerdo alcanzado por ambos clubes, que está a expensas de las citadas pruebas físicas. Squillaci adujo, el pasado miércoles, no encontrarse bien desde el punto de vista anímico para no jugar el partido de ida de la eliminatoria de play offs ante el Sporting de Braga al tempo que el Arsenal hacía una oferta al Sevilla por el futbolista. Squillaci llegó al Sevilla FC hace ahora dos temporadas, procedente del Olympique de Lyon". Outcome: "TRAVELS TO LONDON FOR Squillaci passing a medical with Arsenal. Defender Sebastien Squillaci in the night travel to London today in order to pass Monday a medical with Arsenal, the club they will be traded after the agreement reached by both clubs, which is at the expense of those physical evidence. Squillaci argued last Wednesday, not feeling well from the standpoint of mind for not playing the first leg of the qualifying round of play offs against Sporting Braga at the tempo that Arsenal made an offer to Seville for the player. Sevilla FC Squillaci came two seasons ago, from Olympique Lyon". Seems like there really is hope in sight ...
TriggerHappy
This is classic Arsenal behaviour: role over a couple of teams with sensational score lines early doors, whilst the pundits drool over the way they play. But as soon as the weather draws in you'll see a different story. Blackpool put in the most clueless display of any team in the premiership, ever, let's get that out of the way straight off. It was so pathetic, it made me think aloud as i relaxed in my study "get rid of the play-offs, this is humiliating". My prediction on the Arsenal season goes something like this: start well, continue well, win games at Emirates with ease until getting blown away by Chelsea et al. Stay in second until disasterous away trip to Bolton, Wigan, Stoke, et al, where they lose two soft goals from corners after an injury to an important player. Lose heart. lose NLD at WHL. A sad Wenger is finally driven to Dover and smuggled back across the channel under a blanket as he is attacked by his own fans. Okay, i was being a bit creative there. There are no Arsenal fans in Dover.
Tony Rocky Horror
Rosicky's performance definitely encouraging - reflects well on our midfield options this season that without Cesc starting and Nasri currently injured we can still call on a player of the calibre of Rosicky to step in as our chief playmaker. Cannot underestimate the benefit of a full pre-season with no injury setbacks, hopefully the fact that both Rosicky and Theo have had this during the summer should lead to very productive seasons for them both.
ishman
TRH, why do you continue this delusion that anyone here gives two solitary *****s what you think?
Little Dutch
@TRH, we have a devoted and thriving arsenal supporters club right here in Dover thanks very much. There's a few spuds around but no supporters club as far as im aware tho, sorry! On top of that Dover Atheletics manager is none other than Martin Hayes, a former Arsenal striker who helped us win the league in '89. Can you claim anything like that?
insider says
Sorry to ***** all over your pointless post there TRH!
insider says
TRH - your obsession with Arsenal is disturbing. Have you seen a specialist?
Gooner_Vin
Lol @ TRH - back shouting at buses again. There can be few others spending so much time trying to appear smart but ending up looking even more stupid than when they started.
Amos.
I think martin hates is very nice too and I bet that our Dover people would never support a silly club like Spuds who never win anything.I would support someone else if we went 50 years without winning the league so that showed you stupid TRH spud or whatever you are.You are not av true football fan so keep on following losers cos we are winners here for ever.You will never win the champions league like we did,
iluvarsene
iluvarsene is the most obvious covert spud invention so far. :) He's certainly deluded enough to be one! No need for a true gooner to worry about going 50 years without a trophy - we're the only team in top flight football in the country to win one in each of 9 sucessive decades.
Amos.
what dies covert mean?I am more loyal than you Amos do not mock me i have been going and going at highbury forn years so be quiet you homophobic clown.UP the arse til i die!
iluvarsene
Someone should tell you we don't play at Highbury anymore. Just sitting on benches shouting at buses - whatever username you invent it's the same noisy old crap.
Amos.
TRH Results vs bolton wigan stoke et al last season Win... Arsenal 6 - 2 Black Win... Arsenal 2 - 0 Stoke Win... Bolton 0 - 2 Arsenal Win... Arsenal 4 - 2 Bolton Win... Stoke 1 - 3 Arsenal Loss... Blackburn 2 - 1 Arsenal 1 and thats after the season was over. Now how about spending some time on our own forum. Idiot
anonymous
That hilarious attempt by the trojan iluvarsene makes me wonder whether all these spuddies that plague VA on a daily basis have some kind of deep rooted regret that they made the wrong choice as a 5 year old and it must be torture for them to just admit their closet fantasies of supporting a great club. Or maybe they blame their fathers for putting that white shirt over their heads all those years ago and that is why they are so full of hate and spite. I'd feel pity for them if i gave actually a toss.
insider says
we should have got at least 2 more goals. Game like this when your opposition bascially switched off and rolled out the red carpet do come very often (may be 3 times per season at best) and we should get hold of every chance to put ourselves not to worry / or to forget about goal diff.
dyiu2000
These spuddies remind me of x factor contestants. I'm not sure whether I should feel pity or repulsion towards them because of their retarded behaviour. I guesss it's a bit sad that they seem so desperate for our attention. In their simple deluded minds they probably think they are actually funny rather than making themselves look like prats.
bowiecokemirror
On a thread entitled ' Arsenal 6 Blackpool 0 ' we find ourselves discussing the pathetic contributions from our irritating ' friends ' from VS. I'd much rather ignore them, then maybe they'll go away. Or, at the very least, they'll stop posting.
Cockney Rich
Now that is what I call a master class infootball. Yes i know they were down to 10 men but it was a good game of football. Nobody trying to cripple the other team. Tommy was almost back to his best,(psst still remember that bet LD?) and Theo ,(I hope he keeps it going) played like we all hoped he would. Noticed he shook off tackles when in the past he would have been on the deck. I felt that Song had a great game and seemed to marshal the defense. (Having seen Newcastle play Sunday I worry how many players we will have left after we visit them. ) Managed to get 8 to 1 on the FA cup and 6 to 1 on the league; early days but there are good signs.
alwaysgunner
Yes, it was just Blackpool down to 10 men but I haven't had such pure, almost childlike enjoyment from watching Arsenal in a long while. Rosicky showed why he's still worth his wages, Theo showed why I still can't give up on him.
jaelle
Beautiful game indeed. I'd love to see Rosicky get more match time. He was immense...
Omogusii
jaelle that was summed up beautifully - " Theo showed why I still can't give up on him ". His performance was one of the best I have seen from an Arsenal forward in a couple of years.
Cockney Rich
CR, I've come close to giving up on Theo a number of times but deep down I know you just can't come to any definitive conclusions for a 21 yr old. As AW pointed out, at 21, a player just BEGINS to be a regular starter. Oh, and OT: I just wasted 2 hours of my life watching City-Liverpool. How could I possibly ever have thought that game would be in any way interesting to watch? Pure drek!
jaelle
You took advantage of a team that going to be PL whipping boys, fair play but lets not get carried away
Topspur1
Yeah, that Man City / Liverpool game was a waste of two hours of my life. Horrible. Topspur, nobody is getting carried away, but given that you only won because a perfectly fine goal by Stoke wasn't given and your first goal was a lucky bounce off a cro-mags face, and if that simian continues to play well he will be at Man United in January or next August, hmmmm.
elbondo
Sorry if its already been said, but the best compliment you could pay to Theo is that he didn't look out of place as an 'Arsenal' player.
Tom14
I'd love to see Cesc & Rosicky working the middle together, with Song sitting behind, but what does that leave for Nasri or Wilshere when they come back? You can push one out to the wings but then where does that leave Arshavin or Chamakh or Walcott? ...on saying this i'm wondering what the possability's of them all being fit are and then realising we actually probably need more players :P
FuiKaka
dont get me wrong, i love cesc and have enjoyed watching him develop from the long haired boy he was when he first came, but does anyone else think that wilshire's ability at 17/18 is greater than cesc's of a similar age. wilshire's ability to run with the ball eclipses that of a young cesc and i only hope jack continues to develop as well as he has been doing
gunner10
At Wilshere's age Cesc was one of our most prominent starters. He didn't look out of place, Wenger used him because he saw the outrageous talent this boy had and that he had the mind of 30 year old in 17 year old's body. He rarely ever misplaced passes, he worked his socks off and was very good positionally. Wilshere and Cesc are different players, Cesc is more like Xavi and Wilshere more like Iniesta. I still believe Ramsey is the natural successor to Cesc but its gonna take a few more years before we can get him to level that Cesc is.
gronedrone
Wilshere looks like what he is; a very promising and talented young man with bags of potential. At 17, Cesc looked like a man who had been fulfilling his promise for ten years plus. I doubt I'll ever live to see a more assured teenage footballer than Cesc Fabregas. Particularly when one bears in mind he walked into a team that had just completed a season unbeaten having only just turned 17.
Little Dutch
I agree, you can't really compare the 2. Cesc's assurance is something that you'll rarely see in a lifetime, and that's always been there with him. I think that's part of the reason i think he makes a good captain, his confidence on the ball radiate's to the players around him, it seems as though when Csec is on the pitch, every Arsenal player just feels a little bit more comftable on the ball. I'm thinking Wilshere will turn out to be what Joe Cole never quite did.
FuiKaka
You gooners make me laugh, youre still all so hopeful each season but never ever progress!!!! 3rd or 4th is always your limit.. This season you must be really worried - Man U, Chelsea and Man City must have the top 3 places - and do you really think youre head and shoulders better than Tottenham and Liverpool now??!!!! How you stick with Wenger as well, 'these boys are potential' haha - well when will they realise their potential??!!!!! Theo 'havent got a football brain' Walcott has pace i give you that, but Cesc 'cant wait to get to Barca' Fabregas is the only real world class player. You all need to wake up from this dream you have, Arsenal are slowly but surely becoming a very avearage team.. Top 6 will be an achivement for you this season so please deal with that!!!! COYS
LuvWhites
"You gooners make me laugh, youre still all so hopeful each season but never ever progress!!!! 3rd or 4th is always your limit" ----from a Spud of all people! They never let you down the Spuds - one after another they parade themselves here desperate to confirm their individual and collective status as footballs most ignorant and deluded fantasists. In their world the last 50 years just hasn't happened and happiness is contained in a commemorative DVD of their score draws.
Amos.
It is rather like having your dinner at the Ivy interrupted by a tramp who has come to triumphantly wave his dried crusts in your face.
Little Dutch
A perfect metaphor LD :)
Amos.
Im not sure what its like to NOT be hopeful my team would win the league and champions league.....imagine supporting a team where you had no expectations or hopes for success...how horrible
bootoo
LuvWhites? sounds like a brand of sanitary towel.
iceman10
LuvWhites? Sounds like the motto of the party TRH is a paid up member of.
Deltaforce
 

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