Tell me any fan in the land who wakes up on a Saturday morning and gets excited about the prospect of playing Blackburn Rovers? I don’t think there is one… Blackburn suck the joy out of football… if they were a house chore… they’d be oven cleaning.
I dread playing Blackburn, I dread playing Fat Sam teams.
I said to Geoff shortly before the game,
”Wouldn’t it be great to get an early goal so we can relax for once”
So the game kicked off, within a few moments, Theo was released by Nik out wide right, he cut inside, laid a ball off into the box… and Arshavin bundled the ball out wide only for Oijer to deflect it home. One up after 80 seconds… what was going on?
Arsenal sat back after taking the lead and absorbed the pressure with ease. El Hadji Savage hacked Almunia down early in the game to cement his name in the book of nasty pieces of crap.
Arsenal continued to pile on the pressure, Nik B going close and Nasri following suit shortly after. It was a bit disappointing, I felt Blackburn were there for the taking, yet Arsenal seemed uninterested in extending their lead?
The second half began and the sunshine came out… surely we had perfect conditions to dish out a hammering?
Well, we had to wait till 65th minute. Arshavin picked up the ball out wide, jinked past Simpson, steamed into the box towards the byline… then lifted the ball into the roof of the net with expert precision. It was a goal only he could have scored… and thank the lord he didn’t lay it back to Nik who was having a troublesome day in front of goal!
The customary Eboue appearance came shortly after… he managed to miss an Arshavin assisted sitter… then within about 5 minutes he was first to a Paul Robinson spill.Eboue looked like he’d just won the world cup… he ran over to the Arsenal stands and performed some sort of monkey dance… perhaps he’d had a run in with the stewards as well? Pretty hilarious stuff!
His next came after, Carlos Vela was hauled down in the box… The ref pointed to the spot… and Eboue buried the penalty.
Some asked why Eboue took the penatly… but most recognised the reason. Eboue has God like status amongst Arsenal staff and players… that is why he took it. I also think the Arsenal players were interested to see what his next celebration would be… it wasn’t that entertaining… but it was nice to see the Arsenal players united in their love for one man. I don’t think he’ll be leaving any time soon…
So overall, an enjoyable, fun filled performance. Saturday afternoons don’t get much better than that!
Almunia: Solid and dependable. After his mid season dip in form, he seems to have regained a lot of his composure between the sticks and his kicking is tremendous. Late in the first half he played this drop ball kick about 50 feet in the air straight into the path of Arshavin… it was superb. 7.5
Clichy: Must work harder on his crossing. 6
Toure: I love Kolo, he emobodies everything an Arsenal player should be. Passionate, hard working and a fierce competitor. I thought he played well today. He worked very well with JD and dealt with aerial balls with ease. 7
JD: Superb today… his best game in a while. I thought he looked composed, calm and aggressive. Nothing got past him today and it was nice to see him come in and take nothing away from the defence. 7.5
Sagna: Thought he had a poor game today… must work harder on his crossing. 6
Nasri: I dunno… It’s kind of like office syndrome with Nasri. If you’ve ever worked in an office of 30 or so ugly people… you’ll know what I’m talking about. Their will always be one girl who is slightly less ugly than the rest of them… she catches your eye… you start to believe that she is actually a real beaut… then BANG… a real 9 out of 10 starts working for you… you forget the other girl. Nasri seems to be that girl. He is being overshadowed by our new Russian maestro… which I think long term will be a good thing. It will give him direction and someone to look up to. Young players—> Learning from older players…. now there’s a novel idea! 7.5
Arshavin: This little bag of under the thumb genius is proving to be a hit isn’t he? The guy is special… I’m talking in a Bergkamp/Pires kind of way. He has the same sort of vision, he lifts the team and gives people time and space… he is
THE ANTI CRAB!
… Today, he made two goals and scored one. What a player. The way he jinked through the Blackburn defence then fired the ball past Robinson from the most acute of angles was amazing… honestly… the odds of squeezing the ball between the post and the fattest keeper in Prem were about 400/1.. pure genius. Something else that made me laugh was when he miscontrolled the ball… there was silence, the fans refused to huff! Hilarious! 9
Denilson: Again, a superb performance. Wasted little, cleared up where necessary and also linked up well with the attack. When Song and Denilson are paired together, they provide a solid wall. Solidity is the new flair dont you know? 7.5
Song: I can’t knock him. He passed well, got forward with purpose and cleaned up like a seasoned pro… All the more impressive considering he was absorbing the pressure of a nasty, physical Blackburn attack. More than held his own today… and it was great to see him join the attack in a productive manner. 8
Nik B: I’m not prepared to listen to the haters anymore. Nik B is going to be a fantastic player… he works harder than most in the team, he actually wants to play for someone other than himself and he is constantly in the right position to score. His composure in front of goal leaves a lot to be desired… but that will come with age. I promise you, he will become and integral part of our future… and I think if zogby ran a poll in the stadium… he’d have more lovers than haters. Oh… and just before I leave this one… there were no boo’s, just cheers of support… we all love a player who works hard, so keep your mischeivious comments to yourself Stan Collymore. 8
Theo: I’ve not always been a huge fan of Theo… I think he is far from the finished article and I find him extremely frustrating at time. Today however, I thought he performed very well. His pace and new found power caused Blackburn problems all day. I think Theo has found a new toughness to his game and if he can some how learn to harness his explosive attributes, we could have a superstar on our hands. 8
Vela: If there is anyone in the team who has the potential to match Arshavin for skill and flair… it is our young mexican. If you get a chance to see his one two with the Russian, please take a look… Vela won us a penatly, so a succesful cameo appearance. 7
Eboue: YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME… That is exactly what John Mcenroe would have said if I’d told him Eboue had scored two goals in twenty minutes. Is Eboue the only player in the history of Arsenal who can bag two goals and still have large sections of the fan base calling him an idiot? He came on… created a bit of hustle then buried the Robinson deflection. His second came after Vela was hauled down in the box… Eboue snatched the ball off him and buried a superb penalty past a keeper who covers 70% of the goal from a standing position. 7
Diaby: Can’t remember to much from Diaby. 6
Have a great Sunday Grovers!
P.S. Many thanks to all the Grovers who met up before the game. It was a pleasure as always!