Arsenal sputtered their way to a win against Blackpool in the league cup. Goals from Steve Lichtsteiner and Smith Rowe gave us enough of a lead to counter a late resurgence in the second half from a pretty average Blackpool.
It’s tough to draw many conclusions from an uninspiring draw. Aaron Ramsey couldn’t control a game against a poor side, none of the young players really stood out, and outside that, there’s really not a lot to talk about.
Matteo Guendouzi caused supreme confusion amongst the fans after he was sent off. Does his red card mean he’s banned? Did the rules change? What happens to him versus Liverpool at the weekend? Seems like he’s good from what they said on the Arsenal TV channel.
There were no real injury scares. Auba looked hurt late on, that really would have been a killer to lose him under trivial circumstances. AMN made a solid return to action, Smith Rowe had his moments and certainly looks to have the frame and pace to deal at a higher level, and outside the red card, Guendouzi continued to show off his class and give us a look into his future potential.
The Liverpool match at the weekend really is bearing heavily on my mind. I think we’re likely going to get a smacked backside. We’ve shown signs of improvement of late, but mostly against pretty average teams. I think we’re on target to make an attempt at the top 4 this season, but it’s far from clear we’re going to slide into the Champions League. We know United and Spurs have another gear. What we don’t know is if the gear we’re in at the minute is based in reality, or are we simply playing above our level.
Liverpool will be a good barometer for that. If we lose to them, that’ll be the 3rd loss out of 3 attempts against a top 3 team. If that record persists, we might find ourselves in a hole at the end of the season. Mourinho is a master shit-houser and we know that Spurs have additional gears, and that’ll come through even more if they duck out of the Champions League bottom place in the group stadiums.
Plenty to consider… another win under the belt was crucial, but it was far from convincing. We need a response this weekend if we’re going to make a statement to the league. Still, it’s a big ask in year 1 of the Arsenal revival. It’s no failure of Emery, it’ll just be a clearer of sign of how much work is yet to be done.
SPURS IN THE NEXT ROUND YES YES YES!
Right, that’s me done, see you in the comments.