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Arsenal vs Blackpool Match Analysis



The Lineup:

Alex Song was picked to fill in for Koscielny in defense. Again Cesc and Van Persie came off the bench. Jack Wilshere was again selected in midfield, with Abou Diaby playing deep mid and Rosicky alongside.

 

Player Analysis:

- Maroaune Chamakh: Good game, did everything he was hired to do. He ballooned a wide open sitter off a beautiful setup from Arshavin, but scored a great debut goal off a header in garbage time. He was a serious annoyance for Blackpool defenders, culminating in Arsenal's second goal when he beat Ewat to the ball and earned a (harsh) penalty. He also showed quite a bit of flexibility; when Arshavin came off, he moved left to take up that slot. When Walcott came off, he shifted to the right.

- Theo Walcott: Obviously scoring a hat trick was good. Walcott's speed was death for Blackpool after they went down to 10 men. He made 1 beautiful layoff pass after bursting into the right side of the box in the first half, but unfortunately no Arsenal players made runs to get it. He then made a pretty poor cross to nobody, followed by a decent cross later on. Hard to say if that aspect of his game has really improved.

- Andrei Arshavin: This is where I am worried. Arshavin scored the penalty earned by Chamakh, and he had some pretty good crosses when running on the break. A composed layoff to Walcott for the first goal, and a beautiful curving short far-post cross to Chamakh that really should have ended in a goal. So why, you might ask, am I worried? Because the one skill that made Arshavin an instant hero at Arsenal last season was nowhere to be found: The ability to run at and terrorize the enemy defense on the left. He only managed to do it once, and that was only after Blackpool were down to 10 men. Arshavin was also constantly mishandling short passes to him and just generally seemed out of sorts. Where are you and what have you done to the real Arshavin?!

- Carlos Vela: Came on in garbage time. I wouldnt mention him at all except that he had a great solo run from the left that unfortunately ended with him trying to shoot with his weak right foot. Hope to see some improvement from him this year.

- Tomas Rosicky: Pretty good game from Rosicky. He made lots of excellent through passes to unlock the Blackpool defense, and had a hand in the first goal. Good to see he is back!

- Cesc Fabregas/Robin Van Persie: Rusty. Nothing much to add, they were garbage time subs.

 

Tactics:

 

Interesting to see in the first half, Chamakh and Walcott would switch positions quite often. It worked great, as anytime Walcott came into the middle he caused havoc.

Lots of open play as both sides looked to run, so little surprise at the goal fest we had today.

Credit to Blackpool for 2 very good abilities: The composure to pass their way out of Arsenal's high press (very Arsenal-like), and a good fast break that could well have earned them a goal before Ewat was red-carded. 

 

Regardless of what could have been, the game was over after only 60 minutes. Crushing victory for the Gunners!

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