Saturday, September 17, 2011

Blackburn and Arsenal; An Unlikely Goalfest?

Neither of these clubs have shown themselves to be very good at defending this season.  In fact, they have often looked like drunken third-graders in defense.  And while both have struggled to score goals at times, it is not hard to see the potential for good attacking play.  Yakubu, even when not match-fit, is still one of the best goal-poachers in the world.  Players like Robin van Persie and Mikel Arteta are always going to be a threat.  Although most people wouldn't expect Alex Song to be playing the incisive through balls.  I have been waiting a year for Arsene Wenger to actually play van Persie with Marouane Chamakh, and when he finally did, the two combined for a goal within ten minutes.

Another factor, the Lancashire skies opening up and sending a driving, cold, hard rain to Ewood Park.  I have been in this rain, and believe me, it is like no other in the world.  There is a bitterness to it, a large black cloud following you around and making you feel as if your skin is almost being clawed away.  It's horrid.

Steve McManaman, who was commenting on the match, put it best;  "There's more mistakes in the rain." There are going to be own goals, keeper mistakes, referee mistakes, and plenty of misplayed balls in these conditions.  It was a hell of a match to watch, a great spectacle.

The bigger question; What does this result mean for these two clubs going forward?

I don't think it does much for Blackburn Rovers.  They looked better than expected in attack today, but that was aided by two Own Goals and poor conditions, not to mention inexplicably poor defending by their opponents.

Those opponents have allowed 12 goals in their last two trips to Lancashire.  They bought two defenders and three central midfielders in August, yet that has only made Arsenal's well-documented defensive frailties look even worse.  And they have another Lancashire challenge very soon when they play Bolton Wanderers.  Let's hope they haven't sorted the defense out by then.

In all likelihood, Arsenal will right the ship.  They have too much talent in the squad for this too continue.  The Gunners will not be challenging for the league title, but I think they will end up back in the top 4 in May 2012.

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