Arsenal at home against Blackpool on Saturday afternoon, 3pm. That just reads like something from the 1920’s doesn’t it?
Blackpool, after winning 4-0 against Wigan at the JJB Stadium, are travelling for the second consecutive week, their fans having to wait for their first home fixture until the end of August, against Fulham. They have already seen their team win though. We, on the other hand, have not won a Premiership match since the beginning of April against Wolves, when Bendtner scored in the 90th minute. Since then we have lost to Barcelona, Wigan, Tottenham, Blackburn and drawn with Manchester City. Of course last weekend we also drew with Liverpool. Most fans will probably expect a clear victory in our favour but Wenger will surely settle for a more simple and mundane affair, so long as there are three points at the end. When you haven’t won an official game for six matches, or alternatively just one victory in the last eight, any type of win will do, even if you are called Arsenal Football Club. We shouldn’t deny that there is an evident gulf in quality between the two squads, there clearly is, only form and confidence count for just as much as talent. All the technique in the world counts for little if it is not supplemented by those necessities for success.
Last season our home form against the lesser sides was impressive. We beat all of the ‘lesser’ teams, those outside the final top 8, namely Wigan, Portsmouth, Blackburn, Birmingham, Stoke, Bolton, Hull, Sunderland, Burnley, West Ham and Fulham by at least two goal margins. The exception was Wolves who we only beat by the solitary goal. Nevertheless, we defeated them all. Gone were the unexpected home slip ups which had become customary and typical of our previous failures. Only when we remedied those we developed new ones. Having established a solid home reputation Wenger will be intent, more so insistent, that we don’t abandon it straight away. I expect a patient yet polished performance which will probably culminate in a victory by two or three goals. Indeed the prediction is neither unique or unlikely, merely a conclusion based on previous indications.
A clean sheet would be appreciated and perhaps a few more minutes on the pitch for our two star players, Van Persie and Fabregas. The following weekend we will be travelling up to Ewood Park for an early Saturday kick off, playing a Blackburn side which is becoming more and more formidable at home. It would be handy to know we could call on a fit Van Persie and Fabregas. Only why am I thinking a week ahead when we have Blackpool first tomorrow?
Guilty as charged! I’m convinced we will win.