There really isn’t a whole lot to say about yesterday’s game. Arsenal looked tired and a bit toothless after 120 minutes in midweek while Blackburn looked like a bag of steaming shite. I would have thought, with their involvement in the UEFA Cup, that they could have done without a replay but they obviously saw a draw as a chance to get another night of income at their ground.
Arsenal, as poorly as we played, at least tried to play football. Blackburn had no ambition, never looked like they wanted to win the game and played like a team that was desperate to win a point on the final day of the season to avoid relegation. This was an FA Cup tie, for fucks sake. Try and play a bit of football. Mark Hughes said he had no choice because of the players he had missing but of all the teams we’ve played at home this season that was the most negative I’ve seen from any of them. Horrible, horrible, horrible.
I know we didn’t do much but it is hard when there are 11 men behind the ball all the time. I had to laugh at Mark Bright on the BBC – not just for his girly voice – when he said “Blackburn are asking questions of Arsenal”. Yeah, right. The question was “Can you break us down when we have everyone back defending?” The answer was no, sadly, but no thanks to the ref who ignored a certain penalty when Aliadiere, as lively as anyone, was flattened in the box. We could have won it near the end but Friedel saved well twice, first from Henry then from Hoyte. Blackburn had no shots on goal in the whole game – that flukey thing that went near the crossbar doesn’t count.
In a league game I’d understand Blackburn’s approach but in an FA Cup game it was fucking pathetic. So it means a replay on Feb 28th at Ewood Park and the boss is confident we can win there but it’s a game we really could have done without. I’m not going to go into a player by player analysis, the game doesn’t really merit it or any of the other hysterical speculation and cod pyschology found elsewhere.
The most interesting part of the whole encounter was Cesc Fabregas supposedly ‘disrespecting’ Mark Hughes by suggesting the football his team played wasn’t Barcelona football, a reference to Hughes’ brief time at the Camp Nou. Cesc apologised afterwards when Hughes got his knickers in a twist but the young man had a very good point. His apology is probably the right thing to do, lest it create another fucking storm in an Arsenal teacup, but it doesn’t make his point any less valid.
And let’s not forget that Mark Hughes is a fucking cunt and Cesc is not – just in case anyone loses perspective on this. The only other positive was the return of William Gallas who played for an hour at left back and that will have done him a lot of good.
So, we go to Holland on Tuesday night and I’m pretty sure that was a factor in our performance yesterday too. A more detailed preview of that game to come tomorrow or Tuesday.
In the meantime enjoy your Sunday.