Arsenal Weekend Review

Stephen BradleyContributor IAugust 23, 2010

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 21:  Theo Walcott of Arsenal celebrates his third goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Blackpool at The Emirates Stadium on August 21, 2010 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Clive Rose/Getty Images

Afternoon everyone. Plenty to talk about today, so lets get to it. First off is the 6-0 thumping of Blackpool.

Believe me readers, blogging is a hell of a lot easier when we win as well as we did on Saturday! But to say that the scoreline does the game justice, would be a bit unfair to Blackpool. After Theo Walcott's opener, they had a great chance to make it 1-1, and at that time they were knocking the ball around quite nicely.

But the sending off of Ian Evatt in the 31st minute changed everything. Even though it was questionable whether Marouane Chamakh had been brought down inside the box or not, it was definitely a red card. And once Andrei Arshavin had put away the subsequent penalty, it was only a question of how many we would score.

We've seen this team just go to sleep once they get a two goal lead, on numerous occasions. So to see them go for the jugular and end up scoring six, was very encouraging indeed. With Chelsea seemingly able to score goals at will at the moment, goal difference could become key as we get to the latter stages of the season.

But the biggest positive to come out of Saturday's win, was Walcott's performance. He was simply unstoppable. Yes, it was only Blackpool and yes, they had 10 men for an hour, but how many times have we struggled to break down teams when they've had a man sent off?

On Saturday, it was if Walcott could just glide by defenders at will. His finishing was clinical, and his decision-making when in dangerous positions was spot on. At least three of his crosses deserved a goal.

But my man of the match from that game was Thomas Rosicky. He bossed the game from start to finish in my opinion. He had Blackpool's midfield so scared they had to use three players to close him down at times, which left plenty of room for Walcott and Chamakh to run riot in.

Any time he plays, we seem to be able to go from defence into attack a lot quicker than when Samir Nasri or even Cesc Fabregas plays in that position. He never passes the ball backwards, which means we're always threatening to do something when he has the ball.

Let's just hope that his injury troubles are behind him, as he deserves the chance to be able to play to his full potential after pretty much two years on the sidelines. We're pretty lucky at the moment to have a player of his quality to call upon as well. As short as we are at the back at the moment, I can't think of any club in the world right now, who has three top-class midfield playmakers like we have in Febregas, Nasri and Rosicky. Something tells me we might end up needing up all of them at some stage.

In other news, the Reserves finished up their stay in Dublin with a comfortable 3-1 win over Shamrock Rovers. This game was notable for being played in front of two Arsenal bloggers of vastly different levels of competence. One was the legendary Rt.Hon @arseblog. The other bloke was me. And I have no shame in admitting that his mere recognition of my existence on Twitter was the highlight of my day yesterday.  

Other highlights were a first-hand look at some of our up-and-coming prospects. Three stood out for me. First of them was Jay Emmanuel-Thomas. Television just doesn't do justice to how massive this lad is! But he's no battering ram, some of his close control was top notch, and the finish for his goal was very classy indeed. Whoever gets him on loan for this season will not be disappointed.

Henri Lansbury was also excellent on the right wing. Even though Rovers' left-back decided to play in midfield for most of the first half, Lansbury was always a threat every time he had the ball. Again, someone will be very lucky to have him in their side this season.

And then there was Wellington Silva, who by most people's judgement is the next big thing. And it is easy to see why. Despite being double-marked for most of the game, he still was able to beat the closest defender at will, and created several chances for us. He maybe should have scored as well, but missed two fairly easy chances in the first half. This seemed to annoy the hell out of him, and he was seething at himself at half time.

This encourages me greatly. There's nothing I like seeing in a player more than a distaste of doing something wrong. All the best players in the world are perfectionists by nature, so to see Silva be disgusted by his own performance was a big plus in my eyes. It's amazing how hard a person will work to improve, when the only person they're trying to placate is themselves. Unfortunately he can't play officially for us until he turns 18 in January. I for one cannot wait soon enough.

And that's it for now. 'Til the next time readers.