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Every football season, there’s only a lucky few who gets selected to wear the red and white of Arsenal and play for the first team. For those 25 or so first team players, it is their privilege to be chosen from a pool of so many. However if these players can’t find it within themselves to be proud of that fact and care for the well being and history of Arsenal Football Club, then there is just something seriously wrong with the mentality of the team.
Yes, we know that the season is practically over for us. Yes, we also know that even if we had won the game, it would not change our position in the league. Yes, we know that the World Cup is looming and it is better to be safe than sorry with regards to injuries. BUT, where is the pride when the players are showing in their body language as well as desire that there is no urgency to chase the game when losing at a place like Blackburn.
If hundreds or thousands of Arsenal fans are bothered to make the long trip to Ewood Park for a meaningless Premier League match on a holiday, then I failed to understand the performance that was being put on show. These players and the club, perhaps even the manager owe it to their fans to not only turn up at the game but also to show that they care as well. Even though the defeat would probably have no bearing on our final standings in the league, barring a miraculous last 2 high scoring wins for Spurs, the display of these highly paid professionals was very disappointing, to say the least.
Rarely has a game gone by without at least one or two individuals who performed up to task. On this day, on this second last match of the season away to mid table Blackburn, none of those from Arsenal who took to the field can proudly walk off knowing that they’ve given their best. It is one thing to lose a game after giving it our best shot, but it is an entirely different thing to lose in such a manner. If you do not know the score, by looking at Arsenal, you would’ve the impression that they are already up by a couple goals. No one looked remotely bothered to say, “hey, we’re the Arsenal and we can’t lose to teams like Blackburn regardless of the importance of the match”.
We again conceded soft goals and to a large extent that is down to the incompetence of the referee. First, Fabianski was blocked off by Jason Roberts and only managed a soft punch which fell kindly for Keith Andrews to slid in back across the goal for David Dunn to slid home the equaliser. Samir Nasri was at the back post and I’m sure could clearly see where Dunn was but the former didn’t look interested to mark Dunn.
The second, Chris Samba was practically shoving at Campbell and yet no whistle was blown. Yes, on both occasions the keeper and the defender might have been just a little bit stronger to fend off the block but it is really ridiculous that these kind of pushing and shoving are allowed by the referee. There were also a couple of fouls in the first half which really showed have seen several yellow cards for Blackburn players who pulled back our players via arms and shirts. Poor refereeing all around.
Robin Van Persie got us off to a perfect start as he found space inside the 6 yard box to head home a Sagna’s flick from a corner. His first goal since his return from his injury nightmare and the Dutchman deserved that. He might not have been fully fit or in any sort of positive form but if he should have known that it would be near impossible to win headers off Samba in the opposition penalty box. Which is why it was really weird that he kept waiting for crosses in the box rather than come deep to pick the ball up.
A significantly major overhaul looks to be on the cards for Wenger and Arsenal in the coming summer. On the basis of today’s performance, none merited an extension of their contract. The likes of Silvestre, Traore, Eduardo, Vela and even Walcott might just be looking anxiously at the exit door. Another bad day at the office, another reminder to Wenger of the deficiency of this Arsenal side. Not one for the scrap book.