By Tony Attwood
This was the season Arsenal started by beating Everton 6-1 away and then hammered Portsmouth 4-1 at home. Then consecutive defeats to the Manchester clubs knocked off the shine. But then a series of seven games of which we won six and drew one returned a little faith.
This match was the seventh of the season, and Untold prediction did its usual preview of the game
But after the match, which Arsenal won 6-2, many views were expressed and below we reprint two of them. This one from Untold Arsenal
Blackburn: the team that ate football
Black, blackest blackness, Blackburn Rovers, your worst nightmare, the antithesis of football.
Black Blackburn, the embodiment of all darkness and evil, the Beelzebub of football, the yawning heights of the oblivion into which we fall at the end of time, when time itself winds down, to leave an eternity of rotational fouling and an infinity of time wasting.
The keeper takes the ball, changes sides, changes back, takes a swig of gin, changes sides, waits, points, complains, shrugs, shouts.
And we call to our team, shouting, “Do not go gentle into this dark night” as we rage, rage, rage against the dying of the game.
But look, lo! Behold, as we fight against this dark day. This is not the keeper of expectation, for this is a giant, but of width not height, a Giant Jumbo, with a frame enough to occupy the entire goal. A goalmouth and a mouth of man, as one.
The team bus is left behind, no longer needed. The Devil Incarnate himself occupies the position twixt the sticks.
For it is Sam, the Eater of Souls, the Destroyer of Reason, the Death of Football, playing in the world of Camus. From god to drip, he swigs his gin as we scream against the corruption of our art.
Wenger rotates the squad upon a carousel. Eboue leans off too far, falls out, and has to wait for it to come around again. Theo runs the line of touch. Vermaelen heads the ball off his own bar, back to himself, beats the entire back, deep black, sea black, all-black, coal black, evil black-black Blackburn defence and scores. 7-0 to the Arsenal and we haven’t kicked off.
“I am the Darkness,” says Allerdyce, “beyond me there is no future, behind there is no behind because I am the all encompassing, all-growing, all-destroying, all-chewing, Allerdyce. Life without life, bathtime without the bath, the end of all passivisation and culture and the most stupid son in the history of football.
“Beyond me there nothing,” says Allerdyce the Fat, and the world shakes with dismay and alarm. “Speak not to me of the police, for if you do I will not speak to you.”
And so, for years, the deep, dark philosophy of the Allerdyce and the Black Blackburn rule. There is darkness, nothing, darkness, an eternity of goalless draws and rotational time wasting. Football is gone. Light breaks where no sun shines.
We rotate the squad. William Blake comes in as centre forward (the road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom) with Stevie Smith a surprise choice on the wing (not waving but streaming through the defence). Albert Camus is of course in goal, the laureate of cool.
In the attacking midfield we have Benjamin Franklin. “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety,” he tells us, “deserve neither liberty nor safety.” Oh Fat Sam, the end for you is nigh.
Controlling it all is Dylan Thomas, of course. “I see the boys of summer in their ruin,” quoth he, the cricketers have gone and we know we have the measure of the beast.
The words ring true. We can beat the evil monster from the darkest north, where crowds are so low you get arrested if two or more are seen together at any one time.
For the occasion the Ems, that bastion of lightness and goodness, is changed. In the bars are mirrors, fifty feet long, suitable for spotting the vampires used to bite our doughty players and force them into submission. Arsenalisation is all. We are the future. We are the spirit of all that is good.
We kick off, we score, the Fat Toad scowls, apoplectic in his chew. He demands an apology. “An apology!” we roar. “It is you who must apologise for all that you have created. Rotational fouling. Time-wasting. Anti-football!
“Out foul fiend, back to the depths of Hades from which you came.”
Free flowing football lifts itself to a new horizon. We win 14-0, and EPL record. On Match of the Day, Liverpool’s goalless draw makes top billing. “I really don’t understand what they’ve got against Sam Allerdyce,” says the host, and saying, says it all.
It is over. We have won. On a breakneck of rocks we have won.
And here’s the Gf60 commentary after the game…
Arsenal vs Blackburn 6-2
Ah history… ain’t it grand? The last time Blackburn scored first at THOF they lost 6-2. Obviously they’re suckers for punishment.
Better still, that opener taught young Mannone a lesson that you either piss or get off the pot. To get caught in no man’s land really is not on. Good to see he quickly learnt the lesson with a catch at exactly the same spot (a near identical free kick) from which Blackburn opened the scoring.
Enter Thomas V. with yet another screamer. Oh I could seriously get to enjoy a repeat of this every week. 3 star Michelin restaurant fare.
Then Chewbacca buggered up and ball watched to allow Dunne acres of space and an untimely deflection from Billy G left us behind yet again.
That was the end of it though and RvP and AA took us into a well deserved half time lead.
Cesc was in inspired form and seemed to have a hand (foot actually) in everything. When on song, please note the lower case s, he is sublime and he put us into a 2 goal lead shortly after Blackburn had created more than a few bits of panic defensively early in the second half …it certainly looked like a penalty to me and what on earth a posse of defenders were doing leaving the ball to one another made me wince.
But that ended Blackburn resistance, the Walrus snarled and scowled, and but for Robinson, (poor sod has conceded 56 goals to the Gooners in his career) it could easily have been 12. Pity it wasn’t but 6 is fun…as were goals 5 and 6 from Theo and Nic. One might say ’twas a good day at he office.
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