Tag Archives: FA Cup

Match Report: Blackpool 0 – 3 Arsenal

Blackpool (0) 0 Arsenal (2) 3
FA Cup Third Round
Bloomfield Road, Seasiders Way, Blackpool FY1 6JJ
Saturday, 5th January 2019. Kick-off time: 5.30pm
(4-2-3-1) Čech; Jenkinson, Lichtsteiner, Sokratis, Kolašinac; Ramsey, Elneny; Willock, Maitland-Niles; Iwobi; Nketiah.
Substitutes: Lacazette, Torreira, Martínez, Guendouzi, Medley, Smith-Rowe, Saka.
Scorers: Willock (2), Iwobi
Yellow Cards: Kolašinac
Referee: Mike Dean
Attendance: 8,895
Back to where we were, then. Another meeting with The Seasiders, on this, the second occasion that we have met in nine weeks; of course today we are meeting at Bloomfield Road, the first time that we have played there since our 3-0 victory in the Premier League on 11th April 2011, when goals from Abou Diaby, Emmanuel Eboue and Robin van Persie ensured our win. Let’s hope for a similar result on this freezing cold Lancastrian evening. We fulfilled our ticket allocation of 5,200 supporters for this game, but sadly due to an ongoing dispute between Blackpool fans and the owner, Bloomfield Road was only just over half full for the match tonight.
Still, in the opening stages, the home side were unlucky not to score when an error by Stephan Lichtsteiner almost led to us being punished, and had it not been for Petr Čech, it could have been disastrous. After ten minutes, a superb free-kick by Aaron Ramsey (can this man really be leaving the club?) saw Joe Willock score his second goal of the season when he headed the ball into the net from the rebound that struck the upright, which appeared to calm the nerves somewhat. A few minutes later, Carl Jenkinson was desperately unlucky not to score with a header from a chip by Alex Iwobi after some penetrating moves by our midfielders. The match now started to pep up with Blackpool finding their way through our defence on several occasions. However, just seven minutes before half-time, Carl Jenkinson pushed a long ball to Alex Iwobi, who passed it back to him on the overlap; Carl Jenkinson crossed the ball to Eddie Nketiah who flicked it on across the face of the goal for young Joe Willock to score his second (and Arsenal’s) of the day. And so we went into the break two clear goals ahead.
New half, new challenges. Blackpool started to test Arsenal’s defence and on several occasions were unlucky not to score. Arsenal started to look sluggish until Alexandre Lacazette replaced Eddie Nketiah after 65 minutes, and it almost seemed as if he single-handedly changed the approach and the attitude of the team as soon as he stepped onto the pitch. With one of our two top strikers on the field, we now started to look confident and assertive, something that we hadn’t done a few minutes earlier. Despite all this, Blackpool too had their chances, and should have taken them better under the circumstances. On one of our breakouts (of which there were many) we managed to get behind their defence and score. Ten minutes before the final whistle, Aaron Ramsey’s shot was parried by the Blackpool goalkeeper, only for the ball to fall into the path of Alex Iwobi, who coolly tapped it into the net. Mr. Emery made two more substitutions (Zech Medley and Bukayo Saka for Sead Kolašinac and Alex Iwobi) within minutes of each other, just to rescue tired legs; as soon as they started to get used to the pace of the match, Mike Dean blew the whistle after four minutes of injury time, and we were now in the fourth round of the FA Cup. Thank God that’s over.
Despite our obvious superiority in all areas, we still had the ability (somehow) to look vulnerable, particularly in the defensive area. No disrespect intended to Blackpool, but there were times when we had to count ourselves very lucky that the home side missed their chances, as if we played a top Premiership side, we may not have been so lucky. All the reserves (and our youth players too) played their part well, and everyone looked good. But we still need defenders, desperately. Twenty-six days and counting until the end of the transfer window. Remember everyone, keep the faith, get behind the team and the manager, as these early days are going to be crucial for our future success in all competitions. Stick with the winners. Victoria Concordia Crescit.

Too Dearly Loved To Be Forgotten: Arsenal v Racing Club de Paris 1930-1962 by Steve Ingless (Rangemore Publications, ISBN 978-1-5272-0135-4) is now available on Amazon.



Arsenal look to banish Ghost of Nottingham Forest

FA cup 3rd round day 2018. A year ago was when I hit my lowest point mentally as an Arsenal fan.

Walking back from The City Ground to Hooters despondent. The only thing to look forward to from the trip was wings, boobs and beers.

It was an awful performance. The first time since 1996 that The Arsenal had been knocked out of the FA Cup 3rd round. Lost 4-2.

Prior to that defeat, Arsenal had won just 2 of the last 7 league games. 5 wins and 2 draws. The away draw to WBA on New Years Ever especially sticks in my mind.

With just 3 away wins from 11 League games, it was becoming really hard to be motivated to go away, up and down the country, spending my well earned sterling.

Sitting there in Hooters after the game, I was wondering whether I wanted to do it anymore. Keep going away – I spend about £2,500 a year on away games; tickets, transport and drink.

Arsenal would stay in the gutter for some time. Just one more win away in the league on the last day of the season against Huddersfield. It was the shocking second half of the season that led to fans staying away, and ultimately led to Arsene Wenger leaving the club.

I renewed my season ticket, renewed my away scheme, and this year under Unai Emery felt more invigorated to go again.

It has not been plain sailing under the new regime.

There has been a recent wobble in December – the loss to Southampton, thrashing by Liverpool and defeat in the League Cup to Tottenham – but as a whole the Spaniards start has been positive.

FA Cup victories (3 wins in the last 5) have been the only cause of glory for Arsenal fans in the last 12 years. It is probably why that Nottingham Forest defeat hurt so much.

After so much recent success (and historical success) in the tournament, to be exiting in January gave little to hope for in the rest of the season. It was the first of many killer blows.

Today we travel to Blackpool. Due to the trains I am not making the journey (so soon after Christmas and New Year, I have no interest in a hotel stay in cold, wet Blackpool).

Having beaten Blackpool already once this season, hopefully we return to winning ways in the FA Cup.

As we learnt against Nottingham Forest last season, you can not take victory for granted. Even if Amazing Bet are offering 1/14 for The Arsenal to qualify. But I am positive. Both about today and where Arsenal are going.

Fans need to ignore what is happening in the background at the club. We might not look to spend a lot in January. We are looking for the right players at the right place. We do not need to panic buy. We could have over £100m to spend this summer, once we sell one or two, it is important we do not dip into that for a 6 month short term solution.

I expect Emery to ring in the changes. A mixture of first teamers and reserve players. The likes of Konstantinos Mavropanos  will get a start. Eddie Nketiah up top.

Predicted XI:


AMN Sokratis Mavropanos Jenkinson

Elneny Torreira

SmithRowe Ramsey Saka



The FA Cup & Aubameyang update

The FA Cup

For the first time in 22 years, since 1996, Arsenal are not in the 4th round of the FA Cup. And I am gutted.

I am sitting here at 10:12 writing this blog, really not sure what to do with myself? Do I go and fix the garden up after the rough winter we have had?Or maybe put on my wellies and go for a couple of hours stroll in Epping Forest up to the Owl on High Beach, a few pints then stroll back?

Maybe a trip to the garden centre and grab a couple more house plants? I am unsure, I feel lost. This must feel like what it is to be a Spurs fan, getting knocked out the cups early.

Oh well, at least I have a League Cup Final to look forward too, Pinnacle vip code 2018 states that we are not favourites with the bookmakers

Whilst writing this, David Moyes has popped up on Sky Sports News to discuss the upcoming Wigan v West Ham tie.

“They won the FA Cup and got relegated. I am sure if you asked Wigan fans, they would rather not win the FA Cup and still be in the Premier League”.

What a load of rubbish. It is up there with Spurs fans saying they do not want to win trophies, that playing in the Champions League is more important than winning a cup. It is like top 4 is a trophy. Or staying in the Premier League is a trophy.

It should not be surprising that David Moyes has this opinion, that cups mean nothing.

A manager for 20 years, his only trophy is the Football League second division, way back in 1999/2000.

He spent 11 years at Everton, and never won a trophy.

His target was clearly to finish in the top half of the table, rather than win a trophy.

I feel for West Ham fans that they have a manager who openly says he does not want to win things. How out of touch is he with the fans?

I am sure if you ask Wigan fans, the FA Cup win is the highlight of their lives. Same with Portsmouth fans. The cup means everything.

It is only those who have not won it for decades who devalue it.

I am gutted not being in it.

Aubameyang Update

The deal seems to be at a stalement.

The crack negotiating team have flown back to England as negotiations continue. I is dying a slow death.

If the deal does not go through, it perhaps highlights that the problems at the club are bigger than just Arsene Wenger.

Previously, whenever a transfer feel through, Wenger (rightly) got the blame. But this deal is showing that the club is rotten from the manager up.

How the deal has not been done yet is incredible.

Dortmund want to sell, Arsenal want to buy, Aubameyang wants to join. It should be an easy deal to get over the line.

Reports were that Dortmund want ~£55-£60m. That Arsenal wanted to initially pay £40m. This is the start of the negotiations.

Arsenal were apparently concerned with paying over the club-record £46.5m that they spent on Alexandre Lacazette in the summer. And this is where the frustration begins.

We are talking about Dortmund wanting about £10m more than this. Arsenal need to learn to ignore the milestones, stop being concerned about the criticism, and just get the deals done.

With the sales of Francis Coquelin and Theo Walcott, and the money made in the summer, Arsenal have a net spend of nearly £45m.

Are we really trying to break even for the season? That is lubricious.

We moved to compete with the best, for the best. Now I am not saying we should be spending the £200m on players that Manchester City are – we can not afford that – but we should not be looking to break even every season, in terms of transfer spend.

We have the money to get Aubameyang in. Let’s get it over the line.