Stop Moaning – Arsenal made NINE changes but still beat Blackpool

There have been many Arsenal fans (like Konstantin!) saying that we played badly yesterday against Blackpool and rode our luck, but as far as I am concerned Unai Emery made the perfect changes to make sure that our first team players were well and truly rested for the big game against Liverpool next weekend. Only Guendouzi and Mustafi kept their places from the Palace game, and we gave many youngsters the chance to show their worth against Blackpool.

Our new Spanish coach had studied our opponents and made sure he put out a team that could handle them, while respecting the dangers. “For me, it’s a very organised team.” Emery said about Blackpool. “Tactically they do very well and it was difficult to win against them. They have players with quality. I don’t know the level in League One for this team against other teams, but for us I know, and I spoke before the game with people to know the level of this team. They are in League One but they said they watched every match and in every match it is difficult. I know that this team was in the Premier League eight years ago. It’s a reason also that firstly I have respect and secondly because I want to win each match, like today against Blackpool. We needed our performance with a big preparation.”

The important thing as that we won and now have a chance to beat the Spuds, but more importantly we will have a fully rested team to take on Liverpool on Saturday. I am sure that Emery knows exactly what he is doing, and hopefully his prudence will pay off on Saturday.

Stop knocking the team when we played with our Second XI with some youngsters thrown in, and still earned a place in the Quarter Finals!

Sam P


  1. gotanidea says:

    Didn’t moan coz I didn’t see the game, but I hope Maitland-Niles could show his abilities as a winger

    Arsenal need hungry, young and energetic player like him to keep up with Liverpool player’s energy

    1. ArsenalGR says:

      Well we all know that MN is no proper winger. His is more of a CM. Some argue that he can cover at LB. I think yesterday our midfielders didn’t know at times how to move forward, WHICH happens if they do not play often together. Welbeck as a striker doesn’t really work. I would have played his at LW and introduced Nketiah up front. Then maybe MN at LB who apparently could offer more than Jenkinson anyway and Smith-Row at RW with Mikhi and Willock at CM. This formation may have worked better. Still managed to scrap a win though. Hope our good luck continues but it will not always be there to save our mistakes…

      1. gotanidea says:

        I liked Maitland-Niles when he played as a DM and LB

        Welbeck and the other strikers will suffer if there is no enough supply from the creative players

        I heard Jenkinson played badly, but he was still able to make an assist

        1. ArsenalGR says:

          Did you watch his “assist” after the game? It was such a mishitted cross, which also confused Blachpool’s keeper who inadvertently cleared the ball at Smith-Rowe’s path, who luckily turned that in. So it was more of a lucky goal, led from a poor cross and a mistake from the keeper…

    2. jon fox says:

      Whatever makes you think AM-N is a winger? No one else does! Him included!

      1. gotanidea says:

        Because he played very well in the wings as a left fullback/ wingback

        1. Xxnofx says:

          He is not a full back he is a cm
          If he gets played at left back then it’s a waste of his talents ,could easily cover what Ramsey does and more .

      2. ken1945 says:

        Jon, hope this finds you well.

        OT but as I am very interested in your reply, can I ask you again (3rd time) this question?
        You stated that Emery is / has been hampered from buying a world class defender by the transfer policy / money that Kronkie enforces.
        My questions to you are very simple: Do you also include AW in that opinion?
        If you do, would you then agree that, since the free transfer of Campbell, that is / was the reason we haven’t been able to sit at the top table regarding transfers?
        This not only goes for defenders of course, but every position on the field.

        Just two really important questions Jon that I really would like your reply on, along with other posters who might see that this is now being viewed as one rule for one but not accepted for another.

        1. Xxnofx says:

          Like i said on a previous post that this whole wenger thing is just annoying now ,yes he messed up or the board did,either way he’s gone now ,this constant barrage of abuse is uncalled for ,or have some of the fans on here forgot what he did for this club .i myself wanted him to leave 5years a go but you don’t hear me go on and on and on about the bad stuff he did .some fans need to move on just like the club as done

          1. ken1945 says:

            Xxnofx, agree with you, but you and I know that Jon has been very vocal in his assesment of AW and still references him for many of our ills.
            What I am trying to understand is why, as the real reasons start to unfold, the
            re seems to be no admissions that we were misled by others.
            I am only asking Jon two questions that I feel are pertinent to the above.
            Believe me, nothing would please me more than to move on, but while others still bring Aw up, surely perfectly legitimate questions should be answered?
            After all, he was even blamed for the draw against Palace…or his players were!!
            Over to you Jon.

          2. Xxnofx says:

            Has much as I agree ken ,you can’t teach old dogs new tricks and I think that applys to Jon ,I just think we should be looking forward as a club and not this whole ‘“it’s wenger fault “ and yes he had loads of themand like you have pointed out it was half the boards fault if not More
            For me it would just be nice to drop it now because what is done is done .

        2. jon fox says:

          Ken A very simple answer. No , he could not buy the worlds most expensive, which does not NECESSARILY mean the actual best. He could not for example buy a VVD at Liverpools price. But he must be among the worlds worst managerial judge of a CB and his long list of duds goes back to SENDEROS, with only Kos and to a lesser extent Toure proven successes of his buys. Campbell was of course a free and credit to him for acting as he did on him. Ihav elong since ceased worrying about the Djourous, Schillachis, Cygan and Silvestres of this world as they are history and I do not refer to them by name. BUT Mustafi IS still here holding us back. We have only one CB who has been top class stil here and he, Kos, may or may not ever get back to his level of before. He is unlikely to IMO. What Wenger left behind is what I constantly resent and Emery, because of Scrooge, has to work with el cheapo buys and hopefully sourced bargains by Sven and Co. That is a disgrace, caused to a large extent by Wenger- but also by Scrooge – who seems unable to recognise a decent CB at all. His whole defence has been a disgrace for years now, uncoached, unmotivated, stale and easily recognised (by all opponents) tactics, if they even existed at all. Also easily bullied generally, too weedy physically and yes, Ken , you bet your life, at my age – as I crave another serious title challenge while I can still breathe and walk – I DO resent the mess WENGER LEFT AND HIS WHOLE LAST DECADE WHICH was way below par for a club af our standing. Youngsters on here have their whole lives in front of them. We oldies do not and so I resent what I see as a wasted decade . Wenger SHOULD have been sacked back in the last decade. As far as other positions go I resent him less as he has brouught decent players in midfield and upfront but has not been able to hang on to them , as the top ones always had more ambition than our club showed. It is for the defence – if you can call it a “defence” – that I most resent him. And for not even seeming to care about the decade long gaping hole at DM. THE NEW REGIME FILLED IT IN DAYS, despite Scrooge. WENGER DID HAVE TRANSFER MONEY; HE JUST WASTED IT , DEFENSIVELY.

          1. ken1945 says:

            Thanks Jon, so in essence AW WAS held back in exactly the same way as Emery is being restricted today.
            I find it very refreshing that you have recognised the handicap both managers have had to work under.
            That was the point and why I wanted your answer.
            At least Emery doesn’t have Gazidis to worry about and Sven is actually a help rather than a hinderance.
            My belief, and it will come out, is that AW did try to sign many top class players, but was thwarted by Gazidis and Kronkie.
            This can be clearly seen by the Griezman saga, along with the Ramsey debacle.

            I will wait for further proof that AW was not on this power trip he was accused of on a regular basis before commenting further.

            Xxnofx, your observations are so relevant and I will now desist from mentioning AW and instead look forward with great expectations to Emery’s tenure as our manager (UNLESS further false accusations are made against him).

            Old dogs can be taught new tricks, if facts and figures that can be substantiated and discussed are presented in a sensible manner.
            I have certainly been persuaded by Jons views on the board and Gazidis in particular.

          2. ozziegunner says:

            Ken, Arsene Wenger could have bought Van Dijk for little money comparatively from Celtic before he moved to Southampton, then bought Mustafi for £35m. Some of the other defensive purchases have been more miss than hit. I believe that the new trinity of Sven, Raul and Unai has more chance of getting value for money gems; time will tell.

          3. ken1945 says:

            ozziegunner, I’m going to keep to my word on this’ so no mention of any manager whatsoever.
            I can acknowledge your observation and ask didn’t the player himself say he only wanted to move to Liverpool, and didn’t he go on strike to try and force THAT PARTICULAR move through?
            There is no actual factual evidence that he wanted to play for us, or that anyone at our club wanted him to sign for us, unless you have something I haven’t seen.

          4. ken1945 says:

            ozziegunner, sorry I misread your point about moving to Southampton before his long drawn out saga with Liverpool.
            Again though, did the club see him as a good buy?
            Obviously not and if every manager could have a retrospective mind, that decision might be different.
            But it is interesting to note that he went to Southampton and not one of the topsix clubs at that time in his career, so maybe all those mangers were of the same opinion at that time?

          5. Midkemma says:

            Didn’t Wenger want Manolas when we ended up with Mustafi?

            You say that it was Wenger who wasted the transfer money but I wish to offer evidence to counter this, the transfer of Welbeck which Wenger said in an interview that he only wanted Welbz on loan for 12 months.

            That is one which I feel is clear as day that Wenger didn’t want to spend money on signing.

            We can also look at the Perez panic buy, I think we can all agree that this was a wasted transfer, fans called for Perez to be given a chance and Wenger was wrong for not using him yet Emery comes in and he has agreed with Wengers assessment that he wasn’t good enough. If Wenger didn’t want him then who decided we should buy him?

            We all know that we missed out on Laca that year and it would have been for less than we actually paid, Wenger clearly wanted Laca and still went in for him the next season…

            We could look at the Elneny transfer, the fact the Wenger spoke to Xhaka 12 months prior to signing him, which was 6 months prior to us signing Elneny who was a replacement for Xhaka when he was sold to BM, again, we went for a cheap option to who Wenger wanted.

            £16 million for Welbz
            £17 million for Perez
            Between £5 and £10 million for Elneny (initially reported close to 5 but since reported it was actually closer to 10)

            £38-43 million wasted and not Wenger fault. That could have gotten us Laca 12 months earlier at a cheaper price which would have saved more money…

            How is Wenger responsible for wasting money when A) All managers buy the occasional flop and B) Gazidis was the one buying players to please the fans and getting it totally wrong, leaving Wenger to take the blame.

      3. Break-on-through says:

        He’s been better at fullback than he’s been in CM. Even the injury he got, the strength he showed, quick thought, he just said no!, you aren’t getting round me that easily. It’s easier at the sidelines, which everyone knows. All top managers play youngsters in different positions, to add to their game, and to help better understand a teammate. Or to try and round their abilities off. I’ve actually felt comfortable enough whenever Niles played fullback, same with Coquelin. When a youngster comes into the team, many first reactions are, oooh! not sure, and when it’s in an unusual position, it can be worrisome. I wasn’t with Niles though, but if we were in a tough game and he was playing more centrally, I would worry slightly. He’s not ready yet, not due to his age ..because I believe in that old adjective. I just think he’s not at Arsenal’s level yet as the lad still has some ways to go. He needs to fine tune some of his game, he has allot of work ahead of him if he’s going to create and score a fair share. Studying Torriera would not be a bad idea, his off the ball game, but he’s (Niles) is needing to be capable of more. Playing on the sides will help the lad in his duels, overtaking, dribbling and what not, also gives him a view of everything across the offside line. This will all help Niles, good luck to him, I hope to see you become the player that allot of online fans see you as.

      4. Midkemma says:

        I see AMN as a potential new Vieira, he has the skillset to be an AM yet he can defend like a DM, restricting him to one or the other role would be a bit of a waste… So B2B like Vieira was 😛

        If he can get back with desire to def like Vieira used to and then drive an attack forward, moving into the oppositions area, then we might have a Vieira to play alongside Torreira 😀

  2. AndersS says:

    Well said.
    We actually controlled the game overall, apart from the 10-15 minutes just after Guendouzi was sent off.

  3. Focus says:

    I wish we would go for SUSO.
    I follow AC Milan very well,and with what have seen,his strong,his pacey,his trickey and he can use both feet

    Who also supports dis idea?

    1. Abel says:

      Watched him for AC recently. He has improved from the lad that couldn’t make the grade at Liverpool but is still erratic in his final balls and decision making.

  4. Abel says:

    AMN is quite limited as a winger, he is calm for his age and does a good ‘safe’ job at left back. He is supposed to be a CM although he has had very limited opportunities in that role for the senior side.
    If we start both Auba and Laca against Liverpool, then we’d need to play 4-5-1 with the following personnel:
    Bellerin/litch Socratis Holding Monreal/AMN
    Iwobi Ozil Torriera Xhaka Aubameyang

    I’d rather we started with Welbeck on the left as he is more capable than Auba at tracking back and helping the left back against the leagues most menacing inverted right winger in Salah. Auba can then be brought on in the second half to devastating effect.
    I’m not worried about Iwobi tracking back as this season, he has proved he can do the hard work of closing down opponents (did a fantastic job on victor Moses last season at the Bridge)
    We really do need to take our chances as that has been our achilles heel in the big matches this season.
    Fingers crossed, we might spring a ‘surprise’ !

    1. ArsenalGR says:

      Well said mate! Sometimes I think the manager should take a look at what some fans´ advice, but at the end of the day he is the one who has the best view of his players during the week and decides for his match lineup, although I believe that under Wenger there where times that he would would only make a big change, like dropping one of his favourites or change the formation a bit, only after a large section of fans would critisize his selections!

      1. Sal says:

        too defensive for me but less risky then the 4-4-2 which i beleive give us a chance of winning or drawing we would be very compact they way leicester played when they won.

        with 4-5-1 I don’t see us winning against the pool as we wouldn’t be able to get out of our half when they press, we will only have one player to send the ball to and neither of them is a target man.

        as good as laca is at keeping the ball, isolate him upfront and he will be gone Auba needs the space man mark him and he’s gone . so they will just take the ball off him when we win it back and send it forward and resume attacking, wave after wave untill they score…but with two upfront that back four has to think twice everytime they move up, those runs will create space between their mid and defense where a defender will have to move up to cover , and there is your gap that’s how we score. miki over ozil just for this game

        1) keeper: leno

        2) defenders: bellerin (must) sok if available if not mustafi / holding montreal/ if not available AMN

        2) midfield: miki torreira / granit but i worry due to his agility vs speed we are facing we need mobility so will go ramsey instead iwobi on the left

        3) forward : obvious Auba Laca

        4) they won’t line up this way for sure, just my toughts on how to make it hard for them ozil will be playing but if i where the manager just sayin!!! i think we will go 4-2-3-1 to accomodate would be amazed if we line-up this way and would be pleasantly surprised about a manager that takes risks, i’m just typing on a forum so no risks here 🙂

        5) i rate Ozil WC just some games aren’t made for him, a team that constantly press and is one of the best at it is not good for ozil

    2. jon fox says:

      Well, AM-N is NOT a winger at all, so he will look uncomfortable if played there. He IS though a utility player and I think his best position is central midfield in a Ramsey type role. He will work more effectively and less selfishly than Ramsey, who is, effectively now, just a player on loan to us for the rest of season. I feel AM-N is wasted in a full back or even holding midfield role as he is more creative than that and needs to be allowed to play in his best position , as all players should. Wenger never seemed to accept that principle with many players. A M-N also gives us immensely more power, mobility and pace and though still rusty last night, is hugely talented and will show it, if played properly with a run in the team.

  5. ken1945 says:

    ArsenalGR, the problem with your suggestion regarding Emery taking heed of the fans views is simple.
    We have so many diverse views on who should play where, what system to play, when to use substitutes and who should be tranfer listed and brought in.
    I guess that’s why Emery is paid the money he is (no idea what that is) to do the job that millions of us think we can do better, but have never experienced the pressures involved.

    1. ArsenalGR says:

      You may have a point there, there are among the Arsenal fans indeed many different opinions about the system or the players, many of them are completely transformed under the new regime(like Bellerin or Iwobi). It doesn’t mean that all of Emery’s decisions are right though, but he is definitely deserving his wages so far! (unlike some players)

      1. ken1945 says:

        Agree completely and long may it continue.
        Such a change in every aspect of the club, exciting times ahead I think.

    2. jon fox says:

      Exactly Ken! God help any manager who listened to us fans. More opinions than people in Spuds unready toilet of a ground this season! Even ONE opinion, right now, could also claim that as truth! He would need to field around 25 players each game and buy all the worlds greatest players with the metaphorical “fourpence” Scrooge allows him. But without us fans (and our many opinions) the game would soon die.

  6. Alex says:

    Let’s give them a break. They qualified for the quarter finals. What else are you asking for? Chelsea’s defence was wide open yesterday. Nobody is saying anything. When a Wenger signing plays well,its Emery’s touch,when he makes mistakes,oh Wenger’s horrible signing again. Let’s support the team. We can’t get to our top position overnight. Its going to take some time. COYG!!!

  7. Simon Williams says:

    Same result against Liverpool – and I’ll be VERY happy man

  8. DDK3 says:

    Regarding Wenger and our defense, I certainly agree that he had more hits than misses, and that he should have looked to invest more in defense than what he did during our cash strapped years. Budget options like Chambers and Holding was never going to be PL winning CB’s and when he did “splash” on Mustaphi and Xhaka it didn’t pay off either. Backing the likes of Flamini and Arteta at DM was an embarrassment considering what our rivals had available at the time. We have already seen what one 20m investment can add in that role.

    I should add however that Mourinho, an expert in defense has splashed on defense and can’t wait to replace the players that he brought in (the ink is barely dry). The players currently making an impact at CB would for the most part cost north of 50m (Maguire, Alderweireld, VVD, Laporte etc.) and that is frankly beyond our budget. If United couldn’t bring in the likes of Boateng, Maguire, Dier and Alderweireld, then what chance do we have with our budget and only Europa to offer?

    I also can’t help but wonder how much Bould has to do with this. We have added players and coaches yet I have yet to see a meaningful improvement in our defense. I know that Rome wasn’t built in a day but despite our 13 game run, I haven’t seen the kind of defensive strides made that one would expect. The amount of times that Everton exposed us was frankly embarrassing for a home game. I fear what the Liverpool attack might do to us if we defend like that. Emery got rid of Lehman straight away, yet he kept Bould on, when defense was clearly our biggest issue at the club. Really struggling to wrap my head around that one.

    I therefore would argue that yes, Wenger made mistakes, but our defensive problems certainly stretch beyond that of the Frenchman.

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