It was clear to see yesterday, as with Newcastle a fortnight ago, what happens when teams play open football against Arsenal.
The flair players – and let’s admit it, we’re overloaded with them at the moment – play the sort of football few can cope with outside the Big Four.
Watching the Newcastle debacle develop yesterday, there was a blind faith amongst the Geordies in terms of their team’s status and ability which, as Hull City showed, was ill-advised.
Us Gooners tend to be different, seeing the glass as half empty.
Perhaps it’s due to the near misses, the failure to build on our success and dominate for years when everything has been there for us to do so.
And there were things that alarmed me at Ewood Park, it’s fair to say.
Denilson looked fabulous going forward, his confidence growing with every game: but defensively, he is lacking the awareness and steel to cover in midfield again the very best and that must be a concern. Patrick Vieira he certainly is not. Can we afford to play without more steel?
At the back, sadly, William Gallas does little to justify his inclusion in the Arsenal side, let alone the France team.There were a couple of occasions where Blackburn should have scored and the finger has to be pointed at the captain.
We simply cannot afford to give chances away to any team, because it will be our undoing. I have to say that, on performances this season and despite the fact that Gallas has scored twice for us, I would like to see Johann Djourou given a run.
I would have taken a draw against Blackburn on Friday, mindful of our indifferent record in the north west, even though Blackburn has proved to be a happy hunting ground.
Arsène Wenger, pragmatic to the last, waited perhaps a little too late to bring on the youngsters.
But when you’re cruising and the game is won, it’s reassuring that even without four players who would push for almost certain inclusion if fit – Samir Nasri, Tomas Rosicky, Eduardo and Abou Diaby – we showed what talent we have within our “thin” squad.
Aaron Ramsey’s cameo and pass for the fourth goal suggests he won’t take too long to adapt to the pace of the Premiership – although John Toshack, do us a favour and start playing him in the seniors!
And Jack Wilshere’s appearance as the youngest ever Gunner in league football underlines the fact that Wenger WILL give him chances.
And we all know how good Wilshere is going to be.
Manu Adebayor and Robin van Persie deserve a lot of credit for their partnership – a far cry from the F word (Fulham) and, in case anyone forgets how much attacking play is a confidence thing, how good was Theo Walcott?
One miss aside when he sliced a shot wide which he should have got on target, his footwork carried on where it left off against Croatia. So the internationals have been useful after all, in helping to convert Theo from boy to man.
Let’s just hope Wenger signs him up to a new long long deal soon before his head is turned by Russian or Arab billions.
But, rather than worry about the defensive side of our game ahead of Wednesday’s tricky Champions League game against Dynamo Kiev, I’m going to spend the day enjoying some rare autumn sun and thinking about the things that make Arsenal a thing of beauty.
And the longer we keep this form up, the more difficult it is going to be to question Wenger’s faith in the Beautiful Game.