What did we learn about Arsenal's victory over Blackpool?

By Avenell Dave

Rarely do I walk to Arsenal Stadium and feel entirely relaxed at the prospect of a nice afternoon and an easy victory to set me up for the rest of the week.

As I made my way through the hordes to the game on Saturday, I kept reminding myself that part of our downfall in the past (with the exception of last season where our results against the eventual top two were much of our undoing) has been our inability to see off sides who we really should beat with ease.

Hull City was foremost in my mind, the way we let a bunch of Tango-led twats come away from North London with a victory still sticks in the throat.

But Blackpool were the cannon fodder I hoped they'd be and I don't even think the red card would have made any difference.

One fan behind me got angry at Ian Holloway for not being more defensive and showing Arsenal more respect by sitting deep.

Certainly that will be Blackpool's undoing if they don't learn to be more savvy against strong teams, but I can;t say I have any problem with sides playing open expansive football against us.

Particularly when they aren't any good and offer no tangible threat on our goal.

It's so hard to read much into a game like that, in all honesty.

When called upon, Manuel Almunia still failed to deal with a cross which resulted in Blackpool's only clear chance but all in, the defence had nothing to do all day with Alex Song proving again how much he has come on as a player and Thomas Vermaelen looking even more assured than ever.

But the stand-out players were Theo Walcott and Jack Wilshere.

Now, Graham McNorthbank, my fellow Addict Editor, has long been convinced that Theo is not good enough and, try as I might, there has been little evidence to argue against him wholeheartedly.

But as Arsene Wenger said, Theo gave a complete performance on Saturday that suggests that maybe, just maybe, he is finally maturing into the type of player he has always meant to be.

His pace, approach play and even his crossing was on a different planet from much of what we've seen of him in the past and that can only be a good thing.

There was lots of Twitter criticism of Alan Hansen's opinions on MoTD but in all honesty, he has a point that when Theo has time to think, he often makes errors.

But hopefully, Saturday's performance will convince him to continue to strive forward and improve - and hopefully show he can make a difference in far tighter matches against the world's best.

In midfield, Jack showed why Wenger has pushed him into the first team reckoning already and why Fabio Capello is already selecting him.

There were many who criticised him last week at Anfield, but I think he gave a fair to middling performance, which is more than I expected given the cauldron that is Anfield.

But on Saturday, he ran riot and fought for every ball and that's what will endear him to everyone.

He's a battler, a worker, always wanting the ball, always tracking back and showing the likes of Abou Diaby what is missing from their game.

Diaby did well in parts, scoring and creating, but still fails to do his defensive shift, switches off too much and is a luxury player who frustrates far more than he convinces, in my opinion.

Jack looks like he could be a real gem and the potential heir to Cesc, who didn't look match fit but still showed his quality.

Another word must go to Tomas Rosicky. We know he can't stay fit all season and we have to enjoy his impact while we can, but if he can replicate his form from the first two games, he can prove to be a decent playmaker when others are struggling.

Finally, a word for Maraoune Chamakh.

The Moroccan international is a great link player and someone who will give a new dimension to our game and it was great that he got off the scoresheet.

A fan beside me said that if his open-goal miss had been committed by Nick Bendtner, we'd all have been on his back - and he had a point, sadly.

Another told me that he missed far too many early chances and lacks much of the spark we need, but I understand he was fasting too which makes his display even more creditable in my opinion.

Blackburn away will be an entirely different prospect next week - but four points out of six is a decent start and let's just hope Arsene has a busy week with Ivan Gazidis bringing in the new faces we need for when the big games come around.