Arsenal 0-1 Blackburn: What did we learn at the Emirates?

Arsene Wenger

60,000 fans booed Arsenal off the field as they lost 1-0 and were eliminated from the FA Cup to Championship side Blackburn on Saturday; but what did we learn from the result?

Anyone who watched the game live or stayed up late to cast an eye over the game on ITV wil have seen a dominant Premier League side struggling to beat a resilient and well organised defensive Champinonship side.

Arsene Wenger's side were in control or 90 minutes of the game and had an incredible 26 shots on goal, 12 of which tested young Blackburn keeper Jake Kean.

Pressure is now firmly on Wenger, but then when is it not as he looks to beat Bayern Munich next week or face being hit with the facts that the French coach and his side have now gone eight years without a title.

So what did we learn....

1) No clinical striker for Wenger

It is fair to say that since Olivier Giroud's arrival at the Emirates, he has failed to live up to expectations, having scored just 14 goals in 36 games and leaving much of the scoring responsibility to Theo Walcott.

Walcott, keen to play in the central striking role has been superb but Wenger cannot be forced to rely on him solely for goals every game. He is still relatively new to that role and some would argue that he may be better on the wing.

Gervinho, the final part of that front-three is struggling to turn his five-star Ivory Coast performances into similar ones for the Gunners.

Every time the winger got the ball, he would stop and seemingly not know what he was doing and his inability to pass the ball or create a good chance is proving to be his ultimate downfall.

And then, he missed that glaring one-on-one, which was not saved but instead dragged wide of the goal.

Arsenal failed to sign David Villa in the January transfer window but over the summer, a striker must be the number one target.

2) Defence

Nacho Monreal. Played for the club all of three times since arriving from Malaga last month. Hardly speaks English but is there most accomplished and settled defender.

The Gunners defence was hardly put under pressure against Blackburn but on the once occasion they were, Colin Kazim-Richards scored one of the luckiest goals of his career.

The lack of focus and organisation to allow that to happen is worrying and not something you can take into a game against Bundesliga giants Bayern.

3) Too many midfielders not enough flair

Was this a typical Arsenal performance where lady luck simply did not shine, or was this similar to one of Barcelona's few games where they hold around 70% (or more) of possession and fail to score.

However, as the Catalan side have learnt this season. Goals don't always come when yo keep the ball but the problem with Arsenal is that too many of the midfield are to similar.

Jack Wilshere, Santi Cazorla and Mikel Arteta are more or less the same type of midfielder. All ready to tackle, pass and create with no real set position. Maybe the loss of Alex Song is hurting Arsenal because at least he gave both the attacking and defensive lines something.

4) Who to blame?

Despite the defence and lack of finishing up front. All of the Arsenal should be to blame for this result.

Maybe three or four years ago this result would not have caused so much upset but with Blackburn's highly documented on and off field problems over that time, Arsenal fans felt the loss was as bad as losing to a Conference side.

They highly rate their team and rightly so, but question marks have to be raised why they are that highly rated?

Is Wenger to blame? Well, you would have to say....Yes...

The French coach, whose role when losing is to steer his side from the sidelines and make the correct changes, both tactically and player wise seems to be losing it each week.

image: © Matt and Kim Rudge

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