Eddie Posted September 30, 2009 Share Posted September 30, 2009 Apologies for this being a day or two late. So this Sunday sees our first clash against one of the "big four" and also our first trip to London for the season. In recent seasons we haven't fared particularly well against the top sides or the London clubs and when it comes to Chelsea and Arsenal our record is pretty appalling. We haven't won in the league against Arsenal since the 1-0 under Hughes when we were chasing 4th spot and we haven't won against them away from home since as far back as the 26th October 2002 when we beat them 2-1 at Highbury thanks to a masterclass in goalkeeping from Brad Friedel. I would suppose that this makes the Emirates the only premier league ground that we haven't won at (of the sides currently in the premier league), although that could be incorrect. Since their move to the new ground our record against them reads: 2006/2007: L 2-6 2007/2008: L 0-2 2008/2009: L 0-4 To call them our bogey side would probably be ignoring the fact that they are simply a quality football team, but they possess the qualities I most fear when it comes to our opposition: pace and quick passing. When looking over all of our fixtures against them and trying to think of memories of Arsenal games it struck me that matches against them have often turned into great characterisations of our club in particular seasons or eras; in fact, Arsenal's emergence under Wenger as a serious title threat developed as our position at the top of English football went into a swift decline. Under Souness our record against Arsenal was probably about as good as it has ever been. In the years in which he had us playing good football with Dunn, Duff, Jansen and Tugay we actually managed reasonably well against them, including doing the double over them in the 2002/2003 season. Perhaps the most important of those wins against Arsenal under Souness came in the quarterfinals of the League Cup as a Jansen hat-trick helped us into the next round and, of course, we ended up winning the thing. Under Hughes three fixtures stick out for me against Arsenal: the first being the FA Cup Semi-Final clash with the infamous Van Persie decking, the Benni McCarthy goal and then the win at home against them (our last victory in this fixture) when we got a goal after some wonderful work on the wing from Bellamy and for a while it seemed possible, really quite possible, that we might actually have a chance at finish 4th. Ince's reign was short-lived, but he did managed to get a thumping against Arsenal in there. We lost 4-0 to them at Ewood Park last season on the back of a 4-1 defeat to West Ham. Things were pretty grim and probably best to keep this part of it short. Rovers under Allardyce against Arsenal...well there's only one thing that comes to mind: According to most in football it was the worst attempt at cheating any sport had ever seen. It's surprising that Pedersen wasn't banned for life as a result. It's been a few years since we've had a good result against them, hopefully we'll put up a fight this time and maybe pull off a bit of a shock. I have to admit that I'm a bit worried about Allardyce's policy of choosing which games are worth turning up for, but it would be nice if we had a bit of a go. Here's a quick league form guide: Blackburn : LLDWLW Arsenal : WWLLWW Difficult to see us getting anything out of this, my prediction would be Arsenal 3-1 Rovers. And just to add a bit of news to this preview, American businessman Stan Kroenke has increased his stake in the club to 28.7% A preview with Sam the Arsenal fan will be added tomorrow evening. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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