Blackpool Review: Never Mind The Willocks, Here’s Joe

Blackpool 0 – 3 Arsenal

Pitches; I forgot them in yesterday’s post but thanks to Blackpool, memories came flooding back of how they were great levellers in the FA Cup third round of yesteryear. Not that the Lancashire club served up a true cup pitch. Back in the 70s, they were quagmires and sandtraps, sometimes both. Yesterday was just a ploughed field similar to the San Siro all those years ago.

But Arsenal made short work of it with a Chris Willock brace and Alex Iwobi making the crucial difference, much to the annoyance of the BT commentary team. McMahnamahna seemed particularly bored after 20 minutes when it became clear the gulf between the two sides wasn’t going to be breached.

No need for the hotch-potch side to get out of second gear, despite losing Laurent Koscielny during the warm-up. Unai Emery shifted Lichtsteiner into the centre of defence and Jenkinson on the right. Blackpool rarely tested the makeshift-makeshift defence.

A hat-tip to Joe Willock whose two goals settled the tie before half-time. Both resulted from following the ball rather than reacting.

The first followed a deflected Aaron Ramsey free-kick; Willock reacted quickest as the ball cannoned back off the post. An excellent set-piece from the Welshman and a calm head from the youngster.

How Eddie Nketiah must wish for such calmness. On another day, if the potential lives up to the hype, he could have a hat-trick. This juror is still unconvinced that he is the next Campbell rather than Afobe or Aneki.

Willock’s second was a thing of beauty. The move began at the back and built down the right, ending with Jenkinson’s fine low cross being flicked goalward by Nketiah with Willock arriving at the far post. 2 – 0; job done and not out of second gear.

You Can’t Sit On The Top Deck Without Paying A Fare

And that’s really the story of the game. The tie was dealt with efficiently, on the pitch and off where the Blackpool protester found himself sitting atop the team coach while the club procured a new vehicle.

Alex Iwobi broke the offside trap by being offside for the third, grateful that no VAR presence spotted him. Quite why the lino didn’t is not clear; perhaps his street shoes slipped on the turf and he couldn’t keep up with play?

Inevitably, focus in the press conference on the match was limited; it’s the transfer window and we’re apparently in talks with Barcelona over Denis Suarez. The Spaniard is, depending on whom you talk to, a world-beater or a Barcelona reject. Not that they are mutually exclusive terms, you understand although the latter is used vituperatively.

Unai Emery wants a “central defender and winger” as well as Aaron Ramsey staying until the summer or another player is signed, whichever is soonest.

He was cautious about a centre-back, however. “The possibility to bring them in is not easy because we also have Mavropanos coming back from injury,” Emery said. Koscielny’s back injury points to the problems he faces as much as Mustafi’s absence is a positive.

That really is the story of our day at the seaside. It’s impossible to read anything into the collective performance since it isn’t an XI which is likely to play together much and certainly not in the business end of any competition.

Individually, we didn’t get out of second gear but nobody played badly. Willock gains the plaudits for the goals and Nketiah worked hard with little reward. Nobody exceeded expectations but none fell below them.

It was a good day all-round.

’til Tomorrow.

22 thoughts on “Blackpool Review: Never Mind The Willocks, Here’s Joe

  1. Thought that Jenks showed how some defenders can seemingly respond to a change in coaching. He was certainly better than I have seen him before.

    Just a thought to build on the debate earlier this week over ‘nature or nurture’… concerning defenders abilities.

  2. consolsbob,

    I think with the right coaching and a bit of confidence building Jenks is a better option for cover at right back than Lichstiener who is not anywhere near the standard required. It’s probably unlikely either of them will be with us next season but I’m sure Jenks could be accomadated even on a reduced contract

  3. I wasn’t speaking in facts, more the way the match was playing out, it just looked highly likely Nketiah will score…..BUTTTTTT o well, Willock grabs the brace.

    The youth continue to look good with more direction and seemingly a defined role explained to them.

  4. C,

    Some folk have difficulty accepting the confidence of others. I for 1 enjoy a good clash of confidences.
    Happy new year fella , and keep the assertions flowing.

  5. ferkov:
    C,

    Some folk have difficulty accepting the confidence of others. I for 1 enjoy a good clash of confidences.
    Happy new year fella , and keep the assertionsflowing.

    I didn’t have any difficulty ferkov…..I’m just replying to C’s post.
    He said Eddie would score.

  6. Jonnygunner,

    Haha. Yes he did.
    However assertively he said it tho, I didn’t bet on it, so really didn’t really give a fuck whether it happened or not, beside that it would’ve been good for Eddie to have scored for his own confidence.
    His tweet today tried to put a positive spin on things, but there’s an elephant there needing putting to bed. …

  7. ferkov,

    He was given chances and I beleive in our strikers to score given the chances we create. So take it as fact but whats rhe difference between me saying that and somebody putting a fiver dowm that Nketiah will score 🤔

  8. Interesting Denis Suarez traveled and reports had him apart of the match day plans, until he was pulled…..

  9. C,

    Eddies tweet.
    He’s young and on it! 😬
    I’m not young , but try to follow stuff.
    Your clarification of the fact v bet was exactly my point btw.
    Unless your balls are made of crystal.

  10. ferkov,

    Nketiah, I like him and hopefully he will start scoring again for the senior side.
    Its American bias, I’ve learned over the years to laugh it off.

  11. C:
    Jonnygunner,

    He looked certain to score……until Willock said I’ll grab your brace.

    Eddie almost looks pissed off when Willock scores as he knows he needs to get one for the first team to try and cement a semi-regular spot.
    You do feel for him-and the fact he’s pissed off is a good thing-thats what good strikers should be.

  12. Jonnygunner,

    It’s a strange thing tho . I noticed even for the PL2s they have this grudging celebration between them, and similarly with Reis Nelson too. The repeated failures of their predecessors to make the grade must be a monkey on the back.. Seeing interviews and videos of them off the pitch tho, I’d hate to think they’d prefer that none of them succeed.

  13. ferkov:
    Jonnygunner,

    It’s a strange thing tho . I noticed even for the PL2s they have this grudging celebration between them, and similarly with Reis Nelson too. The repeated failures of their predecessors to make the grade must be a monkey on the back.. Seeing interviews and videos of them off the pitch tho, I’d hate to think they’d prefer that none of them succeed.

    The way of modern football

  14. Women commentators on the radio/tv….nope….not for me…no for men’s football.Womens football…of course…but not men’s football.

  15. Jonnygunner,

    I’m neutral on that one haven’t heard a female commentary on football, to form an opinion, but it wouldn’t be a problem for me let’s face it they couldn’t be any worse than some of wankers we have to listen to,

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