Well what a difference a Walcott makes. Today's performance from young Theo was certainly some "F-you" to Mr Capello. Arsenal demolished Premier League newbies Blackpool this afternoon at the Emirates in a 6-0 romp, and Walcott was at his ruthless best.
Blackpool came into the game still high off their brilliant win over Wigan last weekend, but it was unlikely a repeat result would occur today. And the Gunners made sure there'd be no upset, as they took the lead in the 12th minute. Some beautiful Arsenal passing from Rosicky, Chamakh and Arshavin resulted in Walcott slotting the ball into the corner for a 1-0 lead. Blackpool were unlucky not be level soon after they conceded, when Gary Taylor-Fletcher wasted a great chance, his powerful header going way wide of Almunia's post. Twenty minutes later Chamakh was through on goal but was brought down and a penalty awarded. It looked like the tackle may have just been outside the box, but Blackpool defender Ian Evatt still received a red card for being the last man, and there's no real argument against his dismissal. He was nowhere near the ball and Chamakh had a clear goal opportunity so Evatt had to go; Blackpool were dead and buried when Arshavin (who actually ran today - A LOT!) converted from the spot to make it 2-0. The Tangerines still had 60 minutes to go with 10 men, and they stood no chance against Arsenal from that point on. Theo scored again five minutes before half time, with his back to goal, rifling in a neat shot to give us a three goal advantage. He was unstoppable, a danger every time he touched the ball and was rampant down the right flank - Stephen Crainey will be having nightmares tonight.
After the break, there was no mercy from Arsene Wenger's side, as Abou Diaby finished nicely from a good run by Sagna. 4-0 and the bleeding didn't stop there. Walcott continued to exude confidence and got his deserved hat trick after 58 minutes. His beautiful left footed effort found the corner of the net to make it 5-0, a lovely goal indeed. He came off a few minutes later to a standing ovation from the home fans, well deserved appreciation for a sublime performance from the Englishman. His first hat trick for the club, and I just hope this is the start of something special for Theo this year. Keep the goals coming and you'll become an Arsenal hero. Fabregas and Van Persie came on and there was no respite at all for poor Blackpool. With seven minutes left in normal time, Van Persie floated in a corner and Chamakh (who deserved a goal for a great effort today) rose high above everybody else to head home to make it 6-0 and grab his first Arsenal goal in the Premier League (but don't forget that I WAS THERE for his first ever Gunners goal at home...).
All in all a brilliant result for Arsenal, and exactly what we as fans wanted to see from the lads. Walcott will take the man of the match award of course, but credit must go to Tomas Rosicky who had a fantastic game in the centre of midfield. He was pulling the strings and making smart passes all over the pitch and we must pray he stays healthy this season, as I feel he could have a large impact on any success we achieve this campaign. I do feel a bit sorry for Blackpool; being reduced to 10 men ended any chances they had but that's football unfortunately, it doesn't always go your way. Ultimately their lack of quality showed and I think they have a long road ahead of them to ensure Premier League survival, despite their magnificent win away at Wigan (but it was Wigan after all). I'm especially happy for Theo, who hopefully silenced some of his critics this afternoon after a fine display, his best in the red and white to date. Long may this form continue!
Thanks for reading.