Free Kick: Kean vindicated after win over Arsenal

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Old 20-Sep-2011
Free Kick: Kean vindicated after win over Arsenal

What a vindication for Steve Kean and what a humiliation for Arsene Wenger at Arsenal.

Having reported both Blackburn's previous matches, a late unlucky penalty loss to Everton at home and a deserved draw with Fulham away, I could hardly have envisaged Blackburn scoring as many as four, and the Gunners conceding so many to them.

By notable irony, several hundred Blackburn fans paraded outside the stadium before the match, agitating for Kean's dismissal.

There had for some time been notable discontent at the way the wealthy Indian owners, who have made a fortune from poultry, sacked Kean's experience predecessor, Sam Allardyce, now at West Ham, and promoted Kean from beneath him.

But the arrival of incisive Nigerian Ayegbeni Yakubu, all six foot of him, scorer of two goals even if his second may just have been offside, has given new menace to the Blackburn attack.

And Arsenal? They scored some good goals, but conceded abysmal ones, two of them own goals.

Bleak fact

Even with the expensive arrival of giant German international centre back Per Mertensacker things have hardly improved. The bleak fact being that while Mertensacker may be a formidable figure when he is facing the ball, he is far less reliable when he has to turn.

And the French centre back Laurent Koscielny, besides somewhat ineptly putting through his own goal, may have played well above himself earlier in the week in Dortmund against Borussia, but at Blackburn, he was a liability. The result was still more of a surprise in that Arsenal, in midweek, had survived, however, fortuitously, against a team far more surely to be feared than Blackburn in the German champions, Borussia Dortmund.

True, Dormund had made an uneasy and unsuccessful start to the new Bundesliga season, but the wonder of that game was that despite their manifest superiority to the Gunners, the Gunners actually led 1-0 almost to the death, when a superb left footed volley gave Borussia the draw which was very least that they deserved. After the Blackburn fiasco, Dortmund must feel very optimistic about their trip to the Emirates for the return game.

Meanwhile, Barcelona may now be happier than ever that they at long last managed to prize Cesc Fabregas away from Arsenal, who miss him as badly as was predictable, taking him back to the Nou Camp, whence the Gunners grabbed him as a fifteen year old.

This, because the hugely influential midfielder, Iniesta, is now injured and Barca face the challenge at the San Siro against a Milan team which shocked them twice.

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