Tuesday, Setepmber 20
For a neutral, it must have been pretty entertaining watching Saturday's encounter. We don't fall into that category however, so for the many thousands of fantastic travelling supporters, it really wasn't a very good day.
A severe lack of sleep on Friday night meant it was a massive struggle getting up so early in the morning, especially as I was driving. I have mentioned before however, when things are not going well my determination to show defiance and get behind my team becomes even stronger. It was that, as always, coupled with our fighting performance in Germany that had me arriving in Blackburn in good spirits.
From minute one I felt we looked sharp going forward and two cracking goals in the first half suggested this to be the case. If only we had shown a little bit more composure in the latter stages, the game probably would have been all over by half time.
Our host’s equaliser midway through the half suggested to all of us that defensively we would need to improve in the second period. Unfortunately, we continued to struggle after the break and although one Blackburn goal was probably offside, we simply cannot use this as an excuse. Our attempted clearance from the corner was weak and the scorer was totally unmarked.
The second goal was from a set-piece which seemed to me a harsh foul, with the Meerkat clearly getting the ball in his tackle. But again, this cannot be used as an excuse.
Individually some were not sharp enough and collectively we didn't defend well enough, it is as simple as that. And defensive lapses are something we need to eradicate from our game as soon as humanly possible if we are to progress in the kind of manner we all long for.
Can we take any positives from the game or the day? Well, I felt we looked powerful going forward, three goals away from home and countless other chances (we could and probably should have scored three in injury time!) suggest that and once again I felt our travelling support was absolutely magnificent.
Financially, times are hard at the moment and for many Blackburn is a long and expensive journey. Couple this with our frustrating start, the 'grief' from other teams' fans that comes with such a situation and the travel difficulties such an early kick-off throw up, our support was loud, proud and huge numerically.
Overall it was another difficult day and result to take on the chin in our difficult start to the Premier League season.
We can all get over that by being positive and looking to future games.
That starts with our first game in a competition that last year saw us go all the way to Wembley.
We welcome Shrewsbury Town on Tuesday and I hope they have a great day out. Of course, it is our team however, that we all want to progress.
FrankCopyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 20 Sep 2011