Welcome to a new feature on Arsenal.com - Talking Heads.

Before and after every first-team fixture our MatchDay Show team - and an Arsenal blogger - will have their say on the match.

Arsenal take on Blackburn Rovers in the Premier League on Saturday and our Talking Heads for this game are Dan Roebuck, Kenny Sansom and Goodplaya.

Read on for their post-match thoughts and recap what they said before the game.

Dan Roebuck - Arsenal Live

I could barely believe what I was watching at Ewood Park. Arsenal looked superb for long spells in the first half - Song, Ramsey and Arteta controlled midfield while Blackburn could not deal with Gervinho's pace and movement. Yakubu's goal was a blow but by half time it looked like Arsenal would run away with it. They couldn't catch a break in the second half - two own goals and an offside goal tell their own story - but defensively Arsenal looked vulnerable. They still had the chances to win the game and if Mertesacker or Chamakh had been more accurate with late headers we'd be talking about a famous 5-4 win or a thrilling 4-4 draw.

Arsenal are slowly building momentum after that Old Trafford defeat and I fancy them to pick up three more points here. Blackburn have doubts over their most creative player, David Dunn, and their best defender, Chris Samba, and their absence could make a big difference. The return of Alex Song and Gervinho after their three-match Premier League suspension gives Arsenal more protection in front of their back four and more pace and penetration going forward. Ewood Park can be a hostile place to go but I see Arsène Wenger's team climbing the table on Saturday lunchtime.

Kenny Sansom

Arsenal were cruising in the first half and playing really well but they let Blackburn play after the break. They still could have won the game but basic errors cost Arsenal in the second half. The understanding between the attackers is brilliant but the communication at the back needs to be addressed. Saying that, Arsenal should have scored more goals with Van Persie creating a number of chances at the end and Gervinho looking very sharp. So there were still positives.

I think it will be a very tough game. Blackburn like playing against Arsenal and they will try and put a lot of balls into the box. But Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker looked good against Dortmund; the whole team looked decent in Germany. The season has properly started now and I think the players will be looking forward to going to Ewood Park. I think having Gervinho back is very important for Arsenal. The players are starting to get used to each other but there have been some good signs in the last few matches that confidence is coming back.


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I said pre-match that "sometimes we claim to have turned a corner before we actually have" and the evidence was there at Blackburn. We saw at Ewood that Arsenal are capable of
scoring very nice goals. But we knew that. What we also saw was our ability to capitulate. Like Newcastle last season, there was a hefty dose of luck for the opposition but part of being a
good team is occasionally winning when things go against you. You look at the players out there and
personnel-wise you can't have too many gripes. But it is also true that had we signed our players a bit earlier they would have had a lot longer to work on the training ground and maybe, just maybe,
our line for Rovers' first goal would have been a vertical one, rather than a horizontal one.

The results of the past week have certainly been better than what went before them. However I'm conscious that sometimes we claim to have turned a corner before we actually have, and that can lead to complacency, particularly when we're up against supposedly struggling sides. Blackburn aren't doing very well but with a cup win, a last-minute defeat and an away draw to show from their last three games, their results could be worse. Squad-wise, Song and Gervinho are available in the league for the first time in what feels like an eternity. That should help because as well as Frimpong and Coquelin have done in the holding midfield role, they're understandably green at this level. I think we've seen the benefit of bringing in players with Premier League experience. Arteta and Benayoun have slipped straight in in a way that most of our signings don't.

* The views expressed in Talking Heads do not necessarily reflect those of Arsenal Football Club or Arsenal Broadband Ltd.

Copyright 2017 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
19 Sep 2011