Connect with us

Post Match Review

Steeling One With Ease – Arsenal v Bolton; Post Match Review

“We have had two games, at Blackburn and today, which we certainly would not have taken six points from two years ago.” – Arsene Wenger post-game comments.

Hey Carlos is this how you chip it in?

“We have had two games, at Blackburn and today, which we certainly would not have taken six points from two years ago.” – Arsene Wenger post-game comments. 

You know what – he’s right. Two years ago when we were falling apart at will two games like these were most usually draws. Especially if the opponent had equalized. Now, I am not saying all is right in the kingdom, with injuries still looming large we could still be in for some hefty question marks – but let’s regal ourselves in a hard played win. 

The game was firmly in Arsenal’s control from the outset with Cesc Fabregas showing he came to play and nearly slotting the home side early. But alas it wasn’t all that easy. New boy Laurent Koscielny deep in the box was able to knock past the first goal within the 24th minute to put the Gunners ahead. 

But for whatever reason, complacency, Bolton determination, or lack of focus, Arsenal couldn’t put the visitors away in the first half. They were not without their chances. The passing game was sharp with only a few errant passes here and there. On three separate occassions Andrei Arshavin was set free by great passing from either Wilshere or Fabregas, on two of those opportunities, Andrei got a case of the Nicky B’s and muffed the clear opportunity. The third opportunity was a poor off-sides call by the ref. Andrei is still a threat to get free and you have to assume that if it continues he will score. The problem right now is that he isn’t scoring. 

Most eyes though were on our defencive pairing. With Thomas Vermaelen out for the match with an injury, Sebastien Squillaci started alongside Laurent Koscielny. For most of the match they played admirably. Though for the second straight match Koosh, made an error that led to a goal.  In the pursing build up to Bolton’s equalizer, Koosh squibbed a header to the right of the penalty box, which allowed Lee of Bolton to get in deep and threaten goal. The ensuing chip shot headed in by Elmmander. 

In the past we had some defencive players that would’ve allowed a gaff like that to stay lodged in their heads for the remainder of the game. Koosh made the mistake, and I think while he will be a good signing, he is still young. I do think the better CB tandem may be Vermaelen and Squillaci. Some of the wobbliness of the defence in this game had to be the fact they all hadn’t played together. Anyway I digress, Koosh is showing that he has the ability to shrug off a mistake and correct himself. I’d like to see these mistakes turn into less clear cut scoring opportunities but I do like the ability to adjust. 

Also I think there is some steel developing in this side. Vermaelen, Koosh and Squillaci, aren’t looking like they will be bullied about, but look at some of the fesityness of some of our other players – for example, the yellow card on Gibbs for his rough treatment of Kevin Davies. I loved every minute of that. Sorry, that kind of play isn’t coming from Clichy. Gibbsy is a player and he is one who is only going to get better. Don’t like to see a yellow card, but the opposing teams need to start learning that we won’t be pushed around. How this mentality fares against our biggest physical rivals (Chelsea and United) remains to be seen. 

That's going to leave a mark

The MOTM had to be Fabregas. Coming into the match, he admitted as much that he hasn’t been ready. But it was clearly evident that he was ready to play yesterday. His passing and touch were amazing. The pass to Vela for the final score was sublime. He was turning players and spreading the ball around efficiently. Together with him, Wilshere and Rosicky, the score should’ve easily been 5-1 at the half. They were slicing open Bolton – it’s too bad that whatever Nicky B has in terms of hitting the goal, it has effected others on the team, like Chamakh and Arshavin. But Fabregas, what can you say. He was pressng on defence, he was telling on attack and he was everything (shy of scoring) that makes him the fulcrum of our attack.  One of my favourite plays that didn’t happen was towards the end when Bolton couldn’t bring it out of their end, Fabregas gets up close and nearly gets the ball on a sliding tackle. Yeah, he is that good and that effective. 

There were other good signs, Jack Wilshere is showing himself to be the budding star he is supposed to be. Rosicky, man can he turn people.  Vela, is showing that when given the time, he will do the stuff we know he can do. Already as much as I hate to say this (I loved Dudu) he is better than Eduardo.  Song had a few errant passes but he is a monster in the middle – he needs an effective back up even though Jack the lad was always hustling back to help defend. Chamakh may not be able to kick a ball in the net, but can that boy get space and rocket headers. Another thing about him I like, is his ability to bring others into play. He is showing himself to be hard to get off the ball and wait for the right moment to get it to someone. I know everyone says he gives us what Adebayour did – I say he gives us more because of his unselfishness. 

Oh, I would be remiss if I didn’t give props to Manny a nod for a solid outing. Sure his first touch of the ball and dishout was woeful, but he was aggresive in crosses – didn’t flap at balls and was better at releasing the ball to players on the run. Still not sure if this going to last but I am going to enjoy it. I also don’t place the goal at his feet. 

As for the Cahill red card which all but sealed Bolton’s fate – well, in my opinion it was a yellow. The tackle was harsh but it didn’t warrant a red. But Atwell was all over the place – he missed a back pass by Brogdan to himself , he didn’t call a clear PK on a take down of Arshavin or Chamakh, Bolton should’ve had a free kick outside the box, and frankly Robinson’s tackle on Diaby was a clear Red.  The diagnosis on Diaby is unknown, but in his post game comments, Wenger stated he was having trouble moving his leg. So we shall see. 

All in all a good day for the Gunners and Gooners. We showed some real grit in the last two games and came away with deserved points.  And what a weekend eh? What more could you ask for when Arsenal win, Spurs draw to West Brom, City draw to Blackburn and United collapse in Fergie time to Everton. All yesterday required was Chelsea losing or drawing to make it the perfect day. Chelsea didn’t but hell I like the way the day ended. 

On to the Champion’s League Group Stages . . . ugh. 


Final note for the day, I have been talking about this in the past, but I finally stopped waiting for help and laid the first of what I hope will be many You Are My Arsenal T Shirts.  I haven’t set a price yet – probably between $10 – $15 USD.   What I will do is once I have selected a vendor, I will give out all the details on how to get your own. Here it is – 

Get em while they are hot!

The back - Nuff said

 Thanks for being the best readership and making this very easy to do. 


More in Post Match Review