Arsenal Rise Above The Rough And Tumble Bolton To Defeat

Arsenal 4 – 1 Bolton Wanderers

1 – 0 Koscielny (23)
1 – 1 Elmander (43)
2 – 1 Chamakh (60)
3 – 1 Song (78)
4 – 1 Vela (83)

Gary Cahill sent off (64)

Ghosts of season’s past rose and were reinterred at The Emirates as Arsenal squeezed the life from Bolton, before cruising to victory, capitalising on dropped points at Goodison Park whilst keeping Chelsea with touching distance. A match which saw Alex Song score the 1,000th Premier League goal of Arsene Wenger’s reign, was shaping as a reminder of failures in previous seasons before three goals in the final thirty minutes reinforced the notion of a squad which is coming of age, maturing into serious title challengers.

Wenger made several changes, forced and voluntary, the visitors tried, ultimately in vain, to unsettle with a robust approach, at odds with the pre-match assertions that Owen Coyle was moving the club away from its inglorious past under Sam Allardyce. Arsenal were not shaken but stirred as the new faces in the starting line-up clicked through the gears seamlessly.

Of the back five, only Almunia and Koscielny had played in the first team together this season yet Bolton failed to capitalise on the lack of understandings which this scenario brought about. It mattered not as the midfield, inspired by Fabregas, roared into life. The Spaniard mesmerised Robinson before Bogdan saved, the same outcome suffered by Arshavin minutes later, the Russian released by Rosicky’s exquisite pass.

The breakthrough came midway in the first half. Wilshere’s cross found Fabregas, the captain put the ball into Koscielny’s path as the centre back scuffed the ball home at the second time of asking. In matches of yesteryear, Arsenal might have eased back, particularly in the immediate aftermath of international breaks. A tentative sign of this not being the case any longer arrived as Fabregas and Rosicky found Bogdan in the visitors goal in inspired form, conspiring with fates to keep the lead down to one goal.

Warning signs had been seen earlier in the half as Davies brought a save from Almunia but the frailties of a new defence were exposed when Koscielny inexplicably headed into the path of Lee. The Korean showed great composure at the bye-line to find Elmander with his cross, the simple tap-in punishing the sloppiness of the centre-back’s play.

The interval allowed Arsenal to regroup but the visitors started the second half re-energised by their equaliser, Almunia denied Holden to provide evidence of his continued improvement on last season’s displays. As the hour approached, Arsenal woke from their slumber. Fabregas freed Chamakh, the Moroccan once more kept at bay by Bogdan. It was to be temporary respite. From the resultant corner, Fabregas found the time and space to pick out Chamakh, his header firm and true into the net.

The tempo upped and within five minutes, the balance of power swung firmly into the home side’s favour. Davies escaped a deserved second yellow card following a clash of heads with Koscielny. Incensed by the failure of the referee to punish a foul on Lee, Cahill went through the back of Chamakh with the finesse of a plough working Lancastrian fields in centuries past. He deservedly received a red card.

He might well have been accompanied by others. Robinson’s challenge on Diaby forced the Arsenal substitute to be replaced whilst Gibbs could quite easily have received a second caution later on. The inconsistency of officiating was highlighted by the failure to suitably punish all offenders irrespective of the colour of their shirt.

The outcome was put beyond doubt when Arshavin found Song in the area and the Cameroonian provided a Vela-esque touch to lift the ball over the sprawling Bogdan for the end of the millenium of goals under Wenger. There is no substitute for the real thing though. The final goal of the afternoon provided a fitting way for the count to the 2,000 goals to begin.

The passing and movement evoked memories of Giles, Bremner and Lorimer toying with a hapless Southampton three decades before, the pass of Fabregas, the timing of Vela’s run all trademark for Wenger’s new generation, the Mexican driving the ball confidently past the visitors goalkeeper to seal an emphatic scoreline.

For Wenger the result was confirmation of the growing confidence and belief of his charges, post-match he made the point that it has been a while since his team has emerged from back-to-back wins over perceived nemesis. That might be overstating the case somewhat, pandering to media assertions which pass too frequently as truth. The point can be emphasised with a win at The Stadium Of Light next weekend, a place at the Premier League summit for twenty-four hours assured for twenty-four hours at least.

’til Tomorrow

Posted on September 12, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 157 Comments.

  1. 1st??

    Yesterday was not by any means a 1st team on the field yet they managed so well.

    great performance.

    Arshavin impressed me even though he squandered some chances. Chamakh is just too good with his head. I really like his leap.

    Way to go, Come on!!

  2. Great reflections on the match YW.

    What I find most interesting is the selective amnesia being applied by commentators, pundits and hacks in their desperate bid to avoid acknowledging the growing matuity of this Arsenal team.

    Several things have impressed me the most:

    1. The fact that with the teams inclined to play rugby against us, this Arsenal team is taking a no nonsense approach and setting a marker by first fighting fire with fire and brute force, earning the right to play Wengerball and then bitch slapping the opponent emphatically with exquisite football.
    2. The seamless rotation of personnel fitting in despite injuries, suspension and players being rested.
    3. Our new refreshing approach to defense. Despite not having Vermaelen available, Squillaci and Koscielny were beasts yesterday. Granted, the Kos made a mistake, but he’s quickly showing that he’s a solid rock in defense. If it turns out that Vermaelen has to fight for his position then so be it. There’s a certain solidity to the finesse we already know that the new breed of defenders are bringing.
    4. Almunia had another big game. It would be naive to think that he will be given the ultimate support he needs by the Triple A to keep the consistency, but the Spaniard is using every opportunity to prove his doubters wrong.
    5. The team is slowly but quietly cementing their position at the top of the table and it’s a good sign of intent.

  3. And did anyone notice the goal keeping howlers being made all over the EPL – Joe Hart for the goal City conceded at Eastlands (and he also had a couple of clangers in the Switzerland England game), Rob Green, Pepe Reina – and nobody says fuck all about them.

    They’re just waiting for Almunia to have his regulation quota and they’ll be on him like white on rice.

    And for sure, Lee Dixon has gone native on us and succumbed to the dark side. And all for the Queen’s shilling.

  4. Crtl C and V from the last post:

    What goals, what a game! This is why, this is why, this is why, we’re HOT!

    Who gives a shit about trophies if we play like that most of the time!

    We’re always concede the odd goal. But to play like that will more than make up for it.

    Fab4 really is the MAN. Up yours Barca! Imagine if we had sold him even for a 100 million? What good would that have done us?

  5. Yes, spot on again Yogi. You too Darius. I write this while listening to the assembled hacks on ‘Sunday Supplement’ anoint Chelsea as the Champions Elect.

    I also had the displeasure of listening to ‘606’ while cooking a curry last evening. Now, I was certainly imbibing at the time but I am absolutely sure that Robbie Savage spent the entire programme telling everybody why cheating, tugging shirts, pushing players over, kicking the more skilful ones, was perfectly acceptable. In fact, if England won the World Cup by cheating, then we would all be happy.

    He was an absolute disgrace. I can see no acceptable reason for the BBC to give that obnoxious man a platform for his nauseating views. This on a day when at least one footballer had his leg broken by another ‘non malicious’ challenge.

    How many kids and young players will have heard Savage’s celebration of cheating? They actually pay this man to poison minds.

    I have complained to the BBC this morning. ‘Educate, Inform or Entertain’? Reith must be spinning in his grave.

    You couldn’t make it up.

  6. Are there any midfielders in the world better than fabregas right now? Talk about sending a pass with information attached to the ball.

    And Song’s goal… sweet.

  7. Judith Le'Strange

    I agree wholeheartedly with Darius regarding the so called pundits in acknowledging other goalkeepers howlers, but all Arsenal fans/supporters know that Arsenal is hated because we are successful (okay we haven’t won a trophy for yonks) but we are still successful. It’s just that money counts for everything these days for players and so called TV commentators. Even a player who has transferred in and never played for an English team has come out and claimed that his team will finish higher than Arsenal, I think this is sour grapes cos we didn’t buy him in the transfer window.

  8. kevin davies should have been sent off yesterday! his head-butt on kosser was malicious and vicious, and had it been on a lesser mortal, who’s to know what would have happened.
    any road, glad about the arsenal result…
    … and the barca result too.:-)

  9. Great post Yogi!!

    We’re back to playing our silky football. Which I think we weren’t doing as good last season. But that had to do with too many injuries to key players. Yesterday reminded me of our 2008-2009 season. Except, we were far more fluid yesterday.

    Rosicky is a class apart. Wonder how last 2 seasons would have been with him having played 30 games a season. His through pass to Arshavin was beautiful. I hope he stays fit, with him and Cesc, we have two amazing creative midfielders. How many chances did we create yesterday?

    All this without, RVP, Bendtner, Nasri, and Theo. Injuries apart, both Nasri and Bendtner would have to fight for their places. Nasri, though, has more competition, since Rosicky and Arshavin carry far greater threat than him.

    I was most impressed with Chamakh. He holds the ball really well, and has a great first touch. And his link up play is really good too, which you expect from an Arsenal CF. And most impressive is that he works his socks off for the team.

  10. The Elmander goal aside, this was a good, dogged performance. As Wenger said, in the past we would not have won both these last two games against Bolton and Blackburn. The team is starting to mature before our eyes.

    I’m impressed with Chamakh’s contribution too. Dare I say it, he is the first proper number nine we have had since Alan Smith?

  11. Very disappointed with the game. Arshavin’s days must surely be numbered. If Vela had had the three gilt edged chances in the first half we’d have beaten Bolton convincingly instead of just squeezing past.
    All in all a shaky, unconvincing win, but sometimes you have to settle for only beating shit like Bolton by 3 goals.

  12. That head butt by Kevin Davies was not an attempt to get at the ball! This was as you say Acorns, nothing but malicious and vicious! This could have resulted in a very serious injury! I would only hope that the FA would review that incident and treat it like the anti football that is so common in the Premier League and verbalized by the likes of Savage on the BBC as consols has commented on. It would make your currys far more pleasurable Consolsbob, if the refereeing in the Premiership actually improved from the disgraceful level seen in this match!

  13. I was also well heartened by the performance of young Gibbs and Wilshire. Yes, they are still learning but they bring a no-nonsense grit and effort to arsenal’s play.

  14. Steww

    Arshavin’s days are numbered? Don’t think so. One-on-one is not easy to put away, even the great Henry missed tons of them. Let’s concentrate on the positives, we won and we’re 2nd on the table.

    I think the difference between this season and 2009/10 season is the competition for places. In midfield we have Cesc, Diaby, Song, Rosicky, Nasri, Wishere, Denilson, Walcott and Eboue all fighting 4 places. Note that Ramsey will be joining up in November. Clichy is also being challenged now so its all good for the team.

  15. LOL steww!

    Great points Yogi. I rewatched the game and just marvelled at the quality of that Rosicky pass to Arshavin – I could watch that over and over again on a loop. And the Vela goal was perfection. He started that move with a tackle to win the ball and finished it with a well taken goal. But the thing that really stood out for me was the quality of Cesc Fabregas. I did not really notice it at the game, but he was exceptional and looked like he was playing in second gear! Muamba followed him everywhere, yet he got 3 assists and could have had more if others’ finishing had been up to the standard of his creating. I have to say a massive well done to Arsene for fighting so hard to keep him here. He is well on his way to becoming the best player in the world in his position.

  16. Delia-----Block 112

    I was there , what football and what entertainment. We created a host of golden chances which were not taken. Had we been playing higher quality opposition those missed chances might have proved decisive in the outcome of the match. A pity our little Russian had left his shooting boots somewhere over Europe.
    Cesc was back to his best and Manuel had a very good game and was generously applauded by the crowd. The Ref was atrocious , as bad as I have seen in the PL. I fear for Diaby , Robinson’s tackle looked even worse on the TV .This was a leg breaking challenge and deserved a red card. Considering the back 4 had never played together , their performance was very encouraging. Guess what, not one Moaner in sight on the train back to Norfolk.

  17. Passenal. Where I come from, Muamba would have been called Cesc’s bitch. It was really funny watching Fabregas run rings around him.

    Steww, shame on us for such a performance. Typical Arsenal, all mouth and no substance…LOL!

  18. Some great points made this morning which pretty much echo my sentiments regarding the game. I have to add that the referee was very poor, It’s not often that both teams would agree with that. He missed the foul on Lee and sent Cahill off failing to give us the advantage in the move which followed his foul on Chamakh. Then there was the headbut from Davies on Kos who I thought handled the big brute admirably. And then there is the assault on Diaby, I really hope he is okay. I could go on but I would rather enjoy the games magic moments, honest.

    Also, another fine performance by Almunia who is really looking like one of the most dependable in the Prem this season.

  19. What the hell is up with Dixon? This guy is either still seriously bitter with Wenger or he is afraid people will accuse him of bias towards Arsenal. When Ramsey had his leg broken he suggested the problem was ‘Ramsey’s bones, they are probably not thick enough’. Yesterday he compared Cahill’s tackle to a totally different tackle in another game. They were nothing alike.
    Cahill was nowhere near the ball, he went in two footed, from behind, studs showing, feet off the ground. Blatant red!
    Anyway great stuff. Fabregas played like a quarterback. Sick!

  20. Forgot to mention Gibbs. Outstanding yesterday, what an exciting prospect. I know I’m not the only one, But I really could see him being Arsenal and England left back for years to come.

  21. Cesc football genius

    What a signing Chamakh was.I dont think we will miss RVP as much as some think.Ckamakh gives us that extra dimension which RVP doesnt dominance in the air and his movement is superb

    great start to the season but the big test is Chelsea away

  22. Gus Ceasar

    Not only Lee Dixon but Stewart Robson as well.Watched the game in a local boozer.And Robson was commentating on Irish TV.He keeped having a go at Arsenal players for going down to easily.He really doesnt like Eboue

  23. Great post Yogi and as always the intelligent comment from Darius. Like the use of the words silky and fluid from Ateeb, that’s the word man! Have to agree with Stew though. Arshavin’s no rookie. We should expect the odd 20 goals from him per season. He better get his grove back – and fast!

  24. True gooner.

    I’m intrigued with that “true test is Chelsea away”.

    For some reason, every test we pass is ignored and it’s almost like an excuse is always being sought to validate or explain why we’re playing as good as we are.

    Two weeks ago, the biggest test was Blackburn away, then Bolton, now Chelsea? It’s like we have an inferiority complex. Let’s just play who is in front of us.

    I would suggest that there are no easy games and every game is a dog fight. Let’s move away from setting imaginary tests to manufacture a reason to feel good. Yes, beating Chelsea will be good; but let’s first focus on Braga on Wednesday then Sunderland away on Saturday evening.

  25. Good stuff Yogi,

    Typical media response. Any admiration is grudging & usually followed by a `but`.

    Good to see Vela getting on & scoring. I`d love to see him get a proper run in the side but for now his cameos are great.

    I don`t think Cesc could play like that at Barca & certainly not with Xavi in the side. Nice to see the wheels start to come off at the Camp Nou.

    Robbie Savage`s pundity is I`m afraid on a par with his footballing talent whilst I reckon the Beeb have told Lee Dixon to take his Arsenal specs off.

    Whilst I feel sorry for Zamora lets face it, Mark Hughes loves players like Karl Henry. Until a big name English player from one of the top clubs gets his leg broken like this nothing will be done.

  26. Darius,
    The “true test” bullsh*t will keep on moving. If we do well against Chelsea away, the true test will be moved to the ManUre game or the ManSh*teh one..

    It is better to Njoy the ride with Special moments like the Song goal and the ’20+ pass’ Vela goal…

  27. Agreed Darius.

    The true test will be how many points we get after 38 games. Last season we were written off at least three times only to come back within a few points each time until injuries finally took their toll at the end of the season.

    Now it seems there’s three groups of teams we’re up against this season, and each group will be equally important. There’s the teams we should be beating comfortably home and away (West Brom, West Ham etc), there are the teams we should prevail over at the Emirates but will have a dogfight at their ground (Liverpool, Spurs, Man City etc) and then there’s Man U and Chelsea.

    I have a feeling the key will be the middle group. We will win nearly all the games home and away against the bottom half of the table and I get the sense we’ll share spoils with Man U and Chelsea this season in our games against them.

    My guess as to the stat to look out for this season will be which team out of Man U, Chelsea and Arsenal can win the most away points at Liverpool, Everton, Man City, A.Villa, and Tottenham. That team should win the league.

  28. Slight contradiction I noticed above. IMO, the 3 groups of teams we will play will all be important but not equally so.

  29. Great Blog and well said Darius about the Goalkeeping

  30. Steww – At his sarcastic best. Still chuckling

    Gibbs and Wilshere were both amazing for ones so young. In particular Gibbs’ calmness and steadiness was unerring for someone whose side of the field was obviously targeted. His yellow card was very soft in the context of Bolton’s assaults which deserved at least three reds (Davies and Robinson plus Cahill) – I suspect Arsene knows that the more English lads come through the system the less tolerant will the English public be of cloggers like Robinson going unpunished for that tackle on Diaby.

    YW – Your comment: “For Wenger the result was confirmation of the growing confidence and belief of his charges, post-match he made the point that it has been a while since his team has emerged from back-to-back wins over perceived nemesis. That might be overstating the case somewhat, pandering to media assertions which pass too frequently as truth.” – I suspect this is Wenger’s way of saying “I told you so.”

  31. @Indian Gooner and LAGooner.

    Just goes to show how much brain washing is going on with the media hacks and pundits handing down cliches from the bag behind the sofa

    “Arsenal’s true test is against so and so”
    “Arsenal need a couple of English centre halves who are the only footballers on this planet who can provide the so called grit and steel”
    “Arsenal need a new keeper and a couple of world class players to compete”
    “Arsenal need a 6 ft 7 inch neanderthal to address there defensive issues”
    “Arsenal need a 25 goal a season striker”
    “Arsenal need a world class defensive midfielder – Alex Song is not good enough”
    “Arsenal are pretty to watch but they need to play more direct football – how dare they bring that fancy dan nonsense to English football”
    “Arsenal are too soft and they need to be kicked to harden them”

  32. @Darius

    and those are just the comments from former Arsenal players…

  33. Excellent win yesterday, and good performances all over the pitch. Kos made a mistake, but was otherwise very good and dealt with Davies all day long.

  34. Brilliant from the lads. cannot praise them enough. Well done!

    As for the “true test”? The true test is whether this team will win a trophy at the end of this season. PERIOD.

    Cheers all!

  35. The aspect of yesterday’s game which I loved most is the fact we rotated rather seamlessly. If we can do this more, we will come out very fine this season.

  36. @Him.

    The ability to rotate that seamlessly unfortunately will be seen as a lack of strength and depth and that we’re ravaged with injuries….cynical!

    It’s as cynical as the fact that Chelsea are already being crowned as the ititl winners even though they’ve only played the 4 weakest teams in the league this far – all relegation prospects.

  37. gibbs was terrific yesterday.but I would had preverd the playing of clitchy.and also we have to remember that this is the same gibbs that fucked us up againts manu on the previous championsleague.but I think yesterday he was very outstanding.and I think our performance yesterday demontrated that we have players who capable of scoring from the bench.and carlos does come to mind after that wonderful pass by our captain cesc.

  38. gooner2.

    Just because prescription medicine and narcotics are referred to interchangeably as drugs, it doesn’t mean that you can alternate them.

    Stick to regulation stuff and keep away from the waterfalls that make you come up with statements like the one above.

  39. This is for yesterday’s unsung hero: Almunia made 1 excellent save, Eboue made very good runs toward the middle(while Sagna always go outside) & the Kos was solid in the air (as opposed to being dominated last season — read Gallas cant hang).

    Arshavin has better become more efficient or somebody like Vela will get a chance. I would think that 1 of those 3 chances he had in the first 40 min would have killed off the game!
    Song wanted a goal really bad yesterday & got 1.

  40. Gman. Song bet with the team that he would score and they laughed at him.

    That’s why he wanted the goal so bad.

  41. Darius,
    Those cliches just shows how informed are the plundits and some fans regarding the way we play. They seems to understand only one way of playing the game and that is ‘Get in hard’.

  42. Song’s desire to score the goal was evident when Diaby came on.. He was playing in Cesc’s role with Cesc & Diaby(Denilson later) took care of the defensive part.

  43. At Darius, love the sarcasm. Any news on Diaby’s injury yet? I hope he is back as early as Sunderland. We need as many fit bodies as possible.

  44. Arshavin’s comment on Song’s goal: 3-1?
    AA: In that situation, I got the ball on the right side, when I was in the penalty area. Alex Song picked up the ball so masterfully that one could only applaud him. I was there and I saw that moment from such an angle that I’m sure that it would have been impossible to score some other way. No sooner said than done, even before the game he promised to score today.

  45. Yeah i read AA23s interview on his site where he mentioned Song telling everyone he wanted a goal yesterday – and a landmark goal he got too the 1000th WengerGoal

  46. darius

    sometimes you got to have some humour mate.and that has nothing to me using any sort of drugs.beacuse I am a kind of guy you would love hanging out with.and if you decide hanging with me then you will never regret it.

  47. The great thing about Song getting the 1000th is he is a classic case of Wenger uber alles. Derided as not good enough when still so young and now one of the best.
    Name one other so called prem DM who could have scored that goal.

  48. goner2 – your posts read like something scratched into the door of a public toilet.

  49. steww,
    There wont be many players in the league who could score such a goal leave alone DMs..

    His ball-control under pressure was awesome and there aren’t many around who can do that..

  50. Song just turned 23 a few days ago too. Him and Kos hot belated birthday presents in goals yesterday

  51. steww

    Don’t get me started mate.Cos if I say those things directly to you then I Don’t think you will be that happy.



  53. Steww – Fletcher, Obi Mikel, Palacios, De Jong, Pulson/Mascherano, Petrov, Phil Neville – and a whole host of them.

    What do you mean to name other DM’s who could score that goal.

    Alex Song is not world class.

  54. Alex Song is not world class.
    He can get there though.
    Lets hope so

  55. Deise…LOL! you truly miss the sarcasm.

  56. cattermole,ha ha ha ha

  57. Great result for the Arsenal.

  58. but hes not world class!!

  59. Steww: Your comments in your 11.01 post only goes to show what a twat you are! Now run along back to LeGrove where you belong..

  60. darrius

    Reading From my Comment I cannot see anything offensive or even anything wrong that I’ve said. cos what I’m thinking is that you have skipped reading my comment. Cos you always expect me to be Negative.

  61. i feel sorry for dfg.

  62. you fell for steww`s sarcasme mate,it happened to me many many times.

  63. Ahhh okay. I guess I need to learn not to let those sort of posts upset me.

  64. The tackle on Diaby was horrendous, much worse than Cahill’s.

    Props to Almunia; another solid performance.

  65. DFG and Gooner2.

    There’s a lot of sarcasm floating around today.

  66. Can anyone review Squillaci’s performance yesterday? I could see the game only in parts..

  67. mj – He looked pretty solid. Especially considering it was his first game for us.

  68. CRISIS at Camp Nou

  69. Who gives a fuck? Screw em!

  70. DFG sorry mate.

  71. IndianGooner on September 12, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    Thanks for the link. I agree that was a nice review.

  72. Something to keep in mind is that last year when RVP was ruled out for ages with injury our goals dried up immediately. This year we’ve gone and hit four in the next game!

  73. Roll on Wednesday.

  74. Is Rosicky back to his best? Not, yet but nearly. He just has to get his scoring touch back.

  75. Rosicky has never been a great finisher. The majority of his goal come from efforts at range. Excellent player though.

  76. Henristic:

    “Are there any midfielders in the world better than fabregas right now? Talk about sending a pass with information attached to the ball.”

    Passes like the ones delivered to Arshavin by Cesc and Rosicky are called “caviar” by the Spanish pundits. That’s a beautiful way to describe a pass that sends a defense into disarray and leaves a striker with very little to do once it gets there.

  77. Top 4 for sure, champs no chance!

  78. Where is AIC this fine morning?



  79. I’m off to watch Hleb against Liverpool.

  80. Rosicky is an excellent finisher.

  81. Rosicky + Star Guitar! Great mix, carpenteraaaaaa11!

  82. Ole, spot on… Eboue and Rosicky… pace, width, trickery from Manu… and craft from Mozart. No need to choose between them…

  83. Re. your line-up prediction I mean.

    Not making much sense today.

    What a fantastic day…

  84. Oh my, the face Lucas made after being fouled almost made me throw up. Liverplol: not a team of lookers.

  85. OH GOD AND ANOTHER. btw, Liverplol wasn’t a typo.

  86. LA,

    There was still scope for Arsene to surprise us all by starting Wilshere and Gibbs. Great call on hindsight.

  87. Cheers YW. Good write up.

    I agree with Darius, there is something disconcerting about the media, more specifically, MOTD. The absence of any condemnation of a number of vicious challenges that do nothing except attempt to eviscerate the opponent. The challenge by Robinson was a disgrace.

    And, yes, there is something disconcerting about Lee Dixon trotting out negatives, especially after exorcising two major ghosts, Blackburn and Bolton, in convincing fashion.

  88. Still can’t believe they didn’t show the ‘tackle’ on Diaby on MOTD. Ridiculous.

  89. Agree with Matty Boy about Almunia. Very, very solid.

    Saw a couple of kids with Almunia 1 on the backs of their goalkeeper shirts. Proper fans.

    One prick behind me jumped up and gave Manuel a mouthful of abuse when Bolton scored. Several of us told him to pipe down – the goal was nothing to do with him. I think it was Joe.

  90. Great win yesterday, excellent start to the season. Little to early to say I told you so but obviously early signs encouraging.

    Credit where credit due. Almunia played well so far this year and fans are giving him credit. Fans are fickle no doubt but they do respond well to good performances. If he maintains this form all season, this doubter will gladly eat a large helping of humble pie. Good job Al. Fingers still crossed but not quite as tightly.

    Love Chamakh, fabulous addition. Have not lost faith in Arshavin but hope Vela gets lots more chances. Vela will be a superstar by age 23 – 24

    Defending seems more organized and disciplined then last year. Davis got the first ball many times but we dealt with the 2nd ball very well. That takes organization and maintaining spacing and marking. Good job. Still need to eliminate the gift goals. I think Squillaci and TV5 will be our best pairing in the tougher games to come. Love the KOS but penchant for the occasional costly mistake so far. Year to learn playing in CC, FA cup and rotating will give him time to adapt. Squillaci experience especially in high pressure CL games and championship runs in the past will be helpful.

  91. limpar – He has never scored more than 7 goals in a season (in all competitions as well), and only reached that mark once. Not the mark of a great finisher I would say.

  92. Koscielny was absolutely outstanding yesterday. His reading of the game is impeccable and the countless interceptions he made more than acquitted for his error. Oh, that and the goal he scored…

    Still not quite sure why Bolton came dressed up as Birmingham.

  93. Kos looked very good I agree. It will be interesting to see who Wenger partners TV5 with.

  94. Are you implying Brum are going in a bit hard Limpar? I think they’re pressing quickly and the ‘Pool players are going down very easily, nothing more malicious than that so far.

  95. Nah, he means Bolton’s away kit looked more like a Birmingham strip.

  96. I suspect that not highlighting these horror tackles might have something to do with the 2018 WC bid. But I think that would be a mistake. Anyone with eyes can see what is going on and England would get more credit if it looked like there was concern about the welfare of players and efforts at trying to stamp out dangerous foul play. Sweeping it under the rug will not make it go away.

  97. Well unfortunately he’s played less than one hundred games for us, goonerandy, thanks to injury, so he’s not had the chances to notch as many as he might.

    I wasn’t talking great as in prolific though, I’m aware of the numbers… I am talking technically excellent – Rosicky is a technically excellent ‘finisher’. See his exquisite reverse clip past Jasskelainen a few years back for an example. Incredible finish.

    It’s probably something to do with him being a technically excellent footballer.

  98. He is without doubt a technically gifted player, and one of my favorite players. He is not an excellent finisher though as he misses more attempts at goal than scores. His talents lie elsewhere.

    Surprisingly after having a quick look at his stats he provides very few assists as well. His gifts are keeping the midfield ticking over and controlling the tempo of our play. He also has excellent vision

    Ironic that Hleb was slated by many for not scoring or providing assists when Rosicky is no different but is adored. Strange.

  99. He has never “notched” many Limpar.

  100. Its good to see Cesc focused again, he is an inmense talent.. Rosicky, wow!.. Song’s chip was a great goal. Came from an unusual source, but great skillful goal.. And of course Vela!! He gave Bogdan no chance, allways a cool finisher.

    Buena Victoria!

  101. Rosicky would have had a hattrick of assists if Arshavin could finish yesterday. Arshavin misses many, many more attempts at goal than he scores. Still, technically excellent finisher too though, as his goal against Blackburn displayed.

  102. Is the Hlebmeister on the bench for Brum? I simply want to see whether one of my favorite players of the past still has it.
    Too bad he got struck by the Flamini disease, greed.

  103. Forza Hercules!

  104. BTW: Flamini suffers from two diseases, greed and treachery.

    Do you know he is one of the highest paid defensive midfielders in Italy despite being a benchwarmer for the past two years.

  105. Limpar – I could probably highlight a number of technically excellent finishes from most players in the lge. The facts are that he misses more than he takes…..which does not earn him the tag a good finisher. It really is simple and yet you can’t grasp this.

    Anyway, can’t be arsed to argue with you. If you think he is a great finisher despite the facts and stats good for you. I remember him missing an open goal in the CL last season (I think) from inside the 6 yard box, but that is an isolated incident. As are his technically excellent finishes that you mention. As far as goalscoring goes, the stats tell all. And he does not score that many.

    Before you have a little tanrum; I like Rosicky, and are not slagging him off. Just pointing out a fact.

    Anyway off for tea to chat with somebody who speaks sense.

  106. Chill out, goonerandy! It’s a glorious day…

  107. It just occurred to me that 3 times Arsenal players suffered suspected fractures last season, but the scans prove there wasn’t any, the same players subsequently ended with fractures. Cesc, Vermaelen & Denilson.

  108. goonerandy,

    7 goals by January is a fine return for a midfielder. That season he was well on his way to getting double figures.

    I’ve seen Rosicky play for a while and for me he’s a good finisher.

    You’re judging him on his post-injury form, which we all know is not up to pre-injury form, talkless of the form he’d have been in now at his peak, without suferring a 20 month layoff.

  109. Rosicky could have been a striker if he wanted to. I’m talking about technique – not numbers. Fernando Torres ‘misses more than he takes’. That is the nature of the game – rarity of goals. Technically Rosicky is an excellent finisher. If he played in a more advanced role he’d score potfuls.

  110. LA and OG – goonerandy is always right. Don’t you get it?

    PS: I hope goonerandy takes this in the right spirit. He is could be a better contributor to this blog if he was less tone-deaf (more sensitive to the various shades of opinion) and thus less argumentative.

  111. It didn’t sound like he was having a very good day. Maybe he’s just generally unhappy.

  112. Heh, not having a bad day at all. Apart from the rain of course.

    I am pretty much a happy chappy in general. The glass is always half full for me.

    At least Shotta gets it. I am always right 😉

  113. At least you are smiling g-a. Enjoy the rest of the day and respect!

    PS: I intend to take some of my own advice.

  114. “It just occurred to me that 3 times Arsenal players suffered suspected fractures last season, but the scans prove there wasn’t any, the same players subsequently ended with fractures. Cesc, Vermaelen & Denilson.”

    I don’t recall Vermaelen having a fracture? I’m not a medical person but, if the bone is badly bruised, perhaps that would make it difficult to spot a hairline fracture? Hopefully those experiences will make the club more cautious and they will wait until the bruising goes down then take a second scan, which should be more revealing.

  115. Just finished Pool and Brum. Must say if Pool continues in the same vein, they are destined for mid-table obscurity.
    How low have the mighty fallen?

  116. What was the score shotta?

  117. Steww, My apologies for not realizing you were just being sarcastic. All the best mate!

  118. Two other London clubs suffered traumatic injuries to a player yesterday. Have our medical staff been moonlighting about town? It’s the only explanation. Arsenal’s medical staff are rubbish. Fact. They don’t make the players do enough bums, tums and thighs classes at the gym so when they get tackled they just fall apart like puff pastry. In Wenger we rust.

  119. Liverpool are a really ordinary team with a couple of good players. Woy has a job on there.

  120. ALthough obviously partisan to some extent, I was surprised by the honesty regarding Diaby and Robinson:

    Maybe says more about the absence of comment from an allegedly neutral media!?

  121. Dgob, glad the author acknowledged how bad Robinson’s challenge, but he makes it seem as if Diaby’s challenge v. Bolton from two years ago went unpunished. Wasn’t Diaby red-carded?

    Also, amazingly, he tries to justify Davies’ head-butting of Koscielny!! Unbelievable.

    But you are absolutely right that the media don’t seem to pay any attention, instead focusing on the controversy over Cahill’s red card and Song’s foul on Lee immediately before.

    I was watching the game with a La Liga fan and he couldn’t believe what the referee was letting go. He was impressed that we try and often manage to keep playing good football despite dealing with such a brutally physical game in our league.

  122. well done, lads and I seriously hope Diaby will recover soon…

    here is to hoping that we shall continue beating the ‘lesser’ teams as comfortably as that, as Chelsea did not look particularly good against WHU, should have ended 1:1, shame about Green having a shocker…

    and oh, good post YW!

  123. Great post YW.

    Just watched the game again how good was Rosicky?

    Also was I there only one that wanted to head butt that idiot that was on ArsenalOnline. He was making it out like our players were just being soft, while the Bolton players were playing to their strenghths. Wich is the kind of shite I expect from the spuds supporting media not someone on ArsenalTV.

    He also had a massive go at Eboue for that ludicrous yellow card he recieved for complaining about Davies assault on Koscielny.

    Anyhoo any news on Diaby. He has been terrific this season, I really hope this is a major set back for him.

  124. I was listening to 5 Live, and the guy presenting was saying that Arsenal’s lineup from yesterday as unrecognisable from the team that lined up against Man City same time last year. He was trying to turn it into criticism of Wenger.

    What surprised me is that nobody in the studio was able to tell him that Clichy, Diaby, Denilson, Sagna, Vermaelen, Van Persie & Bendtner who were in the line up at Mid Eastlands last season are all still at the club. The only player who played that day who’s left is Gallas.

  125. ole its like they just close their eyes, plug their ears, and just spew their xenophobic bile, regardless of its basis in factual information

  126. Good evening ACLF,

    Can anyone think of many other RVP headed goals for Arsenal? apart from at Blackburn last season.


  127. Ok ok, who is the wise guy who stole Suga3’s identity?

  128. NJ Gooner and Ole.

    Bias and xenophobic prejudice against Arsenal is a cottage industry.

    What is amazing is that there are only few very capable and intellegent hacks who recognize what revolution is happening at Arsenal. Paddy Barclay is one of them and many a time, he has put his neck on the line to voice his discontent about the issues that we raise from time to time that his colleagues blatently ignore.

    Pundits provide the lowest form of opinionated bile, the incompetence and impartiality of it is just breath-taking.

  129. bradys right foot

    Really enjoying this season so many positives despite the injuries, great result yesterday. Special mention to Paul Robinson what a scumbag, his tackle on Diaby was a deliberate attempt to do him, he could have easily broken his leg. Anyway up to Sunderland lets keep the run going.

    On a completely different topic has anyone been following this guy McCourt at Celtic absolutely outrageous ability and a worse injury record than RVP obviously an Arsenal player in the making lol. I remeber him skinning 6 spurs players in a friendly last year and just putting his shot by the post.

  130. Mean Lean,

    it’s me, seriously 😉

    I can give praise where it is due…

  131. marouannnne chamakhhhh

  132. How bloody good is this pass from Cesc?..

  133. almost as good as this one ML

  134. Ha KS, I think you win that one. Arshavin should have put it away for the pass alone. Such a shame he didn’t round the keeper.

  135. Or ‘chip it like Vela’ ML!

  136. I think you’ll find it’s chip it like Song Passenal.


  137. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    You’re a twat, goonerandy. LA is well known around these parts for talking sense. My two cents: you’re an ambivalent fence sitting prick who needs to respect his elders.

  138. Nasir – Calm down dear. Just because he is well known for speaking sense does not mean everything he says is gospel you pleb. I am sure even he would admit that much.

    Not sure I sit on the fence too often either, I will state my opinion even if it is not popular.

    Elders? Hah, you have no idea how either of us are, although I would guess you are maybe in your early teens. Am I right?

  139. Darius, everyone has itin for us. How the hell is that a match report, the writer was making snide remarks about us from start to finish.

  140. “Questions remain”. Really?

    Even if any do remain, they were not on show on Saturday. One individual mistake aside and too many missed chances (by somebody who normall would take them) we were dominant for 99% of the game. Bolton are no walkover either.

    I really don’t see were the “questions remain” angle is coming from. What more do they want? Anyway, who cares what they (the media) think or say? The longer we remain written off the better.

    We will see at the end of the the season; but if we are in the hunt come March there will be untold amount of journo’s proclaming that they knew we were in with a shout all along.

  141. Firstlady,

    That was expected…

  142. Firstlady. Amy Lawrence, the Guardian correspondent who normally attends Arsenal games has a more balanced match report published yesterday.

    This guy was just filling in column space.

    What has Cesc and Broke back Barca, or even Braga got to do with the game against Bolton.

  143. We are the Arsenal.

    We are on our own.

    Fuck ’em all.

  144. Agree 110% with Consolsbob@8:47am..

  145. Abosultely disgraceful the challenge on Diaby, I didn’t realise how bad it was as I barely got a replay while watching the game. The FA need to punish the player, who clearly went in the challenge to injure the player.

  146. To be fair to Sky, the commentator said it was a shocker of a challenge. And it was.

    Still, I’ve had to put up with awful rule calling all weekend. My filthy mistress abroad, the detroit lions, got screwed over hard by some goddamn awful refereeing. Utterly shocking.

    This was a touchdown catch in the last minute of the game that apparently wasn’t. Utterly shocking.

    Sorry to talk about the other football, but I’m still seething

  147. Consolsbob,

    Too right mate.

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