Archive for January 21st, 2010


We are top of the league! Yeah, baby!

January 21, 2010

Now can anyone honestly tell me that he or she was thinking this was going to end up with this scoreline? We needed a win by two goals or better to go top – quite frankly, it did not look like we were anywhere near being capable of doing it for the entire first half. I watched in disbelief as Bolton looked like a decent football team and wondered how on earth has Coyle managed to set them up to play like that within such a short period of time. Really, when Alan Wiley blown the final whistle and ‘We are top of the league’ roar sounded around Emirates, one could be excused for breathing a sigh of relief.

We started looking slow and sloppy, making plenty of misplaced passes and allowing them into game. Someone said in the aftermath that it is quite a common occurence this season that we don’t really look up for it in the early minutes and brought up a statistic that we have managed to score just one goal during the first 15 minutes in the whole season so far – I really don’t know how accurate that is, but if this is the case then it must be addressed, as quality teams may not let us back into games that easily. With the ‘do-or-die’ string of fixtures on the horizon, this must be kept in mind, as Villa, United, Chelsea and Pool are a different proposition.

It took them just 6 minutes to score the first goal. It has to be said, our defending was comical and they took full advantage of their height to win a couple of aerial battles to set up Cahill for a volley to put it past Almunia. I thought it was not that bad, as it should give us a required kick in the arse to wake us up. Since then, we dominated possession for the long passages, but nothing was really coming out of it and I started thinking that it could be ‘one of those days’. Conceding second goal after referee pointed to the spot as a result of Denilson’s completely mistimed challenge in the box did not help either. 28 minutes, 2 goals down and no luck in front of Jaaskelainen’s goal – it has to be said, things were looking bleak. Don’t know about you, but I was fuming – we needed a goal before the break, we needed it badly and boy we got it! Denilson passed the ball forward to Cesc, who managed to chip the ball cleverly to Rosicky who blasted in an excellent goal, leaving poor ol’ Jussi rooted to the spot. Conceding a goal that reduced their advantage to just one in the dying minutes must have been a bit of a blow for them and one must pause and think about how much we missed Little Mozart in the last season.

If it wasn’t for our no.7’s cracker, Arsene would probably need to get into Le Hairdryer mode once again, but since we started looking a bit better and got within touching distance, the half time talk must have been a bit more balanced. Whatever AW said, it worked – we came out flying and finally looked like the team we all love to watch. The way things looked, there could be only one winner, the only question was if we would be able to score three to go top, since we made it difficult for ourselves in the first half an hour. The equaliser came on the 55th minute, courtesy of Cesc Fabregas – yes, Jaaskelainen should have done much better and much will be made of Billy’s tackle in the build up that left Mark Davies needing to be stretchered off, but guess what? I don’t care – creating space to shoot in such a crowded box is nothing short of brilliant, and we have been kicked by them many times with referees not doing zilch about it. Coyle went on about bad sportsmanship on our part, but hey, this is Bolton we are talking about, remember? Like I said in one of the earlier posts, karma is a bitch…

55th minute, we are level and the general feeling is that we should go for the throat – 35 minutes is more than enough to score two and go top, since the balance swung in our favour and we smelt blood. Ten minutes later, we got a third goal after they failed to clear it following our corner and the ball landed at Verminator’s feet for him to whack it home and end his mini goal drought. Now we needed just one more to raise The Home of Football’s roof. It took us exactly 20 minutes to get it – a brilliant move on the edge of the box resulted in Arshavin getting just enough space to fire this cracker into Trotters’ net. While the job was not done yet, it was pretty much all Arsenal and you just couldn’t see where the opposition goal would come from. Sure, they had their moments, but we looked much more composed and if anything, should have added to our tally, but our little Russian chose to be greedy instead of setting up Walcott to score with his first touch after being introduced in the place of Eduardo in 90th minute.

‘scuse me:


Not bad, eh? Of course, there are a few things to worry about, like Diaby’s injury, which couldn’t have happened at worse moment, but hey, let us enjoy it while it lasts, and may it last as long as 9th of May 😉

Thank you for reading, I will be back tomorrow with some transfer window analysis…