Monday, 16 March 2009

Arsenal 4 – 0 Bolton Mk. II


I said we’d know in ten minutes if Arsenal would win on Saturday, we knew in 75 seconds as we stuffed the Walrus’ Circus and Freakshow comfortably.

Goals and highlights as usual from Arsenalist.

The performance was one that we’d been waiting for in the premiership for a long while as we dominated from beginning to end. Fat Sam’s play, as usual, was to prevent us from playing through any means, so it was good to see that go up in smoke when Ooijer put through his own net under pressure from Arshavin within 2 minutes.

Blackburn then seemed to mimic their Lancastrian neighbours Bolton under the Walrus, shirt pulling, niggly tackles and the downright filthy, which was provided with much aplomb from El-Hadji Diouf (who else!) when he took out Almunia with a disgrace of a tackle. The ref bottled it, and the spitter escaped what many felt was a straight red. Odd how the media haven’t really said much about the “tackle” since as well!

It wasn’t until halfway through the second half that our second game, Arshavin with some nice moves on the touchline to beat his man and rifle the ball past Robinson at his near post and into the roof of the net. Truly a goal of pure quality. But until that point Bendtner had missed 3 or 4 very good chances, and was met with sarcastic applause when he was substituted for Vela. Perhaps a tad harsh.

Bendtner really is a confidence player, as we saw at WBA. If he starts well he tends to continue that way. The trouble is, especially at home, the moment he makes a mistake or fluffs a chance the crowd gets on his back and his confidence goes, it’s a vicious circle. He gets in the right positions but fluffs his lines with worrying regularity. The potential is there, maybe, but we rarely see it blossom as Bendtner has more cold days than hot.

Things got a bit scary in the last three minutes when Emmanuel Eboue scored a brace. Yeah, you read that right, he bagged two. The first tapping in a rebound from a Arshavin shot Robinson could only parry, and the second a well dispatched penalty after Vela had been upended. He’s been better the last few games now and is, I say this quietly, developing a bit of a cult following at the Grove now. Granted he’ll f**k it all up by diving theatrically or just simply looking like he’s not trying, but until that happens fair play to him.

Another player who gets plenty of criticism, especially from me, is Alex Song. On Saturday, Song had possibly his finest game in an Arsenal shirt. He was first to every ball, came out of every tackle with the ball and his distribution was fine. Coupled with the 2 assists against Burnley and it could be possible that the penny has dropped!

So, an Arsenal win that took us 4th was followed yesterday by the scum doing us a favour and beating Villa 2-1 at Villa Park, and therefore keeping us in the top 4 by virtue of a better goal difference. But more importantly, this Arsenal side is starting to gather momentum and Villa are doing the opposite. Lets hope it continues and we can put some daylight between ourselves, the Brummies and Everton, who are still in with a shout of the top 4 after a 3-1 win over Stoke.

Hull in the FA Cup quarter final tomorrow night, will deal with that tomorrow morning!

Have a good Monday y’all.

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