Another step forward as Arsenal’s unbeaten run continues

The performance wasn’t perfect but Nicklas Bendtner’s late winner meant it was job done for Arsenal against Bolton at the Emirates.

In terms of a spectacle the match was hardly one to remember as Bolton took sitting back to a new extreme, affording us over 75% possession and allowing us to dictate the match. And while it took some time for our boys to muster a decent opportunity a late flurry of opportunities from Emmanuel Adebayor, Robin van Persie and the goalscorer meant we fully deserved to take home three points.

I’m not going to say too much more about the game – most of it was already discussed in the comments over the weekend – except that three points was the most that could be taken and the team should be congratulated for the desire they showed in getting them. Recent wins over Portsmouth and now Bolton have hardly been convincing but we’ve gone seven games unbeaten in the league now which shouldn’t be scoffed at.

Liverpool’s draw with Stoke means that although we’re still in fifth we did move smidge closer to the top, now just 8 points off the pace. However, Manchester United’s 3-0 belting at home to Chelsea means they’re now the team to watch and I fully expect them to jump to the top by winning the two games they have in hand.

In other news there’s been a little bit of speculation about Andrei Arshavin, with some reports suggesting that Zenit have turned down a £10 million bid from Arsenal and that Manchester City are also showing interest. In all honesty I don’t know what to believe so at this stage I’m reluctant to comment.

And that’s that. Speak to you tomorrow.

Have your say on Arsenal’s win over Bolton or Andrei Arshavin by leaving a comment.



    Check out the link SF.

    Yesterday’s ManU vs Chavski game gave me new hope about our title challange. It looks like we will pass Chelsea if they keep this up, Scolari will be sacked before the end of the season im sure of it. Anyway 3-0 is a big score and i wouldnt wish that for any team, expect for when its Arsenal doing the beating ofcourse. If we dont win the EPL, i hope and pray that Liverpool wins it. Im going to shoot myself if ManU wins another trophy!

    Anyway, it was a good win for us, not the best performance but we up against a 10 men defense, so you cant really blame the boys. Atleast we got what was important, the 3 points. Just looked at our fixtures for the season and i saw that our last 3 games are against Chelsea, ManU and Stoke. Didnt we see this story before? and we came out as champs?

  2. It will be interesting to say the least… Like you said I pray Liverpool wins it if we cant but I really think we have a shot if we get through this long streak with max points- we will need some signing to do it though…

  3. I agree about the performance, but you’re right that we’re beginning to put a bit of a run together. When you take into account the length and breadth of the injuries we’ve had, we’re not on too bad a position. We’ll be relying on Villa to drop points, which means our fate’s not entirely in our own hands, but we have every chance of holding onto 4th spot this year. I agree Chelsea were dire yesterday- it gives us hope of closing the gap, but they are a way off us at the moment. I’m afraid Man U look awsome again- I can’t see Liverpool holding off their challenge. I’ll be gutted if it’s them again for the title, but you have to ask why it is that they are so consistently strong. They have a manager that gets his team playing expansive, skillful football (like we do), but theirs knows when to encourage his team to be pragmatic and not to over-elaborate (which our mamanger doesn’t. Also, Man U invest substantial sums in strengthening their squad EVERY summer. We don’t and that’s why we’re so far behind. It ain’t rocket science!

  4. Frankly, you have to feel sorry for the Bolton fans. They travelled a long way on Saturday on a bitterly cold day to watch their team concede 3/4 of the pitch, defend really deep and make no significany efforts to counter attack. They waved the white flag from the very start as far as looking to nick a win was concerned. Everyone knows that, player for player, they are weaker than us, but at least Bolton teams of old would have got stuck in and tried to muscle us off the ball. This lot were pathetic. It took us a long time to eventually break them down (we finally brought on that fine prospect Nik Bendtner!), and it was to our credit that we never gave up. I don’t go to away games that often any more, but hats off to the bolton fans if their team’s as shit as that every time they leave the Reebok.

  5. We’ve just had seven league games unbeaten, including three matches against teams above us in the league. And this has been achieved while we have injuries to virtually all of the players whom we would expect to do everything they can to drive us forward and create the goals.

    And yet according to the majority of commentators this is meltdown time.

    But if you want to watch a team that is in trouble then KGB Fulham is probably a good place to start – no shots on target and a 3-0 defeat yesterday. No money available, and the constant threat now that any day the owner is going to say, “I invoke Clause 9″ – this being a reference to the part of the Abramovich deal which says that at any moment he can give the club notice that they have to pay back what they owe within 18 months. (Which is over 500 million).

    Or try the Tiny Totts. Harry Houdini has come in and done his magic, they’ve had the upturn that all clubs get when they sack one manager and bring in another, and now they are grinding out a 1-0 defeat at Wigan.

    Or Liverpool Insolvency. In some ways if you were a Liverpool Insolvents supporter you might think things are ok. Only one defeat all season, and top of the league. True the banks have just renewed the loans – but they only gave them for six months (which in banking parlance normally means, this far and no further). And this weekend there was a 0-0 with Stoke, plus the wildest of rants from the manager.

    True the Lord Wenger has on occasion got bit miffed with Sir Alex F Word but as far as I recall he always regained his composure quickly. What Ben E Tez did was make notes, write it all out, and refer to his compendium while chatting to the press. The fact that what he says is quite true, that the FA and EPL are terrified of taking on the F Word is irrelevant – such behaviour doesn’t give you much faith in the manager.

    I’m reminded of the state of affairs (yet again) 20 years ago when to celebrate the winning of the league at Liverpool, the fanzine “1-0 2-1 Up” ran a series of articles in which “supporters” wrote a set of articles each saying how close it was to being so different, and how we nearly won nothing.

    I really don’t get it.

  6. I don’t know if I’m watching the same matches as the Bendtner bashers. Admittedly I only have my TV set but I actually thought he was reasonably good against Portsmouth, better than he’d been in a while and whilst not everything he tried came off he played a couple of delightful balls first to Adebayor who decided 3 yards offside is a great place to start your run (stinking up the joint indeed, where are the boos for him?) and then to Nasri who had an (albeit difficult) one on one chance with the keeper.

    And then there he was against Bolton coming off the subs bench, misplacing passes and beeing jeered as if it was the first time a substitute had ever done that with their first touches. Pathetic, plastic supporters trying to ruin a young kid who has made the mistake of shooting from the lip about how good he is a tad prematurely; I spose you blokes who despise him never said anything stupid at that age did you?

    As for the argument that he’s not trying, I’d counter that by saying it’s just his style – he actually doesn’t have a blistering turn of speed. Yet that gets mistaken for “not trying, not caring” each and every time. It’s BS, pure and simple. He’s busting his arse, pardon the pun, and it hasn’t been going for him, give the lad a break.

    He’s not Bergkamp. He’s not going to be. But he’s not Christopher Wreh either. I’ll take him as 3rd or 4th choice at this club anytime, any season and he’ll only improve. But it will be for another club if some morons have their way. I am really starting to worry about Arsenal supporters, I think there’s something to this Highbury vs Emirates debate, I used to think gooners were the best supporters in the world but they are really starting to disappoint. Very sad.

  7. @ parsi – Let the media think what they want. Real fans know that the Arsenal Football Club are in a good position in the long-term. Let’s just hope we can get a trophy to cap off the second half of the season.

  8. I was watching the Mancs v Chavs game last night and just before halftime the disallowed goal incident occured. For those that don’t know, Mancs took a quick short corner and ladyboy scored from it. The ref disallowed the goal as he hadn’t given the go ahead to take the corner. Rooney ran 30 yards over to the ref and let fly with a volley of foul mouthed abuse. His face was one of rage and trust me, he didn’t hold back verbally. The ref just waved him away.
    My question is:- How did the little crunt get away with it? No booking, nothing! He didn’t even get spoken to or told to cool it!
    I’ve seen this several times with him and he never seems to get punished for it. If it were one of ours the refs card would be out in lightning time.

    Why is shrek allowed to abuse refs? So much for thr ‘respect’ campaign

  9. The answer is because Rafa Benitez is right with his comments…It may ultimately hurt his team but it is the truth…

  10. In many ways their treatment of Bendtner on Saturday was worse than anything Eboue endured against Wigan. Eboue’s treatment was largely born out of intense exasperation at what had gone on on the pitch. Even those of us who thought Eboue had it coming to an extent did not for a second take any pleasure in what occurred.

    But on Saturday a noticeable minority baited Nicklas Bendtner like he was some kind of participant in a freak show. They actually enjoyed trying to humiliate one of their own players.

    They baited him from the second he took his jacket off, unleashing volleys of abuse at him before he had had a chance to fail.

    Then when his first pass went astray they leapt on him. By the time the second was similarly wayward they were revelling in it. So much so that his subsequent passes garnered ironic applause when they found their man.

    Letting a player know he needs to buck up his ideas is one thing and perfectly acceptable. Ironic cheering is nothing of the sort. It is pure humiliation aimed not at knocking a player into shape, but at ruining him and doing down the team we are all supposed to be backing

    Thankfully, for the second time in as many months Bendtner shut up the morons. He is no world beater and he would undoubtedly be a better player if he tried a little harder. But he’s not terrible either and the goals he gets are often important ones.

    For a team in such terrible shape, we’re not actually doing so badly. Performances aren’t great but we are seven unbeaten and have 15 point from 21. We needed to stabilise and we have.

    I see Kevin Davies has been mouthing off over Gael Clichy of all people, accusing him of making a meal over challenges. I’ll tell you what I saw from my view on the other side of the pitch.

    I saw Davies blatantly elbow Clichy early on, going up for an early high ball with his elbows completely unnecessarily horizontal. I also saw that when Clichy decided he wasn’t going to accept being roughed up, Davies went down under one challenge pathetically easily.

    The cheating hypocrite. Of course for Davies it matters not one jot that Clichy is as honest (a word I’m using tongue in cheek) a pro as you’ll is. He is ultimately foreign. Perhaps I’m paranoid. But then how many examples can anyone ever find of a foreign player ever being given that “honest” tag?

    Now that Bolton are suddenly struggling to beat us, they (first Megson, now Davies) seem incapable of admitting they were soundly beaten and instead resort to whining about perceived whining. Get over it. It’s very boring.

    In the interests of full disclosure, I should just say a couple of full blooded challenges late-on on Vela that sparked fury from some fans were in my mind in fact perfectly fair. Not that the player complained.

    Bolton were awful. They had one late chance but otherwise lacked any ambition and deservedly left north London with nothing. Approaches such as theirs deserve little credit.

  11. Aston Villa are posing a serious threat to the Champions League places this season and a lot of people are saying they will qualify at Arsenal’s expense. I beg to differ.

    I think that Aston Villa are a decent side with a first class manager and they fully deserve their lofty position in the Premiership table. I don’t see them lasting the pace though.

    The Premiership is a marathon not a sprint and I feel that there is a huge chance that Aston Villa have peaked too early. Arsenal on the other hand have yet to hit top form and are due a bit of luck, something Aston Villa have had in bundles recently.

    Villa have had lady luck smiling down on them, especially in games against Everton, Hull City, West Ham and West Brom. Surely this luck cannot last forever? Arsenal are due some luck and if we get half as much as Villa then we will be very lucky indeed. Although I will say we were lucky at Villa Park to come away with a draw!

    Arsenal are slowly putting together an unbeaten run which will give the Arsenal squad some much needed confidence. It’s seven games undefeated now and a clean sheet yesterday will give the defence a boost.

    There will be a time when Arsenal go on a winning streak and it will be too much for Aston Villa to handle. I feel that Arsenal are slowly edging to this now and a big win is just around the corner.

    I also think this is worth pointing out. People forget that we are halfway through the season and whilst Aston Villa have been playing out of their skins, Arsenal have struggled and yet we are only three points adrift. That to me says a lot and if Arsenal had made a better start to the campaign then we wouldn’t even be worried about Villa.

    We can only improve this season and the only way for Aston Villa is down. I expect this to happen and Arsenal to claim fourth spot at Villa’s expense.

  12. thats ok guys! I didnt write it i know but just to bring to your attention! We here in Nigeria are not aware of such things! but thanks you for your kind words.

  13. I agree with Kameron and ray about the poor treatment of Bendtner at the game on Saturday. Anyone who reads this blog regularly will know that I don’t think he is a very good player, and that I doubt he ever will be. However, I’ve also said that it’s not his fault he’s in the team, or that he’s been relied upon to keep us in the title race- that’s down to the manager. I would also like to make clear that although I use this forum to state both positive and negative opinions, I never slag off the players at the stadium. I do not boo our players, nor do I shout abuse at them. I may yell if they appear not to be putting in the required effort, but the abuse heaped on both Eboue and Bendtner went way too far. In my view, a fan’s first responsibility at a game is to encourage his team. Nothing positive can be gained from negative support during a game. I think it’s fine to vent your anger on a blog like this afterwards, or to ring 6-0-6 and whinge and whine, but during the 90 minutes it should be loud and positive.

  14. Aston Villa are going to lose atleast 2 out of 3 against the rest of the “top 4”, whereas we are capable of winning all 3. By the time we start playing the top 4 sides, we will have almost, if not all of out top guns back and firing(april 18th). I will go on a limb and predict we will be above them on Feb 1. From mid February they play Chelsea, Stoke, Man City( who are going to be less jittery after the transfer window and will come good), spurs, Liverpool, ManU and Everton in that order, with Uefa Cup (CSK Moscow) away in the mix. Stoke, Man C,Spurs will probably be in the relegation battle, with everton trying to get over Villa, and The rest either looking for the title or 4th place(chelsea and probably liverpool). Villa simply does not have the squad to keep up and when they fall it will be with some “THUDDD” up with it.

  15. What I hate is when people goes blind for something good after how many games he have and he is still a tree!

    I clearly hear the reaction of the crowd when he touch the ball and theyre tottaly right. He is so dumb! How many balls he lost in his few minutes on the pitch?

    Actually if Eboue (the never score man) was there on that assistance of the amazing Van Persie he could score or even Almunia.

    Van Persie was so close to score, same Adebayor with a clear chance and also Vela have a good chance BUT everybody gets blind just because he score when is very clear that he is the worst Arsenal player of the XXI century.

  16. Mexican Gunner;

    Bendtner’s goal looks deceiptively simple but it was a very tight angle with a defender challenging and a keeper covering the near post. Eboue has had similar chances he put wide and I don’t think Almunia will have been that quicker.

    Now would you mind telling us WHY you think Bendtner is “the worst Arsenal player of the XXI century” ????

  17. Some interesting statistics;

    In terms of minutes-on-pitch per goals,
    Dimitar Berbatov has 209mins; Wayne Rooney, 229.5 mins; Nicklas Bendtner, 219. 10 Minutes worse than Berbatov but 10 minutes better than Wayne Rooney.

  18. I dont know if my english is decent to say all the bad thing that I see about him (as player NOT person of course).

    -He doesnt run.
    -When he receive the ball he is completely freeze and stop the play and makes arsenal slow.
    -He sucks passing.
    -I never seen him shooting outside the area.
    -He is very dumb whith the ball in his boots.
    -Arsene trust a lot in him and he is not doing well.
    -He receive more chances than players that really deserve like (Wilshere, Ramsey and Vela).
    -Here in LatinAmerica the people who narrates the games are historical players who knows a lot of football and they say all the time: Arsene discovers the best players but that Bendtner is his biggest mistake.
    -When Alliadiere was here I blame him all the time because I think he sucks ant that he will never succed and I still thinking the same BUT even whit this I think he is so much better than Bendtner.
    -And honestly (I dont pretend to be funny or insulting) he is one of the most stupid players that I ever seen. And He doesnt have the level to play in a mid table team, maybe he could be good for the championship.

    I know all of you now are watching something on him and are thinking that in some years he would become at least a good scorer (15 goal per season) BUT mark my words: He will never succed!

    (sorry for my engrish)

  19. Thats the problem TayGoon you are just for statistics, so because he have a better number than Rooney do you think Bendtner is better that Rooney or Tevez ???

    It seems like people doesnt watch the games and just wait to monday to see the statistics and they can realize who is better.

  20. Mexican Gunner;

    Fair points (as your take). I don’t agree with all you have said but i am not going to go into each one of them. He may look sluggish because he is big. Bigger than Adebayor in fact so you wouldn’t expect him to run like Walcott who is almost half his size. He is more inteligent(football-wise) than Adebayor as they are right now, and he is more skilled than Adebayor. If you don’t like him I doubt you will find Adebayor to your liking either. For someone who gets few chances and almost out of position all the times, he is doing pretty well for a 20 year old. Check my last comment for comparisons between him and ManU first strike partnership.

    You seem to like the appearance of “putting in some work” rather than the actual work itself. To me, It what matters is the actual work, that is why I always go with numbers. They don’t lie.

  21. Mexican Gunner;

    My mention of the stats, is not to say who is supperior, but to point out that the criticism is unfair and uncalled for. For chances he has been given and the sheer inclination of fans like you to kill his confidence, he has managed to post numbers comparable to the “demi Gods”. Maybe if you start supporting him and help him with his confidence, he might do something huge. If you can’t support him, please stop bashing him unneccesarily.

  22. Mexican Gunner;

    Just for a mention, I get 10 EPL matches avery weekend(unless some are not televized) some not live, but I get to tivo them and watch what I like later on. I get a choice of both Bundesliga, Serie A, French league, Spanish league, mexican, MLS, and some Argentinian matches too. I have 2 premium sports/soccer cable subscriptions so be condident I WATCH games. I may not have the time to watch all the games so I prioritize, but Watch some football I DO.

  23. I tend to side with Taygoon here. The difference between Ade and Bendtner is the ability to hold up the ball a bit better and I think that will come. When Bendtner is just finishing and not thinking I feel he is a better scorer then Ade. Would Ade have scored that champions league goal? Not so sure. Ive already said that my feeling is that we should swap Ade for someone who gives us another dimension because Bedtner will soon become his identical…

  24. Nasri in the middle and Vela on the left is the way forward in absence of Cesc, but anyone that thinks we don’t need a playmaker is fooling themselves.

    I still like big Nik. Yeah we’re the Arsenal, yeah we play pretty but sometimes pretty doesn’t cut it. Sometimes you have to just fling it in the box. And frankly big Nik is willing to put his head or his boot five times up anyone’s ass to get a goal. Not everyone on our team is willing or capable of doing that. Which is precisely why we need him.

  25. I also agree with Taygoon,except, to me he isnt that good as Ade, and he isnt that good as you guys think he is either.But to say that, he will never succeed or “he is the worst player AW has bought”, is too exagerated.The Boy is bad now but he is developping, I can see a very gud future ahead for the boy.He’s only 20yrs old, still got a long way to go.Players normally starts to develop maturally from the age of 21 and 22yrs old depending their time play which the Dane hasnt had that much lately.So there is no point to treat players like that.Nobody wouldnt wish failure to anybody’s life, just calm down Bro!!!!!, I think you are a bit over the edge.
    Back to Ade now,I still support Ade from all ive seen so far.Ade is stuggling at the moment becoz there isnt a goood ball supplierhe hasnt got a gud feeder.And AW is still busy trying out each players on different kind of positions on the pitch week after week.I dont know abt you guys but I think that AW doesnt really know his players very well, may be they are new ones and its only this season that they have really started to play full time; check how he has tried every single of our mdfldr from one position to another.Take Diaby for example: the guy is bad on the wing,he s being also tried on the CDM but didnt work (We actually lost the game but dont remember which team),being put in front was the only effective and best spot for him, for which we have to play 4-1-3-1
    and he will be the guy just behind the striker,he is really gud at that spot.Lts take Nasri, for me Nasri has been much better on Fab’s job than his winger job.Id really recommend Nasri on fab’s Job now,and I hope that AW has also seen the way Ive seen things.Id really love to see a line up like this:

    In this case,Deni mustnt keep himself too deep coz he is much better on attackin than being a CDM, but no matter what we need him on the startin11 coz he is one of the most consistant on the pitch.

  26. @SF like the fiestiness about Davies. he is a twat making comments like that, after the tackle he made on Clichy earlier in the season

  27. Fact: Bendtner is playing a lot better than Adebayor is this season. Pity we had not sold Adebayor during the summer for his inflated price, and used the money to buy a striker who actually can score goals more than once in a blue moon.

  28. @ Taygoon

    Actually the height its not a big concern to be good and skilled, just see the best striker in the world right now: Zlatan Ibrahimovic, he is taller than Bendtner and is amazingly skilled, also Crouch its so much skilled than him. And I also think Diaby and Adebayor are of the same height and are so much skilled than him.

    And I disagree about Adebayor, he is not my favorite striker and of course I would prefer in his place someone like Benzema, Zlatan, Huntelaar or Podolski but I think he is fine. If he still missing all the chances, score 18 goals at least I would be very happy with him. And Im pretty sure he can score 18 goals this season, same for VanPersie.

    We have a very good couple of strikers and I think they are one of the best attacking couples in Europe maybe just behind Barca and ManU.

  29. Mexican Gunner; I was reffering to Size, not height. Size includes height and “fatness”. I did not, and I do not equate size(height) to skills. If you think Crouch is more skilled than bendtner, I get a feeling you just like to throw names around. Speed is relative my friend. A 10 ton truck @ 60 miles/hour “appears”/seem slower than a motorcycle at 45 mph. Although these are more extreme than player sizes, still it holds true and that is what I was trying to convey to you

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