Time for Arsenal to go top

The Arsenal FC Blog has been nominated for ‘Best Team Site’ in the 2009 Soccerlens Awards. Vote for it by clicking here!

If our boys can replicate the score they posted away at Bolton on Sunday against the same team at home tonight, they will go top of the Premier League.

It’s almost unbelievable really, given the state we were in after the Chelsea loss. Yet it would thoroughly deserved after an eight-game unbeaten streak that has included six wins.

Given that we beat the same opponents away from home and have a better side available for this match it’s hard us failing to take our chance to jump from third to the top of the league.

Denilson should return to the side in place of young Craig Eastmond while Armand Traore’s mixed experience in the first team is likely to end with the return of Gael Clichy. The rest of the team should stay the same although the manager might take the opportunity to give the overworked Andrey Arshavin a rest for fit-again Theo Walcott or Carlos Vela.

This game is more a mental battle than anything else.

The boys will know a win will put them top and it’s vital they don’t get cold feet on a night where a big psychological message can be sent out to Chelsea and Manchester United. With a massively important run of games just around the corner it’s vital we keep the momentum going and more importantly, collect the three points on offer.

Not much more to say really except COME ON ARSENAL!

Have your say on Arsenal’s game against Bolton by leaving a comment.



  1. I’m up for it. Arsene is up for it. The lads are up for it. AFC Blog is up for it. Time to get it done and put a real shock up the Chavs and United.

  2. i would rest cesc and AA for the first half and see how we go on with denilson and vela starting in their places, also try rosicky in midfield with diaby and then walcott on right, will give coyle something to think about and if not working then bring on the big guns.
    AA looks knackered(as well as fed up out of position) and cesc will need to rest his legs until fully fit, whilst i understand better to put best players on first, but if as expected Bolton put up a brick wall then better to bring on flair players for 2nd half, we will put a strong side out ideally of tall& muscular players on sunday at stoke as i feel we will have a good cup run if past stoke with two of the reds out of the way, and i reckon Sol is lined up for his return as well.

    got a feeling we will sign a midfielder on Friday lunchtime!! watch this space

  3. well put, today is all about mentality.

    i know the lads have the capacity to beat Bolton, but i always question their psychological fitness; even the managers. so i opt to cross my fingers and pray that they will win with good mentality.

  4. they must sign a striker RC, one with a good eye to the net….like van nisterloy or david villa….

  5. This game must be won no two ways about it. True this game will be about mental strength since its the same team in the space of 3 days. Some comments about Eduardo from the previous post is a bit unfair since he is recovering from his broken ankle. Let me remind everyone his ankle broke, not fractured but broken, coupled with ligament burst. Obviously he is going to lose some pace, its inevitable as any medical journal will tell us. But he still has the footballing brain and instinct, with time he will get back some of his speed.

    By the way he was not a speedy player to begin with. Eduardo had good positional sense, he knows where to be at the right time, that’s the player he is. If Eduardo dosen’t score, Fabregas will if not Arshavin, if not Nasri, Ramsey,.. the list goes on. I rather Arsene buy a striker in the summer that is better than what we have now then panic into purchasing stop gaps like Cole, or Chamakh.

  6. It’s time for Arsenal to get back to it’s old winning ways. We’ve been so patient building up a young team these past few years its time to get hungry for a win!

  7. Bolton’s bizarre plan to stop Arsenal

    “Okay boys, listen up,” Owen Coyle shouted, jogging out onto the Bolton training pitch with a ball at his feet. He was the embodiment of optimism after his side’s spirited performance against Arsenal, his demeanour at odds with the bleak mists enshrouding the complex. His eyes twinkled lightly like the morning dew through which he happily cantered, and his relaxed smile exuded an aura of positive calm.

    Spotting the ball, a wild-eyed Zat Knight sprinted headlong into his manager, rugby-tackled him to the ground and attempted to strangle him. Matt Taylor stood over Coyle, tugging at his hair and preparing to kick him in the head.

    The Bolton manager gagged, and with all the energy he could muster gestured feebly for help from his coaches.

    “No, Matty!” Sandy Stewart bellowed, clapping his hands and whistling. “Zat, get off him!” The two players scampered out of the assistant’s way as he lifted Coyle to his feet.

    “Right, this is what I came over to talk to you all about,” the manager yelled as he dusted himself off. “If we’re going to really cope with Arsenal on Wednesday, we’re going to have to change our strategy.”

    Kevin Davies was perplexed. “Strategy?”

    “Yes, strategy,” Coyle responded, forcing himself to shake off the assault and return to his previous light-hearted manner. “You know, a plan of how to approach the game. Tactics.”

    Davies looked enquiringly at Gavin McCann, who simply responded with a frown and a shrug.

    Coyle took in the reaction of the Bolton squad; it was less than promising. Sam Ricketts was gawping absent-mindedly back at him, Andy O’Brien was scratching his head, and Paul Robinson was holding a worm and poking at it inquisitively.

    “No one has heard of strategy? Tactics? Plans for how to compete in midfield, use the space, get through the opposition’s backline, that kind of thing?”

    There was silence.

    Fabrice Muamba stepped forward and shyly raised a hand. “Mr Coyle, I think I know what you mean. Back in my Arsenal days, they taught us to pass it to one another and try to keep possession.”

    “Good, very good,” Coyle replied, visibly relieved. “This is what I taught my Burnley team to do, and now I want to make Bolton do the same. We have to try and get ahold of the ball for as long as possible.”

    “What, like this, boss?”

    Coyle turned to see Paul Robinson holding a ball.

    “What? No, Paul, I mean you have to try and pass it to each other -”

    “Oh.” Robinson walked over to Zat Knight and placed the ball in his team-mate’s hands. He turned back to Coyle and smiled.

    His manager was less than impressed. “For God’s sake. Right. Paul, Andy and Gretar, come over here. I want to go through a practice exercise.”

    Robinson, O’Brien and Steinsson came forward and stood in a row in front of Coyle, gathering as close together as possible and holding their hands over their groins.

    “What are you all doing?” Coyle enquired, baffled by their response. He clapped his hands and gestured for them to separate. “Don’t bunch up, spread out! We can’t do this exercise if you’re all standing next to each other.”

    The players each took a few steps apart, exchanging worried glances.

    Andy O’Brien raised a hand. “Boss, how are we supposed to defend set-pieces if we spread out?”

    Exasperated, the Bolton manager held his head in his hands. Struggling to maintain a positive outlook, he took a deep breath and looked up at O’Brien. “Andy, we’re practicing something different now. You don’t spend most of a football match defending set-pieces!”

    “Well, Bolton do,” O’Brien responded.

    Coyle glared incredulously at the defender, but held his tongue and composed himself. “Okay, well not any more. We’re going to work on our passing. That way, we can try and play Arsenal at their own game, and then exploit the gaps they leave when they push forward. So we’ll start with a simple passing exercise.” He rolled a ball to Robinson.

    Panicking, Robinson hoofed the ball with all his might, sending it to the other side of the training complex.

    “Paul, what the hell are you doing?!”

    Robinson was doubled over, clutching his chest and catching his breath. After taking a moment to recover from the fright of having the ball at his feet, he slowly stood up and shrugged his shoulders. “If we get the ball from a set-piece, we pass it up to the striker,” he wheezed.

    “That’s not a pass, it’s a clearance!”

    “But -”

    “No, there is a massive difference between a pass and a clearance, they are two very different things. Watch me.” Coyle placed the ball at his feet, and played a simple pass to Gretar Steinsson.

    Venom in his eyes, Steinsson repeatedly stamped on the ball, eventually puncturing it with his studs.

    “Okay, fine,” Coyle sighed. “Never mind, everyone. Just keep doing what you did to Fran Merida, we might come away with a point.”


  8. you cant rest fab tonite fa cup maybe on bench tonite is much more important 3-1 play vela rosicky on bench

  9. I really want to see vela play. I know he is good. Has pace. And vision. I think it would be better to start fab. As opposed to resting him. Walcott should get a good run. And I hope to see clichy in the starting line up.

  10. The reason why we are moving towards top is because our midfield or defense never hesitated to shoot when it is required.Either it be Diaby,Denilson,Fabregas,Nasri,Ramsey,Merida,Song,Eboue they want a goal when they have space.Also in defenders Gallas and Vermaelen

    Also we started to score from free kicks which we were not when VanPersie is not available

  11. We will thrash bolton,who will wandering here and there for getting ball. come on Arsenal

  12. Top of the table would nice indeed! I think we should put our best side out on the pitch tonight and play a mixed squad of youth and first team starters on sunday against Stoke.

    Come on you Reds!

    Up the Arsenal…

  13. How I Wait to see us lead the table! gunners do everything to put us there because it very important pschologically over our rivals

  14. ANDY can anything be done to the time comments are written? I only see dates…what I mean is it was nicer when u saw the time the comments were made as opposed to only dates now.
    I hope i’m making sense here, Goodluck

  15. Guys you have to read the below article from the times:


    Arsene Wenger and Arsenal counter philosophy of winning ugly:

    Winning ugly. That was the title of Brad Gilbert’s book on tennis and, let’s be honest, it had quite a ring. It expressed an idea, you could even call it a philosophy, that winning is everything and sod how it looks; it was the notion that nailing the last point is what matters and that ambitions such as playing elegantly, fluently, even beautifully are at best frivolous and at worst counterproductive.

    Arsène Wenger has had the phrase thrust at him accusingly at more than one press conference. The Arsenal manager has long given us teams primed not merely to execute a tactical plan but also to express an aesthetic imperative. His players have been schooled in the ideals of pass and move, of creating threads of motion that most neutrals would concede have turned the Emirates Stadium into a crucible of the artistic.

    The refrain, of course, is that after more than four years without a significant trophy, Wenger’s noble intentions have been enacted at the expense of success; that by maintaining his literal commitment to the beautiful game he has, by implication, deprived fans of the conquest of silverware. “You need to learn how to win ugly,” Wenger has been told. “You need to understand that beauty is one thing but it should never be sought at the expense of what really matters — winning.”

    The admonishment has teeth because of its inherent plausibility

    In an age of cosmetically enhanced actresses and glitzy but inferior architecture, beauty has become synonymous with superficiality. That, I suggest, is why the title of Gilbert’s book had such a powerful resonance with sports fans and in the context of the wider zeitgeist. Winning ugly has become the thing, an expression not merely of pragmatism but of gutsiness and depth.

    But the tide, I sense, is turning once again. We are moving towards a renewed recognition that beauty is not an irrelevance, and certainly not a needless extravagance, but something rather more fundamental. Wenger, for one, has resolutely sustained his belief in the importance of beauty, often in the teeth of shrill criticism.

    “I believe that anything in life, if it is really well done, becomes art,” he said in an interview earlier this season. “If you read a great writer, he touches deep inside and helps you to discover something about life. Life is important on a daily basis because you transform it — you try to transform it — into something that is close to art. And football is like that.” But what about the purported conflict between aesthetics and success? Are there times when Arsenal have created art on the pitch but at the expense of results?

    “At the end of the day, I ask you: who is the most successful team in the world? Brazil. What do they play? Good football,” Wenger replied. “Who won everything last year? Barcelona. What do they play? Lovely football. I am not against being pragmatic because to be pragmatic is to make a good pass, not a bad pass. It is as simple as that. When I see Barcelona, to me it is art.” Wenger’s sentiments are deep indeed — central not just to his management philosophy but also to his raison d’être. And they are sentiments that have reverberated particularly powerfully in recent days as we have witnessed a series of sporting performances whose beauty has been exceeded only by their devastating effectiveness.

    Let us start with Arsenal and their defeat of Bolton Wanderers on Sunday afternoon, when Cesc Fàbregas orchestrated a symphony of movement that defeated and demoralised his opponents, and left neutrals drooling. Should Arsenal beat Bolton again this evening by a margin of two or more goals they will go top of the Premier League, not a position from which it is easy to sustain the idea that they are in hock to a defunct philosophy.

    One day earlier, Barcelona beat Seville in a match that once again confirmed Pep Guardiola as Wenger’s philosophical soul mate. Barcelona played football from the heavens, particularly in the second half, the trinity of Xavi Hernández, Andrés Iniesta and Lionel Messi articulating with rare eloquence Wenger’s assertion that beauty is, at some fundamental level, synonymous with pragmatism. After knocking four goals past Seville they are five points clear at the top of La Liga.

    Three days after that, a Swiss dressed in azure and white took to the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne to begin his quest for the Australian Open title. Roger Federer is the most successful tennis player of all time He has also made it to the semi-finals of 22 successive grand-slam tournaments stretching over five years. That is a record of consistency without precedent. And yet there is no tennis player who has played with more beauty than the 28-year-old.

    Even today, after almost a decade of familiarity, I get dewy-eyed watching Federer. He evokes a phrase that is so overused that it has lost much of its resonance: poetry in motion. As Federer glides around the court, flicking forehands and caressing backhands, I guess I am not the only one who is put in mind of Tennyson. “All experience is an arch wherethrough gleams that untravelled world whose margin fades for ever and for ever when I move.” There is, indeed, cadence in Federer’s craft.

    Perhaps there is only one sportsman who has evoked the poetic more powerfully than Federer. Muhammad Ali was not, of course, a poet in any literary sense — Norman Mailer once said that his various attempted ditties were united only in being “resolutely anti-poetic”. But when Ali discarded his pen and took up his gloves, he created art. Forget for a moment the bouts with Joe Frazier and George Foreman when a post-prime Ali was forced to win ugly, and instead focus on the Ali of the 1960s whose speed, fluency and fistic geometry could have emerged from the imagination of Michelangelo.

    Look deeply enough, then, and you will perceive that beauty is not antithetical to sporting greatness but, more often than not, central to it. Two sides of the same coin. It is not just Arsenal, Barcelona, Brazil, Federer and Ali, but also Tiger Woods, Sugar Ray Robinson, Ajax under Rinus Michels, Ronnie O’Sullivan, Bobby Fischer. Winners all. Artists all.

    But why should this be? Why, to paraphrase Wenger, is beauty so deeply implicated in success in arenas as diverse as football, tennis, boxing, golf and the like? This is a question that is both subtle and deep but perhaps we get a glimpse of an answer from nature.

    Biologists have long known that our perception of beauty is grounded in mathematics and geometry: the symmetry of a human face, for example, signals the absence of genetic defects. We also see this truth in the ancient idea that beauty is related to the Golden Mean of Phidias with such varied works as the Parthenon, the Mona Lisa and Debussy’s Reflets dans l’eau all approximating to this abstract mathematical ideal.

    If these speculations hint at something close to the truth — that beauty consists in the expression of an underlying geometrical truth — perhaps there will be some future time when Prozone will reveal that Arsenal’s passing describes the progression of the Fibonacci sequence. In the meantime, however, let us settle back and enjoy the beauty.

  16. AW should sign a top striker now. how many goals have been scored by the talkative russian since replacing rvp.this season should be our year and more experiments with youngsters.yes they are good for the future. bolton should be thrashed together with the next 5 ‘prey’

  17. i feel Aw does not get enough credit in England, I think alot of it is down to his personality. Hes a well educated, clever man. How does that ever fit into the British views of football? For me British football is Vinnie Jones and Harry Redknap. That is what the brits wants, real boys not intellectuals. That is why Wenger has a hard time finding allies.

  18. I still DO NOT GET the people who are asking for a signing. We do just fine. Top scorers, haven’t conceded much compared to the defensive stalwarts of the epl, Chelsea and ManU. People have to understand that AW was building a side with primarily goal-threats in every position. I commented here in 07 that I thought AW was going for 6 anytime goal threats in every game. We now have 8 in every game we play in bar Almunia, Sagna and Clichy. What more could you ask for?!?!??!??!?! Song is very good, but he is the only one likely to drop out of the 8. Be Sensible people and understand how we play before looking to add to the squad!

  19. One comment about Eduardo. He is a no nonsense player first. His best moments are when he is released, or he release someone with his first touch, not a third touch. RVP and Arshavin can flourish in every situations, meaning they can be too ponderous or quickly decisive. Eduardo wants to be quickly decisive. He needs players feeding him of feeding off him to be able to be quickly decisive. Cesc and Arshavin are. Denilson is also depending on the role he is on on the day. Diaby is getting there, Ramsay, Wilshere and Walcot not there yet. Vela is probably the best striker we have because he can do the Eduardo, Arshavin, RVP and Theo in one package. He just lack physicality. Bendtner is one of my favourity. He is a quickly decisive player. Eduardo is lethal when played with anyone who is decisive and trusting. Cesc is learning to trust him more now. That is how his last goal was created. If the Eduardo flick had been just a second late, that goal wouldn’t have been scored!

  20. No complacency tonight. It needs to be just as professional as the last game.

    Going top could be the mental edge we need to shock Chelsea and Man U before the massive games against them both.

    But most important thing is to win tonight. No excuses. It’s time for boys to become men.

  21. It’s possible will are going to win this march i am sure of it,
    And i thank u u people so much for given me this informatoins every day good job keep it on.

  22. cracking game, a crowd of agressive pitbulls against our boys, hope they will find an answer 😯

  23. incredible, I just want to mention that Gallas couldn’t expect the Bolton player to slip in his way in this manner, even the referee couldn’t believe that there was a foul, you can see it in slow motion but before? I’m not sure but at the whole it wasn’t injustice to Bolton, there were many body checks before, of course Fabregas following goal was crucial, I can’t feel in another way , incredible fought, I’m exhausted 😉 :happy:

  24. come on you gooners, what a game, i am gonna go and get a shower and try and calm down.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.