Arsenal vs Bolton Preview

It's been a busy day and I can hardly remember when the last time we played, let alone the last time we played in the premiership. Okay, so as things stand, we're 10 points behind the leaders Liverpool and this weekend is a vital weekend for us in terms of catching up. With Chelsea taking on Manchester United this Sunday, tomorrow's game means that a win will see us gain ground on one of the two teams.

You'd expect Liverpool to beat Stoke, but then again you'd have expected us to beat Stoke too, so fingers crossed Stoke can get a result. Although Liverpool's last away game was the 5-1 demolition of Newcastle, so it's most unlikely to happen.

So, injury news... Gallas has been ruled out for three weeks with a hamstring and will join Silvestre on the sidelines. Denilson will return after missing the FA Cup game and Toure is back to take up his place in the squad. Clichy should also return and should start against Bolton and Song should return to the squad, albeit to the bench...

It is too early for Eduardo, so very unlikely we will see him tomorrow, so here is the proposed line up:

Almunia
Goalkeeper
 
Sagna
Right Back
Toure
Centre Back
Djourou
Centre Back
Clichy
Left Back
 
Eboue
Right Wing
Denilson
Midfielder
Nasri
Midfielder
Diaby
Left Wing
 
  Adebayor
Striker
 Van Persie
Support Striker

With the bench entertaining the likes of Fabianski, Gibbs, Song, Wilshere, Ramsey, Vela and Bendtner.

Arsene spoke on the squad news:

“Kolo and Denilson will be back available. However unfortunately we have lost William Gallas with a hamstring problem. We lost Silvestre too with a thigh problem last week as well. So we have lost two players from the game on Saturday but we have gained two back. I think Gallas and Silvestre will be out for three weeks.”

I’m sure there will be more team news later today and maybe, just maybe, some transfer news?

On a separate note, congratulations to Adebayor for winning the African Player of the Year Award. Unfortunately, the Ivorian had to fly to Abu Dhabi to accept the award, so he’ll probably be too knackered to put a good performance.

Til tomorrow…]]>

  • Fabrez

    Did we sign Yaya dev? Bcuz i see u got Toure x 2 at the CB positions! lol :D And u think Nasri will play at CM and Diaby on the wing? I think it would be interesting to see Samir working down the middle…

  • devday

    < ![CDATA[LOL, serves me right for blogging in the early hours of the morning... I meant Toure and Djourou.

    I think Nasri will start along side Denilson in the middle of the park with Diaby out on the left. We've seen a bit of this in the last two games, so I'm sure we'll see a bit more of it...]]>

  • Steve

    < ![CDATA[This could be a fairly exciting line up.

    I'd personally pick Toure over Silvestre and Djorou is looking more solid especially with the long balls that Bolton have used in the past. Has Megson changed their stlye much? Can't say I've followed bolton much to be honest.

    Nasri is a natural play maker (they called him the new Zidane for a while) and he'll fit in there well. Diaby is so right footed its unbeleivable but he has played pretty well on the left in the past so this could work out well.]]>

  • Fabrez

    < ![CDATA[lol! Just a bit of injury news...AW said that Theo cud be back end of February and Cesc & Rosicky are back in March. As distant as that seems, it's good news. And Eduardo has recovered from his hamstring...so injury news aint always bad i guess...

    I respect Bolton because they give whoever they play a tough time. I guess we should expect deep defending as most do when they come to The Emirates. I hope to see RVP brimming with confidence from his outing v Plymouth and absolutely going for it. If Ade is quiet, hopefully he'll at least be winning so balls in the air with good link up play between himself and RVP. I'm pretty confident out midfield can have a good game once the remain defensively aware as well as they go forward. And our defence...well yet another change in the CB partnership...hope it works...while i expect Clichy & Sagna to be their usual sound selves. Bolton are going to come with a very physical game i'd imagine and it's up to us to show we can take it & still outplay them...even get in their faces a bit if we have to! Let's go show them we want it this year! And hoping for a draw with Man U and Chelsea...]]>

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[Let's see how close we get to predicting the starting line-up. For me it's the following players who'll make the starting 11, but what position they're going to play is almost unpredictable thanks to Wenger :

    Almunia
    Sagna Toure Djourou Clichy
    Denilson Diaby Song Nasri
    Van Persie Adebayor

    Fabianski, Eboue, Ramsey, Wilshere, Bendtner, Vela.]]>

  • Fabrez

    *our midfield

  • Fabrez

    < ![CDATA[I think it will be...

    Almunia
    Sagna Toure Djourou Clichy
    Eboue Denilson Song Nasri
    RVP Ade]]>

  • devday

    Zohaib – you’ve only got 6 subs…

  • zohaib

    oops. sorry. just realized i’d completely forgot about Gibbs. I was looking at the info Arsenal had on their site. And surprisingly they don’t have Gibbs in the first team squad. lol

  • zohaib

    who knows. maybe bendtner will start at right midfield !

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[Does anyone have Arsenal TV Online ? I've just read a few quotes from the Wenger's interview, on SkySports. They suggest that Wenger's said that talks with Arshavin are progressing, even though nothing in the quotes they've given suggests that. They also suggest that Wenger was asked on whether he thought a DM was a priority and Wenger said it was.

    Can't wait to see the interview for myself.]]>

  • zohaib
  • parsi

    < ![CDATA[Wenger hints at Arshavin deal
    Arsene Wenger has hinted that negotiations aimed at bringing Zenit St Petersburg forward Andrei Arshavin to Arsenal are progressing well.

    Arshavin has been linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium this month and it was reported earlier this week that talks had begun over the transfer of the Russian forward, who could cost up to £20million.

    Wenger, refused to rule out a move for Arshavin last week but remained coy when asked about whether the 27-year-old was close to signing for the Gunners on Friday.

    "We do not want to talk too much about who we want to buy," Wenger told Arsenal TV online.

    "At the moment I cannot give you any good news but in this job no news is good news. Nothing has fallen through. We are on alert in the transfer market."

    He also hinted that he was also in the market for a defensive midfielder to bolster his injury-hit squad.

    "That is also a priority," he said.

    "We are not in the big league. We are a little short because we wanted a player like (Tomas) Rosicky to play 80% of games and he has not played at all.

    "We want to spend money but as everyone knows, and as the the chairman has said, we have money available but we have limited resources, and you want to spend it in the best way possible."

    The Frenchman also quashed rumours that Kolo Toure, who recently retracted a transfer request, could leave the Emirates and was adamant that nobody will leave the club this month.

    "That (Toure story) is finished. We will not sell any players this month."

    Wenger sees this weekend as an opportunity for Arsenal to get their Barclays Premier League title bid back on track.

    Title rivals Manchester United and Chelsea will lock horns at Old Trafford on Sunday and Wenger believes the result could help his side move up from the fifth position they currently occupy should the Gunners get a result at Bolton.

    "It's an interesting possibility for us to get us closer to one of the two at least, if not both of them," he added.

    "Ideally I'd like it to be a 1-1, but more importantly for us, we have to focus on our game and get the points then any result will be positive because it will give us an opportunity to catch those two and the rest in front of us."

    Arsenal go in to the match on the back of an unbeaten six-match run in the league and Wenger hopes another win at the Reebok Stadium will convince doubters that his side are serious title contenders.

    He said: "We want to put in a good performance and if we do then I believe that people will change their mind about our team - they mean business, they work hard, they are serious and I want the team to be rewarded for that."

    Manuel Almunia is expected to line up against the Trotters in goal tomorrow.

    Wenger rubbished claims he is set to bid for wantaway Newcastle goalkeeper Shay Given by saying he has full faith in his number one and back-up Lukasz Fabianski.

    "We have two keepers in Almunia and Fabianski that we rate highly," Wenger said.]]>

  • Gooner Get Ya

    < ![CDATA[i think either 4-4-2

    Almunia
    Sagna Toure Djourou Clichy
    Eboue Denilson Diaby Nasri
    RVP Ade

    or 4-3-1-2

    Almunia
    Sagna Toure Djourou Clichy
    Eboue Denilson Diaby
    Nasri
    RVP Ade

    Nasri dropping to MId when they have the ball]]>

  • devday

    < ![CDATA[It looks the Arshavin deal is happening...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IIRxxurh0xg

    He does look like a very talented and natural footballer...]]>

  • debs

    < ![CDATA[I think a good thing about Arshavin, something we sort of lack in the team, is that I don't think he'd be shrugged off the ball too easily- I don't think you'd see him fall everytime someone him except if it was necessary, or seee him lose the ball in the final third... I'm actually warming up to the idea of him being here little by little, but it's still early days anyways.
    Just thinking, have we ever signed a Russian before? Just curious.
    If Wenger did say a DM is priority, it sort of makes me feel as if he's been reading this blog! lol]]>

  • debs

    < ![CDATA[

    Arsenal go in to the match on the back of an unbeaten six-match run in the league and Wenger hopes another win at the Reebok Stadium will convince doubters that his side are serious title contenders
    Parsi, I think we’re playing at Emirates, not The Reebok…]]>

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[he's pretty quick !

    love the 'playing-dead' dive at 2.06. and the rocket at 2.16. and lots of other stuff.

    but he's getting more space to run than he'll get in the premier league. it remains to be seen how he deals with tight defences.]]>

  • ArseFan101

    LOL, probably have Bendtner right wing, Diaby left wing, Nasri right back, Clichy up front and VP in goal…

  • devday

    After watching that video, my whole perception of Arshavin has changed!!!

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[he does have great ball control. lightning change of direction. great vision. great touch. all when he's on form and all attacking qualitites. he's got wicked power too. can shoot from range. can curl it. even with the outside of the boot, while lobbing the keeper !

    if we do get him, i wouldnt be upset, thats for sure. but i still feel we need a DM as well. i won't be happy if we only got arshavin and failed to land a DM.]]>

  • zohaib

    exactly Dev ! i really didnt think he was that good.

  • Berth

    I want to know if Zohaib has seen the You tube Linkhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IIRxxurh0xg

  • devday

    Rumours that Rosicky’s injury is actually career threatening hence our involvement in getting Arshavin. But he looks look very good. Like a finished article of where we want Walcott to be…!

  • http://kierandelaney.net/blog kierandelaney.net/blog

    < ![CDATA[

    Just thinking, have we ever signed a Russian before? Just curious.

    THE HORSE!! The legend that was Oleg Luzhny!]]>

  • Debs

    true that! Didn’t think he was even half as good! lol

  • Debs

    Thanks Kieran!

  • Gooner Get Ya

    < ![CDATA[He actually looks pretty good in the vid to be honest and i think a cross between Hleb and RVP. Hlebs control and dribbling skills and RVP's finishing skills so not half bad...and he is rated higher than RVP on soccermanager...if that is worth anything lol.

    Though he was playing in the Advanced CM / FWD role a lot in the vid so what position would we play him?]]>

  • zohaib

    If we do get him. I think theres a possibilty we’ll see Arshavin at Rosicky’s position at LM and Nasri in place of Cesc, or just behind the striker with Diaby, Denilson and Song in contention for the 2 or 3 CM slots, depending on the formation.

  • Gooner Get Ya

    But he is an AM/FWD why waste him on the wing?…haven’t we got enough FWD’s playing on the wing already….Vela…Walcott…Bendtner (joking)

  • zohaib

    Haven’t you got some sort of idea of what Wenger does ? He plays central midfielders out wide. But also, i think Arshavin, Nasri, Rosicky, Hleb are similar sort of players. They can play out wide or in the center. I think Arshavin is Rosicky’s replacement. Wenger talks about expecting Rosicky to play 80% of the games but he hasn’t played any. That leads me to believe that Arshavin is Rosicky’s replacement.

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[Other than DM, we don't really have a top quality RM. Walcott is being schooled. Eboue is hardly worth a mention. He plays to the best of his ability, so I can't fault him for not giving enough. He's just simply not good enough to be at Arsenal. Bischoff is also being prepared. Waiting to see how he does when he makes the first team.

    But if we had the money, boy, are there some decent players we could've gone for : Schweinsteiger, Joe Cole, Sean Wright Phillips, Mikel Arteta.]]>

  • Fabrez

    < ![CDATA[My goodness...i'd like to have a Big Mac, a milkshake and an Arshavin plz!!!! That video was insane...he was absolutely horrible to the defence at 4:28 and made fun of the keeper at 5:38!! And his curling lobs were impressive! I must admit...the boy is something "special". He seems fairly comfortable with the physical side of the game and his pace is absolutely staggering! His cuts & turns are sharper than i thought...his awarness and vision is brilliant.

    So it seems he can play any attacking role there is...on both wings & as a CAM rite behind the striker. I don't think he'll waste away on the wing to b honest because look a C. Ronaldo...he's a winger and he scored an insane amount of goals last season. I think that when AW wants to play 4-5-1, Arshavin can be the 1 behind the lone striker to give us that creative spark we need.]]>

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[Has anyone seen the video of Rafael Benitez (Liverpool manager) and his comments on Alex Ferguson's whining about the fixture congestion he's having to face ?

    Wow. Good job Rafa ! Completely agree. About time someone shed some light on ManUtd's dirty tactics. I wish Wenger would do the same. The boss is too nice. lol]]>

  • zohaib

    Fabrez – just wanted to add – I wouldn’t get too excited yet. Because I think there is definitely a considerable difference in the quality of defending Russian league and the English league. So, I’m looking forward to Arshavin coming to the Premier League and showing us what he can do !

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[I can't resist.

    Rafa completely 'smoked' Fergie and his ego. lol

    He was even giving tips to Scolari to apply zonal marking for ManUtd's staff to prevent them from influencing the referee and his assitants ! LOL]]>

  • Fabrez

    < ![CDATA[Getting Arteta and a solid DM along with Arshavin would be a dream transfer window to be honest. Chances are that won't happen though. Even if we don't get Arteta, at least the DM...and Wenger did in fact mention that we need sum1 for that position. Just a matter of...who?? And i'm really suprised that Appiah hasn't been snapped up by any1 as yet...very strange!

    Rosicky's career being over will b a tough pill to swallow for the guy...it seems a real nice person...hmm... But i think Arsene said he was supposed to be doing light training as we speak...surely sum1 needs to ask AW for an update on his progress.]]>

  • Fabrez

    Yeah..definitely a difference in the quality of defending but fingers crossed he’ll have the ability to adapt to tougher & better organised English defences. How long the adaptation period will b is anyone’s guess. He’ll have to up his game but i’d imagine and that can only be a good thing for us :D

  • Fabrez

    And no i haven’t seen what rafa has said zohaib…but going to look for it now!!! Sounds a rite laugh!

  • Cappz

    < ![CDATA[Arshavin - Nasri - Cesc - Walcott.
    Definitely a dream midfield...!]]>

  • Cappz

    < ![CDATA[Actually, a little too attacking, and considering two of them are out for a while...

    If Arsene does bring in Arshavin and one defensive midfielder then we'll be in good stead...

    But didn't he try and do this in summer and fail??]]>

  • Berth

    Guys check this latest news out http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11661_4770324,00.html Benitez attacking Fergie clearly.

  • Fabrez

    “I have to talk about facts” *pulls paper with “facts” out of his pocket* Absolutely brilliant Rafa! haha!

  • Fabrez

    Fergie got grilled…and not medium rare either…but well done! Can’t wait to hear SAF’s response!

  • Debs

    lol about Rafa against Fergie. Could only find the transcript though :(

  • Debs

    funny how they made it ‘breaking news’ on bbc sports!

  • Fabrez
  • http://kierandelaney.net/blog kierandelaney.net/blog

    < ![CDATA[Amazing! Rafa is losing the plot! Such an unprecedented outburst! The only other manager who is getting shirty is O'Neil, and even then he's just a moody bastard.

    If Benitiz were to literally explode on camera and just leave his socks and shoes behind I wouldn't be surprised.

    Then Liverpool would be left in the capable hands of Sammy 'Alright I'm Shit' Lee. :D]]>

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[Debs - here's the video link.

    http://www.skysports.com/video/clips/0,23791,12602_4770525,00.html]]>

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[And finally here's the hilarious Wenger interview !

    http://www.skysports.com/video/clips/0,23791,12606_4770777,00.html]]>

  • debs

    Wow, did Rafa actually go through the trouble of conducting research on Ferguson and reading from his notes? Amazing! Almost sounds like an court statement! Lol. Amazing from Rafa! Can’t wait for Fergie’s response! Lol

  • zohaib

    Debs – its funny you mention ‘court statement’. That’s the exact same thing that came to my mind. lol

  • Debs

    < ![CDATA[* oops! meant to write A court statement! lol
    And Zohaib, what a coincidence! lol]]>

  • http://kierandelaney.net/blog kierandelaney.net/blog

    < ![CDATA[Yeah, but to fair to him he raised totally valid points - he is losing it though.

    Debs it was in response to Fergie saying Benitiz and Liverpool would bottle it. I can't wait for it to escalate. Hopefully they come to blows.]]>

  • Debs

    yeah, I hope they do come to blows, and then the FA docks them 10points, and they also dock Chelsea points, just because, well, they’re Chelsea! Wishful thinking! lol

  • Fabrez

    LOL! I like that 1 debs…i’d b so darn happy!

  • Debs

    :P

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[Hopefully Rafa's 'facts' will cause Fergie to divert attention from his game against Chelsea, causing ManUtd to drop points :P

    I like Rafa's theory of mind-games better ! lol.
    How intelligent. To come out with these facts just before ManUtd vs Chelsea. Or maybe it was just in response to Fergie's statements, which did seem like they were made more than a week ago. Or is that an incorrect estimate ?

    Rafa's 'fact-sheet' did seem quite prepared. I agree with everything he's said, but I just hope the FA listens to what he's said and take note of the bias given to Fergie, rather than ignore Rafa's facts because they were on a piece of paper and taken out of his pocket, surprising some with the unusualness of it all.

    Hey Rafa you should've had it in your hand when you walked in to the press conference, thereby not making it so obvious. Layed it subtly down on the table and read from it, again, not making it look so prepared, as if it was some kind of accusation sheet for the court.]]>

  • Fabrez

    I like Rafa’s version myself. I think that he picked his time on purpose. The day b4 the big game for them. Can u imagine the looks on the media’s face when he was going on about Fergie…i’d like 2 see those faces lol And i agree…he got 1 out of 10 for naturalness with the paper out of pocket which seemed to not come out smoothly lol And i think ur rite zohaib…just about a week ago fergie complained bout the fixtures…then he mentioned the fixtures a bit more again today.

  • AJ

    Wenger has said that a DM is a prority over everything else. So you know.

  • Gooner Get Ya

    Going back to the Arshavin Video….did anyone notice the temperature in the corner -12.3 degrees OMG!!!!

  • Debs

    yeah! That was sick! I guess they’re trying to let us know that he can play in any temperature! lol

  • Fabrez

    Yeah…i did notice it and i said to myself that this makes him better for us…because we can’t underestimate how hard it is to play when it’s -5…and he’s handling playing at -12!!

  • Fabrez

    Was just listening to SSN and they were talking about the big game tomorrow. When they mentioned Chelsea, it was so obvious that their players were over-paid and thus their wage bill is ridiculously high. When u r paying players in the region of £130 000 a week, that doesn’t suprise me at all seeing that we are going through the worldwide economic hardship. They are reported to lose £1M per week which is quite amazing to be honest. I think we should really be greatful that Arsenal runs its affairs the way it does granted the extreme frustration we feel at times. I think probably we have to accept the fact that we aren’t going to be the best team in the world for a little while yet, but at least we won’t go broke and lose £1M per week.

  • Debs

    < ![CDATA[gooner get ya, I see you got the line-up spot on, well done! lol :
    )]]>

  • Debs

    same as you Dev, just realised! lol

  • http://kierandelaney.net Kieran Delaney

    < ![CDATA[1625: Samir Nasri slides Emmanuel Adebayor clean through at Arsenal, but the big striker takes too long to shoot and his effort is blocked by a stretching Andy O'Brien. Poor.

    Season over.]]>

  • Debs

    Lol Kieran. It wasn’t that poor! He just didnt know the defender was breathing down his neck. But yeah, the first half was poor, but the past 10mins have been better… 15 or so mins to go now, so fingers crossed!

  • Fabrez

    < ![CDATA[Well 1-0 to The Arsenal! Gritty performance...Bolton just defended...and i'm VERY satisfied to be honest. We showed some steel...credit to the boys.

    On a positive note, I think Kolo is here to stay. Saw him kiss the Arsenal badge on the way into the tunnel! This gives me great satisfaction as a supporter!]]>

  • Berth

    < ![CDATA[A little bit of plus and very Minute minus and we can be there. 1 - 0 isn't bad and for those who think that a defensive midfielder is a priority should first see that the team is struggling to score, not V. P ( Adebayor was played clear but he coudnt score, against Portsmouth he did miss a similar opportunity)

    If our so called best striker cant score goals who will. May be Wenger will enter the pitch and teach them how to score.

    Arshavin I cant wait please. Zohaib and Kierein I want to know your views on the match.]]>

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[I have to agree with Kieran. Adebayor took a century to sort the ball out and shoot. Very poor. We've said it time and again that we can't afford to miss the rare clear cut opportunities that we manage to create. And Adebayor has shown again, that he's not a whole lot better than Bendtner. I think he's very overrated. People seem to think of him as our first choice striker just because he's tall. Ridiculous.
    He likes to talk the talk in front of the camera's but on the pitch, where it matters, he doesn't look as special as the media and some fans like to think.

    On another note, I'm very worried that our team doesn't know how to stretch the opponents' defence. I've noticed that we keep congesting it and making it difficult for ourselves by standing too close to other teammates. If we stopped sticking to our own mates 5 yards away, and kept a 10-15 yard distance, we'd definitely be creating more space to penetrate the opponents. The opponent might have 8 or more players behind the ball but that's no excuse for helping their cause by not trying to stretch them.

    Eboue made 2 decent runs. He went missing for about 20 mins in the second half, and finally was substituted. Diaby and Denilson kept loosing the ball in the first half. Nasri slowed play down too much in the first half. He kept posession well and made some delightful passes. Clichy wasn't bombing down the left flank for some reason in the first half. Beautiful pass to VanPersie, and even better from VanPersie to Bendtner for the goal. The defence was pretty solid except for twice in the first half when Almunia seemed to rush out when he shouldn't have. It's my first choice defence. I'd rather see Sagna, Toure, Djourou, Clichy than Gallas, Silvestre.

    It was nice to see Bischoff make the bench too ! Hopefully Eduardo's a few weeks away from being match-fit.

    And have a look at Arteta's goal. Yet again from a free kick. Absolute DYNAMITE !]]>

  • http://kierandelaney.net/blog kierandelaney.net/blog

    < ![CDATA[Nah that was a quote from BBC, I didn't actually see it with my own eyes yet!

    However, that Nik Bendtner - what a player! I hope he stays! ;)]]>

  • Debs

    < ![CDATA[yeah, Ade should have scored, but we won, so all's forgiven for now.
    Haha Kieran! I know you don't really think that! But he may have just bought himself a few weeks/days/hours in the fans' good books!]]>

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[I'm far from satisfied. Bolton had an even more depleted squad than we had. Their only striker got injured and was substituted. Had it been Liverpool, Chelsea or ManUtd, or even Aston Villa, Bolton would've lose by a considerable margin of goals. We only managed 1 goal, 1 wasted opportunity and 1 shot that hit the post. Not the Arsenal I've known by a long shot.

    As exciting as Arsenal signing a player sounds, I still think it'll make a very small amount of difference. No disrespect to Arshavin's quality. I think he's one of the best attacking players with the ball, when at his best.
    But we have too many problems. We can't defend. We don't have a clue how to stretch opponents when they've parked 10 players behind the ball. And we don't know how to prevent the opponents from getting 10 players behind the ball, in the first place. We don't have the urgency to pass forward. Most of our passes seem to be going sideways. There's a lack of penetration. A lack of people knowing how and when to shoot from range when nothing else is working. A lack of ability to cross the ball and use Adebayor / Bendtner's height when nothing else is working. A lack of ability till the 80th minute, to score goals. All very worrying qualities in our game at the moment.

    I think it'll take much more than signing one big-name player to sort out the mess we're in. We need to do the basics right.

    I think a DM should be a priority if it isn't already. Because I think it's related to our lack of goals. Every player is having to work twice as hard without the ball because of a proper DM. This, in turn, means that they'll be more reluctant to keep running forward (with the exception of Clichy) to save on stamina. They'll also concentrate a bit more on the attacking part of the game, when they have the satisfaction of knowing that their defence is solid. I think this is probably the reason why Clichy and Nasri don't seem to be doing much attacking in the first half.

    I'm looking forward to Wenger finding a gem DM from somewhere, just like he did with Sagna and Eduardo.]]>

  • Debs

    I have a feeling Zohaib that you would be ‘far from satisfied’ even if we were top of the league with daylight between the rest and had just won the Champions League, FA cup and Carling Cup the season before! lol

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[Actually it would depend on the level of our performance and how much room there was for improvement. Doesn't have much to do with how we compare with the rest. I like to judge my team on where it is and where it should be, with respect to the potential I see in the players. As well as paying attention to the best players and players better than our own.

    Always looking to improve. That's what I think of my attitude. Sometimes it might seem cynical or negative but what did anyone ever learn from winning/being positive. Isn't there a saying, something like - when you loose, there's always something to learn, but when you win, there's not much to learn.

    All I say is said because I care for the club and because I want it to be in the position it deserves to be in.]]>

  • zohaib

    Therefore whenever I notice an area that needs improvement, or faults in our system, I say so. Would you rather I kept quiet and ignored the need to bring certain things to other people’s knowledge ? I don’t think so.

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[Anyway. 3 points for us was a must this weekend, as it is every weekend, since we put ourselves 9 or so points behind the leaders.

    Liverpool have just drawn at Stoke. Hurray ! We're 2 points closer to them. Now Manutd vs Chelsea needs to end in a draw. A loss for Manutd wouldn't be bad either, since I don't expect Chelsea to be as consistent. Aston Villa haven't lose any points this weekend. That is dissapointing.]]>

  • Debs

    yeah Zohaib, it’s necessary to point out areas that need improvement, and there would always be areas of improvement, but then, while pointing out the negatives, it helps to point out the positives, cos then, it’d not all look liike doom and gloom. Criticism’s important, definitely, but praise is too- it’s nice to acknowledge when people get some things right- it’d make them try harder to correct the errors…

  • zohaib

    agreed :D

  • Debs

    really? lol :P

  • zohaib

    obviously ! everything you just said makes sense. unless you take me to be a narrow-minded, grumpy, negative, whining baffoon who wouldn’t acknowledge sense even if he could literally see it. lol

  • Debs

    < ![CDATA[lol Zohaib, 'course not! Grumpy, maybe! lol just messing!
    You actually do acknowledge stuff you think makes sense, just thought you'd say more than 'agreed'! Lol :)]]>

  • http://kierandelaney.net/blog kierandelaney.net/blog

    < ![CDATA[Zohaib, what you said about Bolton was true - they could only name 4 subs! What a thin squad - they're probably the only team in the league that make us look well stocked, but with super sub Nik Bendtner I guess it doesn't matter!

    On a side note, check out Villa - that's four games in a row they've been incredibly lucky to win (only counting their wins). Obviously we expect more from the Arse, but it's comparable form to us and they are being lauded whilst we're being slated.

    The West Brom team today really gave Villa a run for their money and the boy Simpson showed some real class. The Highbury Tavern was packed today with Gooners cheering on the Baggies. Shame Villa held out, or it would have been a great day all round....

    And 'pool bottled it!!]]>

  • zohaib

    Debs – what more could I say. You left me speechless with that wonderful positive attitude you have. I was pleasantly surprised that in a matter of a few simple sentences, you were able to get your point across and make it crystal clear for me to understand. Really appreciate the simpleness. It helps. As opposed to being sarcastic, as some people in your position could’ve done.

  • Debs

    < ![CDATA[Thanks. I guess that's one of the benefits of being a law student! lol
    But yeah, sometimes actually, I do need to be brought down to earth! If there's such a thing, I'm sometimes over-positive! lol]]>

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[law student = knowing both sides of the argument, you mean ?

    lol ! I'd love to have some of that 'over-positive' tonic.]]>

  • Debs

    < ![CDATA[no, =being 'able to get your point across and make it crystal clear' 'in a matter of a few simple sentences' lol

    I'd love to have some of your 'realist' tonic!]]>

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[oh that lol. yea. good quality to have.

    i'd take 'over-positive' over 'realist' though. life's too depressing in the eyes of a realist. its much more fun i imagine, being over-positive.]]>

  • Debs

    yeah, more fun, but more cjance of heartbreak and disappointment! lol

  • Debs

    *chance

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[yea good point ! i guess life's a set of scales, where one needs to get the balance right.

    I think it's fair to say that Arsenal has the most intellectual fans. We've gone from discussing Arsenal to analysing life in general. lol]]>

  • Debs

    < ![CDATA[funny enough, I was thinking about the fact that a good balance is best! lol
    Yeah, there's something about the Arsenal that turns us lot into intellectuals! lol :-)]]>

  • Debs

    And we’re the best fans in the world, by the way!

  • Debs

    wow Kieran, just watching motd and Liverpool really really bottled it! Big time- yet again!

  • Debs

    soz, I take back what I said about Ade’s chance- that was POOR! lol

  • http://kierandelaney.net/blog kierandelaney.net/blog

    < ![CDATA[Yeah, it was awful. Absolutely awful.

    If any more proof was needed that Benitiz has lost it, he just said on MOTD that he didn't see it as a wasted chance to go further ahead. Whatever way you look at it, one of their main challengers will drop points tommorrow its a massive blow for liverpool to leave without all three points.

    Good old Arsenal though - Van Persie is looking brilliant at the moment.]]>

  • Debs

    yeah Kieran, good old Arsenal. It felt good hearing the fans singing ‘one nil to the arsenal’. It did feel like the good old days *sigh*…

  • devday

    And Ade was still jetlagged from his venture to the UAE… or maybe permanently jetlagged.

  • Debs

    lol at ‘permanently jetlagged’, Dev!

  • devday

    His performances have been so average this season, I knew they would be after the summer we had….!

  • Pingback: Quiet Times At The Arsenal… « The World of Arsenal