Arsenal 1 – 0 Bolton: JAT predicted a Bendtner goal…

I was talking to my dear friend JAT recently about Bendtner and his performances this season... how good he is and how good he isn't... in recent games, he's been pretty non existent - in actual fact, it's been like having a man down.

But JAT had something very interesting to say... Bendtner's goal scoring graph (which is parallel with his affection with the fans) seems to hit an all time low and then as soon as all the fans want him out he scores a very vital goal (Sp*rs last season, Dynamo Kiev this season and of course today)... My good old mate literally said that today Bendtner was going to score - and he was right.

In a game were we struggled some times, we did manage to get the 3 points, and like the Portsmouth game, that's all that counts at the moment. With Liverpool drawing today and one of Man United or Chelsea (or both) dropping points, the three points were certainly very important.

Bob commented on the game:

The 3 points were the most important but we struggle to finish teams off in these situations whereby they just come to defend putting everyone in their box. We need to be able to push forward and deal with that. We are not the only team that get played on with that tactic, whereas the other teams seem to be able to deal with it better than us!

And that’s right, but if we do get Arshavin, you can think that there will be more creativity in the final third and with Vela coming on nicely and Eduardo due to return, finish that off with a Walcott and Cesc, then you’ve got a whole lot of creativity coming back into the squad….

[more to follow]


Arsenal:Almunia, Sagna, Toure, Djourou, Clichy, Eboue (Bendtner 74), Diaby (Vela 64), Denilson, Nasri, Adebayor (Ramsey 88), Van Persie.
Subs Not Used: Fabianski, Wilshere, Bischoff, Gibbs.

Booked:Djourou, Ramsey.

Goals:Bendtner 84.

Bolton:Jaaskelainen, Basham, Shittu, Andrew O’Brien, Samuel, Taylor, Muamba, McCann, Gardner, Elmander (Riga 39), Davies, Riga (Obadeyi 77).
Subs Not Used: Bogdan, Fojut.

Booked:Riga, McCann.

Att: 60,068

Ref:Chris Foy (Merseyside).]]>

  • jamesgillesp

    Another clean sheet, and another 3 points, we are now unbeaten in 7 I believe, so that bodes well for the new year. We can build on this sort of form, and the fact that we are conceding less and less is encouraging!

  • Berth

    Absolutely James, but ……………

  • Debs

    I see jamesgillesp is another ‘positivist’! But I know what you mean Berth… and it’s a realy big ‘but’.

  • zohaib

    believe it or not, there are some people that like ‘big buts’.

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[On a side note - I'm watching Valencia play Villareal and boy are Valencia playing some majestic, one-touch, counter-attacking football. It's a joy to watch.

    How I wish we could have David Silva and David Villa.]]>

  • Debs

    < ![CDATA[those 2 are amazing Zohaib. Is it me, or is defending sometimes lost on Spanish teams? Especially in the first half! lol. i think our style of play is somewhat more suited to Spanish football- more open, not much parking of the bus and you could always get away with a dodgy defence! lol
    but yeah, Silva and Villa are both something else!]]>

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[yepp. have to agree again ! lol. or is that the lawyer in you that makes everything you say sound so believable ... lol

    Silva could fit in at LM and Villa could replace Bendtner or Adebayor. Eduardo, VanPersie being the other 2 first choice strikers and Walcott and Vela being backup. Mouth-watering.]]>

  • Berth

    Three away Marathon: Hull,Cardiff and Everton. If we can get www or wwd then we can have a chance of going all the way.But first things first, lets try and get Arshavin.

  • Debs

    < ![CDATA[yeah Zohaib, I've got a way with words- tricking you all into believing what I say! ;-) It's amazing the players we could get and we'd be like the perfect team, but well, we all know why it'd not happen. As to Arteta coming to us, i doubt if Everton would sell him now giving how he's scoring important goals for them- if only he was having a bad spell at the moment! lol. But he's a class player, definitely.

    And Berth, WWW would be amazing from those 3games- we really do need to go on a run- get the confidence up...]]>

  • Berth

    So many unintelligent players ( just watched highlight). Adebayor,Ebuoe, Diaby; all Lousy.


    What? From the highlights Diaby was on top form! Ade has been lousy for two years (like I said the amount of chances he had last year he should have bagged 60 goals) and Eboue just isn’t good enough for regular first team football at Arsenal.

  • Berth

    < ![CDATA[Kieren, forget Diaby. You are not sounding Like the kieren I know. people talk about Diaby;I know his skillful but not intelligent. God have mercy on us if Ade keeps playing like this.He doesnt seem to be in the team or may be thats the best he can offer, (so complacent)

    Something is not just right. lets forget the other teams defend against big teams. But in truth we are defending against us. The positioning, lack of shooting ( same old story) and Confidence - No one in the team can give a precise pass. We are lucky we have V.P fit. Ade oh! am really disapponted with that one.]]>

  • Ben

    < ![CDATA[Let's give Nik some credits in the posts too. He's a freat impact player, often getting important point winning goals.

    Ade seems so slack, so often, but gets far lless stick.

    RVP's work rate and quality right now is to be applauded too.

    Shame Kolo didn't get that goal.

    The crowd were good too. At one point the whole North Bank seemed to be on their feet chanting Red Army to keep warm!]]>

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[Then the highlights have painted a false picture Kieran. Diaby was quite average throughout but particularly in the first half, as were most of the other players. Maybe only with the exception of Sagna (yet again), VanPersie, Toure and Djourou (both of them not having too much to do anyways) and Clichy (if not bombing forward, at least he was defending solidly).

    Even in the second half, until the hour mark when Vela was introduced in place of Diaby, not much changed. The substitution meant Nasri moved into central midfield, where he was much more effective. I wonder how many times Wenger needs to see that Nasri is more effective in the center, before he starts to believe it and starts the match off with him there, rather than frustrate fans with sideways-football for the first 60-80 minutes.

    I've also just read on Arsenal's site, the post-match press conference. Wenger was asked about Bendtner's game. He was obviously going to defend the love of his life. And he did, but failed miserably at it. I'm not going to blame it on his mother language not being English. Here's what he said :

    On the Nicklas Bendtner’s impact from the bench…
    “You could say he didn’t have the best passing game today but he could have scored two goals. That sums up what a striker is. It is so cold for the subs when you come on it is not easy. You sit there for an hour and you start to warm up until you come on. When you really get into the game, the game is over. When Nicklas came on there were 15 minutes left and he had no real time to warm up really.”

    The last sentence is so idiotically contradictory and completely mind-boggling. Who was responsible for making Bendtner coming on when there were only 15 minutes left ?! What a muppet. Statements like these make me think he's loosing it.]]>

  • zohaib

    *mother-tongue / native language

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[And this on Bendtner's form over this season :

    On the Dane’s overall contribution this season…
    “He had an injury problem with his ankle and I thought it affected his game a little bit, especially with his back to goal. He looks in training as if he is sharp again. He had some difficult periods because of those problems with his ankle but now slowly he is getting back to where he will be.”]]>


    < ![CDATA[Yeah, I meant more Diaby's goal against Villa - in the goal of the month competition and considering he created it in midfield in his own half and then scored it - I don't think you can say he is unintelligent.

    The boys just had a bad day - it does worry me that the creativity has fizzled out - the only player putting through balls in was Nasri. With Cesc out we don't have anyone really apart from Nasri who can send a ball with vision.

    Maybe that's why he's going for Arshavin?]]>

  • Cappz

    < ![CDATA[Definitely why Arshavin is coming in. Nasri will play in the centre and Arshavin on the left wing.

    Although Carlos Vela could be the answer on the left wing or at least an option, he does have great dribbling skills as well as a good finish.

    If we did get Arshavin, it would be a statement to the other players - when a big player arrives, the other players always raise their game...]]>


    Vela is a forward not a winger. Stop this forward playing as a winger thing, it’s not on I tell thee.

  • Fabrez

    < ![CDATA[I don't think Diaby is unintelligent at all. Sometimes lazy but he is a good player...granted a bit inconsistent! And Nasri look comfortable and confident in Cesc's role to be honest. I think AW should keep him there...but that makes a winger even more of a priority in the window.
    And apparantly we bid for Arshavin without luck. £10M is the reported bid with Zenit saying no. Man City are now linked with him so that may just be "bye bye Arshavin" for us. We def not gonna out-bid Man City...]]>

  • Fabrez

    Haha…yeah…a good forward who can dribble well (Vela) will always look attacking on the wing…but he’s still a forward!! Which is why we need a real winger…and things are not looking particularly good with getting 1 now :S

  • zohaib

    I’ve just read that Zenit say they’ve rejected an offer from Arsenal, for around 10 mil pounds, saying that it’s ‘insufficient’. I read it on SkySports. I think The Mail On Sunday quoted it.

  • Debs

    Yeah, Zenit rejected the 10m bid, and apparently we’ve not submitted another bid. I think the Man City bit is just speculation, cos Zenit said we’re the only ones who’ve approached them for Arshavin- let’s just hope Mark Hughes doesn’t wake up in the morning and decides he wants Arshavin! Don’t think he will, cos I think he’s trying to strengthen city defensively- fingers crossed though!

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[ManUtd thrashed Chelsea 3 - 0. That is NOT a good result for us !

    Hopefully Wigan'll give 'em a tough time in mid-week.]]>

  • Berth

    < ![CDATA[Should Manu win this league, I have to be honest it will be a shame to Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea and premier league (It means domination). I belief Wenger is the only coach that can stop Manu for one reason; he is better experienced than other coaches.

    But were the solution lies is on the players we have. When manu were buying we were selling (that is not being smart). Now they re reaping were they sowed, why we Arsenal and Arsene hope to reap were we did not sow enough seed.

    I belief we have a chance even above Chelsea and Liverpool because of Wenger's experience, but we need players, Wenger should do any thing possible to get Arshavin; he could be the key for us, we really need to stop Manu from Dominating the league - It will really be a shame if they do the league a 3rd time. Am not sure we can stand it.]]>


    < ![CDATA[Today just proves one thing - Manchester United will probably win the title and Chelsea have no width.

    Even with a new DM, CD, and 2 wingers we'd struggle to match United over the course of a season - their mid-season break in japan has done them the world of good.

    Intriguing though it is, if Chelsea continue dropping points and get knocked out of the cup in their replay against Southend, I can see Scholari getting the boot and the team going into free fall. Avram Grant got sacked for reaching the CL Final!!

    It's not inconcievable that the first team to drop from the top four could be Chelsea and not Arsenal if it continues - or maybe Everton will join Villa and kick us both out!

    I think what I'm trying to say is, 10 points isn't that much of a gap this season, so I'm not too worried yet, but no one will beat United to the title. Best we could dream of would be second and a decent run in the cups.

    But we need to strengthen.]]>

  • Pete

    I wouldn’t mind seeing Frank Ribery coming to Arsenal. He’s said he wants to leave Bayern Munich, and I think he’d work brilliantly with Wenger. He certainly has experience and could actually be a better player suited to the club than Arshavin.

  • Berth

    Kieren, if you check the calibre of players, we cant, but a bit of magic can make the difference.

  • AJ

    I have watched a couple of videos on Arshavin and I think I’m set on whether I want him at the club and I do, as Berth has said he could add that bit of magic, that spark where the player will run at defences a bit more than we do now, because frankly we are so damn predictable, we get into the final thrid, shift it from one side of the pitch to the other and thats that, no one really runs at defences and tries to run into the box, we just pass it out to the wings every single time or just pass it around infront of the box and it’s crap. Vela came on and was a bit more direct and we saw the difference, as for Bendtner, I still don’t like him and hope he leaves.

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[If not Everton (striker issues), then maybe Wigan will partner Aston Villa for a place in the top four, throwing Arsenal and Chelsea out of a Champions League spot. Who knows, maybe even Fulham !

    It does look pretty bleek for Chelsea. Doesn't look like they're going to be buying players and strengthening their side. It sure has some weaknesses. No width. Even with their full squad they seem short out wide and at left-back. And Cashley's pretty crappy himself. He's half the player Clichy or Evra are and personally I think Wayne Bridge was better. And they let him go. They let Wright Phillips go too. Malouda's gotten worse, in my opinion, than he was at Lyon. Essien's out injured. Ballack also looks to be running out of steam, coming to the end of his career. I think his contract runs out at the end of this season too, so he'd be on a free transfer in the summer, unless he signs another contract obviously.
    What's interesting is that Chelsea, a few seasons ago were the cash cow. Now it looks like they don't have money to buy the players they need, and as a result might finish way away from the champions.

    And what's even more interesting is that M. Hughes and ManCity have spent around 60 mil pounds and become a worse team than they were under Eriksson. And they're fighting to stay clear of relegation !

    As for Arsenal - the way the first half of the season's gone, I'd be relieved and satisfied if we could finish 3rd or 4th (as seems to have become our favourite spot in the table). But, whatever position we finish in,
    I just hope, come the summer, first of all we have a stable boardroom; no off-the-field drama's please. Next, we need to strengthen our midfield. So, if not in this transfer window, then in the summer, we get all the necessary players - 3 or 4 ready-made players. Sell those that either have little or no quality, are dis-interested and have no desire to play for us, or simply can be replaced with much better players. The only problem is, do we have enough money ?! And I don't think we do.

    To win the title next year, we need to have a midfield of ready-made players as opposed to players that are being schooled. A DM is a priority. We could probably get away with not having a proper winger, if Rosicky, Nasri and Walcott can stay fit and on form. Other than midfield, there is room to strengthen at defence. There are far better players than Silvestre, Senderos and Gallas. I'd replace those 3 with at least 2 defenders, who could also cover at the fullback slots. Micah Richards and S. Distin are good options, imo. With Distin coming to the end of his career like Gallas and Silvestre, he wouldn't be whining for regular games. And finally I'd replace Bendtner (just not good enough) and Adebayor (no desire, no idea of the offside rule, wastes 90% of chances) with Zaki, the ideal candidate. He has height as well as other good qualities, and that is a big advantage. If not him, then I'd love to have Benzema or David Villa, since they are the two that are more likely to move. I'd give a thought to someone like Kenwyne Jones too since he gives us what Adebayor gives us. And ideally I'd not want to loose on Ade's height. And if we manage to win the lottery, I'd get proper wide players who actually make a difference playing out wide in midfield. Someone like Arteta for RM and David Silva for LM. Thus keeping Vela, Walcott and Wilshere as backup for the wide positions and backup for the strikers. That should ensure that they get enough games.]]>

  • Berth

    < ![CDATA[Zohaib , seems you have lost hope. Ade may not be at his best but you cant count on Benzema,Zaki or any of the players you did mention. imo, leave Adebayor add a bit of flare, a bit of gingering. what I think the team needs is a bit of gingering,V.P does that but he needs support like Flamini. May be Arshavin could help (am crazy about the guy).

    For the defence, your suggestion isn't that bad.]]>

  • Fabrez

    < ![CDATA[Hmm...Chelsea looked a right mess earlier...but i'll tell u that while i was suprised how badly they lost, i wasn't particularly suprised that they ended up the losing team. They got their issues, which is different from Arsenal's issues.
    I'd like to think we are the more stable of the two for now but Arsene needs to make a signing or 2 this window to bolster the squad a bit and then some come summer. I found it interesting u mentioned Kenwayne Jones (he's from my home country!! :D) I think he is a good player getting better and he plays with his all for club & country so he won't be a bad replacement for Ade. But i'm hoping things don't come to that and Ade picks his game up and starts to play with a bit more passion and desire. To me, RVP has done that this season but Ade's form is definitely on the dip. While i still back Ade,'s about time 2 come back!! I know he won't be ready for another 3 weeks or so but I am excited about him coming back to give us that fox in-the-box effect we so badly need! Issues or no issues, now is the time for the team to build on our little unbeaten run with the utmost focus on our game & how we can improve game by game. We r supporters & we gotta support...]]>

  • zohaib

    It was great to see Kenwyne Jones’ celebration this weekend for the equaliser he scored. Showed true desire.


    < ![CDATA[Zohaib I agree with quite a lot of what you've said, but SWP isn't bringing the magic at the moment - when City are losing he turns off - I'm not sure he's the sort of player Arsenal need.

    I prefer Theo any day :)]]>

  • RF

    < ![CDATA[I think we need to wait and watch 2 more games , or I should say wining the next 2 games is important. What would be more interesting, is to see, ManUtd dropping points in their 2 in hand games. Secondly Liverpool and Chelsea fighting for a comeback (shouldn't be) and Arsenal continue their '09 form to grab the 4th position at the moment.

    And for Ade, he's not required a defender. Hes guaranteed to mess one on one opportunities. (prove me wrong Ade)

    We lack a Veira & Arteta ingredient at Arsenal.

    Comon you Gunners !!!]]>

  • Debs

    just realised that the gap between us and Liverpool is now 8, not 10, although if United win their two games in hand, which they play before we next play on saturday, they’d be top of the league and 9 points ahead of us. But I guess we’re making progress, albeit slowly, but it’s still progress. But we’ve got to beat Hull on saturday to make it count!

  • RF

    < ![CDATA[You're right Debs, We have to win against Hull to make it count.

    Don't forget we have to take revenge, for beating us at the Emirates.]]>

  • Debs

    Yeah RF, revenge’s needed for the Emirates humiliation, although the KC stadium’s not an easy place to go, what with all the fans! But we should be able to take advantage of their recent poor form though.

  • Cappz

    < ![CDATA[We have to ensure that we win - simple as that - we must forget what the other clubs are doing because every week one of them will drop points - we were 5 minutes away from being 5 points away from 4th place on Saturday.

    We must go on to beat Hull - it's imperative. If we do, and one of the four top teams fails to get 3 points, it's another positive. If we continue to do this all season we'll get back into the title race - for the moment, we need to get back into the top four.

    Good to see tottenham lose though :-)]]>

  • AJ

    Hmm the suggestion of Zaki, I like that, he for me is a bit of a rooney, got skill, can shoot, can hold the ball up, has the flare and some pace, bullish and doesn’t get shoved off the ball easily, so that’s interesting zohaib

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[Not only do we need to beat Hull. We need to give them a thrashing. Revenge for what we let them do to us at the Emirates. And hopefully, it being an away game for us and a home game for Hull, they'll have to come out and play, giving us an easier time, since we have very little creativity in the team at the moment, to create chances against a 10 man defence. I'm not proud, and its sad that it's come to this - hoping for the opponents to give us an easy time.

    VanPersie and Nasri are the only players creating anything. I think Diaby and Denilson had an off game the other day. They are better than that. But I'd probably think about having Ramsey in the starting lineup.

    Looking forward to seeing Eduardo and Bischoff in the near future as well.]]>

  • zohaib

    And can someone please make Wenger play Vela on the right wing instead of the left wing. PLEASE !