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Top of the League: Arsenal-Bolton

January 22, 2010

Naturally I have to write about this…

When I was watching fixture lists at summer only reason I noticed this was that Bolton has Jussi Jääskeläinen as goalkeeper. It was supposed to be 1st home match of the season but not really that important match.  Then it turned that we would be playing Champions League Play off match against Celtic on that same day so Bolton match was postponed.

With so many matches (Premier League, Champions League, Carling Cup and FA Cup) rescheduling a match was difficult. Then Arsenal dropped from Carling Cup and soon after that it was announced that Arsenal-Bolton match would be played January 6th.  The match had turned to be bit more important as it was match in hand.  We needed to get points to get closer or stay close to Chelsea and ManU.

But then weather changed everything. It started to snow in London. Couple of hours before the match it was postponed again. As good teams do Arsenal refunded travel costs to all Bolton Fans who had traveled to  London. Then new date was Wednesday January 20th.

The Sunday before (Jan 17th) Arsenal played Bolton away. As that match ended 0-2, lot of fans (I admit me too) were quite positive that winning Bolton home by 2 goals would be possible and maybe quite easy. Why win by 2 goals? Well winning Bolton by 2 goals Arsenal would be on top of the League. With goal difference that is (but Chelsea would have game in hand).

The Bolton away match was bit hard tho. Referee denied 2 clear penalties (but that is not anything new. Because this seasons referees won’t give us even clear penalties because Celtic blamed Eduardo for diving and we fight about it). But still thanks to Cesc we won the match, as we deserved.

Then the Arsenal-Bolton match. Maybe we were slacking bit and Bolton played well. Our defence, midfield and goalkeeper messed up and suddenly Bolton lead 0-2. The way I felt at the moment after the penalty “Oh F*k, now we need 4 goals”. I read others saying they will be happy with draw… I was partly agreeing but still thinking 4-2 is possible.  Then Tomas Rosicky scored, it was really beautiful goal. I really hope my neighbors will forgive me, I did scream (then again it wasn’t 11 pm yet). Hey I love Tomas and I have really missed him while he has been gone. I don’t think he still is at his best. Then on 2nd half Cesc scored making it 2-2. I’ll say what I think about Gallas later. I screamed again. (now it was past 11 pm so I really hope my neighbors will forgive me).  Then there were goals by Tomas Vermaelen and Andrey Arshavin. Again before Arshavin’s goal I read comments about people being happy for getting 3 points and not risking it. Then again Arsenal did get their playing more to style they like to play and are good at. Match did end 4-2 and Arsenal was on Top Of  The League.

I did celebrate that and enjoy it. I had to get it out of my system,  now I can agree with Tomas Rosicky being top of the league at this point of the season means nothing but it is big boost for the team (and fans). For rest of season it is really important to be consistent  and pick ourselves and for fans to support the team when we lose (I am quite sure all teams will lose points maybe matches).

OK so that Gallas thing. It was bad tackle as mistimed and those happen. There was nothing mean or meant to hurt other people. There are worst thing happening too in other teams. Maybe Gallas should have deserved the yellow card but referee choice not to (he saw it). As for Arsenal keeping on playing even the Bolton player being on ground SO WHAT? Did Everton stop playing  Jan 6th after Denilson fell on ground injured? NO THEY DID NOT, and without Almunia’s save they would have scored. Also Bolton had about 3 chances to clear the ball out. The rules say you play until whistle, so why is it wrong or unsporting when Arsenal does that but OK when others do so?.

Also I agree with Arsene Wenger  saying ““What is more funny is that, when we get kicked, some people say before the game ‘we know how to play Arsenal, we have to kick them’ and nobody in the whole country (or world apart Arsenal-Fans) is upset by that.“I am always absolutely amazed that people get away with it. When we get kicked and lose the game, the question I get from the press is ‘oh, you did not fancy that’. But nobody is upset or shocked by it. When we are kicked they find that it is absolutely all right.

I said after the Bolton game if Gallas has injured the player, we are sorry. We will have a look at the tackle and if it is malicious we will come out and make a statement. We looked at it carefully and we saw that it was just a mistimed tackle. That is why we didn’t see why such a story should flare up and make a national issue if the intention of the player was completely right” (quote from

Oh also as Wenger pointed out in that interview Arsenal is on top of FAIR PLAY LEAGUE!

Funny thing is though now the team that was supposed to be first out of top 4,  sold the best players because they needed money is on top of the league. (things from press before season)

As we know now Arsenal’s financial status is the best in Premier League (completely healthy) unlike Chelsea or Liverpool. ManU is also having more troubles than us. I just wish there will be that rule that unless team is financially healthy they can’t play in CL.

Also one reason I really love our players is how they deal thing happening out of the pitch. Last August on our first match of the season after scoring a goal (his 2nd ) he picked up a shirt with Daniel Jague’s name and number. Jargue was Spanish player who had died couple weeks earlier. And Eduardo had on his undershirt text about bringin peace in some area. also on that Bolton match after final whistle William Gallas and Bacary Sagna held a black shirt saying “Football fans don’t forget to support Haiti” at front  and same in French on back.

Some point in future I will write about interviews at ATVO that I love this season…

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