A good old fashioned Gallic challenge! / Midfielder on the cards

by & filed under Uncategorized.

Sagna   Gallas   Verm   Clichy
Fabregas   Denilson   Diaby
Rosicky   Eduardo   Arshavin

Before the game, a minutes silence was held for the victims of the Haitian disaster. Impeccably observed.

Diaby and Arshavin tested Jussi early on with relatively meek shots.

Clichy caused an upset when he hoofed a clearance as far as the edge of the box, Davies manager to get on the end of it, Cahill slotted it home. What a disappointing start and a disappointing return to action for Gael.

Fabregas nearly beat the keeper from a tight angle. Soon after Diaby lost the ball from a weak pass to Arshavin, he ran the length of the pitch, retrieved it, looked up and played a dream pass to Eduardo who was unlucky not to score. Way to recover Abou!

Arshavin went close again after picking up a deflected Diaby pass. Arsenal were getting closer but had to improve their finishing.

Diaby made a sloppy foul on the edge of the box. Almunia did well to get down to Taylors freekick.

Arsenal conceded a corner, Sagna clears to the 18 yard box, Chung picks up the ball and Denilson clattered him. Very poor defending. Almunia couldn’t keep the penalty out despite going the right way and getting an arm to it.

Up the other end, Fab faked a shot, laid off Eddy, but he couldn’t get it past the Finnish keeper. Arsenal continued to press for a goal, something you felt they needed in the first half if they were to nick a win and sure enough it came. Rosicky ran at the Bolton defence, cut the ball outside his marker and smashed supremely inside the near post! The vital goal we needed…

The next half was a pivotal moment in our season. Heading into the nastiest patch of games in a long time, we’d need all the confidence we could muster. Nothing but a win would do. We had to meet the challenge if we were to keep up with our top 3 enemies.

There were many nervous Grovers, I had to remind them of the inspirational Malians who with 11 minutes to spare, scored 4 to level the game. If they could do it, we could… I was hoping the below video was Arsene Wenger’s team talk…

With the half time grovetalk done, we were set to go!

Bolton had the first chance of the half when Diaby fouled and gave Matt Taylor another crack at our goal.

The next key moment came when Gallas stepped on the ankle of mark Davies, won the ball, laid it off to Arshavin who lost the ball, it bobbled to Fabregas who slotted it between the legs of the keeper! GEEEEETTTTT IN!

Did I feel for Davies? Yes. Did I feel for Bolton? Not a bloody chance. I’ve put up with 10 years of their bully boy tactics, it was great to see them lose out because of a bad challenge. Just desserts I believe they call it in the restaurant trade?

Arsenal continued to pressure Bolton, Eddy going close, Cesc still pressurising and pulling strings like a red bull induced banjo player.

Then the break through came. Bolton failed to clear a corner, Vermaelen let it run past him then power sliced it in! What a great goal, the £10million man scored the most important goal of his career! We were back in it! We did it!

Well, maybe not…

Davies was continuing to menace our defence. The white Drogba was cushioning down headers whenever a high ball flew his way. We were going to have to up our game if we wanted to keep the score the same.

Fabregas had a shout for a penalty and although by the letter of the law it was a foul, there was no way he was controlling the ball.

Diaby picked up an injury, which meant Eastmond entered the game. The injury crisis had entered code red status. If Wenger doesn’t think it’s a good idea to sign a player now, he’s lost his marbles. Heading into the nasty period with just Eastmond and Denilson in the for defensive cover would be suicidal. Get on the blower Arsene and get Behrami in.

Clichy did his best to relive his first half calamity by clearing high to 3 Bolton players in the 6 yard box. Klasnic went close with a rasping shot. Why he didn’t start is beyond me.

Arsenal finished the game off when Cesc played to Eddy, who flicked to Arshavin who took the ball away from goal and smashed it into the net. A superb goal!

Arsenal played out the remainder of the game on top. The 4th official flashed up 6 minutes of injury time, a number I wouldn’t have felt comfortable with had we only been one up!

The whistle blew, we were top of the league!

Arsenal didn’t just beat Bolton, we battered them. Our team of missing spine has turned into a team of tough tackling beasts who are prepared to rough it. We showed superb character to come back from two down, a Grove first. We never gave up and proved to the world we are in this for the long run. The first half wasn’t the best, but we still created. The second half was the most jealous I’ve been in a while as I wasn’t in attendance!

Make no bones about it, that was the most important result of the season. We head into the nasty period high brimming with confidence, in form and in contention.

Life couldn’t be better, actually it could, Spurs lost as well!


Almunia: Claimed his crosses quite well, had no chance for the goals. Reasonably quiet game considering the score line. Made a superb save from Matt Taylors freekick. No chance with the goals despite what some will tell you. Penalties are luck of the draw, the second one, well, if he’d dived, it’d have been a guess, stand tall was his only option. 7

Clichy: A very shaky return to the game. I know Traore had a shocker in the last match, but nothing compared to the mare Gael had. He was responsible for the first goal and he nearly replicated the mistake later. I’ll put it down to rust… not a seasons worth of poor form continued. 5

Sagna: A solid game, poor and unnecessary crossing. Especially against the height of Bolton. 7

Gallas: Had a torrid time dealing with Kevin Davies aerial threat. Hardly won a header. Good solid tackle from him on the Bolton player… when you both go in 100%, injuries can happen. Bolton need to stop being girls about it and man up. British fairies, we need more French players in the Premiership. Jokes aside, it was an accident, no one died. Like Wenger said, lets put a video together of the tackles from both games and see whose were worse. Actually, how about a video montage of the last ten years? It’s amazing the disgust evident amongst commentators when an Arsenal player makes a poor challenge. 7

Vermaelen: Scored the most important goal of his Arsenal career with a super strike. Struggled in the air today, but I guess if Bolton do anything well, it’s winning high balls. 7

Cesc: The best centre midfielder in the world at the moment, without doubt. Ran the show today, picked us up when were down and lead by example. Superb. 9

Denilson: Sloppy, sloppy penalty to concede. His game did pick up after that but it was still littered with basic errors. He is fresh back in the team and it will take a while to get back, I just worry how badly he’ll get punished by the top teams if he continues to stutter in the coming weeks. I’m yet to be convinced by this man, but there’s always time for a flump. 5.5

Diaby: I thought he was having a superb game. He’s beginning to add defensive responsibility to his game and he is continuing to use his giant frame to his advantage. I’m gutted he’s picked up an injury, especially as we know that’ll be him out for at least a month if his track record is anything to go by. Also had an assist. 8

Arshavin: As we don’t have a target man, we have to make sure the passing is intricate and difficult to deal with up top. Tonight, he helped that process along and finally got himself on the score sheet (plus an assist). A good game, though I feel we should possibly be seeing more of his brilliance on a regular basis. 7.5

Eduardo: Again, he’s never going to win the physical battles but he has a faster brain than most. His passing was good tonight and he carved himself out a number of chances which I can assure you will begin to drop in during the coming weeks. Another assist for the Crozillian. 7.5

Rosicky: I’m falling back in love with this mans skills. He opens up teams with his vision, superior movement and quick turn of pace. He scored a lovely goal today and helped keep things ticking over up front. He’s a trier as well, which makes him doubly important for us. 8

893 Responses to “A good old fashioned Gallic challenge! / Midfielder on the cards”

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  1. Henry14

    I was also there last night and i 100% agree with El Tel. We always start slow – we need to come out the traps flying against Villa. Get an early goal and bury them.

  2. Grandizer

    Completely agree El tel, Diaby was woeful. Dwelling on the ball like a moron, and offering little going forward. Wenger just needs to shake him out of his slumber cos Fabregas cant carry the midfield for the rest of the season. Denilson was pap to!

    If wenger can pick up a few players to help us out of this tough period he could win us the prem/ or he could do nothing and watch us become the nearly men for another year!

  3. Nick

    fran now thats more in keeping with the mood 😀

    Gibbs out isn’t good news but at least we have two others for that position,would rather he took time to come back solid then rush and have problems all the time coz he never rested properly

  4. Jaguar

    We are very lucky with our injuries.When VP is back from his injury,he would be called by the Dutch squad,and would be back injured again after the WC

  5. goonermichael

    Hi Franchise
    Nice to meet you last night. In my limited experience that was the best atmosphere I’ve seen at the Emirates.

  6. Gunners The Stunners


    And then we’ll get the breaking news on Arsenal.com,

    Silvestre signs long term contract at Arsenal, believed to be until 2015… 😀

  7. nishanth

    I don’t think any other squad in the league could hav coped with the injuries we have had.No luck whatsoever this season.Hope Wenger signs a couple of players

  8. zorr0

    Franch, you buy your beers on the Holloway Rd and stand outside! You only go inside for a lash or to ogle the sexy senoritas!

  9. SharkeySure

    Diaby is the midfield powerhouse that we need.

    Even when he’s not in top form with his decision making and passing, he still gets about the pitch and gives us the fight that we lack.

    There’s a lot of talk about our ‘midgets’ and our supposed ‘frailty’ then we get people knocking Diaby cos he ain’t Rosicky or Nasri.

    Diaby’s the big lump we need on his bad days, and a world beater on his good ones.

    Diaby had some great moments last night, ie. the chase back and 60yd pass on to Eddys big toe, plus his knockdown for Verms goal.

  10. zorr0

    Yeah, also because it is on the right side of the ground for my direction and my block. Anything over Finsbury Park way is the other side and more of a pain.

  11. zorr0

    You can always drink in The George, off back of Holloway Rd if you want to meet some ‘interesting characters’, lol!

  12. tenerife gerry

    Arsenal Tom great Perry Groves interview. But why do Arsenal fans call tottenham Sp**s, I can never bring myself to say that word. They are tottenhan full stop.Can you imagine those wankers calling us The Gunners, I don’t think so.

  13. patthegooner

    So ‘SSN Understands’ gets it wrong again

    They really are becoming a very unreliable source which completely lacks any credibility

  14. Nick

    boss Alex Ferguson expects John O’Shea to miss the remainder of the season following complications after the defender suffered a dead leg.
    The injury is more severe than first expected after O’Shea experienced discomfort in the Republic of Ireland’s World Cup play-off defeat by France in November.
    Ferguson told the Irish Independent: “He’s got a terrible injury at the moment. It’s one of those sorts of injuries that are unusual. It’s like a dead leg except a dead leg is usually only three or four days.
    “The problem is that the blood clot became all knotted and when it gets knotted you get calcification so therefore it’s a long process to clear that up and he’ll probably miss the season now.

    “It’s a bad blow for the boy and for the team because he can play anywhere.”


  15. Nick

    Arsenal defender Kieran Gibbs is to undergo surgery on his foot injury which will rule him out of the rest of the season.
    Fantasy injury report
    Gibbs suffered a depressed open fracture to his first metatarsal on his left foot after a tackle with Eliaquim Manga during their Champions League match against Standard Liege November.

    The fracture failed to heal satisfactorily and Gibbs will now have a bone graft to help ensure a full recovery.

  16. Nick


    Arsenal defender William Gallas will not face retrospective disciplinary action from the FA following his late tackle on Bolton’s Mark Davies in Wednesday night’s 4-2 Premier League win at Emirates Stadium.
    Trotters boss Owen Coyle labelled the challenge, which happened in the build-up to Arsenal’s crucial equaliser at the start of the second half, as “akin to assault”, leaving the midfielder with severe ligament damage, and perhaps even a break.

    Coyle said: “Clearly it was a foul, and closer to a red card. It was akin to assault and it changed the game.

    “However, the fact is the referee has not seen it, and the lad is prostrate on the ground, and Arsenal being full of fair play as we keep hearing, have carried on and scored an equaliser. That is hard to take.

    “I don’t want to sit here and make excuses, but I have seen red cards for less.”

    Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was quick to issue an apology if the incident was, as television replays suggest, a foul.

    He said: “I am sorry if the tackle was not good, and I apologise. However, to complain that we went on to play, I think that is unfair.

    “The players did not even know what was happening behind them, whether the player has got up again or not. I don’t believe you can kick the ball out every time a player is down when you win the ball. That is why they changed the rules.”

    It is understood referee Alan Wiley at the time viewed the challenge as two players coming together, and so allowed play to continue.

    No separate disciplinary proceedings can be implemented as the FA do not re-official matches.

  17. tenerife gerry

    How is it that Northern cunting managers wind us up so much. One minute that toothy dick is asking us for the services of Jack Wiltshire then he’s whinging about assult, don’t you just want to knock out his ill fitting dentures?

    As for that cunt in ‘the Hull hot seat’ he was out here in Tenerife this week toping up his tan. I wanted to find him sun bathing and piss all over him.

  18. Corkgoon

    Diaby out for Stoke and Villa at least. Sagna out for Soke .. not that they would both play the stoke game anyway.

    Diaby will be a loss for Villa though 🙁

  19. SUGA3



  20. maurya

    Arsene plays all holding mids at RB. You can count Eastmund as well. By Chelsea game, we will have Nasri, Ramsey and Song.

  21. CHIPPY

    To be honest i know this isnt going to go down well with some but he realy cannot gamble on our main players on sunday there is no way in hell id play Fabregas,Rosicky,Verm,Gallas,Arshavin and Eduardo we are absolutley down to the bare bones as it is,We cannot risk losing any more for that crucial run of league games and The champions league tie, So id play a mismatch side that may still well be good enough as Stoke will make big changes to.

    I know weve all been saying it but he Seriously needs to add a couple of signings as well as weve got fuck all depth left.

    We Need a Centre Mid and Forward Urgently 😉

    And lets hope to Fuck Tunisia get the win !!

  22. CHIPPY

    Geoff will be pleased : The return of Song 🙂 He has taken on almost mythical powers since hes been at the Tournament lol

  23. ardentgooner

    Traroe has played as a winger before…and Clichy needs games to get back to his best…I think he should play traore on the left wing and clichy LB

  24. zorr0

    I told you the team earlier today for Sunday. Get with it lads! Don’t forget I am the oracle!! 😉

    Chippy, is that your boozer of choice then? There are some old faces in there I remember from a good few years back!

    Told you Sagna’s arm was fucked!

    Come on Tunisia. How long gone?

  25. Femster

    Paul Le Guen must be a rubbish manager cos he has made Cameroon who were favourites look shocking, remember when he was linked to Arsenal.

  26. ardentgooner

    Zambia are winning too… If they win by two goals and Cameroon draw then Zambia will go through……. Cmon Zambia should score atleast 2 goals……..but as it stands we will have Song back in 2 days….

  27. CHIPPY

    Yes mate always poke my head in the door when im up for a game, Some old and worn faces lol Get a good pint in said place and the company is always knowledgable 😉

  28. I AM GOONER (maqitlarge)

    Zorr0, I saw you mention the George before. Been in a few times. talk about characters. I saw what must have been possible grandparent getting up to, well, all sorts! And so I’ve been handed a new ambition! 🙂

  29. Samir

    A sexy rumour????

    Hilarious reading some figures quoted in the papers, 40 mil for Zarate and 7 mil for Smalling. Truth is Wenger is hoping to wrap up a deal over the next week for his top target Edin Dzeko. Edin was a guest along with his agent to last nights 4–2 win over Bolton. A fee will be agreed for around 15–20 mil with wages not thought to be a stumbling block. Wenger also has a gentlemens agreement in place to sign U21 defender smalling for 4mil in the summer as a long term successor to Gallas. Senderos will sign for Everton on loan for remainder of season with wilshere and sunu on the same deals to Bolton and Derby respectively.

  30. The Law

    “Arsenal finished the game off when Cesc played to Eddy, who flicked to Arshavin who took the ball away from goal and smashed it into the net.”

    It wasn’t Cesc who passed the ball. It was Denilson! Go watch it again. Clichy passed it to Cesc, who turned into Muamba and was on the verge of losing the ball when he managed to get his toe to it, which pushed it slightly out of Muamba’s reach, allowing Denilson to charge in, nick the ball and lay it off to Eddy.

  31. maurya

    Great. How much time left in the game for song to come back?
    I am not sure why many of you not impressed with Diaby last night. It might not be his best game. But he did win lot of headers including the one that created a goal for Verminator.

  32. luke

    Samir Says:
    January 21, 2010 at 16:54


    How do you know?

  33. frichie79

    I just hope Songs foot doest flare up after it got trod on…just look what happened to Merida, he got a knock when he first got on, carried on playing, scored, and now is fucked!!!

  34. Kreshnik

    No seriously … Diaby has improved his headers. And I thought that after he moved deeper, and almost switched with Denilson, to help with defending, our defending actually got better and he could move up as well.
    I really hope he’s back soon. Him Song and Fab in midfield will allow for Fab, Rosicky, Arsh and Dudu to smash anyone. That really is some crazy team right there.

    ——— Song ———
    —Fab ————-Diaby

    Rosicky –Dudu —–Arsh

  35. zorr0

    Chippy, some of those faces are definitely ‘worn’!

    Maq, it’s nice to add something to the bucket list!!!

    How long left in the game FFS!!!!????

  36. Femster

    Only HT they are losing 1-0 and if it stays that way they are out, but dont hold your breathe Cameroon are like Chavski.

  37. frichie79

    Lovely – Song sitting in and angling low passes into feet – the Arsenal man providing the base of the midfield.

  38. zorr0

    Yeah, Diaby’s heading has improved immeasurably. Last night he only spooned one straight up in the air in the box, whereas earlier in the season he was bullting them past clownmunia!

  39. dennisdamenace

    Wotcha ATom, how’s it hanging fella?

    Well at least Huntelaar can play alongside RvP, when he eventually returns….

  40. maurya

    I don’t think so we are getting that Huntelear. Edu is pretty close to him. What we need is a target man. He signs some one if he is miles better than Bendy. Otherwise none. As it stands, it is either Dzeko or none.

  41. Arsenal Tom

    DDM… all good here brother, yourself?!

    huntelaar on loan would be easy, just pretend to milan we wanna keep him after but aint got the cash or some shit.

    unless this dzeko stuff is true which im struggling to believe

  42. ardentgooner

    Zambia and Cameroon would be on same points with same Goal difference.. if Zambia win by 1 goal.. Not sure how it works then..is it goals scored or head2head?

  43. maurya

    Hopefylly Cameroon will go out. We really need Song for Villa and Fungus match. We will have few more players available for Chelsea and Pool game. Villa and Fungus matches are the ones, we are stretched know.