Bolton Get a Taste of their Own Medicine – And Don’t Like It

By on January 21, 2010

Oh, the hypocrisy!! How richly ironic for Bolton fans to be complaining about a hard foul! Bolton got a taste of their own medicine last night, and -surprise, surprise, they didn’t like it. Do I feel bad that Arsenal got an equalizer following the foul? HELL NO! Would anyone have felt bad for Arsenal if James Vaughn had put Everton up 3-1 last week? HELL NO! In fact, no one even mentioned it. And Denilson could have had a heart attack for all anyone knew at the moment. Bu the fact is that you play to the whistle, and that’s what Arsenal did. Bolton had numerous chances to clear that ball out of play and they failed at each one. I can understand that they feel cheated because they were then only able to have 9 men behind the ball instead of the usual 10, but the goal is no one’s fault but their own.

If you re-watch it, you can understand how no Arsenal players involved in the subsequent play could have realized the extent of Davies’ injury. The injury is unfortunate and a foul should have been given, but it wasn’t. Arsenal have been on the losing end of decisions like these and this is a matter of things leveling out-especially with Bolton. Consider the penalty on Fabregas… an almost instant replay of the penalty Rooney was given at Old Trafford against us. Bolton weren’t the only victim of bad refereeing decisions last night.

Here is a team that has survived as a Premier League team almost wholly by virtue of their physicality. We have been the victims of dozens and dozens of hard and late challenges from Bolton in the last few years, and for them to now whine about it is the absolute height of hypocrisy. Bolton have reaped what they have sown, and Arsenal have been on the losing end of bad challenges and bad calls more than enough for me to not even blink an eye.

But, nevermind all that… WE ARE TOP OF THE LEAGUE!!! It was an amazing comeback. Even after the half-hour mark, it looked dim for the Arsenal. We looked to be hoping to salvage a point, not go top of the league. Fabregas again was brilliant, but he was just his usual self. You know he has seriously developed when he just goes about his game, doing what he usually does, and the commentators say what an incredible match he had.

Rosicky’s goal just before the break was crucial. From a Fabregas assist, Rosicky, with Knight closing him down and little back-lift, put a rocket past Jääskeläinen’s near-post. That was the moment of hope. Once the equalizer came, you just knew we would go on to claim all the points, but would we go top of the league?

Arshavin’s fantastic goal put us top of the pile, albeit with a game-in-hand. His goal was assisted nicely by Eduardo, similar to his assist on Fabregas’s goal in the match on Sunday. Yet, Eduardo struggled once again to regain his finishing touch, but he continues to be in the right place at the right time and has assisted on three of our last 6 goals.

Arsenal did struggle defensively to cope with Bolton’s aerial assault, but that is to be expected. The Sky commentators were basically sucking Kevin Davies dick all night long for winning headers. But it’s the second ball that matters and Arsenal dealt with those well enough to get the points. The full return of Gael Clichy was promising even if his failed clearance led to Bolton’s first goal, and seeing Theo Walcott on the pitch was a welcome sight after all the injury problems he’s faced this season.

It’s a shame that our reaching the summit of the table has to be shrouded in controversy, but, personally, I couldn’t care less. Initially, Arsene Wenger said he didn’t think the foul was that bad, but, after looking at it, he did apologize. However, you could see the annoyance on Arsene’s face and in his voice in the post-match interview (see video below), and I was glad to see Arsene get a bit fired up in the interview room.

An even more controversial, but mis-interpreted incident, had the Arsenal supporters supposedly cheering as Davies was being stretchered off. They were cheering but it was not because Davies was injured, but in response to Jääskeläinen engaging the home fans.

But, this wasn’t even the true beginning of the title chase… that begins in a week with trips to Villa and Chelsea and a home match to United in the space of only days-followed by Liverpool’s visit to the Emirates. We have kept the run going and, more importantly, built on the team’s already high level of confidence.

Surely, we will go to the Midlands expecting the get three points. We should also get full points from United’s visit. The real title-race turner will be the six-pointer at the Bridge, where Arsenal have performed well in recent seasons grabbing a win last year and nearly doing the same the year before.

If we can emerge from the next four games with a minimum of 9 points, the title race will surely be in our own hands.


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