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Arsenal versus Bolton – Untold preview time

This weekend brings Bolton down to the Emirates stadium, and with the second string returning to winning ways, it’d be great if the first team could follow suit. Bolton are a strange side, with a lot of positivity surrounding Owen Coyle’s management that isn’t really borne out by the results. They came in at 14th last season after starting strongly, and this season they sit in the bottom three with only a solitary win to their name. Of course, Arsenal fans wouldn’t be foolish enough to judge a side after five games given our own shaky start, but it does seem that Coyle’s results don’t really equate to the praise he gets.

The backdrop to this game is of course the Cahill “saga” this summer, with Phil Gartside and Coyle throwing their toys out the pram after they rejected a “derisory” bid from Arsenal for their star centreback. Unfortunately, Owen Coyle seemed to have got caught up in the “English premium” after Kenny Dalglish went a little wild this summer. Cahill’s reported £17m price tag with one year left on his contract would make him a £30-40m player if he had four years left on his deal, which translates to him being one of the best defenders in world football, and not playing for Bolton with five England caps. Owen Coyle was well within his rights to reject the bid but he made a big mistake in my eyes: we’ll either offer less in January than we did in the summer, or secure him on a pre-contract deal meaning he joins us for nothing in the summer.

With that backdrop, a testy game may be in the offing despite Coyle and Wenger’s protestations to the contrary. We should be fairly confident of a result at home, even given our own shaky form. I’m lucky enough to have a ticket for this one, so I’m really looking forward to getting down to it despite a six hour round trip. Let’s have a look who’s fit.

Rosicky is back in the squad; whilst Sagna and Ramsey had positive tests so are expected to be involved. Benayoun and Djourou are out with minor muscle injuries, alongside long termers Diaby, Vermaelen and Wilshere. Giving us something along the lines of:

Szcznesy

Sagna Mertesacker Koscielny Santos

Song Arteta

Ramsey

Walcott Van Persie Gervinho

Szcznesy comes back in after Fabianksi’s run out against Shrewsbury, whilst with Santos getting a start at Blackburn and Gibbs playing in midweek it seems the Brazilian international is ahead of Gibbs in Wenger’s mind. The continued absence of Thomas Vermaelen means the Mertesacker-Koscielny axis continues in the heart of the defence, with Sagna at right back.

Further forward Mikel Arteta continues in midfield, buoyed by his first goal for the club, while Song shields the back four. The now-fit Ramsey could play further forward in midfield. Up front Robin Van Persie leads the line, flanked by Walcott and the impressive Gervinho.

That team should have more than enough to beat Bolton, but if one of Mike Riley’s disciples decide to turn down a couple of penalty calls then who knows what will happen. I’m expecting a fairly comfortable 2-0 to the Arsenal, but I’ll reserve the right to change that after reading RefWatch.

18 comments to Arsenal versus Bolton – Untold preview time

  • Gord

    I’m hoping for the best. But, goal difference could be important at the end of the season. At some point I would like to see Arsenal “turn on the style” and run the score up. It’s not nice to the opposition, and I am not saying Bolton is perceived as being easy. But, we have dug a hole with respect to goal difference than needs to be filled.

    And I hope for no more injuries, to either side.

  • Bolton have nothing to lose here, expect the best fear the worst,
    Cahill to out perform Davies to iritate and the best possible
    outcome a draw.

  • Tuesday empty i was there, No heart beat come back
    Arsenal .

  • RefWatch is up Phil – I think 2-0 is a good shout.

  • Gord

    @Adam.

    Please give us some kind of description of the content at the end of the link.

  • hi gunners,pls my autmost concern is dat our playars should know dat bolton are not coming 2 d emirete 2 fold dere hand dey will try 2 cos anoder upset so our players should b careful with dem.2 0 in fevour of arsenal.

  • arsenal should not undarete bolton.gunnes 4life.

  • Adam

    @Gord I thought Premier league.com kind of gave it away.

  • Mandy dodd

    Off topic but jack now out for months, why is it always the key players? He was over played last season, a shame others in that position could not help out more at the time.

  • Gord

    @Adam

    Does PremierLeague.com only post one kind of article? Okay, your link shows the referee assignments. Why should I visit that link instead of http://blog.emiratesstadium.info/archives/14857 ?

    If you present a link, you should give people some kind of summary, so that they have a good idea as to whether they should visit the link, or avoid it.

    Lately, I’ve been seeing so much bad press about Arsenal, that the only place I come to is Untold.

  • Rhys Jaggar

    I really do think you need to get your brain out of your arse where Cahill’s signing is concerned.

    You’re talking as if Arsenal are Man Utd.

    I wish they still were.

    Cahill will only sign for a Champions League club. Which might be Liverpool, might be Spurs, it might even be Man Utd or Chelsea, although that looks a bit less likely.

    So before spouting all these certainties, focus on exhorting the current side to ensure that that is likely……..

    And explain to Mr Cahill that your top 4 players probably WON’T be leaving next summer as the friendly Daily Mirror has suggested today………..

  • Dark Prince

    Jus dont kno what to expect in our current form…

  • today is a must win game, we are in deep trouble if we don’t, just look at the October fixtures…

    two writeoffs (Spuds, Chavs), a team which played us off the park last time around (Stoke) and a notorious banana skin (Sunderland)…

  • JohnW

    Rhys,
    Arsenal is a Champion’s League team, whether you want it or not. I can see you believe the media campaign on The Arsenal, but we will be back, and by February, the media will concoct other talking points. Some times you whis for things that may not happen. With due respect to Liverpool, do you actually think with their squad they can finish top four this season?

  • walter

    About Cahill

    FFS Stoke – Bolton 5-0 semi final FA cup last year. Cahill a walking disaster…
    bolton – Utd 0-5 few weeks ago: Cahill nowhere to be seen in defence at times… first goal of Utd did you see how he was fooled by Chicarito….

    Why on earth are people so obsessed with us buying Cahill. Has he proven in the big games that he could be some addition to our squad?

    Also playing in a defensive orientated team with most of the time 8 players in defence is far easier than being a defender in an attacking side like Arsenal where most of the time you have 7-8 players joining in the attack

    I’m not saying Cahill is a bad defender but please don’t let us pretend that he is the best defender in the EPL.

  • Mahdain

    @walter agreed tbh im really happy we didnt overpay for him..he is so overrated and not the world class defender the media want us to believe..he is decent at best and nothing more..do some of our fans actually believe he is better than what we have? give me kos over cahill anyday of the week

  • Adam

    @Gord, GROW UP FELLA.