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August 2021

Bolton – Arsenal, a preview

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By The Last Man in the Untold building


With Tony being down under. With Phil being between class and the road to Bolton and so not able to do his usual preview of the game. With Billy the Dog already celebrating our victory in some pub and not able to write something down. Well nothing that we could publish anyway.  With Dogface having done his refwatch article and given us the required wisdom to understand what the ref is up to.  The only person left to tell you something about the game before it happened was me. They told me I couldn’t go home before I wrote a preview of the game. So here it is.


So a bit of new territory but Phil promised to write an after the game report for tomorrow so we are awaiting with hope and anticipation.


Okay where to start? Maybe with the line up. If I would be Wenger (and thank God I am not Wenger) I would start with


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Szczesny the Pole,


 Mertesacker the pole, Koscielny the former Unknown,

 Coquelin the midfielder                                                                    The Verminator

Song the he never will be good at all still for some (idiots)

                                                      Aaron the Welshman                                                               Arteta the Spanish Bask


Theo the fast one          RVP the World class one          The Ox, the ox one


Probably at this evening at 8.oo  you will all laugh with this line up but until then you can try to do better.


I think Wenger will stick with Coquelin at right back because Sagna still will need a few days before he will be back to his usual high level. Maybe a late appearance from the bench could be done somewhere. But anyway we could have a real right back backup on the bench this time. The rest of the defence picks itself in fact. And Coquelin did a good job so far in his games so no reason to not trust him. And I think Coquelin is better equipped for joining the attack compared to Djourou who also is back fit it seems. Or would Wenger dare to go for Yennaris?


In midfield the hardest decision is between Aaron and Rosicky. Rosicky has come back from the dead this season. After his terrible and long injury he wasn’t the same player as before. But now he is showing glimpses of the old Rosicky again. To complete his come back the only thing missing are goals. It could be that Aaron gets a rest today and Rosicky starts. Well Tomas, why not launch one of those rockets you used to launch in the past and ending up in the top corner of the goal? I think a certain Thomas Eisfeld will love to see it.


Arteta and Song pick themselves with Arteta being fit again.


Up front I would start with the same players as we did on Sunday. Or maybe would Wenger try to play Henry from the start? Didn’t he score a super goal at Bolton the last time he went there? Or was it Blackburn? Oh, my memory but I still remember the ball ending in the top corner from just outside the penalty area.  Park will be sitting on the bench I think in the absence of Chamakh.


So what should we do? Well there is really only one option and that is to win our game. A win could bring us within touching distance with Chelsea. A loss would make life more difficult. So losing is no option.


A game at Bolton is never easy so I will take any win how scrappy it might be. We must make sure that we convert the chances and let us not give the ref a chance to give some kind of imaginary penalty to the other team. As we saw yesterday there are no easy games in the EPL. Only a diverted shot could rescue Chelsea in the last seconds of the game from defeat. So the focus should be there from the first minute of the game. But if the players play like they did in the second half against Aston Villa we sure should be able to take the points back to London.


Of course if the players really want to do me and the other faint hearted people a big favour you could also decide to win this game with a large score line. I wouldn’t mind you know.  I sure wouldn’t mind….

21 comments to Bolton – Arsenal, a preview

  • i trust in u wenger.keep on with ur good work

  • rusty

    After all of Wenger’s warnings about not wanting to play the Ox overmuch at his age, I would see him out, with perhaps Benayoun or Arshavin in on the left?

    On the other hand, Bolton has sold Cahill to Chelsea, and said that he was one of the league’s best covering defenders — springing the offside trap etc — so a more direct approach with the Ox might be exactly what the game needs.

  • Wearing two pairs of socks on my way to Bolton – I imagine it will be amongst the coldest places on Earth at the Reebok today!!

  • Arun

    Just read that terry is going to face trial in July .wtf?
    It happened before the suarez case and he is serving the punishment whereas terry is yet to face trial.Seems like fa is too desperate to keep him in the side for euro in june.

  • FinnGooner

    Good article.

    Arun: Terry is English and nothing should prevent his chance to play in EC, Suarez is foreigner so no matter what happens to him.

  • Arun

    Well, I thought this kind of things only happened in India but very happy to be proved wrong.

  • Laundryender

    the reason Suarez was dealt with quickly is, the complaint was made by Evra, so under FA juristiction. Terry is being prosecuted by the CPS, it is a criminal offence he is facing, so is being dealt with by the courts.

  • dan

    Walcott does it again.

  • I think the last man in the building should do the line up every time, top work fella;you could have said Alex “yellow card” Song though ha ha!!!!

  • dan

    We look toothless as soon as TH came on.
    Walcott is by for the most useless player to wear our shirt.

  • walter

    If you don’t score you can’t win. We should have been 2 or 3 up after 15 minutes and if you don’t you make it even more difficult for you.

    I thought it was strange to see that after 65 minutes we were looking tired. Maybe the game against Villa took too much away from the players?

  • DC

    Yet again, plenty of chances to win the game by several goals!
    It’s very difficult to not criticise Theo with the number of clear-cut chances and excellent positions he gets into.
    Walter, I’m with you, I don’t think Henry helped – he’s still well off the pace. Rosicky or Benayoun should have come on sooner to add some much needed energy!
    Disappointing result again down to unlucky (RVP) and poor finishing (Theo). The bad run away from home continues and we now have Liverpool and Newcastle well and truly in the race for 4th place. It’s “squeaky-bum time” already!

  • RedGooner

    We dont have the squad Walter to deal with games every 3 or 4 days and still pick up enough points, seven from 21 is not top 4 form its more like the back end of last season.
    It wont get better with champs league and FA cup games considering spurs can rest while we play in europe and chelsea have a stronger squad overall.

    Im not quite sure what to think apart from we are over relliant on youths that are tired and injured most of the time and the effect that is having on the likes of RVP who hasnt a long career ahead of him suggests we are going in the wrong direction.
    Walcott can ask for as BIG of a pay rise as he likes but if you miss chances at this level like he did tonight you dont deserve it.
    Very frustrating to watch when there was an oppertunity to close on chelsea and keep pace hoping spurs slipped up the weekend.

  • ak47

    well well. finish above the spuds? jack might as well hand over that tenner now. how is walcott still a first teamer? only in the last ten minutes when wenger remembered he had subs did walcott try to beat the opposition. serial un-affecter is what he is. speedy brainless flakes.

    but wenger leaves him on and takes off the ox. again! he cant be serious. im done with walcott if you havent guessed. ive waited to long for him to show consistent form. im resigned to thinking he is just an average player. fast and thats about it. want play down the middle? dont make me laugh.

    i still read this blog every day and you get props for the constant positivity but its wearing thin on me. ill never cross over to the grove side cos there a bunch of unmentionables but lets be real.

    were not arsenal 2009/10 so the clever tippy tappy needs to stop. it werent that effective then and now the personnel just look silly trying to recreate it. the sloppy passes were embarrassing. simple direct passes for some reason was constantly overlooked, over and over.
    what happened to the pressing? am i to believe that because we did it in the second half of the villa game these pro athletes are now tired? i cant buy it.

    no movement, so much so players were running into each other!
    i think ill stop the rant there cos i could go on forever.

    cant believe its gotten this bad. not to condon how le grove goes about there biz but in hindsight they were right.

  • Mandy dodd

    Hope you take into account that Walcott has been playing without the support of a proper right back for most of the season, that would do the confidence of most who play in his role.
    Hope you are not happy at the thougt of the spuds finishing above us , and even if they did, it would be the first time in fifteen years, guess law of averages and all that?

  • Tasos

    First half performance was good enough to have won the game, we created the chances but as some have already stated, you need to take those opportunities. Bolton have improved recently, can’t think why that should be since they sold their supposedly top centre half?

    The Ox impressed again, Sagna and Arteta added the necisary experience we have been missing recently and RVP deserved a goal for his audacious chip but it just wasn’t to be on the night. Individually this wasn’t a bad result.

  • ak47

    apologies. needed to vent. not quite sure that having a decent right back would help walcott in his deficiencies. one on one for example. 8 out of 10 players in that situation i would of thought would take it around the keeper the two that wouldnt? walcott and ramsey. though ramseys to be fair was slightly harder as he was stretching and he’s been out for a while but even then im making excuses for players who have been kicking a ball since they could walk. not nearly good enough. the amount of times walcott gets in to space on the wing and tries to take on a man pales in comparison to the amount of times he bottles it and passes inside or loses the ball. i cant take it any more. he’ll go on a decent run then…. brain freeze.

    of course im not happy with the spuds finishing above us and i also understand the amount of money they’ve managed to spend without actually winning much means they probably should have finished above us some time ago.

    its just very frustrating knowing that this could maybe have been all avoided if we had been pro active when cesc was here. i guess ill have to wait for le prof to write his book to see what the hell has been going on for the past 7 yrs.

    ill still support em through thick and thin, make no mistake about that. id hate to be a man oil supporter. yeah yeah they might dominate footie for years to come but who couldnt with all that money? hardly an achievement.

  • DC

    Nice bit of perspective and let’s not forget that this side completely outplayed Liverpool recently and beat them 3 – 1.

  • DC

    I too feel your pain and you’re spot on about Walcott!

  • Mandy dodd

    Agree on wengers book, it would make interesting reading. As for the spuds, the fact is, they have kept,their best players, and more importantly, have kept them fit. Bale is not from barca and modric had several years on his contract, that is the reasons, not as some would have you believe, they have more ambition than us. Things have gone largely right for them this season, things have gone largely wrong for us, sometimes just happens, and only my opinion, but I think wengers role in this is being over simplified.
    Walcott needs a lift and some confidence. His natural inclination is to cut inside, when he,can be dangerous, he needs an overlapping rb to help him do this, or at least in my slightly tactically , far from astute opinion! Jd will never be a rb, Jenks shows promise but is raw, tho kos seemed to do ok there.
    Proactive when cesc was here, maybe we could have done more but I am still not convinced many know the restrictions wenger was under.
    Can identify with the need to vent though, it is a frustrating time for anyone who cares about this club

  • Gord

    A few things, hopefully you’ll let me ramble.

    No supporter of a football team will equate team performance with the flipping of a fair coin, but the lack of goals in football does make predicting who will win look a lot like flipping coins. Teams that “park the bus” and play counter-attack or long-ball have a surprisingly large chance of winning games even if they don’t have many skilled players.

    Arsenal is “tougher” this year, than a couple of years ago. Which is good, because teams just thought they could foul Arsenal all game (and the referee ignores most of the “trivial” fouls). How to get past that parked bus is the next thing to develop.

    A little self-serving.
    RVP is a good player, and world class. Canada needs to learn how to park the bus when playing the USA in Women’s football. Christine Sinclair: between 169-172 appearances, has 129 goals. Which is comparable to RVP.

    I’ll try to make time looking at time distributions (time domain and frequency domain) of calls, not calls, and so on. Walter wrote one article on this, I keep dreaming about Fourier transforms since then.

    Some book-keeping.
    Nobody had suggestions for other places to look for referee reports where calls at times were available. Before today’s game, I count 74 reviews: 17999, 17917, 17763, 17795, 17602, 17607, 17557, 17581, 17643, 17573, 17485, 17425, 17409, 17313, 17270, 17224, 17174, 17077, 17153, 16884, 16842, 16809, 16735, 16629, 16609, 16362, 16348, 16312, 16251, 16137, 16129, 15918, 16019, 15863, 15735, 15675, 15661, 15493, 15574, 15469, 15372, 15360, 15245, 15266, 15261, 14970, 15174, 15117, 14939, 14933, 14831, 14729, 14663, 14642, 14584, 14567, 14514, 14484, 14426, 14213, 14210, 14197, 14086, 14059, 14078, 13996, 14035, 13874, 13862, 13840, 13794, 13788, 13737, 10238

    In the referee’s area, I see 10 RefWatch: 17751, 17979, 17343, 17099, 16867, 16771, 16566, 15931, 15504, 9918

    In terms of analysis where numbers are part of the report (mostly by Walter), I have 20: 17860, 17840, 17677, 17481, 17683, 17448, 16160, 16157, 16076, 15836, 15828, 15698, 15606, 15402, 14850, 14368, 14763, 13750, 9866, 9876