Writer: Vital Arsenal member G4L
Date:Monday October 22 2007
After another 2 weeks of agony in the form of international matches which reveal nothing new except for injuries to players galore - we finally got back to watching club footie, more specifically watching a Sam-less Bolton try to do what no team has done before (this season) - take a point from Ashburton.
After missing the first half of the first half due to instability of certain things that we're not allowed to mention (hint: you use them to watch footie online) - I managed to download the game and fill in the blank spaces - and boy were they exactly that - blank.
Apart from a chance by Ade in the 9th minute - there was little if any to get excited in terms of chances. In terms of time-wasting, frustrating, negativity, long-balls, cynical fouls, and other aspects of Bolton Football School developed by one Fat Sam, there was plentiful.
Player ratings - Arsenal:
Almunia - 7(?) - A few games prior to this one I remember writing that Almunia played the easiest game in his life. I lied. This was the one. 1 shot on goal, 0 on target sums it up for Manu, who must be thrilled by the support received from the Boss.
Sagna - 7.5 - I know many of us were happy to see his dreadlocks for one reason only - apparently when he has them, he is on his game. Very good both offensively and defensively - well done the hairdresser.
Clichy - 7 - He played well, but was rather ineffective. Guilty of an amazing run in the second half going past half of the Bolton team only to lose it in the box after a slight contact with O'Brien.
Toure - 8 - What a time to hit it! After all those scorchers that rattled and whistled by oppositions posts - Kolo broke the deadlock with a free kick that wasn't as powerful but was tricky as it went through numerous limbs that put off Jussi J.. In defence he was magnificent, not as if he had a lot to do. Had to deal with some long throws, long balls and long balls and so he did.
Captain William - 7 - After a spell on the sidelines, Gallas came back at the right time when Senderos returned crocked from a friendly. Nothing to do at the back, and had a shot cleared off the line after a corner. I hope he lasts more than 4 games. We need him.
Flamini - 7 - Sloppier than usual (this season's 'usual') Matty worked hard in the midfield and battled with that useless lump Nolan, and his colleagues Campo and McCann. His passing was a bit off as he seemed to rush it on occasions, but did his stuff as expected.
Cesc - 7.5 - was very good today as he arrowed passes from the midfield and showed his combative side as well. Sent Ade through on goal (the latter overdid it) and was a threat from outside, his shots saved by the well positioned Jaaskelainen. Booked for telling Riley he is a useless ****. At least I hope he did that.
Eboue - 6.5 - He was better than last time, but his performance dipped significantly in the second half. Created one of the two chances we had in the 1st half and missed a rather easy chance at the start of the 2nd. Sometimes should reduce power for placement, just like his fellow Ivorian did. Subbed by Rosicky on the hour.
Alex Hleb - 8.1 - MOM - The Belarus international always gets overlooked in the MOM selection due to him playing standardly well and other having blinders. I can only add Cesc and perhaps Kolo and Flam to this group of standard performers. A versatile midfielder who played left, right and behind the striker and created openings and opportunities for his colleagues. Replaced by Abou Diaby on 89'.
Eduardo - 7 - reminds me of an upgraded version of Davor Suker - a Croatian with clever movement and a great left foot, always lurking and ready to pounce. Not the best of games we'll see from him, but until he became tired he was thoroughly engaged in our attacks. His partnership with Ade wasn't smooth and he became sloppy with his passes. Still created a couple of chances with his crosses from left before he made way for Theo.
Adebayor - 7 - big-game Ade is (hopefully) saving the live ammo for Liverpool and Manure - his finishing let him down. He had a couple of great chances but either sliced the shots wide or overdid it in the runs. A great player for Arsenal.
Theo - 7.5 - excellent. Direct, pacy, determined, knowing what he wants to do with the ball. Left Gardner for dead for the 2nd goal and a great pass to find Rosicky. More of that please.
Rosicky - 7.5 - I hope you all watched Tommy's run for the 2nd goal from the start. If you didn't, please do. Great sense for positioning and a sublime touch to put it behind the goalie.
Diaby - not rated.
Sparta next, and a chance to continue this great run in all competitions. I really feel for RvP, he was groovy before the injury. Anyone going to Praha?
Have a nice one Gooners. Lonely at the top.
Date:Monday October 22 2007
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