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I Slam The Walrus

2007 has been very good to us Gooners thus far, a last minute winner against Man USA, our reserves knocking the Spuds out of the Carling Cup and now knocking the orks, and more importantly, that despicable lying **** Allardyce out of the F.A Cup. Last night's game was one that defied any rational analysis, other than the fact this was a bizarre game that will live long in the memory. Three goals, two penalty misses, a last minute equaliser and a red card meant this game had it all. In honesty I was not expecting much from this encounter given the fact that the spine of our team was largely absent and out mental block against Bolton.

Before I proceed, I must apologise if this report rambles or isn't of great quality, but I am currently running a temperature higher than Snoop Dogg and hallucinations seem imminent. I did take some pictures, but I'll have to post them on a separate thread later because the software at my work will not allow it. Digital age? MY ARSE! Upon viewing the team prior to kick off, my confodence grew, Diaby and Denilson are not subject to this mental block against Bolton that is so prevalent amongst the first team and the physical presence that ran throughout the side was a masterstroke from Wenger. For instance, moving the stronger, more agile Djourou to right back. Bolton began quickly, as is their custom, bombarding us early, a trick that has worked for them with embarassing regularity over the years. But the Gunners held firm as Bolton's aerial threat bereft of 'elbows' Davies was virtually non existent. With Diaby and particularly Denilson winning the physical battle in midfield against Nolan and Speed, Hleb and Rosicky were able to feed the front two with their awesome ball control. If there is a player in the Premiership with better dribbling skills and better balance thatn Alex Hleb, I just have not seen him. Both the wingers combined their tasty interplay with a tenacity in the tackle. Young Diaby continued to do his Vieira impression, usually I am loathe to draw comparisons, but at times it is like Wenger has built a time machine, gone back to 1997, cloned Vieira and with a great strike of lightning declared....I WILL CALL HIM...DIABY!

The Gunners decided to change their regular routine by scoring first, Adebayor collecting Denilson's deft pass on the edge of the box and 'doing a Lampard' by firing it in off the underside of Meite's studs. From there on, the away side assumed full control, Adebayor finding Rosicky on the left, but his low cross was scuffed by the Beast at the back post. Around me, Baptista drew some criticism, but I thought he had a superb game. His finishing was woeful, but his ability to hold the ball up with his back to goal and bring others into play was faultless. But minutes before half time, Nolan's low shot was unwittingly blocked by Stelios on the six yard line and he turned his effort onto the bar, Gilberto protected the virginity of the Arsenal goal by throwing himself at Nolan's rebound. Any Trotters bemoaning their luck at that point will do well to remember that Arsenal have hit the woodwork eight times on their last three visits to the Reebok. At half time the Gunners looked comfortable, ironically just as they had in the F.A Cup Fourth Round fixture versus Bolton last year.

The Gunners had a plethora of chances to extend their advantage, Baptista running through on Jaaskelained, but got caught between squaring to Adebayor or going for goal, his final ball was laboured and indecisive as a result. The game looked to be won half way through the second half, Baptista jinking past Ben Haim in the box only to be brought down. But Gilberto blazed the penalty high, wide and not at all handsome and Bolton looked rejuvenated. The Gunners defended manfully, repelling all of Bolton's set pieces, soaking up the pressure and hitting on the break through Hleb and Rosicky. Denilson winning the ball back with the applomb of a seasoned pro. In the dying embers, Arsenal had the greatest chance to wrap up the tie, Adebayor running clean through on goal, rounding Jaaskelainin right down in front of me, only for the ball to rebound off the post when I had looked away already beginning to celebrate. Adebayor's incredulous open palmed gesture to the travelling ranks said it all.

As Bolton threw on some subs (curiously subbing the players NEAREST to the bench when they're a goal down, how strange), and our bogey team were to grab the most undeserved of equalisers. Ridden with fatigue, Arsenal's defenders dropped right back onto their goal line, Campo flicked on a Diouf corner, for Abdoulaye Meite to slot home from close range. Despair bolted through me like thunder, so close to getting such a deserved win, only to see Bolton grab extra time with the impetus formly coarsing through their sails. The mood was of deflation amongst the Arsenal ranks as the players awaited half time. 'Come on Arsenal' we implored, struggling to push the volume above the annnoying noise of the droning Bolton drum away to our right. Bolton predictably took the initiative and Arsenal were camped in their own half. Hearts were a flutter as a Diouf cross was sliced agonisingly onto his own post by the luckless Gilberto. For him to have a penalty miss and an own goal aginst his name after such an inspired performance, would have been a tragedy of Oedipal proportions. 'I'd settle for penalties now' I remarked to Lord Lowe.

But the futility of terrace encouragement was elucidated in the most heavenly fashion. Ljungberg recieved a verbal battering from your writer, with the frustration ebbing through me, 'you're an embarassment' I uncharacteristically barked. Usually I keep my groans to a quiet murmur, but Freddie looked so embarassingly cumbersome and slow, we might as well have had a traffic cone on the left. Hleb and Rosicky were replaced in extra time, our two shining stars. But their replacements were to come up trumps. Aliadiere starting a mazy run inside his own half, jinking past Vaz Te on the touchline before roasting the creaking limbs of Ivan Campo, he slid a beautifully weighted slide rule pass into the path of Ljungberg,and we partied like it was 2002. Ljungberg whipping a gorgeous finish in from an impossible angle. Bolton looked down, but by no means out. To their credit, they simply refused to crumble, Nicolas Anelka teeing himself up for a close range volley which arrowed inches over the crossbar.

The mesmeric dribbling of Baptista earned us a further advantage, once again jinking by Ben Haim, only for the Israeli to shuffle out a tired leg and earn a second yellow. Ironically, Campo's awful dive apart, this was by far Bolton's least violent display against Arsenal yet they were to have a man sent off. It should have been two men, Jaaskelainen journied up for a corner, but Arsenal broke and Adebayor, poised to slot into an empty net, was hauled down by Nicolas Anelka. Fouls simply do not come more professional than that, yet Foy, who had an excellent game, showed Anelka an act of contrition by cautioning him. Baptista was to follow his compatriot by blazing the penalty over the bar. To be fair, my vociferous advice to him was to smash it down the middle as hard as you can, either scoring, or walloping the ball out of the stadium. I would have preferred the former option, but beggars cannot be choosers. Bolton mounted one last attack, but Arsenal caught them on the break, Baptista rounding Jaaskelainen for Adebayor to score his second.

Fans stood in breathless adulation at the final whistle, baffled by what they had seen. This victory was all the sweeter for Allardyce's pre match lying regarding Wenger's comments about Bolton's style of play. Wenger has been nothing but complimentary to this disgucting slob since his side poleaxed three of our players out of a gam in 2003. Allardyce is an odious little f***wit, Wenger even stood up for him amidst the 'bung' allegations, a sympathetic gesture which was classlessly thrown back in his face by the most despicable man in football. 'Fat Boy what's the score rang around the away end.' Before I wrap this up, I must once again commend the sterling performance of Gael Clichy, who looks every bit a world class left back, putting not a foot wrong all game, both in supporting his wingers, covering his centre backs, and nullifying the twin threats of Stelios and Diouf. Please vot him player of the month. Outside I was accosted by a young Trotter (not the one from Hookie Street) who shook my hand and wished a warm congratulations. A gesture that prevented me from dishing out some abuse from the coach window. It was a game where football was the winner, both sides contributed immensely to an enthralling encounter, Chris Foy had a marvellous game, it's a shame Chelsea fans do not get the chance to enjoy games like this. As I returned to my seat on the coach, the blood punded against my temples, my already throaty gruff had begun to sound like Bob Dylan in the middle of a vocal chrod scraping, and my guts chutned with nausea. It was that good. LD.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday February 15 2007

Time: 1:13PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Fat Sam got a good lesson and he will think zillion times now before farting anything against us from his ass shaped mouth.
Barnet Gooner
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15/02/2007 13:26:00

Crap article. Why being so obnoxious?
Brighton White
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15/02/2007 13:38:00

If you think that's obnoxious I feel sorry for you, you obviously get offended very easily and therefore, probably don't lead an enjoyable liife.
Little Dutch
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15/02/2007 13:42:00

Coz Allardyce is a lying kn*b who should think before opening his mouth. Wenger praised Bolton as much as possible before the 1st game, running through a list of their players and telling the world a team with those players COULD play football. He also defended the thief by ridiculing the panorama programme, what thanks does he get? A small time del boy trotter wannabe telling the world how he doesnt like Arsene and how Arsene said bad things about his team. Disrespectful and utterly untrue, I hope anything he does from now until he retires goes pear shaped and he gets banged up for tax evasion.
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15/02/2007 13:43:00

What a great performance, especialy first half, i think that could be described as total football, and i agree hleb is unbelievable, he has an impact on our side like no other i think, now we have to face blackburn on satuday and psv on tuesday, this fixture pile up is ridiculous ????
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15/02/2007 13:49:00

gud article little dutch u stupid****
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15/02/2007 13:56:00

Why does the truth hurt that you have a fat ,stupid, pillock as your manager ??
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15/02/2007 14:17:00

Good article LD, 'Bungs' Alardyce got what he deserved last night fat ****, fantastic match though! I always felt Clichy was technically an all round better player than the chav!
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15/02/2007 14:28:00

From the heart Dutch, from the heart. (Looks for little pink tapping man thingy!)
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15/02/2007 14:53:00

Sorry to change the subject but you have to go to the following link...This will make you laugh!!
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15/02/2007 15:09:00

ha, yeah I just posted it too on the 'seriously cool' thread in the forums Limpar, hilarious innit?? :)
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15/02/2007 15:11:00

Top comment at the end...He know's a small club when he sees one.
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15/02/2007 15:13:00

I laughed and snot came out when I read that link! lol
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15/02/2007 15:39:00

LOL.Bang On, LD. Arsene no doubt showed class in his comments about Bolton. Arsenal Never once showed any sign of time wasting of what fat a$$ sam said about arsenal. That fat punk def looked like a punk by talking $hit all day, with AW taking the highre route. As for the match it was amazing and i can't wait for saturday.
Youngest in Charge
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15/02/2007 15:41:00

I had to share this quote just to add to an already great 2007...its from Robihno when asked about a possible transfer at the end of the season to a particular club: "Reports that I'd move to Tottenham are wide off the mark. If I had to leave Real, I'd choose to join another big club. I don't regard Tottenham Hotspur as a big club."
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15/02/2007 15:41:00

Damn i should read the other posts before posting (see Limpar 11 above) but i just couldn't stop laughing :P
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15/02/2007 15:43:00

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15/02/2007 16:44:00

LD were you wearing that JVC arsenal kit of a few years ago, which you also wore to the champions league final? i remember the pics you posted on the site a few months ago from the final, and if you were wearing that same jersey, then i think i saw you on tv jumping like a mad man when Freddie scored the winner..
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15/02/2007 17:16:00

gr8 article LD as usual ! i think the difference now is we have strength, not in depth but in power, look at last night, Gilberto, Baptista, Adebayor, Denilson, Toure... strong players who don't get pushed around !
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15/02/2007 17:17:00

Greetings all, long time listener 1st time caller. what a truly thrilling match, wenger spot on using diaby and denilso. that boy is something. his vision and quick feet are outstanding already, he shud av taken the penalties he has stamina too running rings round old man campo and speed after 115mins of play. Fat Sam eat your words there was not a nano second of time wasting from arsenal last nite, even after going 1up on 13min. Freddy looked v uncomoftable when he came on but that goal will give him a great boost, still a useful player in my opinion. Think Ta is challenging Diouf for boltons most hated player. Baptista was woeful in his passing last nite, fair play he can hold the ball up but we cud have had a lot more chances if he had squared it properly. A victory that was long over due, now thats what i call romance!
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15/02/2007 17:28:00

I saw someone jumping around in a crazy manner wearing that shirt aswell luckys_10, was it LD?
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15/02/2007 17:32:00

what a game, and an article that does justice to it !! great stuff LD. so many players were huge for us. I was thrilled by Denilson, and Diaby had a good game. those 2 bossed the mid-field, what exciting kids !! Clichy was very good, but we are finally seeing the kind of impact hleb and rosicky can have on the arsenal game - magnificent. ok, before I go on to name every player for a great game, i will stop :). but, what a performance. and to think the score could have been 4 or maybe even 5-1. bogey team, what the hell is that ??!!
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15/02/2007 19:50:00

and what about Ali's fantastic run to set up freddie !! i dont hear anyone talking abt that. promising signs from him, coz he's showing us a little bit of class.
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15/02/2007 20:24:00

thought the kids out did themselves esp denilson. he is calmness personified. strong on the ball, great passing ability and strong in the tackle. and to think he's only 19. diaby did well considering that was his first 90min game in 9 months although they were admittedly a few rusty moments. really happy for aliadiere as he's finally gettin a run in the first team and he's not half bad. think he still has a future at arsenal though. two things worried me though 1. as much as i love freddy, when he came on, he looked shockingly slow in the first minutes of extra time when up against diouf and vaz te though he scored a great goal. I fear his legs are gone for good and we need to get a pacy winger in during the summer to compensate for this 2. our profilgacy in front of goal could have cost much as the team seems to raise its game without henry,he's by far our most clinical striker bar van persie. Hopefully bendnter will be less wasteful in front of goal since finishing off our chances is our biggest problem now. hopefully adebayor's finishing will also improve in the long run lastly baptista's first touch was alarmingly awful and his passing poor. he's a great physical presence to have but not convinced yet that he's an arsenal type player despite his great timin of when and where to be in the box.
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16/02/2007 02:07:00

No that wasn't me, I watched the game back last night and I know what you're talking about. But I was sat in the upper tier in my suit. I'll post some pictures tonight.
Little Dutch
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16/02/2007 06:32:00

why do you hate Allardyce so much?, is it cos he generally knows how to get results out of you? Its not like Wenger, and most other managers dont do their fair share of ***** talking.
Jacky B
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16/02/2007 13:52:00

But Allardyce out and out lies. Before every game he puts pressure on the ref, telling him to watch out for our dirty tricks via the media. Wenger hasn't made any derogatory comments about fat boy for nearly four years. On top of that, he has since come out and criticised the ref, who had a brilliant game. This puts pressure on the ref of the next Arsenal Bolton game.
Little Dutch
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16/02/2007 14:31:00


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