Can Arsenal Even Beat Bolton At The Reebok?

The Bogey Team v The Comeback Kings…

Myles has touched on Thierry Henry not playing in the first half these days and I made the point a while ago that with Henry’s age he is a more calculating player – picking his moments to hurt teams, with the goals against Blackburn Rovers, Manchester United and Liverpool prime examples.

But is this damaging the way the team plays?

Arsenal are renowned for hitting teams as soon as the first whistle blows and over the years we almost come to expect Arsenal to score within the first 10 minutes.

But have Arsenal lost this cutting edge early in the games?

The biggest problem is without Arsenal having a decent first half we are always susceptible to conceding the opening goal and making things hard for themselves.

And in the last few games, against Spurs (twice), Wigan, Manchester United, Bolton and Middlesbrough we have been poor in the first half and conceded the first goal (with the exception of the second Spurs game).

Can Arsenal keep this up?

It takes so much energy and mental strength to comeback and I for one fear that if Bolton score first in the FA Cup tie we might not have enough to claw yet another game back in our favour.

Saying that though, the 12 comebacks Arsenal have had this season – and the one against Manchester United in particular – is an impressive statistic, but is Arsenal’s luck about to change?

Bolton know how to get a result against us and while people will complain that they are too rough the fact is they get the results, and they are only one place below us in the Premiership table.

The early team news is that Jens Lehmann and Thierry Henry have been rested, and apart from the long-term absentees Arsenal will be at full strength with Freddie and Hleb returning to the squad.

And with Adebayor starting on the bench against Wigan it looks like he will start against Bolton.

But as the season has gone on as well as the game on Sunday – it’s clear that Adebayor and Henry are the best partnership, while Baptista and Aliadiere are the next. And for the performances against Liverpool and Spurs in the Carling Cup I hope Baptista and Aliadiere start together, but that looks unlikely.

The outcome of the game will depend on the return of Alexander Hleb, who will be the difference between the two teams. Arsenal have severely missed his excellent ball retention and penetrating passes which cause the oppostion all kinds of problems.

And I hope Arsene leaves out Walcott who has been ineffective and is just short of confidence. If he starts Bolton will cope with him easily.


If we can nick the first goal then I can see the game finishing 2-1 to Arsenal. But if we hit the self-destruct button and concede the opening goal then it’ll be a long, hard night for the Gunners!

Update: Does anyone actually know that Henry is not in the squad for the Bolton game?

Because apparently Arsenal News Review and Sam Allardyce don’t!


21 thoughts on “Can Arsenal Even Beat Bolton At The Reebok?

  1. This time I feel there is an edge to the game.. It’s when people give us no chance that we usually come up trumps.

    recent points in case:
    Liverpool – Arsenal (3-6)
    Arsenal – Manu (2-1)
    Manu-Arsenal (1-0)

  2. Why do all you bloggers suck up to Myles Palmer so much? His articles are egotistical, name-dropping error-ridden piffle. I’m convinced he’s actually a Man Utd fan and as for the drivel about his family, what on earth possesses him to think we are interested in what his kids like to eat for dinner?

    The guy is a self-appointed expert who really knows bery little more than you or I. Note how he always points out “I told you…” when one of his predictions comes off but how 9 times out of 10 he’s wrong, especially with his inside tips. e.g. Ledley King, My(les) Arse.

    Leaving out Henry is not a good move. Even half-hearted he’s the best player we’ve got and while we can win without him, do you really think Fat Sam is saying “Oh damn, that lazy so-and-so Henry isn’t playing”.

    Here’s a question? Why does Wenger announce who is and isn’t playing? Surely it’s better to keep Fat Sam and his ilk guessing. Imagine if they planned to play against Henry and then got Adebayor and Baptista. No, that’s not Arsene’s way – let’s tell him what the team is and then they can spend all week planning against it!

  3. I would also leave walcott out but not because he is off form (since he played well at the w/e) but because Bolton are not good opposition for him. he is small and inexperienced which is a bad combination.

    Hleb could be in for a rough ride straight back from injury but without cesc he is the only one who can give us the level of creativity we need. Denilson could also provide that if he is involved but I’d really like to see Diaby play. he is made for these sorts of games, remember when he broke campo’s foot?!! The key point though, is whatever side wenger picks, we are good enough to beat Bolton. they are getting too cocky.

  4. I hope AW leaves out TH14 and Theo W.
    The team to beat Bolton.


    Flamini(Right-back) -Kolo-Djourou(if fit)-Clichy.

    Hleb- Gilberto-Diaby-Rosicky.


    1-2 for Arsenal.

  5. Myles is becoming abit boring recently. I hope that Rosicky starts on the bench. We will need him for the big games I think he’s our best player at the moment. Clichy is also playing excellent football. If Diaby, Adebayor & Baptista play well we will beat them convincingly as those 3 will be key in matching Bolton physically

  6. well bottom line is i hope we have a good game. we all know how these kind of games can be for the gunners. c’mon arsenal 2-1 is fine by me

  7. Myles to me is a tosser of the highest for the reasons that Dave mentioned and then some. His incessant whinging and holier-than-thou attitude grates intensely. He thinks he’s a know it all when he really knows ‘kall.

  8. Myles’ articles are nothing more than self-loving tripe, and most of the ‘inside stories’ he comes up with are nothing more than made up rumours that never actually turn out to be true! It’s like reading some kid make up stuff!

    It’ll be interesting to see who Wenger plays because he’s got a few options in midfield, with Denilson, Rosicky, Gilberto, Hleb, Walcott, Diaby and Baptista (although I hope he plays upfront) and even Aliadiere could be used on the wing with his pace.

    Did anyone else think Aliadiere moved like Pires at the weekend? He’s got loads of pace and knows where the goal is so should be used more I think.

  9. Not sure why people seem to hold ANR’s views like gospel truth; sure Myles’ posts can be quite an amusing read sometimes and I like his recent post about Arsenal possibly going to U.S. ownership but most of the time, his predictions are downright wrong. I wonder if anyone is keeping score but much of what he says/predicts never comes about and so I just treat them for what they are which is interesting tabloid-like drivel which on the extremely rare occasions may have a nugget of truth in them (put enough monkeys in a room with typewriters.. etc). It really bothers me that (if Myles’ isn’t lying) AW has a copy of “The Professor” which he refers to like a bible. He’s much, much better off reading the posts of us genuine fans like you guys on this forum.

    As to Bolton, for a start, I’m surprised why we haven’t been making simple adjustments to put a wrench in the works of their system. They have been very successful at exploiting our weaknesses but every system has a weakness and Bolton’s has a few too that we can exploit. For example, besides the obvious reducing the concession of throw-ins and corners, why don’t we put a man right in front of the thrower like I’ve seen some teams do to negate the long throw threat? That would certainly put off the thrower. Why don’t we put at least one man in front of the corner taker to try and obscure the taker’s view? These two actions will at least make it difficult to execute their set pieces.

    Many people have made the obvious comment that our system relies on pin point accuracy and if our intricate passes are not perfect, we struggle but people don’t realise that the same holds for Bolton; if their long throws and first knock on’s and other set plays are not spot on, they too struggle. Let’s try to make their set plays as difficult as possible by making these simple adjustments to make their deliveries just that little bit harder. Afraid of their long balls? Make sure our front man badger and hurry the passer so that it’s that much harder to deliver an accurate pass from deep. Get the picture? This will unsettle and make them think for a change and through the confusion will allow us to hit them on a break.

    I think for our bogey teams, we need to have a special unique game plan e.g. the Bolton Brief or Operation Annihilate Bully. Let’s give them a taste of their own medicine and unsettle them and not let them play their game at their own stadium for a change. It might just work…

  10. Bolton will be without Kevin Davies (ankle) and Abdoulaye Faye (abscess) for Wednesday’s FA Cup fourth-round replay at the Reebok Stadium.

    Abdoulaye Meite (calf) and Gary Speed (dead leg) are both doubtful but Ivan Campo has recovered from a virus.

    Arsenal will rest Thierry Henry and Jens Lehmann but Freddie Ljungberg, Alexander Hleb and Johan Djourou all return to the squad after injury.

    William Gallas, Emmanuel Eboue, Mathieu Flamini and Philippe Senderos are out.

    Gallas has a thigh injury, Eboue and Flamini ankle problems and Senderos is suspended.

  11. Speaking of which with Cesc out which of Denilson and Diaby will partner Gilberto in the center. Denilson’s probably a more straight replacement whereas Diaby probably gives us a bit more physical presence in the center…. having said that Denilson’s no slouch


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