Preview – Bolton v Arsenal

WTTGT Writer: Devon James Andre Halls

Wednesday night Premier League football is such a treat for the football-holic. Fresh from a weekend of progress both in the cup and the injury department we’re back to Premier League action with a must win game against Bolton. There was a period of a few seasons around 2005-2006 where they caused us all sorts of problems, probably under the command of the overly rotund Allardyce. In the recent past however there haven’t been too many problems, and we’ve claimed the victory in 9 of our last 10 games against them, only losing to them in this fixture last season. 

As everyone is aware we simply cannot afford to drop any more points over the next few months, and we have a few favourable fixtures in February which ought to help us get on a solid run of form, leading into the tougher games like AC Milan and Tottenham (I really hate to have to concede that playing Tottenham is now a tough game). The team has already been buoyed by the return of many of our larger, higher calibre guns, and with a superb second half performance from last week hopefully we can keep the momentum going. I think that the desire in the team was palpable, and when you have your centre back bursting through the midfield and winning a penalty it shows that everyone is willing to make the difference.

“Hey Jim guess what, we’ve only signed a player”.

“Seriously? I would have bet my house that we wouldn’t buy anyone. Who is it?”

“I’ll give you a clue…he’s German.”

“Right I’m thinking Podolski, have we signed Podolski?”

“Think younger, think late teens, think Borussia Dortmund.” 

“Mario Gotze, that’s amazing, just what we needed, proven talent. Now maybe we can sell Arshavin.”

“Gotze? No mate, Thomas Eisfeld.”


Yes it was confirmed yesterday that we have signed a young prospect from Dortmund, maybe not the one we were all hoping for but has anyone ever heard of any of Wenger’s signings? Arshavin may be the exception to this, which proves that big names don’t always bring big performances. Eisfeld has 6 goals and 6 assists in 12 appearances for Dortmund U19s, and I’m sure has been thoroughly scouted. I’m looking forward to seeing what he can bring to the team in the future. All I know of him is a goal I saw on YouTube, and you know that if a player has one good highlight on YouTube then he is destined to be world class!

A quick bit of team news and Sagna may start according to the boss, but he won’t take any risks. Sagna is ahead of Gibbs in fitness so I think we can expect Sagna in the squad with Gibbs in the stands (or most likely at home in front of the TV). Henry and Arteta are both “ready” for action, so expect them both in the squad, Mikel almost certain to start this game if fully fit. I’m still sternly advocating dropping Walcott and would like to see Henry start, with Walcott perhaps coming off the bench to inject some pace. I can’t help but think that if a few of Theo’s chances had fallen to Thierry then we would have scored more goals, but then perhaps you could argue that it’s Walcott’s pace and movement that gets him into these scoring opportunities in the first place. So what do I know anyway? Almost nothing.

Below is my team for tonight (this is not a prediction):

Szcz, Coquelin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Song, Arteta, Rosicky, Henry, The Ox, Van Persie.

If Sagna is fit enough to start I wouldn’t be surprised to see Coquelin stepping out onto the bench, and I would pick Rosicky over Ramsey still. Perhaps I keep selecting Henry because I want to squeeze every last drop of class from him before he goes back State side, but I think I’ve got a right to want that.

Come on the Arsenal.


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