Astute purchases pay dividends – Koscielny and Squillaci tested by Bolton

In seasons past Arsenal have been stereotyped, not without reason, as defensively fragile and naive. Arsene Wenger has sought to address that this season with the signings of two new centre backs, Laurent Koscielny and Sebastien Squillaci after a clear out of the defensive deadwood within the squad.

Against Bolton the back four was totally untested, consisting of Gibbs, Koscielny, Squillaci and Eboue. Last season the equivalent rotation would have left Arsenal with players like Silvestre at the back, players who never inspired confidence at the best of times.

Koscielny made only his third appearance for the club, whilst Squillaci made his debut, and apart from one obvious error from Koscielny they coped well with the threat of the physical Kevin Davies, Lee and Elmander.

Continue reading “Astute purchases pay dividends – Koscielny and Squillaci tested by Bolton”

Bolton 1 – 3 Arsenal highlights, a masterclass & Eboue’s first PL goal!

Arsenal came from behind at the Reebok to win 3 – 1 whilst playing some fantastic football. We now sit top of the Premier League on 12 points, at least until Chelsea play Man Utd later today.

Click here to see the match highlights.

Kevin Davies scored Bolton’s goal – a header from a corner in the 14th minute – as you would expect – and things didn’t look great.

But, Arsenal pummelled the Bolton box and after hitting the post twice and playing some great football, we pulled back to 1 -1, in the 26th minute, with Eboue’s first Premiership goal (although it’s debatable that he was offside), and then within a minute a Bendtner strike made it 2 – 1.

Bolton came back better in the second half, but couldn’t find the net. Clichy was tackled clumsily by Davies, who got a yellow (click here to see the foul). Clichy had to go to hospital for an x-ray. Meanwhile Djourou came on and played alright.

Hopefully Clichy doesn’t have a fracture, Wenger said afterwards he wasn’t sure. Clichy is now an intergral part of the team – amazing in attack and defence – without him we really lack on the flank.

Update – Clichy has only suffered bruising – and is free to join the rest of the squad – read on Arsenal.com

Walcott came on near the end of the game and really reignited the Arsenal attack. He looked fantastic and had several chances. His pace and balance were brilliant. He was at the centre of the third goal with a wonderful run from his own half, drawing six Bolton players, before giving it to Adebayor who crossed to the far post and allowed Denilson to kill the game off.

Wenger was euphoric afterwards:

“I thought it was a convincing, united, classy performance with strengths everywhere.

“We can always get better, that is the positive thing. We want to improve. As long as your attitude is right, you can go forward. We did not panic after going behind and that is the pleasing thing.”

Ahh, those words sound so good, how great it is to play fantastic football and win. It’s days like this when I love supporting Arsenal! Thoroughly satisfied Gooner!

Goals:

Bolton: Davies 14.

Arsenal: Eboue 26, Bendtner 27, Denilson 87.

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