It is disappointing to say that the gunners yet again failed to capitalise on numerous chances to win the match against a spirited Bolton side that also had chances of their own. It caps off a miserable run for the gunners after their last three Premier League fixtures ended in defeat and a win today was really the only acceptable outcome, particularly after rivals Chelsea dropped points. One point in four games is simply not good enough.
The gunners have now dropped to seventh in the table and find themselves under even more pressure to try claw their way back up to the heights of the Champions League places. With big fixtures upcoming for rival clubs, it is imperative that the gunners quickly re-group and gain maximum points from the lesser opposition to come.
A very worrying aspect of today’s game is starting to become a recurring theme and that is our inability to finish great chances. Both Walcott and Ramsey had great opportunities to score early on, but simply couldn’t produce the goods. We cannot keep relying on our flying Dutchman to be our sole source of goals, although he was unlucky with two shots hitting the woodwork.
On a positive note the return of Bacary Sagna was a great sight. The Frenchman started today’s match and looked very much match-fit and able. He marauded up and down the wing and looked very much comfortable returning to his natural position. It will be good when Gibbs returns and gives a chance for Vermaelen and Koscielny to start in the middle.
We look forward to the the next fixture against Blackburn Rovers who lie one place below Bolton in the relegation zone. It is imperative we rebound from the disappointment and get maximum points.
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on the result…
We feel we have dropped two points because we had chances to win the game. But we produced a decent game against a difficult opponent who gives you the ball, marks tight and waits for their chance. We took all of the risks and we were a bit unlucky as well because we hit the bar, the post and missed some great chances. In the end we took a gamble to play four strikers and we nearly got caught in the last five minutes from a Bolton chance.
But I cannot fault the effort, the commitment and desire to win the game. On the positive side we haven’t lost and we haven’t conceded a goal. Of course we have regrets because we did not take our chances tonight.
on missing early chances…
Of course. In the end you could see as well that we had one day less recovery than Bolton and that we had given a lot in the second half against Aston Villa to come back and win the game. We had a few heavy legs to finish the game.
Sagna Mertesacker Koscielny Vermaelen
Walcott Van Persie (c) Chamberlain
Wojciech Szczesny | 6.5: Had a relatively quiet game only called into action on a few occasions. Did well to stop Bolton’s last minute chance in what have been a demoralizing finish otherwise.
Bacary Sagna | 6.5: A decent return for the Frenchman who looked tireless in his full Premier League return. Ran up and down the flank to good effect and looked comfortable in his natural position.
Per Mertesacker | 6.0: Perhaps should have done better against a smaller Ngog, but was relatively solid. Should have scored when Van Persie picked him out brilliantly.
Laurent Koscielny | 6.0: Looked to be struggling against Ngog, letting the Bolton player turn him and get passed him on a few occasions. Did well otherwise.
Thomas Vermalen | 6.5: A dcent game by the Verminator. Wasn’t scared of running up the flank to support on attack. Put in some good crosses including one which Robin van Persie failed to dispatch.
Alexandre Song | 5.5: Did his primary job quite well, but his influence seemed to fade in the latter stages of the contest with Bolton dominating in the end proceedings.
Mikel Arteta | 6.0: Did his usual job of keeping things ticking over quite well and tracked back when needed to good effect.
Aaron Ramsey | 5.5: His distribution at times seems to be lacking as he looks to lose concentration or hastily play the pass causing us to lose possession. Perhaps should have done better with an early one on one chance.
Theo Walcott | 5.5: Had a couple of bad misses during the game. His earlier chance he missed seemed to have knocked his confidence as he began to fade from the match afterward.
Robin van Persie | 7.0: Produced a few chances for other team-mates and was very unlucky hitting the woodwork twice and having a header cleared off the line. Arsenal’s best player today.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain | 6.5: A solid game from the youngster. Gives a variety of ability on the ball and ran effortlessly up and down the wing. Had a few screamers that were only whiskers wide.
- Notable substitions
Thierry Henry | 6.0: The Arsenal legend came on with 20 minutes to go, but had little influence on the match besides a run towards the Bolton penalty area.