Another trip to the Reebok, another three points – it’s getting kind of enjoyable in some respects.
Arsène Wenger is proving that this Gunners side can play total football – how else can you explain playing Manu Eboue on the left and Denilson on the right, then pushing Bacary Sagna left and Kolo Toure right when injuries forced a reshuffle.
I started thinking “not again!” when we conceded that sloppy sloppy opening goal, but some of the football we played after that and for the majority of the first half was, yet again, from another planet.
But, much as three points and a perhaps brief stay at the top of the table is always welcome, I hope this season finally ends Bolton’s stay in the top flight.
I can understand why teams feel the need to play more physical and direct football when they first arrive in the Premiership – trying to transform a team and the manner of its play overnight is not particularly wise.
But after a number of years in the top flight, and having invited some talented players such as Youri Djorkaeff and Jay-Jay Okocha to the club, to still be playing such physical dross is shameful.
They may have made some noise in the second half, but the number of empty seats at the Reebok stadium for one of the most prestigious games of the season tells its own story.
With the exception of Kevin Nolan, Fabrice Muamba and Jussi Jaaselainen, none of the Bolton squad would have many takers in the Premiership if the club did go down – this is a Championship team in all but status.
No Gooners have forgiven Bolton for their thuggish assault on our players in season 2002/2003 when Freddie Ljungberg and Lauren were taken out and we let a two goal lead, and ultimately the title, slip away.
No such problems yesterday of course, but yet again, we’ve ended up with one of our players getting a potentially serious injury, all thanks to a clumsy challenge from the limited Kevin Davies.
It was his NINTH booking against Arsenal.
Up north, they call him ‘a good old fashioned centre-forward’ which in my mind means he’s of a bygone era when balls were made of heavy leather, shorts came down to the ankles and floodlights used gas lamps. His time has been and gone.
How long Gael Clichy will be out remains to be seen, and thank goodness Mikael Silvestre should be fit for the visit of Hull next weekend if required.
How many times did our players go down with injuries from elbows, late tackles and leaving studs up which seemed only intent to cause pain.
So, Premiership fans, if this is, as Sky tries to tell us, the greatest league in the world, we deserve entertainment – and that mean teams who promote flair and skill – the complete opposite of what Bolton Wanderers seem to stand for.