Monday, 25 April 2011

Title dreams put to bed in Bolton.

Well, that's it for another season then - as many of you probably predicted anyway whether it was one week, five days or 3 months ago. Personally, the moment where I realised our chance had faded was when Eboue carried out an act of unforgivable stupidity and charged into that cheatinglittletwat Lucas.

However, i'm not in the mood for a season review at the moment - That can wait a month. Yesterday was synonymous of our whole season in so many way. Patient patient build up around the box with little penetration, tonnes of possession, hints of a great comeback, mistakes at the back, conceding from a set-play, struggling with long ball tactics, terrible ref mistakes, missed chances, terrible cross/corner/free-kick delivery and something which, surprisingly, as we have had so much disappointment in the league lately, we have not witnessed in the league since the trip to Old Trafford on the 13th of December, a defeat.

The game was a horrible one to attend, but as it seems happens every week the away support were great especially as we were up against the 'wanky-wanderers' fans as they call themselves, confusingly. We didn't have the best first half, only a couple of shots from Theo, Nasri and Cesc hitting the post seemed to trouble Jaaskelainens goal. There were also some worrying signs as Sturrridge, at the heart of Boltons creative play, easily carved open our defence. Then we conceded from our Achilles heal of set pieces and questions should definitely be asked as to why we allowed 2 headers to be won in our 6 yard box. 

The second half started badly too, as the Ref gave them a penalty that never was, looking at the replays this morning I don't know how he gave it. But justice was made when Szczesny made the save. This seemed to spur us on and a couple of minutes later Van Persie capped of an excellent bit of skill by firing a goal into the bottom right hand corner making a new record of scoring in seven consecutive away games. After the goal it was relenting Arsenal pressure, as Arshavin came on for Theo and Chamakh for Song. Van Persie dropped into a deeper role and created a wonderful chance which Nasri wasted, a trick which Chamakh repeated minutes later. Wasted chances always seem to cost us, think back over the games and you'll see much more than any of United or Chelsea. How often do you see Hernandez miss a chance? Let alone two in a row. As the minutes came closer to 90 Bolton won a corner which was dispatched at the front post by Tamir Cohen. 2-1. Game over, Title Over.

You could sense the frustration amongst the crowd and players, but i really think more of the players should have followed Cesc's and Jacks lead by coming over to applaud the Away fans, as by now we are truly owed something from them. Something shiny, and silver preferably. 

The defeat puts us behind United and into Third 3 points behind Chelsea. We need to finish third to really show we have progressed as a side, but even that looks unlikely now, considering we have won one game in 9 in all competitions. Wenger saddled the blame for the result, but I really think the real blame for this particular defeat lies with the players after two stupid goals were let in. On a wider front though, the blame for our failed title bid? That is simply due to Lack of leadership, Lack of winners, and simply not good enough players compared to our rivals.

Changes are probably forthcoming in the summer, but that will wait.

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