Bolton Wanderers vs Arsenal, 2-1: Full time analysis and player ratings
Written by Chris on April 24, 2011 22:45
“If the fans can see that, how can one of the top managers in world football not see that?” – Paul Merson
As I watched today’s game there were moments when I thought it wasn’t true that we were still fighting for the title as the attitude of some players was what you would expect from a team who is safe in the Top Four and with no mathematical chance of winning the whole thing.
Sounds familiar? It’s now over. The dream of winning the English Premier League is over and yet again we concede from a set-piece, not once, but twice, again showing that we will never learn.
It’s time for Arsene Wenger to be a man, apologise just like Roberto Mancini did when Manchester City were humiliated by Liverpool earlier this month and then resign. I am not riding the wave of discontent, I gave Arsene one last chance to change two seasons ago, he did not, then last season came to and end and that was it for me. This season was just the confirmation that a change was needed and is needed.
Believe me, it breaks my heart to say so but this is the only solution. If only this man opens his eyes and opts to change his mentality we would be unbeatable, again, but saying that after this season he will change his mentality because we failed is a joke. He didn’t two seasons ago, didn’t last season and no, will not this summer.
It kills me to know that all we needed, all we need and all we will need are small, very small tweaks that will never be made. Everyone, from fans to former players have been calling for an experienced centre back and better training methods to deal with set-pieces yet this huge problem was never addressed. Why?
As I look at our squad I see quality, I see talented players who under a different manager would have surely won something this year, would have probably won something last season as well.
Martin Keown and Nigel Winterburn both said that our manager was let down by his own players this season. Maybe it’s true, but in that case, one has to wonder why the players let him down, one has to wonder why the players didn’t care to fight for their manager and one has to wonder if they will ever do it.
This season demonstrated how foolish and wrong were those believing injuries were the reason why we were not winning anything. Forget injuries, forget the referees, forget the air and the pitch, the reason why we are not winning anything is because there is no one treating the players the way they should be treated. They fail and they are praised, no wonder they don’t care about ending the Club’s trophyless crisis.
And please don’t blame the fans, this season’s new excuse, because they were very, very loud when Bolton took the lead today and kept on supporting the players – even if some didn’t deserve it – until the very last second of the game.
As always, whether you agree with my ratings or not, submit your own at Arsenal Interactive and make sure to share them on Twitter and Facebook.
Match Video Highlights
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Szczesny: 8,5 – If it wasn’t for Wojciech we would have conceded more. Good save in the 24th minute of the game, another fine block on minute 37, penalty saved in the first minute of the second half and another important block in the 88th minute.
Djourou: 3 – Terrible, from start to finish. His comical performance started on the 22nd minute when together with Koscielny he allowed Chung-Yong Lee to penetrate our defence with ease. Minutes later he completely missed the ball allowing Taylor through and was then easily turned by Sturridge who went on to win the penalty. His performance ended by first letting Elmander through and then losing Tamir Cohen from the resulting corner with the Bolton man heading the winner.
Koscielny: 6,5 – Better than Djourou but nothing to be proud of as he should also be guilty of some shocking positioning throughout the game.
Clichy: 4,5 – Another one who calls himself a defender but knows very little how to defend. Completely missed a tackle in the 6th minute of the game and way too many times he leaves his wing exposed.
Sagna: 6 – Bolton were intelligent enough to surge forward from our weakest wing, the left one, as Bacary was kept quiet. Unfortunately, he was not at his best when we pushed forward as I think it would have made sense to gamble with Emmanuel at some stage.
Wilshere: 5,5 – Quiet game, it seems Jack was uncomfortable to play against his old team mates at the place he once called home.
Song: 4 – Abysmal. I cannot believe this is the same player who was so pivotal for us at the start of the season. Too slow, too sluggish, not good enough.
Fabregas: 7 – Some mistakes, granted, but if we had to score, it had to be thanks to him. Good pass for Theo in the 3rd minute of the game, good run and a good right-footed effort minutes later, very good pass for Robin whose volley was blocked and of course the one to hit the post on minute 43. More of the same in the second half as he played the one-two with Robin for the goal.
Nasri: 4 – Shocking. Awful attempt in the 36th minute from close range and no idea what the heck he was attempting in the 69th and 75th minute when he first failed to convert a one-on-one chance and then just passed it to Jaaskelainen.
Walcott: 5,5 – Some nice runs but way too anonymous to make an impact.
van Persie: 7,5 – The only, with Wojciech, who can be proud of his performance. Scored one, produced a phenomenal assist for Samir for the aforementioned 69th minute chance and never gave up.
Arshavin, Chamakh, Ramsey: 6.5, 4, No Vote – I loved Andrey today. Produced a top class pass for Samir in the 7th minute and looked hungry out there. Marouane was shocking, as it’s almost always been the case in 2011 whilst Aaron had only 10 minutes on the pitch.