International breaks seem to effect Arsenal more than most it seems. It has always been a bit of a problem for Arsenal to have the same rhythm, the same cohesion the same fluentness as they do before the International break.
A few lessons may have been learnt by Arsene. Eduardo currently is not at his best. He doesn't seem sharp enough right now. It was a big day for the Croatian International, Robin Van Persie is out for up to 6 weeks and Eduardo needs to get involved in the build up play and score goals as soon as possible. He didn't manage to do any of those against a very defensive Bolton team.
He may have to play himself into form because Arsene will not play Bendtner and Adebayor as a partnership, just as he stopped playing Kanu and Bergkamp together.
Arsene Wenger may have also lost a bit of belief in Eboue in this moment of time and is getting more confident with the progress of Theo Walcott.
We started the game 4-4-2, Hleb was moved back onto the left wing as apposed to the right wing where he played against Sunderland in the last match. Eboue replaced Diaby and started the match on the right ahead of Sagna.
Sagna Toure Gallas Clichy
Eboue Fabregas Flamini Hleb
Bolton started the game in an aggressive manner, as they tend to do against Arsenal. The spirit of fat Sam lives on. Gavin McCann was booked in the 20th minute for a foul on Sagna. This lead to pushing and shoving to which Cesc and Diouf picked up yellow cards.
Two minutes later Ivan Campo tries his best to get Cesc sent off after falling to the floor with minimal contact
McCann made a fantastic tackle on Adebayor inside the area on 31 minutes and the crowd screamed for a penalty.
Adebayor had a header at the far post which he headered wide and weak.
There was not much in the way of clear cut chances in the first half. Bolton came to pack the midfield and not allow us any time to pass the ball. The game was being stopped on a regular basis and Eduardo really could not get into the game.
Arsene made a tactical change for the second half and pushed Hleb into the deeper striking role behind Adebayor and switched Eduardo to the left wing
There was obviously not enough link between the midfield and attack and Hleb is very good at joining the team together.
2 minutes into the second half and it looked like a certain goal when McCann poked the ball right into Eboue's path who was in space and had enough time to take a touch and place the ball wherever he liked but he lashed at the ball first time and hit it wide when it looked easier to score. An awful waste.
Fabregas had a 25 yard strike saved as it was right down the middle of Jaaskelainen's goal. Early on in the season that would have found the corner.
Eboue took a tumble in the box but the referee waved play on.
Hleb had a shot blocked by O'Brien after a 1-2 with Eduardo. Hleb was the best Arsenal player on the pitch and did his best to unlock the Bolton door. Alex Hleb has an extra gear when he is playing on the left or behind the striker but because Rosicky isn't quite as flexible, Hleb will not be able to play in that role as often has he would like.
Adebayor had two chances in quick succession and blazed high and wide on both attempts. Adebayor has alot of good qualities for the team but composure isn't one of his qualities. We will see if that will come in time.
I knew Eboue would be replaced but I thought Arsene would keep on Eduardo as he knows where the goal is although he was having a bit of a nightmare. Arsene replaced both players for Walcott and Rosicky. I assumed that Hleb would go to the right and Theo would get his chance upfront. This wasn't the case, Hleb continued to be Bergkamp and Walcott went over to the right with Rosicky on the left.
Sagna Toure Gallas Clichy
Walcott Fabregas Flamini Rosicky
Gallas had an effort saved from about 4 yards from a Cesc corner. Gallas did not have much time to react.
Rosicky was pulled down about 25 yards outside the box and it was left to either Fabregas or Toure to make it count as Van Persie wasn't around to claim it.
Toure must have fancied his chances after his thunderbolt against Sunderland in the last home match and it was he who struck low and through the crowd to unlock the stubborn Bolton side. 1-0
Theo Walcott looks a completely different player to the one who was playing at the end of last season. He is breezing past players like they are not there. He had one great run in the 69th minute when he ran past 3 Bolton players and crossed low but no Arsenal player could get on the end of it.
Adebayor was put through on goal after an inch perfect through ball from the pass master Cesc Fabregas. The Togo hitman rounded the keeper but took it too wide and ended up falling over. He was not having the best of days infront of goal but kept up his usual high level of workrate.
Tomas Rosicky cut inside from the left and should have curled it with the inside of his right foot but used the outside which curled away from the far post. I have noticed he does that quite alot. Pires would bend it inside the far post but Rosicky prefers to blast it or use the outside of his right boot.
The second goal came in the 80th minute. Hleb fed a lovely slid pass into the lively Walcott who twisted away from Gardner and crossed low from Rosicky to apply a delicate dink past Jaaskelainen. The game was over and Arsenal were heading towards another 3 points.
We could have perhaps should have scored the third but Hleb for once miscontrolled the ball when all he had to go was roll it along to Adebayor who would have been up against the keeper but it didn't matter in the end.
Our form has dipped in the last two matches but luckily they were both home matches against mediocre teams. We will have to raise our game for the trip to Anfield if we are to get anything out of the game.