Well it wasnâ€™t quite the thrashing I had envisaged, but as Arse 2 Mouse points out, itâ€™s a near as dammit to a thwacking as we were ever going to get under the circumstances. And, it being the first time we had won at home in the Â league by three clear goals since 22nd January, itâ€™s cause for some whooping and – if youâ€™ll allow me – a spot of hollering too.
The situation wasnâ€™t quite so amenable at half-time though. In fact, our quintet of miserable season ticketers was laying thick and hard into yet another stodgy, one-paced and lacklustre half of football as we supped our half-time beer (Â£3.90p – marginally better value than the Â£2.20p they charged me earlier for a bottle of water minus its plastic top. Those plastic tops are dangerous, donâ€™t you know).
It was a turgid first half. Maybe Wenger overheard our sharp words though, for as we were wending our way back to our seats Robin van Persie scored. I confess: Yesterday, I was one of those people we all love to hate who couldnâ€™t be arsed to get back to his seat in time for the kick-off. In my defence, the only remedy for the tortuous first half was beer.
And then the second half happened. van Persieâ€™s 99th Arsenal goal ennervated Arsenal and off they went. Theo – described via text as a â€˜fart in a stormâ€™ in the first half – put on his jet boots and caused all manner of mayhem. Suddenly, where we had laboured on the edge of the D in the first half, in the second we were breaking at pace, stretching Bolton, and we looked properly menacing. OK, Theo should have scored, but he did set up van Persieâ€™s 100th Arsenal goal, was hauled down to make it 11 v 10 and generally terrified on the flanks. It was interesting to see though that when put through one-on-one, his first reaction was to look left to see who he could pass it to. A little bit more ruthlessness wouldnâ€™t have gone awry, but itâ€™s harsh to blame him for an otherwise excellent second half. And letâ€™s be frank, heâ€™s not the only one who’s been struggling for confidence.
Song finished it off with a fine finish, and that was that. A comfortable home win, three goals, a clean sheet, and as refreshing a 45 minutes as you could have asked for. Hats off to van Persie for reaching 100 Arsenal goals – 17th highest, as he pointed out. What a terrific player he is.