No mercy from ton-up Persie

Arsenal 3-0 Bolton Wanderers

Well it wasn’t quite the thrashing I had envisaged, but as Arse 2 Mouse points out, it’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  league by three clear goals since 22nd January, it’s cause for some whooping and – if you’ll allow me – a spot of hollering too.


The situation wasn’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 (£3.90p – marginally better value than the £2.20p they charged me earlier for a bottle of water minus its plastic top. Those plastic tops are dangerous, don’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 couldn’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 Persie’s 99th Arsenal goal ennervated Arsenal and off they went. Theo – described via text as a ‘fart in a storm’ 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 Persie’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 wouldn’t have gone awry, but it’s harsh to blame him for an otherwise excellent second half. And let’s be frank, he’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.

Perfect preparation for our trip up the road on Sunday? Too early to know with this Arsenal side, but it can’t have harmed.

A note about the atmosphere: When Arsenal perked up, the crowd perked up and started enjoying things. I know footballers always like to go on about how they need the fans to be their ’12th man’, but it works both ways too. When you watch a team struggle as Arsenal did in the first half, it’s harder to get up off your seats. When they picked things up, busting a gut and stretching Bolton, so did the crowd. It really does take two to tango.

After the game, I met @LittleDutchVA, @Gingers4Limpar and @HayleyWright for a celebratory sup. I have and do regularly chat to plenty of people on Twitter and elsewhere, so it’s always nice to put actual faces to virtual names. Real actual people! Nice ones too. Must do it again.


Arsenal since about 1979. Thick, thin and all that.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Jeff

    Fosters at the stadium, I presume, and something more substantial at the pub?

    Theo is definitely a huge net plus.  I’ve always thought so.  I just can’t get bent out of shape about him missing chances when he’s the only one creating them (which is how I’ve seen it at times in the past).

  2. East Lower

    In fact, they’ve ditched Fosters and replaced it with Carlsberg (better, in my books). Though I think it’s now pricier…

    Theo’s certainly enigmatic. Crossing wavers from dismal to sublime, shooting is a bit wayward too… but overall he can cause havoc on his day (and by god we need his pace).

  3. Jeff

    That’s an upgrade from beer to good beer. Nice.  A draft of Old Peculier is the thing, though. Is the OP on tap at your local?

  4. East Lower

    Don’t have a local – they’re all a bit ropey round my way…

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