Watching the Champions League this week hasn’t been easy. First there was Man Utd showing the sort of clinical ruthlessness that Arsenal have been missing all season (in truth, Man Utd were awesome on Tuesday night), then there was Chelsea winning in a stadium that on more than one occasion has seen the end of the Gunners campaign.
Then finally, on Wednesday, Liverpool eased past the side that knocked us out, showing PSV to be the poor side that they are. Three semi finalists are English, only one has failed to make it. And we all know who that is.
They all have huge games coming up, but that’s at least something we share. The only trouble is that this shouldn’tbe a big game, but the Bolton match today now has massive significance. The unthinkable win for Allardyce’s men would see them rise to fourth, and even Arsenal’s game in hand is a weak argument bearing in mind the form, and the fixtures to come.
There are reasons to be optimistic though. Here are a few:
1) A very similar side went to the Reebok in mid-February and tore Bolton apart, without the two main strikers. Of course, that side was flying at the time, but these players are capable of it again.
2) It may be a blessing in disguise that the injuries to Henry and Van Persie have so brutally exposed Arsenal’s weaknesses of a lack of goals from midfield or adequate cover for the front two. There simply is no way Wenger can ignore the problem in the summer, and that in itself is a good thing.
3) The money is there in the summer. If Wenger wants to perform surgery, he can. The only possible restriction is if the board hold the money amid takeover rumours.
4) Arsenal are long overdue a game like Man Utd had on Tuesday, where even mishits from 25 yards (Evra) go in. The chances are being created, Baptista must accidentally put one in the corner at some point. He’s hit every other angle.
Let’s hope for five good performances, with wins over Bolton, Spurs and Chelsea, and Watford to win the FA Cup, eh?