Firstly at least one person from Bolton, Owen Coyle their manager, has seen sense and realised that his initial words were over the top regarding the Gallas tackle. The clear media bias can be seen in this Star article as the tackle is called a 'horror' tackle. In reality it was just a foul with studs up and nothing more sensational, as can be seen on video and from the photo above Gallas had his leg bent when he made contact, he did throw his body weight into the tackle, he quickly changed direction and got on with the game, it was just a mistimed clip with the studs up. It is unfortunate that Davies was injured as a result but we see a lot of yellow cards given every week for tackles that are far worse, Robinson's on Sunday for example. The reaction from certain sections of the media and some Bolton supporters has been both hysterical and inconsistent.
Arsene has acted very objectively whilst many around him have been throwing toys around and wetting the nappies that they should have overgrown by now. The Sun has today picked up on Arsene's words and shown the clear malice that was present in Taylor's off the ball efforts on Cesc Fabregas. If the ref could see this on video then I am sure most would have given Taylor a red card, poetic justice was far away though, Taylor was rather happy when he celebrated his penatly at 2-0 on Wednesday, maybe the thug should have saved his gloating for the final whistle. Arsene has also quite rightly nailed Sky for their gutter standards in 'brainwashing' viewers with their lazy sensationalist journalism.
Sky have a long history of highlighting the innocuous while ignoring the much less innocuous. One example of this I could never forget is a Van Nistelrooy off the ball right hook into Freddy Ljungerg's stomach, it was caught on camera and ignored. Sky's intellectually challenged pundits like Andy Gray and Jamie Redknapp are clearly not objective in their analysis of events, they will ignore leg breaking tackles if carried out on teams and players that they do not like, while if Sir Wayne Rooney or Sir Steven Gerrard jump in two footed then it is nothing but a good firm tackle. The hysteria created over Eduardo's dive was utterly ridiculous and was typical of this media brainwashing, an even more blatant dive by Darren Fletcher which the ref punished with a yellow card a few weeks later was completely ignored by our noble objective media.
The Mail's headline "Angry Arsene Wenger hits out: You are all out to get Arsenal!" gives their agenda away, rather than actually looking at their very own slack journalistic standards and useless sensationalist gutter standards, they try to make a joke out of it by portraying Arsene as a paranoid fool. The Guardian covers things in typically more objective fashion, at least not all papers and TV channels rely upon appealing to the lowest common denominator to sell their wares. Some Bolton fans continue to amuse me with their tear jerking whining, a particularly bright spark thought publishing an article entitled ' a visit to the grubbiest club in football' would not create a few rather angry responses. I think this author would do well to refrain from call Arsenal fans 'cerebrally challenged riff-raff ' and 'mentally disadvantaged', it is obviously not going to encourage a reasoned debate. This author clearly realised he cannot win this argument with objective reason, he would rather stir up hatred with his puerile insults, a bit sad really.
The way the media condone teams deliberately fouling and injuring Arsenal players in order to beat them while criticising Arsenal players for relatively mild foul tackles shows their rank bias and hypocrisy. Ricardo Fuller's words in the Star demonstrate this point very nicely for Arsene. I remember the media were strangely quiet last year when Stoke put three of our players out injured with bad tackles, the one on Adebayor by Shawcross was a clear red card tackle and made Gallas' look like a kiss on the cheek. This was probably just good old 'English play' I'd imagine, if we were to do the same to anyone it would be 'dirty Arsenal' cheating their way to victory.
Anyway away from the hysterical nonsense and onto the business that is Stoke away on Sunday. Stoke are struggling to score goals this season and if we can defend the aerial balls well then I think we will come away with a result. It seems that Eastmond or Coquelin will replace Sagna who has a dodgy shoulder. I'd guess that Fabianski will play in goal, Traore may give Clichy a break as he has only just returned from injury, we may see Silvestre and Bartley at centre back. Injuries and absentees (Song, Diaby, Ramsey, Nasri) may well force Arsene's hand in midfield, Denilson, Eastmond and a.n.other might well make up the three. Then I'd chance my hand that Vela, Eduardo and Walcott will play up top. Given our injuries and the number of key games we have coming up I think Arsene has no choice but to rest the key players, it will be a big test for the young lads though. Elsewhere William Gallas' contract talks are going well, Big Phil is set to join Everton on loan (does anyone know when his contract runs out by the way?) and Bolton fans are still indulging in a lot of hypocritical whining.