Arsene rubbed his hands with glee as he started the press conference, well not quite I think he was just warming himself up, the first news was good in that Gael Clichy and Cesc Fabregas are both very close to returning, the latter will be the latest back and should be available for the Bolton away game. There was an interesting grin on Arsene's face as he said that he just wanted to make the title race 'more interesting for everybody', a nice way of putting it.
Arshavin is in the squad for tomorrow and Denilson is to come in the holding position, he's an 'all rounder' in Arsene's eyes and will try to fill the Song void, I can't help but feel that we'll need both Diaby and Denilson to carry some water together. Transfers were touched upon, PV4's abilities to cut it at the premiership level were talked up by Arsene. The importance of winning the home games, such as the upcoming Bolton game, was emphasised. Arsene touched upon the 'great hunger for success' and the 'solidarity' in the squad, something that was evidently not the case last season. The strength that teams get from 'their history' was a good point that I liked. It's a bit of a chicken and egg like scenario though, teams that regularly come back from behind would not do so if they didn't have the character and ability to do it, likewise losing can become a bit of a routine, hopefully the comebacks against Liverpool and West Ham can become our new routine.
Onto Bolton and it appears that Owen Coyle is on his way in as their new manager. As the snow pours down up and down the country scuppering a lot of fans' chances of getting to the game, there's snow doubt (Holic isn't the only one to use this great pun) that Bolton's players will be very much up for this one as they try to impress their new manager, it would be a great shame if they were to 'flake' or 'melt' under the pressure. When you've got time, have a listen to the latest Alan Davies podcast here, very amusing, not quite as amusing as Kevin Davies being taken off injured tomorrow having broken his elbow on the Verminator's rock-like chin.
The kind of venom that one feels in the air away to Bolton is fairly unique in my opinion, it's almost as if these people would take the kitchen knife to our lads if given half a chance (at owning a kitchen knife of course). I've never quite understood why Bolton fans hate Arsenal so much, are they all closet Manu fans who just can't face all the southerners at Old Trafford? Or are they so gullible as to believe the malignant propaganda that Fergie and Fat Sam used to spread about the pro-Arsenal conspiracies against their luvvie sides? The recurrent chants of 'same old Arsenal, always cheating' as another one of their neanderthal cloggers goes into a tackle as an American missile went in Fallujah demonstrate the bizarre nature of these supporters' state of denial. Would a Bolton fan care to explain why the Arsenal is their version of Satan? Remember these very same people have idolised El Hadj Diouf and Sam Allardyce, I rest my case, maybe there's a hidden compliment in there somewhere.
ps there is cncouraging talk about Gallas being offered a new deal, here's another transfer rumour that's probably made up, and the word is that Nikky B is facing a fitness test on friday, if he fails this then a new striker is looking rather likely