About Me

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Hammersmith, London, United Kingdom
I'm a director of Maidenhead United Football Club. For ten seasons one of my roles at the club was to produce the match programme. The aim of this blog was to write football related articles for publication in the match programme. In particular I like to write about the representation of football in popular culture, specifically music, film/TV and literature. I also write about matches I attend which generally feature Maidenhead United.

Friday, 28 October 2011

Bolton the blue

Half term week and the League Cup is in town to offer thousands of kids on holiday, not to mention two teachers a cheap night out watching two Premier League teams. Arsenal's tie at home to Bolton fell on my birthday  - 29 years after my first visit to Highbury give or take a day (goalless draw against Birmingham since you ask) - so an ideal opportunity for my wife Ewa to make her first visit to Ashburton Grove.
Accompanying a far from regular football watcher showed me how easy watching Arsenal has become, wander up to the turnstile, insert ticket in the reader, walk through the gate then across the concourse to our comfortable seats in the lower tier on the halfway line.
Early first impressions could have come straight from the media "why do the Arsenal players look like kids?", and "why do Arsenal keep passing to each other instead of going for goal?". By half time two well matched teams looked like producing another first stalemate. Bolton fielded a stronger team which meant they were the equal of the Gunners more blended selection.
Ten minutes of the second half changed all that. Bolton kicked the game into life when Ivan Klasnic combined well with Fabrice Muamba to give the former Arsenal striker the chance to prove the law of the ex and give the Trotters the lead.
Fortunately this was the spark Arsenal needed. Andrey Arshavin, with Ewa's favourite number 23 on his back, levelled with an excellent shot threading the eye of the needle to elude a host of defenders and the goalkeeper before hitting the back of the net. He then turned provider cleverly drawing the Wanderers' back to the centre of the pitch to give Ju Young Park the time and space to receive the Russian's pass then curl his shot around Adam Bogdan.
That seemed to be that as Arsenal settled for a one goal lead but Bolton pushed them all the way to the end, and will consider themselves a little unlucky not to extend the game to extra time. One slip aside Lukasz (note from Ewa to PA the L is pronounced as a W) Fabianski had one of his better games to keep the Trotters out and offer the opportunity of another cheap night out at the Grove in a month's time.

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