After the attempted (and unsuccessful) visit to the Emirates, the Gooners are coming up to the frigid north. I must say I'm rather glad the first game was called off, the thought of facing Arsenal without a permanent manager was quite frightening. Though there were some thoroughly displeased Trotters fans in London when they heard the game was called off, Arsenal has kindly agreed to reimburse them for their travels, which I thought was nice. We are now facing back-to-back clashes with Arsenal a mere 3 days apart. Remind anyone of something earlier this season?
Yeah me too. These will be Coyle's first games with the club, no doubt a daunting prospect for the young manager. He has managed to take points from Arsenal this season, getting a 1-all draw in December with Burnley. Much like Bolton, Arsenal have been very up and down this season. Some days they are the most beautiful, fluid team in the league, others they are disjointed and can barely complete a pass.
So, fingers crossed that it's the latter team that shows up on Sunday. Bolton also have the advantage in that all the players will be trying desperately to impress Coyle and secure a place in the starting team, so there won't be any half-assing it (unless your name is Zat Knight...)
Our beloved leader, Kevin Davies, has apparently been ill, but has met with Coyle once and received several phone call inquiring about his health. Davies (irritatingly referred to as "Davo" on the Bolton website) has said he likes Coyle's enthusiasm is great, and that the training sessions have been good. Coyle has come out with a statement saying Super Kev will continue to wear the arm band, and calling him "fantastic" (we all knew that anyway, didn't we?)
I'm pretty optimistic for this game. I think the Wanderers have had the shake-up, wake-up call they need to get back to performing well. I'll, rather hopefully, plump for a draw, probably high scoring as the Arsenal defense hasn't looked great this season (conceding 23 in 20 games). I'll be back shortly with a news round up, and when the BBC preview comes out I'll update this with stats and stuff. Til then!