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Question Time with the Short Fuse

Things We Have in Common: We both all this guy
Things We Have in Common: We both all this guy

This is a feature we've been meaning to start up for a while, but for no reason in particular we haven't until now, the classic question exchange. From now on, expect one of these bad boys every match day morning. To get us started, the gentlemen of the Short Fuse have kindly answered the questions we threw at them.* 

Bolton are a bit of a bogey team for Arsenal, especially at home, as evidenced by the fact they won the last match between the 2 teams just a week after losing 5-0 to Stoke at Wembley. Why do you think that is?

PDB: The snarky answer is "every team is a bogey team for Arsenal this year". The more thoughtful answer, though, is that Arsenal always struggle with more physical teams - they almost get offended and pout when teams don't want to play beautiful, flowing soccer, and it takes them out of their game.
TW: We suck at dealing with long balls and set pieces. That, and what PDB said about the physicality.
TH: I agree; I think Wanderers just present matchup problems for Arsenal. That, and I think that most Premier League teams are high-quality enough now that they can all bounce back from just about anything, and any given week is a trial for every team.


Owen Coyle has said today that "Arsène Wenger is one of the best managers in world football, and always will be," however the Frenchy has been increasingly under fire due to his lack of trophies and poor run of results recently. Where do you stand when it comes to him? If he goes, who should replace him?

PDB: Arsene Wenger has earned the right to decide his own fate at Arsenal, and only the most knee-jerk bandwagon fan would say or believe otherwise.
TW: He stays, if I have my way. He's done too much to get the sack like this. But if you put a gun to my head and told me I had to replace him, I would probably pick Jurgen Klopp.
TH: I don't think he should go. I would not be shocked if he decided that this was his last contract, though. If Jurgen Klopp is willing to come in to replace him, I would dance. And I never dance. If Dennis Bergkamp replaced him, I would be even happier.

And speaking of Wenger, here comes the inevitable Gary Cahill question. Do you think Wenger made the correct decision in refusing to meet the (admittedly high) valuation of Cahill? Will Arsenal be after him in January?

PDB: I would love to see Gary Cahill at Arsenal, and I would not be at all surprised to see them make a run at him in January.
AG: I'm not too high on Gary Cahill, and I was pleased that we didn't spend an absurdly high amount on him. I would very much doubt that Wenger goes for him in January, unless Thomas Vermaelen is still injured.
TW: I completely think the right decision was made; he was overvalued, and I don't see any reason to pay that much for him if Per Mertesacker is available for 7 million or so less. On the other hand, I'd be happy to see him at Arsenal, for a more sane price.
TH: I think Wenger made the right decision. I like Cahill a lot as a defender, but I don't think he quite offers that much value when there are others out there. Mertesacker needs more time to adjust, though, which is one advantage in Cahill's favor.


With the likes of Fabregas and Nasri gone and the rest of the team on constant injury watch, who leads the line now?

PDB: It would be great to see Frimpong mature and take over the line, but for now it's the Russian's turn - Arshavin needs to be the guy in midfield who makes things happen for a while.
AG: I'm still waiting for Aaron Ramsey to start picking up; he's been very disappointing in my opinion. Mikel Arteta, though, has slotted in seamlessly.
TW: If we're talking strictly in the midfield, this is Jack Wilshere's ship as soon as he can walk again. For the team as a whole, Robin van Persie needs to take more of a leadership role, as does Thomas Vermaelen (again, just as soon as he can walk). They are the two most senior and most obvious leaders, to me.
TH: Robin van Persie. He's been at the club forever, relatively speaking, and he is our best technical player. As Arteta gets more time, I think he will naturally start to dictate play as well.


Owen Coyle is known to be a bit of a miracle worker when it comes to establishing youth players with Jack Wilshere and Daniel Sturridge being prime examples. If there was a player you could have go on loan to Bolton, who would it be?

AG: Benik Afobe, our promising striker, is one player I'd love to see go to Bolton. High hopes are expected of him, but with Chamakh and Park ahead, I doubt he'll play much over the next two years. Carlos Vela is a player I would've liked to see go to Bolton, but alas went to Spain.
TW: If they aren't seen as part of the first-team presently (which we'll know pretty soon one way or the other, I think), I wouldn't mind seeing Ryo Miyaichi or Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain go on loan. They're really the only Premier League-ready talent who isn't clearly in the squad rotation, though.
TH: I'd like to see Ignasi Miquel or Francis Coquelin go, but really, almost any young player would benefit from some time in Bolton's team under Coyle, as long as they got playing time. Wilshere's spell there convinced me.


Bolton and Arsenal have had similarly depressing starts to the season, notably both experiencing demolitions at the hands (or feet) of Manchester United. Both also had a bit of a boost from improved midweek results. With that in mind, how do you think the match will go?

PDB: This game has 0-0 written all over it.
AG: 3-1 Arsenal, but leaving it late after Davies scores from a set piece.
TW: I have a feeling this is going to be a senseless game. I think someone wins 1-0, but I honestly don't know who.
TH: Normally I would say Arsenal would win 2-1 or 3-1, but that's what I thought last weekend at Blackburn. So...I'm going to say Bolton win 72-63 after Wojciech Szczesny decides to read a magazine and drink lemonade during set pieces.

*Obviously, we reciprocated so check that out as well.