Welcome to a new feature on Arsenal.com - Talking Heads.

Before and after every first-team fixture our MatchDay Show team - and an Arsenal blogger - will have their say on the match.

Arsenal take on Bolton Wanderers in the Premier League on Wednesday and our Talking Heads for this game were Dan Roebuck, Martin Hayes and Sian Ranscombe aka A Girl Who Loves The Gunners.

Read on for their post-match thoughts and recap what they said before the game.

Dan Roebuck - Arsenal Live

On the evidence of Wednesday night, we should be reflecting on a job well done for Arsenal and a comfortable three points against a team that at times could not live with our pace, guile and movement. But if you don't capitalise on your dominance you pay the price and that's what happened. Robin van Persie can hold his head high - he conjured the game's magical moment out of nothing - but others missed presentable chances and that cannot continue if a top-four place is to be secured. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain looked bright and it was good to see Sagna and Arteta starting but overall the feeling is one of frustration. Let's put things right against Blackburn.

It's time to get back on that horse. The significance of Sunday's comeback against Aston Villa cannot be measured until we find out which side turns up at the Reebok. But make no mistake, that victory will give the team bags of confidence going into this one. There are no easy games in the Premier League but Arsène Wenger will see this as the perfect opportunity for his side to get back on track in the league. Owen Coyle's side may have won two of their last three but they have struggled for much of the campaign and have already been beaten twice by the Gunners this season. The likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Robin van Persie will be key to opening up the Bolton backline, and my money is certainly on them to do just that.

Martin Hayes

It was another frustrating game, unfortunately. Arsenal had lots of the play, lots of possession, lots of chances, but it just wasn't Robin van Persie's night. He's hit the post, he's hit the bar, Theo Walcott has had a great chance as well. And as everyone in football knows, if you don't take your chances, you don't win your games. Arsenal came away with a point but it's definitely two dropped. In some ways we are lucky that Bolton didn't snatch a winner because they were threatening in the last 10 minutes or so. There were positives for Arsenal - they will play worse and win - but that's scant consolation when you are chasing Chelsea for that fourth place. Arsenal need to beat Blackburn now to put some pressure on Chelsea.

Every game is a massive one for us at the moment. Losing three on the trot has put us back into a dogfight, and it's a rut you need to get out of quickly. You're looking for an easy game, but then you stumble into a side that are fighting for their lives to stay up. The trouble with Arsenal's current form is that teams play them with a bit more belief than they used to. An evening game at Bolton is always a horrible, scrappy affair and a draw for both teams isn't ideal. Bolton will have a go and Arsenal just have to find that bit of quality.


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So, my prediction was slightly off. I was not at the match but having had the opportunities to go 3-0 up by half time, the 0-0 result was disappointing to say the least. Another missed opportunity to make ground on our rivals which is doubly annoying when you consider the performance itself which, in the first half at least, wasn’t bad. If we’re looking at positives, we kept a clean sheet away and got no injuries, plus our next match is at home. We did also hit the bar and the post in the second half, so the margins were slim. That old cliché of every match from now on being a ‘cup final’ is overused, but true if we’re aiming for a top-four finish. However, if anyone knows that a season does not end in February, it’s an Arsenal fan. I’m keeping the faith that others will slip up for now, and that our finishing will start to result in goals sooner rather than later!

After a difficult January we finally go into a match on the back of a win, and a hugely morale-boosting win at that. There were times in the second half against Villa where Arsenal looked unstoppable, so after much criticism over the past few weeks that will definitely help ahead of this Bolton game. I guess it’s another one of those ‘must win’ games, much as I loathe that phrase, but given our main rivals won or drew yesterday it keeps the pressure piled on as heavily as ever. There are reasons for optimism though: having Arteta back towards the end of Sunday’s match means that hopefully he’ll be fit enough to contribute for longer this time. I thought Rosicky put in a tremendous performance as well, so there are more options to the midfield than there have been lately. Gibbs is back in training and of course, my favourite player in the world Bacary Sagna is back too. Our home win against Bolton in September was probably our first emphatic win of the season so a win tonight would be the perfect way to banish bad memories of last season’s match at the Reebok.

* The views expressed in Talking Heads do not necessarily reflect those of Arsenal Football Club or Arsenal Broadband Ltd.

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2 Feb 2012