Going Underground? Match preview

The arrival of the beetle-headed dung-munching orcs from Stoke will be the first real test of our newly found confidence. Can Arsenal overcome these mutants and gain 3 points without a slew of injuries? Furthermore, can Arsenal get through 90+ minutes of  battle with 11 players on the field – another red card for the good guys would not be a huge surprise.

Shawcross, Delap and Hoof go forward for a corner

Stoke are a different team this season having spent heavily in summer on another bunch of giants. With an average height of 1.83 they are the tallest team in the PL, and it is working for them, they lie in 7th, 2 points ahead of us. Stoke have also cleaned up their act (or more probably have become cleverer at rotational fouling) – they have yet to receive a red card and have only 16 yellows in 8 PL games; we have received 3 reds and 19 yellows.

Tactics are normal Pulis – long ball,  focus on set plays, Delap’s throw-ins and a solid defence allied to the pace and power of Kenwyn Jones who really should be in better company. The signing of Crouch says it all, with his thrust Stoke have managed to score just 6 goals in 8 games. Walters is a Pulis favourite and we can expect him to cause his usual problems. Pennant has been injured but could be back to test our full backs.

A depressing stat is that since we last beat Stoke 1-0 at the Emirates we have not won 2 PL games in succession (according to OPTA), a better one is that Stoke have not beaten us at home since 1981.

Which brings us to Arsenal’s team. Let us start with a positive, Thomas Vermaelen is back and available for selection; I do not expect him to start but perhaps he will get some minutes later in the game. Problems abound at right back with both our squad RB’s injured, as such we will see Djourou continue, I wish him well. At left back Gibbs is out for a minimum 2 weeks with a stomach strain, so Santos gets the shirt. Santos has been both superb and a liability in his short AFC career, he has pace, good control, can cross and has already scored, but he was lucky to stay on the pitch in Marseilles, has been prone to pass to the opposition and his positioning has been suspect, that said, he is learning the Arsenal way and IMO will prove to be a fine signing.

We looked better at Marseilles when Ramsey came on and despite Rosicky’s good form I would start the Welshman in a game which will have strong resonance for him. To make Shawcross look even more stupid will complete Aaron’s recovery. He will score if selected.

My team:

Despite Mr Wenger’s statements, Arshavin’s recent performances have been, what’s the word?  OK …. crap. A 10 minute cameo aside, AA has  been our most frustrating player. I would not even put him on the bench and allow him some time to recover his vim and vigour, because I can only assume his focus has been upon getting Russia into the Euro’s.

RvP or Chamakh? Sure Robin needs a rest, but now is not the time. We need pace to break down Stoke because we will not out-muscle them, however, Stoke have a poor record when returning from Europa Cup duty so we can hope they will tire.

An inventor from Stoke? Not many but stand up Sir Oliver Joseph Lodge. Involved in the development of wireless telegraphy, he also invented electric spark ignition for combustion engines.  Had a fine beard as well ….

This is a winnable game against a team who in recent years have become possibly more disliked than any team outside of Manchester and N.17. Despite being unconvincing we have been getting back on track, let us continue today.

Don’t forget the Victoria line is not working today. Stay and watch the Under-18′s strut their stuff ….

COYRRG

Big Raddy

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216 Responses to Going Underground? Match preview

  1. Morning all

    Anyone volunteering to write a match report? Needs to be someone that can watch it on tv – it’s not on tv here in the UK – anyone?

  2. oz gunner says:

    Sorry peaches i can’t do one because i can only watch the 1st half for some stupid reason. They are showing the 1st half during manure vs city’s 2nd half, then the game switches over to QPR vs chelsea, its ridiculous. Have to wait for the replay, sorry

  3. mickydidit89 says:

    Beetle headed dung munchers. Laughing out loud.
    I would rest Persie and play…….someone else!
    Beard and forehead, both magnificent.

  4. oz – don’t worry. Rasp is going to make your pic bigger and insert it at some point ………….

  5. I cent says:

    I will watch it on tv and i can write a match report,contact me if u want 2 use my services n tell me how 2 go bout it tru my mail add Lurex23@yahoo.com

  6. oz gunner says:

    cheers peaches and rasp.

    BTW typically great pre-match, no-one does it better

  7. John Ondenge says:

    Nice one,beetle headed dung-munching orcs,someone joking about towels being banned!commentator:Delap seems to have picked a shoulder injury in pre-match warm up,how i wish.Infront ad start with Chamakh then bring robin later on depending on how game progress…btw al be watching the game live 3.30pm kenyan time

  8. I cent says:

    @john even if delap dies there is stil ryan shotton,they hve a trailer load of delaps we jst hav 2 do our bit n leave d rest 2 GOD.

  9. indiangooner says:

    peaches, i will be writing a match report on my blog coz the match will be broadcasted live here in India.. U can take it from me, make the necessary changes and post it here.. Chk my website to get an idea of how I do match reports… Let me know if u r interested…

  10. John Ondenge says:

    @Icent true,lets hope our back 4 will be at their best,its funny when wenger is quoted saying they dont have time training on scoring with corners yet against marseille they had 9 against 1,if only we can take on those chances,we wud see more goals…ooh and squillaci scored the only goal in this fixture last season

  11. harry says:

    Excellent Big Rads, great picture of the stoke boys, really lifelike!! uncanny resembelance…….

    Tough game today, fully agree with your line up, agree today is not the day to rest robin…….

    Want to see a big game from Arteta today, been here long enough now, he needs to grasp the game and dictate the play.

    Santos needs to be calmer and controlled in possession. Kozzer and BFG looked like there are getting used to each other.

    Djourou just needs to keep things simple and not panic.

    Gervinho and Walcott to score today, with Rambo getting the other.

    I fancy 3-1 to us today, that’ll do nicely…….

  12. barumgooner says:

    Sorry for being a bit of a party-pooper guys but it seems to me that when we have a match preview which basically just slags off the opposition we dont fare too well. I think today as always the Arsenal should rise above this level and class will out. To me Stoke play to their strengths and we have to accept that and even respect it, they are not just gona lie down and give us the points and nor should they. The team need to be strong and organised and the cream will rise to the top.

  13. barumgooner says:

    I think we need a good game from Theo today and the midfield trying a few speculative efforts from range because whoever plays up front alone is not going to get much reward imo.

  14. LB says:

    Ahhhhh, this is my favourite time in blog land, prior to a match is like light to vampires, the trolls are just too embarrassed to come out and moan, they cower under rocks hoping we lose which is their cue to jump out and whine about one thing or another but before that the playground is ours, the sun is shining and I have the pleasure of reading a BR pre-match…………..luxury.

  15. Rasp says:

    Message for Micky (I think this will come up on your Blackberry) from Evonne and peaches who are both getting Brahms at the pub pre-match – please give them a call/text

  16. Rasp says:

    RvP on the bench, Chamakh up front

  17. Rasp says:

    GunneN5 has told me that this is our 100th EPL game at the Emirates – unbelivable!

  18. oz gunner says:

    @ Rasp

    lets win it for arsenes 62nd and emirates 100th. Glad MC is up front, we need the extra height defensively and RVP is to good to be risked against the stoke orcs

  19. Rasp says:

    Definitely oz, this is a different Arsenal altogether from a year ago. We need to avoid giving away silly freekicks in dangerous positions and get the ball more swiftly up to the attacking players. I can feel a red card in this game. I hope it is for an indiscretion from a Stoke player rather than a reaction from one of our players to their thuggery.

  20. oz gunner says:

    Team: Szczesny, Djourou, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Andre Santos, Song, Arteta, Ramsey, Walcott, Gervinho, Chamakh.

    Substitutes: Fabianski, Frimpong, Rosicky, Benayoun, Arshavin, Park, Van Persie.

  21. oz gunner says:

    I agree rasp, hopefully the red is to a stoke player not a retaliation from one of us. Its not the dangerous positions we have to worry about because they don’t have a dead ball specialist, its giving a free kick anywhere, or a throw in our half. Its just annoying watching a free kick in their half and seeing the whole gang of orcs walking down so that begovic can bang it into the box.

  22. Rasp says:

    True oz,

    I can’t watch the game as I’m at work, but I shall be dissecting the recording later and looking to see if Chamakh can make his mark in this game. I would imagine our best chance of scoring will come from him laying off to one of our oncoming midfielders – Ramsey or Arteta.

  23. oz gunner says:

    Stoke (4-4-2):
    Begovic, wilkingson, shawcross, upson (thankfully him and not huth), wilson, whitehead, whelan, delap, ethrington, walters, crouch.

    Subs: Sorenson, huth, shotton, diao, palacios (coming back from injury), jerome, jones (no doubt will come on later)

    Pennant failed to come up thankfully as he normally creates problems for us

  24. oz gunner says:

    @ Rasp

    work on a sunday, thats a tough gig.
    Thankfully i can watch the whole match, fox sports got it wrong its blackburn vs scum on an hour later not the gunners (shhhhh don’t tell peaches). Yeah i agree, MC will get hit from pillar to post but hopefully he can create room for walcott and gerv. I want to see:

    1. Walcott step up and take the game by the scruff of the neck
    2. Gerv hit the target
    3. Santos nail delap like he did to that short bloke for marsielle
    4. A calm assured match for the whole match not just the first 20minutes
    5. Shawcross walk off crying
    6. AA another great cameo from the bench.
    7. no injuries

  25. Rasp says:

    oz,

    I’d add to that a decent performance from the ref and not the usual “well its ok to kick Arsenal because they have an unfair advantage being more skillful”

  26. Rasp says:

    Incidentally, we’re still waiting for one of our regulars to volunteer to do the match report!

  27. oz gunner says:

    @ Rasp i agree with that, won’t hold my breath though. need score updates?

  28. oz gunner says:

    if no-one volunteers i can write one up tomorrow after work, won’t be off a harry, TA, jamie quality though. Last resort that is

  29. oz gunner says:

    *of

  30. Rasp says:

    Thanks oz, I’m a bit confused by the time zones, would that get to us by 9 a.m. UK time?

  31. oz gunner says:

    yep should have it through 7.30 at the very latest

  32. Rasp says:

    That’s excellent, you are too modest, your writing is excellent, offer gratefully accepted :P

    By the way, it’s still nil nil according to the beeb, I don’t expect this game to be decided by much more than 1 goal.

  33. oz gunner says:

    cheers. arsenal match report > study for exams.

    i agree, stoke will be tough to break down.guess i better start taking notes

  34. Big Raddy says:

    Not got our passing game together as yet. It will come I am sure

  35. Rasp says:

    I see Stoke are winning 4 nil on fouls. I have long thought that a team as well as a player should be penalised for persistamnt fouling.

  36. Rasp says:

    Make that 5 nil …….

  37. oz gunner says:

    1-0 great chip by ramsey, good control and finish by gerv

  38. Rasp says:

    I didn’t have time to celebrate before they equalized, sounds like the scenario I had warned about earlier – giving away unnecessary free kicks. Cue our customary 20 minutes when we lose shape and our confidence is shot.

  39. oz gunner says:

    1-1 stupid set piece goal crouch

  40. Rasp says:

    Stupid indeed, from what I am reading, we can expect a nonstop aerial bombardment. Kozzer against Crouch is just ridiculous, why wasn’t the BFG marking him?

  41. Rasp says:

    Quote from the BBC coverage “Arsenal’s tempo dropped noticably when they took the lead and the Potters punish them” ….. why the hell can’t we keep our foot on the pedal after we’ve scored. I’m sure the stats will show mthat we are the team who is scored against the quickest after going in front.

  42. pat says:

    I hate this referee – we should have had a penalty

  43. pat says:

    lol “hes better off throwing it than crossing it” guess who the commentator was talking about ha ha ha

  44. oz gunner says:

    @ Pat

    classic wasn’t it. MC two great chances, he needs to pull his finger out or see the door come jan

  45. pat says:

    release the RVP I’m afraid Cham is not happening

  46. pat says:

    That ref is BS though still fuming – fricken asleep at the set piece again – disappointing

  47. pat says:

    Ramsey looking up for it though peach of a pass for the goal – just need to attack with alot more movement Walcott is causing some trouble

  48. Rasp says:

    Is Theo even on the pitch. I can’t be objective but there are no references to him at all in the text coverage.

  49. pat says:

    Surely Park could do better than Chamakh??? I mean if he wants to rest RVP put a guy in who is getting goals has confidence!

  50. oz gunner says:

    @ Rasp

    theo is being well…theo, a couple of good things, poor cross, not much else, deep defensive line so not much room for him

  51. Rasp says:

    I have never seen a striker as goal-shy (with his feet) as Chamakh

  52. pat says:

    Rasp – he has troubled the left back a couple of times but with little end product and a couple of diagonal runs have been promising but the balls have not quite been there. Like Chamakh does not seem to be able to do much getting the ball back to goal. However could all change in a moment if Ramsey can put in another pass like for the Gervinho goal

  53. pat says:

    I so want him to get some goals but it is just not happening for him. Matter of time before we see RVP – could still happen – Ramsey is looking pretty good – Gervinho also looking dangerous. Referee is a c*nt.

  54. Big Raddy says:

    Ref: Rubbish an weak.

    Chamakh: Been watching Arshavin. Needs to get involved. 2 chances and 2 poor misses.

    Song: Stop the showboat passes

    Arteta. OK, as is JD, Merte, Gerv and Kos.

    Santos.: As in the post – very good and very bad. Surely Shawcross was his man at the free kick if we are still using zonal marking.

    Theo: Up against a FB he can beat all the time and yet he has only had a couple of decent passes. The team have to use him.

    Ramsey is looking very good and his pass for the goal was sublime.

  55. Big Raddy says:

    I would like to see Park and RvP in place of Gerv and Cham on the hour.

  56. oz gunner says:

    @ Rasp

    lock it in, got a page of notes going and the ideas are flowing

  57. pat says:

    RVP alert!

  58. pat says:

    warming up….

  59. Rasp says:

    What is it with AW that he won’t give Patk a chance. He needs to change things now.

  60. pat says:

    YEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS RVP!

  61. oz gunner says:

    gerv dangerous down the right, RVP’s positioning is unreal, truly world class he is

  62. pat says:

    YESSSSSS SUCK ON THAT STOKE

  63. oz gunner says:

    ok ive cracked open the piggy bank time to gather the pennies we need rvp to stay!!!!

  64. pat says:

    The Frimpong is about to be unleashed!

  65. oz gunner says:

    manure 1- mancity 6

    wow just wow

  66. pat says:

    Happy Birthday Mr Wenger!

  67. pat says:

    whaaaaaaat?

  68. Rasp says:

    Fantastic result, well done boys. We still need someone who can take the burden off RvP, I hope Park gets a run out in the CC and forces himself into contention, Chamakh can’t do it.

  69. oz gunner says:

    yep they got demolished, dzeko hat-trick. fergie out i rekn haha

  70. oz gunner says:

    @ Rasp

    agree. atm its RVP——————————–>the other strikers.the gap is to big. high hopes for park, mc has had a terrible run for too long now

  71. Rasp says:

    Come on Blackburn, bruise those spuds.

  72. pat says:

    Gerv also had his best game!

  73. pat says:

    hows that – came on in the 66th and gets 2 – what a player

  74. pat says:

    1-1 BB vs Spuds

  75. oz gunner says:

    gerv motm for me, rvp changed the game when he came on tho, really lifted the team and gerv lifted alot

  76. dandan says:

    Malicous rumour coming out of Spain at this time, Kelsey smiled this afternoon :-)

  77. oz gunner says:

    @ dandan

    haha great comment.

    man city experiencing a chelsea like feeling of what it feels like to buy a trophy

  78. kelsey says:

    Rocking Robin :)
    Why he didn’t start anyones guess.
    Gervinho and RVP will be formidable together.
    Theo’s days are numbered,countless high balls to nowhere and against he tallest team in the league.
    Pleased for Ramsey in fact pleased for them all but defensively we still look oh so vunerable.Santos needs to take a few deep beaths now and again.
    Kos gets more composed every game and Per is learning.Djourou playing at RB was OK but may have stopped the cross that led to their goal.
    I wondered why Stoke (thankfully for us) were prepared to sit on the 1-1 but there you go.
    Arshavin looked lively maybe he is to continue with a cameo role.Not a day to be too critical, it all came good at the end.Well played the fans on insisting RVP should come on.Who needs a manager ? No one really had a bad game but some out there will do a lot better.

  79. kelsey says:

    dandan i told you we would win,i was 100% positive wasn’t I :)

  80. dandan says:

    Oz Kelsey is a good friend of mine and we often trade gentle insults.
    He is Arsenal personified, but us winning, Utd getting mauled and spuds going behind he will love, on top of that Theo had a quiet game and he can give me a big I told you so :-)

  81. oz gunner says:

    @ dandan

    no complaints from me, gentle ribbing is all we do in oz.
    as for kelsey, id never question is support, i’ve got a long way to go to get to the level of you two and alot of the other AA’ers

    hope you enjoyed the game all, enjoy the rest of your day, hopefully i can start your mondays with a good match report

  82. VCC says:

    Long and sad drive home (163.87 miles) for the Manx supporters.
    Apparently Fergie complained after the match, he said there should have at least been one and a half hours extra time, and why did they not get 5 penalties.
    Simply loving it.

  83. SharkeySure says:

    Funny old game today….

    Quite flat at times, but we do battle very well these days, even though we were quite sloppy at times. The Stoke goal was a very good set piece routine, that would catch many teams out.

    I love Kozzer. Have done since his Anfield debut.

    When Santos settles – he will be a monster.

  84. RockyLives says:

    First off, great pre-match as usual BR. I feel like a stuck record saying it, but no-one in the whole of Blogland (even the mighty Arseblog) comes close to matching your pre-match pieces.

    And so to the game…

    I thought it was a fantastic, mature performance today. We bossed the game for most of the 90 minutes; we were not out-muscled; we did not panic when they levelled; contrary to what others have said, we were extremely solid at the back; in the final minutes we were absolutely taking the piss out of a team that has been a major bugbear for us.

    In short, for the first time, the new look Arsenal started to play like a true Wenger team.

    Stoke’s goal was actually a really well-worked free kick for which they deserve some credit. However, the free kick should never have been given as Koscielny made a text-book defender’s header to beat Crouch without fouling him.

    We should have had a penalty a few minutes later – a completely blatant wrestle to the ground… but how often do we get them? Not often enough.

    Final thought – the Arsenal team of last year, with its superstars like Cesc and Nasri, would not have won this game.

  85. RockyLives says:

    VCC :)
    Very funny

  86. dandan says:

    Biggest defeat according to old red nose in his entire career either as player or manager,
    Rumour has it that Rooney is so pissed off cos his Dad doesnt believe he didnt know what the score would be: evidently he would have put a few bob on: That he has changed and gone off in a huff to a grab a granny night.

  87. Rasp says:

    The chavs down to 9 men and a goal down. All we need is a late brace for Blackburn and it will have been a perfect day

  88. Big Raddy says:

    A little time to reflect and as much as I would like to I cannot get over-excited about today. V happy with the 3 points and they were well deserved but Stoke were porr, make that very poor.

    True we matched them physically which was very positive but our passing tempo was as slow as a George Graham team. there was no guile in the attack until RvP came on.

    JD is very obviously a CB playing out of position which resulted in our having no overlapping RB which is such an essential part of our game.

    Gervinho MoM IMO. A performance of great promise.

    But what do do with Chamakh?

  89. Big Raddy says:

    Just watched the MU game. Men against boys :-D

  90. RockyLives says:

    BR
    Respectfully, I think you’re being overly harsh on today’s performance.

    We all see things differently (that should set Redders off on one of his “versions of reality” riffs) but I really thought we were composed today and were knocking the ball around very competently.

    It was usually the final ball that caused our (often quite promising) moves to break down – so what you describe as lack of guile, I would characterise as lack of finesse or composure.

    Even so, we saw Ramsey provide as assist that Cesc would have been proud of; we saw Chamakh put in on goal with a good pass only to be manhandled to the ground; before Gerv’s goal he was fed another lovely ball in the six yard box (he tried to take it on his chest when he might have been better off with a glancing header); we forced corner after corner…

    Arteta had an excellent game I thought. He was, as ever, composed on the ball, but what I liked was how he always looked to push us forward whenever he could.

    Stoke are not a very poor team. They are in the top half of the table, no-one likes to play them and they are extremely well organised in defence and at attacking set pieces.

    Whenever we beat anyone it seems to be the norm these days to say that our opposition were poor, rather than that our performance was good, which is a shame.

  91. Big Raddy says:

    RL. It has been one of those days and perhaps you are right that I am being too harsh.

    I just long for the days when the player in possession has at least two passing opportunities. Too many times today the midfielder had to pass back because there was no free player available.

    But perhaps I should watch the game again

  92. RockyLives says:

    BR
    You know my glasses are always tinted with rose.

    I wouldn’t suggest that we are anywhere near the free-flowing, multi-chance creating style of play we have sometimes had in the Wenger years, but I do see lots of encouraging signs, not least our resilience today.

    We have probably lost 15% in flair compared with last year’s team, but maybe we have acquired 15% in commitment and character.

  93. Big Raddy says:

    Great days football. Chelsea were the better team with 9 men!

    As to MC. Awesome.

    Great shame Blackburn couldn’t turn pressure into goals. How did we lose there??

  94. Big Raddy says:

    RL. That is true, and thank you for the considerable compliment earlier.

  95. RockyLives says:

    No Drogba or Bosingwa against us next week.

    Beat the Chavs and we’ll be only 3 points behind them!

    With the CC game midweek our first teamers should all be able to have a good rest.

  96. harry says:

    Well great result, exactly the score line I fancied earlier on……Swift £66 pound back to me!!

    Looking forward to watching the highlights tonight……..

    2 points behind the scousers,
    Only 6 off Chelsea with 29 games to go!!

    Who said we couldnt get top four?

    Also our two best players left, really? I said in the summer the one player we couldnt afford to let go was Robin, we do need a decent back up though……

    Also will the press now berate United as much as us? Does Fergie need defensive lessons? Will they berate Chelsea for 2 sendings off?

    Not counting my chickens just yet, but slowly does it boys……..

    Go into the Chelsea game with good heart and a better confidence level……..

  97. RockyLives says:

    BR
    It looks like MC really have smashed the old order asunder. Even Chelsea look like paupers in comparison.

    This is not sour grapes, but their achievement if (when) they win the league will be tarnished by the ocean of money in which they’re swimming.

    I don’t suppose their fans will care, but there is something deeply depressing about the whole thing.

    One way UEFA could enhance FFP would be to have a rule about how many players any team is allowed to send out on loan. Otherwise City can just buy star after star, and any who can’t get a regular spot can be sent to lowlier teams (with part of their ridiculous wages offset) where they can be wheeled out against MC’s main opposition but not against MC. It’s all wrong.

  98. RockyLives says:

    Harry
    I spotted your 3-1 prediction – well done :)

  99. LB says:

    Hi folks

    I saw the same game as Rocky, although, I know what you mean BR: the only obvious flaw is that the link play could and should be much better, I was wondering as I cycled home whether Diaby may be the answer?

  100. LB says:

    What an exciting day’s football.

  101. RockyLives says:

    LB
    Too true. Thank God that even in these money-drenched days the game can still astound and amaze.

  102. Hi all

    I obviously saw the same game as Rocky and LB ;) It was really enjoyable, the crowd were in the main really loud and supportive – it did help having a couple of pantomine characters in Delap and Shawcross on the other side.

    Just something missing in the creative department in mid-field but I think they’re growing into a team. Robin is just so classy. Gerv was like a player possessed today. Arsh is a great sub – must terrify the opposition. Per and Kozzer working well together, Djourou was calm and Santos is a real handful going forward aswell as defending.

    Abou Diaby hmmmmmnnnnn maybe?

  103. RockyLives says:

    Peaches
    If Abou can stay fit he can really contribue something extra… (and if he can concentrate for a whole game at a time).

  104. Big Raddy says:

    Damn right RL & LB.

    A superb days sport from the rugby to the final whistle at QPR. What a strange season where we lose by a 6 at OT and 6 weeks later MU lose by 5. By this reckoning MC could score 13 at the Emirates!

    I think all football fans outside of MC and Chelsea bemoan the arrival of the billionaires. Even the mega-rich like Levi at THFC cannot compete.

    Self- sustainability is wonderful but it doesn’t win trophies.

  105. Gooner in Exile says:

    Just a quick check in. Whilst stopping off on way home.

    I saw the same game as London and Rocky.

    Special mention for me to the midfield three, Ramsey just edged MotM for me followed closely by Santos, Kozzer, Song, Gervinho and RvP.

    The most important thing today I didn’t think about missing Jack, Verm or Sagna.

    Before we brought RvP on and when he was on were making Stoke worry, we were trying to cross from multiple angles, that lead to them closing us down more which gave us the space to move the ball on the floor.

    Can’t believe there has been little mention of Mason, was never a free kick that led to the equaliser, and he was generally terrible.

    Finally on Chamakh, I thought he did well today, he worked hard, tried to be an outlet and when others ran beyond him you could see what brings.

    RvP needed the rest bringing him on after the hour when Stoke were tiring was a cunning plan, they were too tired to track him.

  106. Big Raddy says:

    I am a fan of Diaby and think he will add flair to this team but who gets dropped?

  107. Big Raddy says:

    GIE. Check the half time comments. Mason got a blasting but he did better second half

  108. harry says:

    Thanks Rocky, it earnt me a little win, so well happy…….

    I agree that Abou really can add to this team, as will Li’l Jack when he is back….

    I agree we seem to have gained in the spirit department this season and loss a creative edge, but that will always happen with so many changes……..WIth Jack in there, I suspect we will be fine……

    As you just said Rocky as long as Diaby concentrates for the whole game. He can dominate games on his own when on fire, unfortuantely he has an inbulit fire extinguisher with a loose trigger……….

    For those there, how was Djourou today? did he have any hairy clichyitis moments?

  109. Ha ha ha Rocky he definitely can’t concentrate for a whole game :)

    Ramsey’s dink for Gervs first goal was positively Cescesque – can I say that? And Arteta also found players with a couple of amazing passes so it’s definitely coming. Song was more disciplined today and hardly went romping forward, maybe thats why we didn’t get so nervous.

    The second half was pretty much one way traffic. Robin changes the game though ……………….

  110. harry says:

    GIE, good to here your comments, as I value your opinion, Ramsey had a stormer then, good stuff………Oh those of little faith, loss count of those saying he wasnt good enough to wear the shirt!!(not just on here) The lad is class, with heart, not many have both……Will be an arsenal legend!!!

    Really cannot wait to see the highlights………

  111. RockyLives says:

    BR
    With our injury record I’m sure he’ll get his chance :(

  112. LB says:

    BR

    That was my second thought: who gets dropped? Buuuuuuuut, the interesting thing is that today’s midfield is not set in stone as it was with Cesc, everyman has the opportunity to stake his claim.

    The possible combinations seem endless:

    Wilshere
    Ramsey
    Song
    Arteta
    Diaby
    Rosicky
    Frimpong
    Cocqulin
    and even Arshavin.

    Song was strong and possitive but he is no link up man, too many passes going astray.

    Arteta seems to have changed postions, on Wednesday he played much deeper and it worked, he carried that on today with great effect.

    Good problems to have I suppose.

  113. LB says:

    GIE

    A very clever observation:

    “The most important thing today I didn’t think about missing Jack, Verm or Sagna.”

    And so true.

  114. RockyLives says:

    LB
    Song had a really good game – except for when he occasionally surged forward to break down one of our attacking moves.

    I know he has scored a few good goals, but quite often he’s the key factor in our attacks petering out.

  115. RockyLives says:

    Harry
    I don’t think Djourou did anything wrong. He looked solid at FB although, understandably, he offered little going forward.

  116. LB says:

    I was pleased with Djourou’s performance today, he got embarrassingly caught with tthe ball in the first half but that had more to do with the lack of options in my opinion.

    As GIE said the fact that we didin’t seem to miss Sagna speaks volumes to me.

  117. Gooner in Exile says:

    That’s ok then Raddy :)

  118. Rasp says:

    Unfortunately Bosingwa’s one match ban will be used up on their CC game midweek and Torres will be back from suspension to face us, but after today’s performance we can go into that game with confidence.

  119. Rasp says:

    The graph on the rhs now looks a lot healthier, 7th is our highest league position this season.

  120. kelsey says:

    No one who wears the red and white of Arsenal should get lambasted but how many chances does one give Chamakh.OK he made the odd pass,but the real question is what does he actually bring to the team ? If he wasn’t on the pitch you wouldn’t notice him.
    Walcott is a different matter.in his 7 th year at the club and really would be better off in our ladies team provided he doesn’t get knocked about too much ( I will get my T shirt)

  121. LB says:

    Today was a huge step forward, today was a huge test as 26 suggested last week in his match report and the fact is the team passed with flying colours.

    I am really on a high about all things Arsenal tonight.

    When we scored the third, the guy next to me leant over and said to me: do you think it is a bit early to break into the song:

    We are going to win the league…………….being the way I am, let me tell you, I was tempted.

  122. Gooner in Exile says:

    LB my point about not missing them ties in with your point about the variations, last season we very much had a different outcome with or without Cesc and only certain players around him got the best. Whereas your list shows that we have many variations but a more consistent output than last season.

    I was also thinking about squad strength this year compared to last, I’m starting to think we are stronger.

  123. LB says:

    The ladies team is very good you know?

  124. harry says:

    Cheers guys, I really stood up for Djourou before, but got fed up last season with him making mistakes in silly positions when it wasnt needed.

    He just needs to do the simple things and maybe his confidence will return, he has an opportunity to play a run of games, lets hope he takes it and reaches his potential…..

    LB@7.35 quality……..think City have it sewn up already, but top three beckons if this continues…….

  125. LB says:

    The thing about Chamakh is that if he was on form right now he would want to be playing week in and week out and if he didn’t get a start I am sure he would want to leave the same way the Bendtner insisted on leaving.

    It is not easy finding players who are prepared to spend the best part of a season which equates to one important year of a very short career on the bench.

  126. Gooner in Exile says:

    Kelsey if Chamakh had given Stoke CBs an easy ride then RvP wouldn’t have been able to find the space he did, so for me today Cham did what was required.

  127. Red Arse says:

    Dare I say it? A wonderful enthralling game. Sure it had its quiet bits; and then its frenetic bits; then its scary bits, but that’s what I love about footie. :-)

    Anyway, the balance of the team changed when Robin came on, but also when Arsh replaced a very disappointing Theo. Suddenly the Gerv seemed revitalized on the right wing, Arsh whizzed around like a demented firecracker and RVP terrorized their defence. Beautiful!

    Wonderful feeling!! :-)

  128. kelsey says:

    GUE,
    I didn’t expect to get away with that comment witn many on here, and I give you that but otherwise for one reason or another he doesn’t bring enough to a team on the up.

    lke the tweet of the day

    “six in the city “

  129. RockyLives says:

    Kelsey
    ( I will get my T shirt) :)
    Don’t rub it in!

  130. kelsey says:

    LB.
    Irespect your comments as well but my gut feeling is that he isn’t what we need to supplement our strikers or replace RVP or err.

  131. RockyLives says:

    From a City fan’s Tweet on the BBC footy site:

    “On a scale of 1 – 6, how are United fans feeling tonight?”

  132. LB says:

    Kelsey

    I share your concerns but my point is that if he were as good as RvP he would have been playing at Old Trafford today.

  133. LB says:

    “On a scale of 1 – 6, how are United fans feeling tonight?”

    That is funny.

    Welcome to our world United we have had annoying noveau riche neighbours for some time now.

  134. Red Arse says:

    LB,

    I know you are on a high, as we all are, but finding a forward, or any player, willing to sit on the bench all season is not what it is about, else Arsenal could have me for zilch!

    What I would suggest we need in our squad is some shit hot, ambitious guy who believes he is as good as or better than RVP and is keen to prove it.

    Maybe that guy is Park, or Afobe or someone else, whatever, the rest of it – bench or no – will take care of itself.

    Hiya Rock, :-)

  135. Gooner in Exile says:

    Couple of my favourite tweets today:

    “All the Man United players all look pretty upset. Except Rooney. He can’t count to 6. He just looks confused.”

    “Don’t worry Chelsea fans – Frank Lampard is still on the field. He’s so fat he counts for 3 players. It’s still 11 vs 11.”

    “Whats the time? Oh it’s six past De Gea”

    “All these jokes about harsh results are unfair. I realise though it’s 6 to 1 half a dozen of the other”

  136. Gooner in Exile says:

    Some of our Youngsters are also getting some payback out there.

  137. Red Arse says:

    Nothing can wash away the 8:2 result away at OT, but there is a crumb of comfort in Manyoo losing 1:6 at home!

    Not a nice feeling, but perhaps the sorry Surrey Manure fans will shut up now!

  138. LB says:

    RA

    This is how I see it: if the player is better than RvP we would expect him to be playing week in and week out, yes? Would RvP stay in this scenario? No. So we would be back to square one looking for someone to play second fiddle, which in practise means spending the majority of the season on the bench.
    As for having hungry young players chomping on the bit to take RvP’s place haven’t you answered your own question by putting names like Afobe and Park forward, you could also add Murphy and Watt to that list as well, if you wanted

    It’s not that I don’t want to see better players at Arsenal but doesn’t anyone stop to think of the practicalities before they start adding their concerns to the proceedings?

  139. kelsey says:

    I fall somwhere between you.If god forbid rvp gets injured who has scored more than half our goods this season we need others like gervinho and ramsey to add to their qoal scoring, what they are already doing, which is good and they will only get better
    With chamakh,walcott and arshavin i am not so sure and they need to up their scoring record.
    these are all other first teamers,in other words options.

  140. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Good evening,

    The relentless march to our ultimate destiny continues.

    Lets take this defensive solidity and work rate to the bridge and come home with the points.

    In April we will be fighting it out with the Manchester clubs for the title, and they will both be crying in May.

  141. harry says:

    Red Arse, crumb of comfort? for me It is supersized chunks of humility, and so soon after, oh how I split my sides, how many players were they missing?…….

    8-2 will forever remain, it was a harsh lesson, every now and then it happens, but that is history for me, we are starting to build against the backdrop of so much criticism and pressure, it takes time and wont be easy, but is not the doom and gloom that so many have moaned about, there is light at the end of the tunnel, and whilst we travel along the tunnel, it warms me cockles that even the pressbacked mighty will also suffer……..

  142. RockyLives says:

    Evening Redders

    We lost 8-2 away from home with a scratch team including many players who, before then, could not even be counted as second choice.

    Utd lost at home with Ferguson having EVERY SINGLE FIRST TEAM PLAYER available.

    (My capitals are not aimed at you – I’m just so staggered by the fact that Utd’s strongest possible team could be so humbled. Our defeat, horrible though it was, was nowhere near as disastrous).

  143. RockyLives says:

    TMHT
    I love you :)

  144. LB says:

    Kelsey

    We had a glimpse of what life would be like without RvP and it was not pretty, we can only hope that Chamakh can improve and the only way for him to do that, in my opionion, is to play…………..which is exactly what happened today.

  145. harry says:

    Kelsey that is without the only problem that I have not even one suggestion for at the moment, will wenger buy in the window?……….

    God forbid anything happens to him…………

  146. RockyLives says:

    Incidentally, in writing my very optimistic post the other day about how I felt we would be top three by the New Year, I said we would get 18 points from our next 6 home games (including today’s).

    For what it’s worth, although I didn’t say it in the piece, I thought the Stoke Orcs would be the toughest of the six to win… so we’re off to a pretty good start :)

  147. Red Arse says:

    LB,

    Don’t worry about anyone else not stopping “to think of the practicalities before they start adding their concerns to the proceedings?” just try sticking to your own logic.

    You said “if the player is better than RvP we would expect him to be playing week in and week out, yes? Would RvP stay in this scenario? No”. You not only ask two obvious questions, you answer them!

    If a player is better than RVP, as you suggest, then he is going to match my description, “a shit hot, ambitious guy who believes he is as good as or better than RVP and is keen to prove it. Precisely what we want! What is so difficult to comprehend?

    The third question, which you did not think to pose and answer is “will Robin, given his past record, stay fit for the whole season, or should we use our brains and try to have a “shit hot, ambitious guy who believes he is as good as or better than RVP and is keen to prove it.”

    Oops back to my original point.

    By the way stop trying to patronise — your just not very good at it.

  148. harry says:

    Very good start Rocky and if we can get something next week, which i truly think we can, especially with our nemesis having a 3 game break………..then your piece will be truly close to the mark…

  149. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Rocky, your prediction will come in.

    We need a big away win now. Every dog has its day, and Theo will be barking loud at the bridge.

  150. LB says:

    RA

    And you wonder why we don’t comunicate.

    You stuck your nose into a conversation that me and Kelsey were having if you don’t like what I say ignore my comments.

    You contradict yourself so much up there I wouldn’t know where to start.

    You simply do not think of the practicalities.

  151. Rasp says:

    I don’t think Chamakh is close to the quality we need.

    The argument that we shouldn’t expect quality in a second striker because if he was any good he’d want away because he wouldn’t have the fight in him to try to become number one assumes that neither he, nor we believe he would have the potential to make it.

    The job of the number two striker is to try to depose the number one striker – Robin’s position is very safe I’d say.

  152. Red Arse says:

    Harry, Rocky we all seem to saying the same thing! :-)

    I have a few impossibly smug Manyoo ‘suporters’ of my acquaintance, who live in this part of the world and who have been consistently smug and condescending and it is all I can do not to be rather unpleasant to them! :-(

    Wait until I see them over the next few days! Condescending? moi! You bet!! :-)

  153. Red Arse says:

    LB, whatever.

    I promise I will meet you one day!

  154. Red Arse says:

    Hi Rasper, :-)

    Careful, or you will be accused of sticking your nose in next. :-) Actually I thought that was exactly what a blog was all about, not bollix about “private” conversations.

    Of course you are quite right in what you say, and that is exactly my own thoughts too. :-)

  155. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    ha ha, just imagine knowing that Redders is in line to give you a verbal beating, i almost feel sorry for those mancs….Not, ha ha.

  156. LB says:

    RA

    We may meet one day but it will never be of my choosing.

  157. Red Arse says:

    LB,

    You are confusing me with someone who gives a f*ck what you choose.

    I am itching to pop into the Tavern. We will meet. Count on it!

  158. LB says:

    “The argument that we shouldn’t expect quality in a second striker because if he was any good he’d want away”

    Two words: Nicholas Bendtner

    I would love to have Tevez on the bench but is that really practical or am I missing something?

  159. LB says:

    RA

    Your threats are childish, grow up.

  160. Rasp says:

    Hi LB,

    I just think we have a weaker second choice striker than the majority of premiership sides. I stand by the point that ambition is a two way street and to assume that a 2nd choice striker would want away because he thinks he deserves more time on the pitch also suggests he has an ego greater than his talent – I give you Nicklas Bendtner.

    An ambitious 2nd striker grabs the opportuinity when it presents itself and leaves the manager no option but to play him ….. one word: Chicharito

  161. Red Arse says:

    Hi TerryM, :-)

    It also helps that we had such a great win today!

    As Rocky reminded us, we had to put out a very understrength team at OT, whereas they were at full strength.

    I will think of something to say!! :-)

    Can’t wait for Oz’s match report tomorrow — he is as enthusiastic as you, and it is infectious!!

  162. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Hi Redders,

    Let them have it big time. ha ha

  163. LB says:

    Rasp

    That is a very strong argument, I am obviously not 100% happy with Chamakh who can be? As for United, that is a very different set up to the one we have and I think I would need more time than I have to answer. Although, the thought that is going through my mind is if RvP were a United player how many games would Cockroachito get and would he be happy hmmmmm this one needs more thought.

  164. dandan says:

    Rasp I have put a post into draft but it has adopted the most unusual spacing perhaps you could have a look. CHEERS

  165. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Nice post as always Raddy, the orcs got it big time.

    LB, ime sure if RVP gets injured Arsene’s got something up his sleeve, dont know what it is though?

  166. Rasp says:

    Haha London (sorry LB) I also kinda agree with you. I had high hopes for Chamakh but I am also acutely aware that we have a history of persisting with players that we believe will improve and many just don’t make the grade as we had hoped (probbaly the same for many clubs). Obviously age is an important factor and players up to 23 (ish) should be constantly improving but we know that is not always the case either.

    I believe that the Ox already has a better range of football skills than Theo and would be very surprised if he doesn’t mature into a better player in time.

  167. Rasp says:

    Hi dandan,

    Thanks very much, oz gunner is doing the match report for us so I hope you will be happy for us to publish during the week?

  168. Rob Lucci says:

    Only one thing that can make a striker as good as Van Persie playing as a second choice to him, ‘money’, and we dont have that.

    The second choice striker for Thierry was nowhere near as good as him.

  169. dandan says:

    LB do you remember a certain David Fairclough, now there was a second striker

  170. dandan says:

    Rasp you might not want to do even that lol

  171. kelsey says:

    I don’t think we are looking at a dual striking partnership like Radford and Kennedy jusy two or three players who can either complement RVP with goals as oposed to assists or can be our 10/15 goal a season each.That is where we differ.it was evident today by leaving RVP out initially AW knows as we all do we have to wrap up our prize asset in cotton wool yet it appears as captain he thrives on it and the players respect that.
    For instance if we had won 1-0 through Gervinh would RVP even played and maybe AW would have thought that plan had come off.Of ourse it didn’t and RVP ouzed the class to grab us the 3 pointswhich shows at this time we don’t have a regular match winner apart from RVP
    It was proved statistically that our attack of goals scored is worse than ou defence,and it was just meant to be a friendly debate.

    It certainly is a funny old game.City thrash United and not a word about Tevez.

  172. SharkeySure says:

    RL – “Final thought – the Arsenal team of last year, with its superstars like Cesc and Nasri, would not have won this game”

    Couldn’t agree more !!

  173. chas says:

    Lovely win today.
    Great to meet Evonne, Micky and GM for the first time.
    It now seems as though I’ve known Peaches and GIE for
    donkey’s.
    Looking forward to MOTD2, though might have to turn the sound down for the spuds bit. Hopefully they’ll be on last. :)

  174. Rasp says:

    Hi Rob,

    We had brilliant attacking midfielders playing alongside TH, Bergkamp, Pires, and Ljunberg not to mention Vieira all chipped in with plenty of goals – that was a much closer model to total football than what we have today.

    I didn’t really want to get into this discussion on a day when we should be celebrating an excellent victory, but that victory only came about when RvP came on because Chamakh was either missing chances or failing to create them. Gervinho on the other hand looks to me developing into a very important player for us and I personally am happier with AA as an impact sub than a starter.

  175. kelsey says:

    that’s what i said earlier Rasp ;)

  176. Rasp says:

    Hi kelsey, yes I know, very few of my thoughts are original – take it as a compliment :?

  177. Rasp says:

    BTW, Santos seems to be evolving into our latest marmite player. I love the guy although I am aware his ‘Brazillianness’ sometimes comes at the cost of some rather rash decision making. Others think he is just awful. I’m a sucker for a bit of outrageous skill – that’s why I am still a fan of Arsh.

  178. LB says:

    I thought Santos’ defending was less Brazilian today and more Tesco sliced white bread, if you know what I mean lol

  179. evonne says:

    Chas, i cannot thank you enough! One of the best afternoons in yonks! xx

  180. Red Arse says:

    There was a very critical comment by the TV presenters today regarding my hero Chezzer. I will tell you what was said, and why, but on the box it was difficult to see the ‘whole picture’, and I would like to know from someone at the match whether the comment was fair.

    It was when Djourou had the ball facing our goal, with no one pressing him. He passed (headed?) the ball back to Chezzer who had come a long way out of goal, apparently. (It was not clear from the picture I saw). The stoke forward closed down Chezzer who then had to dribble past him.

    Tony Gale said he thought Chezzer was a good goalie but that passage of play was very poor and revealed his inexperience.

    Difficult to explain, but perhaps you will recall the occasion.

    Was it as bad as Gale made it out when you were viewing from the stadium?

  181. Red Arse says:

    Rasp,

    I am very much in the “Santos will be a brilliant acquisition for us” camp! :-)

  182. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Wow, great day.
    Fantastic to see Evonne, Peaches, GiE, GM and
    Chas,
    You are a real star. Thank you. You have really done a great thing.

  183. Gooner in Exile says:

    Thought Santos was good today, defensively and offensively.

    6 from 7 onwards and upwards.

  184. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Evonne,
    Real fun sitting with you. Great company and a truer Gunner would be hard to find.

  185. Rob Lucci says:

    Old Trafford : Theatre of shattered dreams.

  186. 26may1989 says:

    Evening all.

    I haven’t seen any of our game yet, but am (for once) watching MOTD (our game’s about to come on). Before seeing the game, I just wanted to say I am so happy about our result, great, great stuff.

    But what a day for football. I’m as bitter and twisted as anyone about the stupid, cheating, ludicrous moneybags clubs, but there is an inescapable enjoyment in having seen those that humiliated us suffer arguably a greater humiliation in turn (see Rocky’s point about the injuries we had in the 8-2 and the quality United had, plus the fact it happened on their home turf). And hate them as much as I do, one has to acknowledge the pure quality of what City produced today. They’re still scumbags though.

    I’ve just seen Dennis Bergkamp score a goal. Only his name is now Bryan Ruiz – what a bloody beautiful chip. And Drenthe’s goal was very pretty too.

    Great to see Chelsea get murdered in the first half, but fair dos, they were excellent in the second. Next weekend ain’t gonna be easy.

    OK, Arse on now……

  187. RockyLives says:

    Hi Redders
    It sounds like you heard the same commentary as me, which was unremittingly anti-Arsenal all game long, often stupidly so.

    However, for once, I think they were right to criticise Chezzer for that one. When your CB is running back towards his own goal, dealing with an over-the-top ball, the ‘keeper has to assume he will try to head it back to him, so should drop off deep enough to allow him to do it. That mix-up could easily have cost us a goal.

    Chezzer has a tendency to have one rush of blood to the head in every game and it will cost us soon. However, his overall game is so good that it’s a minor cavil.

  188. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rocky,
    When Sz did his little rushing out cameo, I let out a little wehay once the danger had passed. The “you don’t ever do that in an Arsenal shirt” look I got from Evonne!

  189. Gooner in Exile says:

    26 thanks for the ticket loan…fantastic seat surrounded by some funny fellas.

  190. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Been a long and great day.
    Nite all.

  191. 26may1989 says:

    Glad you enjoyed it Exile, and that you showed that you’re a lucky omen!

    Highlights on MOTD were good, now onto to Sky for the fuller version for a proper view of the game….

  192. RockyLives says:

    Enjoy 26 – I’m jealous! I’d like to watch it again.

  193. 26may1989 says:

    Cheers Rocky!

  194. neamman says:

    I think it was a fair comment, it isnt the first time we have seen the goalie running right outside his area .. he was caught doing it in the Boltoin game. To be fair Gale did say its just inexperience.. and yes.. if he keeps it up one time he will be caught out and cost us a goal. That being said I am happy with him being number 1 and will accept the odd error if he continues with the fantastic saves.

  195. 26may1989 says:

    Looked a pretty good performance from us. Ramsey, Arteta and of course van Persie looked good, and it was lovely to see Gervinho with his tail up; that performance is an important one in his Arsenal career, both in terms of output (goal plus two assists) and the general tenor of his play. And he and van Persie appear to be developing a very good understanding.

    But, but, but, more than any individual Gervinho was culpable for the goal we conceded. With all the tall players, including Santos from LB, having been sucked into the box for the expected aerial ball, it was vital that Gervinho, as the lone player guarding the left flank, was live to whatever threat there was. But Shawcross was allowed a free run in behind, and that led to the goal.

    There were a couple of other defensive lapses, and after good defensive performances against Sunderland and Marseille, that is a bit disappointing.

    We had yet another duff performance from the referee. There’s no way Kos fouled Crouch, that was obvious without any TV replays but having given that one, how the bloody hell did he not give a penalty when Wilkinson was all over Chamakh shortly after? Absolute rubbish. And then to watch him fail to manage Stoke’s throw-ins properly, allowing Delap to take nigh-on a minute just to take a throw and permit him to steal 15 crucial yards of territory – do your bloody job, referee.

    But all in all, a good day’s work. Stoke were set up pretty much as they would have liked, but Ramsey and Gervinho opened them up. Begovic did help us with soft hands for the van Perise goals, but we were deserved winners.

  196. 26may1989 says:

    One thing I really enjoyed seeing in United’s thrashing today was the way their structure disintegrated. It was so embarrassing to see our greatly weakened side suffer that fate at Old Trafford, but pleasing to see a very competent group of players like United’s best team lose it in the same fashion. As Ferguson said, Evra and Ferdinand were especially bad in contributing to the loss of shape.

  197. RockyLives says:

    26
    Have just re-watched the goals on Arsenalist.
    You’re dead right – it was Gerv who wasn’t paying attention to Shawcross’ run for their goal.

    Also watched the goals from the Manc derby: one thing struck me – Utd have real problems with their GK. Although they were outplayed by City, I thought De Gea was poor for most of the goals. How much did they pay for him?

    Whatever it was, I’m happy in the knowledge that we have the best young GK in the world – and he’s worth double what they paid for De Gea.

  198. pat says:

    Cashley got a yellow as well so he is also out for next week v us… great time for us to take on Chelski

  199. pat says:

    sorry had to laugh at this from arseblog live at the end of the game:

    “Stick that up your hole Tony Gale, stick it up all your holes Stoke, and get fucked Lennie, I hope you get eaten by an escaped wolf”

  200. evonne says:

    Micky – I still think you are the funniest guy that I know; always happy to seat with you :)

    Peaches – I have a lovely scarf to wear today

    GiE – guess what, I turned the radio on last night and what was it – that bloody Adele again!! But at least I knew how to turn it to another station!

  201. Gooner in Exile says:

    Rocky – its hard not to criticise De Gea. Quite a few times he was out of position as was Ferdinand who truly had a shocker.

    Listening to 606 last night was interesting, general consensus from United fans, Wellbeck, Anderson, Evans and Cleverly are not United class, Ferdinand is past it, Young drifts in and out of games, and they can’t believe Fergie didn’t buy a creative midfielder. :D

  202. Gooner in Exile says:

    According to Opta :

    “Gervinho did not misplace a single pass against Stoke today, with all 22 finding a team-mate. Perfect”

  203. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All.

    Some fine blogging last night, shame I missed it.

    I am forced to listen to Tony Gale and a more anti-Arsenal commentator one would struggle to find.

    Have to take issue with RL about Stoke being a decent side. They were poor yesterday, they lacked energy and had no ambition – it should be pointed out that other picking up the ball after Stoke scored, Chesney had nothing to do whatsoever (apart from his exhibiting his dribbling skills!).

    GIE 7.58. :-)

  204. 26may1989 says:

    Pat, re Chelsea’s suspensions, I think Cashley and Bosingwa will only be suspended for Chelsea’s midweek League Cup game.

  205. Gooner in Exile says:

    Barca:

    2011/12 – Goals Scored 30
    Messi 16
    Villa 7
    Fabregas 5

    2010/11 – Goals Scored 147
    Messi 53
    Villa 23
    Pedro 22

    2009/10 – Goals Scored 127
    Messi 47
    Pedro 23
    Ibrahimovic 21

    So compare that to Arsenals current season and last season:

    2010/11 Goals Scored 119
    Van Persie 22
    Nasri 15
    Walcott 13

    2011/12 Goals Scored 25
    Van Persie 9
    Walcott 3
    Gervinho 2

    Point? Are Barca a one man team?

  206. LB says:

    Rocky is not up yet but my guess would be that Arsenal made Stoke look poor; we denied them the opportunity to be ambitious. The good guys gave a master class in control which to me resembled something in between George Graham’s Arsenal and Wengerball, all in all, another huge step forward after Wednesday’s reassuring performance in Marseille.

  207. LB says:

    Great stuff as ever GIE

    Wenger is clearly in the process of sorting out the Arsenal attack, it has to be done slowly but there is no doubt in my mind that it is underway.

  208. More importantly on my stats, in 2010/11 Barca’s top 3 scorers accounted for 87% if their tally and this season 93%.

    Whereas Arsenal 2010/11 42%, and this season 56%

  209. pat says:

    bummer! oh well still no drogba

  210. oz gunner says:

    everything in order rasp/peaches?

  211. Rasp says:

    Hi oz, I’ve tinkered and adjusted a tad, but it looks great and is by far the longest post we will ever have published! – a consumate effort :P It will go up at 9:30

  212. oz gunner says:

    cheers for the confirmation rasp. Sorry got a bit carried away with 4 pages of notes during the game haha. Won’t be around for the first bit because of uni, be on later though. Hope its up to AA’s great standards. Good day all

  213. Red Arse says:

    Crikey Oz, an anticipated record in only your 2nd Post!! :-)

  214. pat says:

    well in oz – looking forward to 930!

  215. Rasp says:

    Morning all..

    ……. Epic new post!!!

  216. london city says:

    london city…

    [...]Going Underground? Match preview « Arsenal Arsenal[...]…

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