If the Kid’s are United: Stoke Preview

Some time ago I made a decision to stop belittling our opponents. This was due to a rash of defeats to lesser team following an abusive prematch (yes, I have that much power). But sometimes needs must, plus I have to be realistic and accept my  posts have no impact whatsoever of the result of the game.

So let’s get down to business.

Stoke: If there is a more miserable, wearisome, beetle-headed bunch of bum-baileys walking the planet then my name is Luther Blisset. Managed by a man who in the words of Oscar Wilde “has no enemies but is intensely disliked by his friends.” Stoke are the reason why the PL has slipped behind La Liga and the Bundesliga in world football. You do not find teams in La Liga who cannot play the ball on the ground or rely on set pieces in order to score.

Orcs in their natural habitat

Then there are their fans. Amplified to make the armchair viewer believe they can create an atmosphere, they reflect their team. Aggressive and hard to like. And, they hate us. Pulis thinks Wenger is impolite (!), their fans think Gooners are soft southern pansies and delight in calling our team wimps and cheats. We are the positive to their negative.

But can we beat them in what is an important game for us? One thing is certain, Stoke will give 100% and we will have to be at the top of our game to win. I think patience will be vital. Add in the Ramsey/Shawcross factor and there will be some genuine needle at the Britannia. We cannot respond to Stoke’s provocation – the early season stupidity of Gervinho and Song will cost us dear if they retaliate in what is sure to be a physical game; the Orcs (Huth, Whelan ,Whitehead, Shawcross + +)  will ensure it.  A strong referee is essential because it isn’t the stupid rash tackle that Stoke employ, it is the constant physical battle.

Crouch has scored his wonder goal for the season (and a brilliant goal it was), he has a good record against us  as have Stoke. They have won 3 out of our previous 4 visits to the Britannia. Pulis believes he knows how to beat Wenger and our games are never less than highly competitive.  Should we win, it will not be an easy ride – it never is up there.

My Team:

You may look at my team and say “Chamakh?  You’re having a Turkish” but I think we have to try something different. I would play RvP behind Chamakh, give Bennie the run of the left wing and swamp the midfield. The defence picks itself, as does the midfield (in light of the fragility of Diaby), though Coquelin is likely to get some pitch-time, if fit.

The obvious solution is to play O-C or Gervinho on the wing but given the loss of our speedster and Arteta, we could start the above team which would allow some flexibility.  That said, we are most likely to start with a forward line of O-C, RvP and Bennie.

Stoke Inventor? There are a few as you would expect in any industrial area. Oliver Lodge invented the wireless telegraph, the electric spark plug and moving coil loudspeakers (according to Wiki). Whether he did or not is lost in the mists of time.

Surely, we have more than the long throw in?

Against opposition whose main ethic is unrelenting industry and teamwork, Arsenal have to respond in kind. We have yet to win in the PL without Arteta and today is the day to remedy this. Arsenal can win but it will be through endeavor, inspiration, unity  and harmony.

COYRRG

Written by Big Raddy

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327 Responses to If the Kid’s are United: Stoke Preview

  1. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Sham 69
    HA Rasp

  2. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Raddy.
    Must go, so no time to to talk postage.
    But no way must we try and out stoke stoke. As I said, we’ll go under them not over them.

  3. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. Pace hasn’t worked before at their place, so why not start with Plan B and revert to Plan A and Gervinho if we are struggling? Particularly as the pitch will be heavy.

    Just for a change and in the hope Chamakh can come good, score and increase his sales value in summer.

  4. Red Arse says:

    Loved the Post Big Randy! :-)

    Among the delightful prose, you have cautioned our team not to become involved with the Orc physicality.
    I think you have made a strong case for NOT including Rambo today.

    Human nature being what it is the impulse to administer some vengeful retribution will lurk under the surface and may prove too difficult for Ramsey to control, with unfortunate consequences.

  5. Gooner In Exile says:

    I hate Stoke, I hate Pulis. But we shouldn’t be blaming him, we should be blaming Fergie, October 2004. That was the day he showed the rest how best to play Arsenal and win, it involved kicking the living daylights out of the best players on the pitch. Whilst Fergie has improved (slightly) since then, the rest of the PL Managers who worship the ground he walks on follow the Fergie master plan to achieve success when you have less skilled players on the pitch.

    Top pre match Raddy.

  6. VCC says:

    Big Raddy. I’m with you today.

    As I said earlier, the conditions will be heavy today (just up the orcs street).

    Let’s use plan “B” today and pack the mid field, contain them for sixty minutes then unleash the OX.

    COYG

  7. Big Raddy says:

    Rasp. I have hated Sham 69 since I went to their gig in Cheltenham which ended in a room full of smashed furniture and faces. The violence was horrific.

    But the song titled fitted ….

  8. kelsey says:

    Thanks Raddy:

    MATCH FACTS

    Head-to-head

    All but one of the last five league and cup meetings between these sides have ended 3-1.
    Arsenal have lost three of their last four games at the Britannia Stadium in all competitions.

    Stoke

    The Potters have won one of their last seven games (W1, D3, L3). However, they are unbeaten in their last four home matches, winning three and drawing with Manchester City.
    If games finished at half-time, Stoke would be second bottom.
    Stoke’s tally of 32 league goals is the lowest in the four divisions of English football, albeit clubs outside the top flight play more matches.
    Opta statistics show the Potters have scored the highest proportion of goals from set-pieces in this season’s Premier League (63%), while Arsenal have netted the lowest (13%).

    Arsenal

    The Gunners have recouped 19 points from losing positions this term, the best record in the top flight.
    They have conceded 29 goals away from home this season, the worst record of any top-half side. The two Manchester clubs have conceded a combined tally of just 30 away goals.
    Robin van Persie has failed to score from open play in his last seven games. Defender Thomas Vermaelen has scored three times since van Persie’s last goal from open play, which came against Newcastle on 12 March.
    Van Persie has registered 63 shots on target from inside the penalty area in this season’s Premier League, two more than th

  9. kelsey says:

    If results go the wrong way this weekend we really have a fight on our hands.i have changed my mind about a draw, it is a must win game,no other result will do.

  10. Gooner In Exile says:

  11. Gooner In Exile says:

    We need Szcesny, TV5 and Koz to be on their A game from set pieces today, hopefully we’ve spent all week with a catapult around the Colney training ground.

    Chas take care, by the sound of things on Twitter police are taking precautions around the ground and bussing AFC fans in from the train station to avoid trouble…..oh how 1980’s just like the teams style of play.

    Have I mentioned I hate Stoke?

  12. VCC says:

    As the time goes by I am getting nervous about this game.

  13. evonne says:

    GiE – yes you have, i put my dog to sleep ranting about Pulis :)

  14. goonermichael says:

    Great pre match as always Raddy. I can’t see Chamakh starting though. I saw sham 69 at the rainbow supporting the Clash. Absolute garbage.

  15. evonne says:

    Raddy – excellent post. I didn’t know this particular Oscar Wilde quote, love it, thank you!

    The picture is disgusting, put me off my breakfast, grrrhhh….ugly things. Personally i find it hard to dislike a ‘lesser’ team, except for Spurs of course. Stoke are the exception, I don’t think the memory of Aaron’s leg hanging by the skin only will ever leave me. And for the fans to boo Ramsey is reason enough for me to loathe them more than I loathe na$ri, much more. They play ugly football, but fairly successful, when was the last time they were in a relegation zone? At look at Wigan, hanging there by the skin of their teeth. Sadly that’s football for you, not always the best team wins.

    Let’s hope that today the beautiful game and its artisans triumph at the Britannia

  16. evonne says:

    GiE – YOU put my dog to sleep ranting about Pulis, stupid typo :)

  17. evonne says:

    now I put everybody else to sleep, sorry :(

    bbc have already started pairing Pep with Chavs

  18. Morning all

    Pretty fed up gardener here :( :( I’m going to have to check my ‘rain spell’ as this is definitely not what I asked for.

    I hate Stoke too, I can’t believe they can stay in the Prem year after year and would love us to give them a good thrashing today with our style and proper footballing skills.

    Ooooh Raddy, starting a game with plan B, controversial – can’t see our favourite frog doing a ‘U’ turn so late in his career although maybe talk of Peps lack of plan B against the chavs will have given him food for thought.

    Nah, on second thoughts ……. The Ox, RvP and Gerv are far more likely ;)

  19. evonne says:

    Peaches – do you like my avatar?

    Where are you watching the game?

  20. RockyLives says:

    “If there is a more miserable, wearisome, beetle-headed bunch of bum-baileys walking the planet then my name is Luther Blisset.” Brilliant BR :D

    Don’t worry folks. A win for the force of light today. No problem. Robin to get two.

  21. goonermichael says:

    Wonder how cesc feels now. No trophies and pep going to the chavs.

  22. evonne says:

    GM – pleeeeease…..

  23. robbinURpersie says:

    G’day kids..How are we all? :-)

    I’ve been quietly confident all week until today, with all the emphasis on the rain, a heavy pitch and a few of Kelseys match facts stats..

    Thank you Raddy and thanks Kelsey..

    im a little anxious about the game but if i can find one definate positive its that we play at the same time as Pardews hypocritical foreign toon side and we play before terrys’ boring butchers and twitchys triffic mash..That will at least keep us focused on the job at hand..

    I agree with Kelsey, tonight is a must win, i just think its gonna get ugly, the closer we get to the finish line..we must be switched on and i think our desire and mental strength will be key..

    I also agree with Peaches with the Ox and Gerv starting but maybe i would prefer it that way

    On an ugly day away to an ugly side in Stoke i also pray that the ref has a decent, fair game with all our players getting through unscathed because in the end it will be our Squad that gets us over the line in 3RD….

    COYRRG

  24. Gooner In Exile says:

    Yossi wants 3points:

    Santos starting? LB or LW would give us the solid middle

  25. evonne says:

    GM – actually, you are more obsessed with Cesc than I am, get a life Michael, he’s gone, forget him :)

  26. evonne says:

    great tweets

  27. Gooner In Exile says:

    Our Comms Director is there early and says everything fine, tractors obviously haven’t arrived yet Pulis will be fuming!

  28. robbinURpersie says:

    i love the idea of all you guys putting your faces on your gravatars..no more keyboard heroes :-)

    i would do it as well but im afraid i’ll blind you

  29. robbinURpersie says:

    im a pretty ugly bloke :-)

  30. Gooner In Exile says:

    RurP I think thats why Chas decreed we must be wearing sunglasses. Its all in tribute to Kelsey :D

  31. evonne says:

    Robbin – only Kelsey has his real picture :) no idea who’s that bloke in pink

  32. Big Raddy says:

    Closer we get to the game the more nervous I am. My fear is that we have been playing poorly for a few weeks now. As I stated before the Wigan game, we are disjointed and right-side dependent.

    Without Theo as the outball and with RvP off-form someone else will have to step up. Or better yet, we play as a team …..

    All for One, One for All

  33. Arsenalista says:

    I don’t Belive we can win today. Performances against Wigan and Chelsea are those of a team that are playing with holidays in mind.

    Our best hope is that stoke had a big old school northern night out and a dirty kebab last night.

    This isn’t our kind of game and I would predict 3-1 stoke.

    But then I’m a grumpy sod.

  34. VCC says:

    RuRP. Kelsey and the sunshine band. Do you wanna be in his gang?

  35. robbinURpersie says:

    GiE, Evonne,:-)
    i always had this vision where id casually rock up to this ‘tavern’ (after tracking down that kebab place first) wearing a specially made ‘Arsenal Arsenal’ shirt and carrying a tray of peronis….maybe id wear a name tag for decoration…NoW, that would be my entrance!!

    And its all possible with your ‘mugs’ on the world wide web :-) :-)

    As for Kelsey, how hard would it be to stroll the beaches of spain..

    Id just look for the ‘Adonis’ with wavy locks and all the chicks hanging around him.. :-)

    Guys im a little worried bout the game, how bad is the rain? :-(

    Actually, there is a really bad song by a 2 man, twin boy band named “milli vanilli” who won awards in America and they had a song called “Blame it on the rain”…They later got busted for miming the songs with playback at their concerts…where is Redders? I heard they were his favourite band :-) :-)

  36. robbinURpersie says:

    Evonne, cute puppie :-)

  37. jnyc says:

    We have a job to do today, after qpr and wigan, there will be no excuses. Other teams take care of business vs stoke, and we are fighting for something!
    — and GIE great post yesterday about the media and rumours. Why do they always seem to be anti arsenal?

  38. robbinURpersie says:

    VCC :-)

    Im already in a gang….its called the MIGHTY ARSENAL

    COYRRG

  39. Gooner In Exile says:

    Teams in

  40. robbinURpersie says:

    Congrats to Southhampton, massive climb and its taken a while and having sold all their top talent with the exception of CHIMPan’Z boy.. 4-0 Welcome back to the best league in the world

    by the way are Southampton our enemy in any way? dont want to embarass myself..haha

    What happens to the Hammers, do they have to play-off?

  41. Gooner In Exile says:

    jnyc – no one likes us…we don’t care. Heres a vid from a while back that you may or may not have seen, which is George Graham explaining to the players that the media don’t like us because nothing leaks from us.

  42. SharkeySure says:

    Cracking pre match….Stoke really are a horrible horrible bunch of right classless oiks

    C’mon you gunners

  43. SharkeySure says:

    Hope Gerv does something to justify his start today. Can’t help thinking Le Coq should be in the 11 somewhere…he’s got real fight in him.

  44. Gooner In Exile says:

    RurP only reason Southampton can be considered an enemy is because of whatever Cockerill said to Paul Davis that made him smash his jaw into pieces with one punch.

    Can’t find a vid of the actual push :( It was a cracker and was only punished because of TV evidence

  45. robbinURpersie says:

    GiE,

    so the ref didnt see it? wouldnt that sort of violent behaviour set a precedent for the likes of Balotelli…

    i hate Fat Sam Allydarce..he looks like a pregnant pig

  46. gunnern5 says:

    BR:

    All I can hope is that Aaron makes a fool of me and has a spectular game. But I have severe doubts.

    I read that in his last game he had a 97% pass success rate but only one pass created a chance!

    I feel frustratred already……

  47. Gooner In Exile says:

    RurP he was the first to be tried by video evidence I believe it was cleverly off the ball. :)

    He wasn’t that sort of player at all Cockerill was Southamptons hard man and had been giving verbals all match.

  48. evonne says:

    robbin – thank you, he is absolutely gorgeous. If he wasn’t farting he’d be perfect

    Polish TV called this game the biggest of this season

  49. evonne says:

    ramsey and Gervinhov??

  50. robbinURpersie says:

    i love BOSScielny !!

  51. evonne says:

    4-5-1 Micky??

  52. Arsenalista says:

    Re – Davis and Cockrill.

    It went back to the previous year i think. Cockerill injured Davis in the previous game which had been tasty aswell.

  53. robbinURpersie says:

    HuGE day for a 21yr old kid…Ramsey! behind you all the way..

  54. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Made it. That was close.
    Come on you Gunnnnners

  55. evonne says:

    good on RvP, not going to take any shit from the Orcs

  56. oz gunner says:

    god i hate stoke!

  57. Big Raddy says:

    WTF. Stupid defending from Sagna. Backs to the wall now.

  58. oz gunner says:

    cheers for the pre-match big daddy, reminds me just how must i hate the orcs!
    Poor from sagna, and very unusual for verm to get out jumped, normally he doesn’t give crouch one header

  59. evonne says:

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

  60. robbinURpersie says:

    YeaH BABY!!!

  61. oz gunner says:

    rosicky what a superstar! well played by yossi and rosicky and RVP’s positioning is back baby!

    he scores when he wants!

  62. Big Raddy says:

    Brilliant from Bennie and Mozart. Get in ….

  63. kelsey says:

    you can see who the footballing side is.

  64. evonne says:

    is it 4-5-1 ? looks like that to me

  65. Big Raddy says:

    Come on Wigan !!

  66. oz gunner says:

    well played ramsey, takes a lot of guts to go into a 50/50 like that especially against this team

  67. evonne says:

    oz x

  68. evonne says:

    wigan winning by 2 goals already

  69. robbinURpersie says:

    Cmon Gerv you had it on a plate, you wont get many chances like that… :-(

  70. oz gunner says:

    when you get paid that much money surely you ca put your body on the line for the team, gerv should have done a lot better there!

  71. evonne says:

    wasn’t gevninho off side?

  72. oz gunner says:

    afternoon evonne, you must be devastated…no delap!!!

  73. kelsey says:

    gerv chickened out of that. we need a second before half time

  74. evonne says:

    nah, delap’s history. plus if it was going to win us the game, I’d personally cut his big ears off

  75. robbinURpersie says:

    only if the linesman puts his flag up, and most refs go out drunk these days.. :-) how are ya OZ ?

  76. oz gunner says:

    that’s right your a verm groupie now!

  77. kelsey says:

    we so need a fox in the box,could have had 3

  78. evonne says:

    kelsey – yes, orcs scored most goals in 2nd half this season

  79. oz gunner says:

    good RuVP, busy as buggery, disappointed the EPL is coming to a close, but i’ve still got my AFL to tide me over. How about yourself?

  80. robbinURpersie says:

    same as yourself mate both with work and AFL…id do almost anything for 3 points tonight!

  81. evonne says:

    why is Per not playing? he could take care of Crouch

  82. evonne says:

    Oz – Europa Cup in Poland in June/July

  83. goonermichael says:

    wigan are 3 up. We’ll get third

  84. evonne says:

    gm – of course, even without Cesc :)

  85. kelsey says:

    who are our subs,please

  86. goonermichael says:

    evonne
    Who’s cesc?

  87. TotalArsenal says:

    super, feisty pre-match report BR. Much better than the rubbish in the Guardian today. Really enjoyed reading it.

    Arsenal are playing well and deserve to be in front. More of this in the second half and we win 3-1 – 14/1 odds by the way ;)

  88. xycube says:

    Gervinhio needs to get the crap over the Africa Cup of Nations final defeat!Yes he missed the penalty which should won the game but come on he gets paid backet loads of money and should be over that by now!

  89. MickyDidIt89 says:

    We are doing ok. Nothing great, nothing bad. Really could go either way. I’d get Ox on for Gerv to add some quality!

  90. Big Raddy says:

    xy. Agreed.

    Good to see us physically compete. We made it clear from kick-off that we were not going to be phased. FairPlay to Stoke.apart from the terrible early tackle by some beetle browed numbskull which resulted in a yellow, they have been disciplined.

    We keep playing this way, we will get at least a point but with Newcastle in deep trouble we do not need to throw caution to the wind.

  91. SharkeySure says:

    Well pleased with the aggression and fight shown by our boys today.

  92. kelsey says:

    This stoke side is not so formidable, I agree Micky Gerv off or benny after an hour.I don’t wnt 80% possession and then we concede a stupid goal. Ramsey is playing well but should stick to the simple things first. We really should win this.If the other results stay this way a win really nearly cements third,the players must know that.

  93. oz gunner says:

    god wigan what on earth. toon, arsenal and manure in a month, would like to have seen the odds on that.

    @ xycube

    you are right, gerv seems to have all the moves but without the finish

    @ Evonne

    are you going?
    internationals aren’t my cup of tea

  94. Gooner In Exile says:

    Gervs forehead is long…maybe we should squash it so it protrudes a bit :)

    That said was happy with the fight we carried that half.

    The Irish pundit on the stream im on just said “Ramsey bossing midfield passing”. Theres a large pipe for a few people to smoke on :)

    TR7 and Yossi linking up well, Gerv started brightly too. Stoke are playing for free kicks as soon as they enter our half we must learn to be smarter in trying to win back possession there.

    Following on from Kelsey’s football comment, the FX mic picked up Pulis after a free kick awarded on half way line and Crouch looked to take early:

    “Leave it leave it, set it up get in the box.”

    Pennant approaches the ball

    “Leave it leave it…..Ryaaaan, Ryan….edge of the box”

    Sam Allardyce school of restarts……what a front bottom.

  95. Must win this game, don’t want any draw nonsense, Rasp is going to be impossible to talk to if we don’t win.

    Gerv needs to grow some, that was a bit of a half-hearted fairy jump to meet Sagnas excellent cross in the first half.

    …… and Yossi, you have to love him don’t you ….. I do :lol:

  96. Red Arse says:

    Subs: Fabianski, Squillaci, Chamakh, Oxo, Santos, Diaby, Le Coq

  97. spanishgooner says:

    Listening on Radio Stoke and the commentator has just said “they´ve watered the Arsenal half of the pitch at half time , not the Stoke half”. WTF!!! Is that sort of thing allowed ?

  98. evonne says:

    oz – i’ll be in poland in july, but not going to games, couldn’t get any tickets. Plus, i don’t do internationals, both Poland and England never get far enough

  99. oz gunner says:

    agreed big daddy, he really is a pimple!

  100. evonne says:

    micky – wenger warned the orcs before the game, that we are going better equipped :)

  101. oz gunner says:

    bringing on upson this is a joke

  102. spanishgooner says:

    Bendtner just got one for Sunderland ?!!

  103. evonne says:

    spanish – yes, press are allowed to tell porkies

  104. oz gunner says:

    kozzer is a soldier, i swear every game he cops a knock to the head

  105. evonne says:

    nick got 2 for sunderland

  106. Big Raddy says:

    Time to take off Gervinho

  107. xycube says:

    Arsene please sub Gervinhio

  108. robbinURpersie says:

    tough call on the sub, gerv is obvious but benny and song on yellows,… i think it might be a double in the 75th with ox and diaby unless a goal drops earlier…this game is on a knifes edge :-(

  109. oz gunner says:

    come on make a change!

  110. robbinURpersie says:

    vermaelen free kick please or robin please please get in

  111. evonne says:

    vermalen hit shawcross, lovely, not hard enough

  112. robbinURpersie says:

    well done Rambo

  113. oz gunner says:

    if verm was shooting and i was in front of it i’d dive out of the way, he has an absolute cannon. come on it was a handball!

  114. evonne says:

    handball!
    i was just about to say what good job the ref is doing today

  115. robbinURpersie says:

    Ref had Midori for breakfast

  116. oz gunner says:

    come on ref!

  117. evonne says:

    no, wasn’t a penalty

  118. oz gunner says:

    thank goodness it’s not k.jones!!!

  119. evonne says:

    RoryD, feck

  120. Rasp says:

    Oh great Gervinho off and Chamakh on …… we’re still going to be playing with 10 men :(

  121. evonne says:

    someone call an ambulance for me

  122. robbinURpersie says:

    Dick heads

  123. Rasp says:

    We really need a second striker

  124. Rasp says:

    Arsenal 18 shots, Stoke 4 – says it all. We need a player who can put away chances

  125. evonne says:

    we did ok, hard game, hostile atmosphere, the usual shit from the orcs, one point is ok.

  126. RockyLives says:

    Haven’t been able to watch, but with Toon getting thrashed at Wigan a point for us at the Orcs is fine.

  127. spanishgooner says:

    Point OK but we should have had it well won in the first half – same old !! Only the Wigan result makes the point OK

  128. robbinURpersie says:

    Agreed Rasp. it could have been worse though…lucky toon lost and we didnt…

  129. Rasp says:

    Everyone said we wouldn’t have a late season collapse again. It all comes dwn to fatigue, the loss of important players to injury and the mindset of the players – not good enough

  130. Rasp says:

    You’re forgetting totnum Rocky. We won’t get 6 points out of our next 2 games so we have to rely on the spuds dropping points.

    We need a creative midfielder badly and a proper striker = the opposite of Chamakh

  131. SharkeySure says:

    Chamakh did just fine in the time he was on. RVP was simply not holding the ball up for us….Cham came on and allowed us to really push them back again.

    I’ll happily take that point…especially after that late scare which Sagna cleared ….

  132. kelsey says:

    I would love to see the freekick awarded against diaby again, to me he brought the ball down equisitly.

    Did we look tired ? I don’t think so. We need a second goal poacher.

  133. Rasp says:

    What does Chamakh do?

  134. Diaby was limping at the end :(

    It’s a good point at Stoke, I’d have settled for that before ko

  135. Rasp says:

    So predictable – pathetic to concede that goal to Crouch. Did we even prepare or practise to defend against Stoke’s tactics?

  136. Big Raddy says:

    I agree Rasp. Not good enough. OK but we should be out of sight by now.

    Why bring on Chamakh and not put in a cross? He is never going to score on the ground.

  137. Gooner In Exile says:

    Oh well I’d have taken a point at 3pm, Stoke limited us to chances from outside the box second half and we didn’t get the rub of the green (well at least no lucky deflections).

    Anyway as I said would have taken a point at 3pm, 8 points ahead of Chavs (2 games in hand) 7 points ahead of Spuds (2games in hand) 4 points ahead of Toon (1 game in hand).

    So by my maths we still need 2 wins but it depends on other results.

  138. Rasp says:

    I wouldn’t settle for it, it just proves that in some areas we haven’t progressed at all.

  139. Robin seemed to be struggling today, his hold up play was rather hit or miss.

    Rasp – Chamakh did seem to be good at holding up the ball but his passing is so weak – pathetic even :(

  140. Big Raddy says:

    I think we need 4 points. The home game v Norwich is vital

  141. Rasp says:

    That’s because he is weak and pathetic, he’s supposed to create goalscoring chances isn’t he? Well we all know he won’t even try to score unless it’s with his head. Send him back to France and cut our losses, he’s a waste of a squad number.

  142. jnyc says:

    As i posted this morning- – no excuses. This is a bad result,i will watch the match after work, but no matter what happened, these recent results are more than disappointing, and even if we get third, it will be harder to convince robin to stay. And harder to bring in quality players then.

  143. Also, as usual the ref allowed a team to be really dirty in their play towards us. How was the push on Yossi not a pen, he was in control of the ball until he was felled from behind??????

  144. Big Raddy says:

    So sad for Diaby. He just cannot get a run of games without injury. I would sell him if poss as we must find space for O-C and JW.

    Shame because he is a super player when fit.

  145. Gooner In Exile says:

    Cast your minds back to last season, our team went there and collapsed 3-1. I remember Carliots match report headline “This is My Arsenal and That wasn’t good Enough”.

    Well would anyone be as damning today seriously?

    Rasp they out how many crosses into our box today? We conceded 1 goal, my guess is yes we did practice, because Szczesny was coming out for everything he could and claimed really well, and we only conceded 1 from about 20 odd crosses and limited them to as you say 4 shots….thats good defending.

    As for up front, what else would anyone else have done given whats available, as Sharkey says RvP was finding it hard to hold play up on his own, so Cham was out on to occupy a second defender, which then meant RvP found some space to operate and again as Sharkey said we started to pressure again.

    Take the point get the hell out of dodge, and seriously just try not to get so down on the team.

  146. JT was red-carded for that and the player didn’t even have the ball!!!!!!

  147. TotalArsenal says:

    We did not miss Arteta though! :lol:

  148. Big Raddy says:

    Peaches. Love your avatar – a perfect likeness!

  149. :lol: Raddy, I thought so …………………

  150. MickyDidIt89 says:

    There is no way either Chavs or Spuds will win all those games in hand, so in that respect I suppose a point looks ok.
    On the other hand, I cannot wait until next season and having to watch us in that away strip.
    Subbed Gerv way way too late.
    Rasp,
    A creative midfielder I agree, but boy do we need more goals from wide left as well as the AM.
    Is it ok to laugh at the Stoke Fans mimmicking Arsene. I did.

  151. Raddy – still no tickets, even I haven’t got one atm :(

  152. Appalling behaviour Micky – I hope they’ll be really embarrassed when they see themselves – no class

  153. dandan says:

    Rasp. why wont we get 6 points from Norwich and WBA, Newcastle with Chelsea, Everton and City to play are out of it so its all down spuds winning all their games and hoping we dont. It wont happen.

  154. Big Raddy says:

    GIE. YOu know both Rasp and I are very positive about our team and it’s prospects BUT, apart from the goal what did we really create? A couple of RvP headers.

  155. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Peaches/Daddy,
    Exchange for Norwich opens Monday I think and I will hopefully get two tickets. Not entirely sure at this stage whether I can go or not, so if successful and cannot make it, I’ll let you both know.

  156. Rasp says:

    We won’t get 6 points out of the next 2 games because we are Arsenal and we crumble under pressure from teams we consider ourselves to be superior to. Its because we write their game plan for them and then play our part by playing exactly how they expect us to. The only way we’ll get 3rd is by the other teams dropping points.

  157. Micky – don’t forget I’ve still got your tickets. How do you know it opens on Monday?

  158. Rasp says:

    We haven’t played well for the last 5 games and we still haven’t won a prem game without Arteta.

  159. evonne says:

    Peaches :) :) you have new shades!

  160. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Peaches,
    Did you ever watch Baddiel and Skinner. They used to show fans in Spain charging up and down following a linesman and mimmicking his every move.

  161. I loved Baddiel and Skinner, always wanted to invite them round for a drink – they were a real hoot ……. don’t remember that though …..

  162. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Peaches,
    Forgot about that. I have the membership numbers though. Hold onto them, you may be using them!

  163. Gooner In Exile says:

    “Big Raddy says:
    April 28, 2012 at 5:12 pm  (Edit)
    GIE. YOu know both Rasp and I are very positive about our team”

    Erm…..

    “Rasp says:
    April 28, 2012 at 5:16 pm  (Edit)
    We won’t get 6 points out of the next 2 games because we are Arsenal and we crumble under pressure from teams we consider ourselves to be superior to.”
    :D

    I agree we didn’t create much but I’m willing to admit Stoke defended well and marshalled RvP out of the game second half. That’s why the shot stat above annoys me because it’s not like we created gilt edged chances to say we are desperately in need of a second striker. We were shooting from outside the box, which is the other complaint normally levelled.

    I cannot question the players attitude today they fought Stoke for possession and were too often pulled up for non fouls by the easily home influenced Foy who we all know is a useless ref. We were winning second balls.

    But we all see different games so that’s my opinion. But we will hear from Chas as to the feeling inside the ground, but my guess would be they would be happy to take the point. I know I would and am.

  164. SharkeySure says:

    Rasp – do you think we crumbled pressure today…??

  165. It is true, Robin was usually surrounded by a minimum of five orcs when he received the ball in the area. I know I should whisper this but if you’re the attacking team and you can see your target man has four/five defenders around him shouldn’t that leave a lot of space elsewhere to play into??? Runs away and hides behind BB’s sunglasses :oops:

  166. AW thought it was a penalty too :(

  167. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Very good point Peaches. What were the others doing with all that extra space?
    Shouting for a second striker is utterly pointless with the system we play. Demanding more goals from the wide boys and AM, on the other hand, is not.

  168. goonermichael says:

    Good point today

  169. Anyone venture to guess why The Ox didn’t come on …….

  170. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Peaches,
    Just been on exchange and not open yet.

  171. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Because Chamakh is better :-(

  172. dandan says:

    Rasp Bolton will put you out of your misery, spuds won’t beat them.
    And no Raddy I don’t think Rasp is Positive, Much as I think he would like to be. We didn’t play that badly today and yes we do need a second striker, but we knew that before they kicked off and if rumour is to be believed the Pod will do that job.
    Stoke score 65% of their goals from the Air so why the surprise that one of their Army of Stretched lumps got his head on one. Although we didn’t really look in trouble for the vast majority of the game.
    We were denied a penalty perhaps. Had that gone in no doubt people would be happy.
    The two games to come will be played on the ground at speed and for that reason I believe we will prevail

  173. Rasp says:

    Micky, you make it sound as though players stick to their positions whatever the pattern of play. Wide players do not score goals from wide positions, they cut in if they want to create a shooting oppoortunity for themselves. What we continually fail to do is to get enough bodies into the box. Often its pointless putting the ball out wide because we do not have anyone charging into the box to get on the end of crosses. There are two reasons, we do not train them to do it and we keep recruiting players for whom it is not thier natural game.

  174. goonermichael says:

    The chavs and both mancs drew at stoke and spuds and bindippers lost there this season why would anyone expect anything but a very difficult game?

  175. Rasp says:

    You are deluding yourself dandan. Both Swansea and W Brom play really good passing football – just like Swansea and Wigan …. do you really think we’ll get 6 points from those games? With Arteta on the pitch we may have had a chance.

  176. SharkeySure says:

    Robin had a header clawed away at base of post, Gerv shoud have been braver…..we did enough to win I think.

    I also noticed Diaby limping at the end…shocking how he simply cannot play 20mins without causing himself a problem. Its just mad.

    Well said DanDan

  177. Micky – I just looked at the Exchange and there was one ticket so I snapped it up. I think it has been open all week. They’ve changed the system and the look of the page. When you log in now you get the map of the stadium and if there are any tickets available they show up as little dots within the block – there have only been a handfull of tickets all week.

  178. Gooner In Exile says:

    Stoke’s home stats all competitions:

    P 21 W 10 D 7 L 4 GF 32 GA 20

    Premier League

    P 17 W 7 D 6 L 4 GF 22 GA 17

    Some of the teams they have held or beaten at Britannia:

    Man United 1-1
    Liverpool 1-0
    Spuds 2-1
    Man City 1-1
    Chelsea 0-0
    Valencia 1-1

    and now us (included in the above)

    Their Premier League defeats were to Newcastle, QPR, WBA and Sunderland.

  179. evonne says:

    GM – exactly. I am not sure why others are so disappointed with a draw. I was dreading the worse and it almost happened. Like them or hate them, Stoke are a force to be reconed with

  180. MickyDidIt89 says:

    But Rasp,
    I completely agree. We play a front three. That’s one striker, so I agree Gerv should be cutting in to shoot. He doesn’t. The midfield should shoot. They don’t. How many goals did Cesc get in a season?
    One striker does not mean nobody else gets into the box or scores. In this side, it does. That’s the problem.

  181. Rasp says:

    OK Micky, I’m in complete agreement with that, what a shame our training staff haven’t twigged

  182. RockyLives says:

    Some perspective here: Man Utd, Man City, Liverpool, Chelsea and Spuds (among others) all failed to win at the Stadium of Orcs this season.

    We don’t have a God given right to win all our games and sometimes a hard fought draw away from home is a perfectly respectable result.

    That’s not to say we can’t do better, but talk of a collapse seems a little overheated to me.

  183. In addition our front three do change sides and positions so it would not be ridiculous to assume that they all should be able to unleash a shot ……….. :(

  184. Gooner In Exile says:

    The goal doesn’t move, and neither do defenders in a team like Stoke, they fill the box with defenders for a reason, as GG said on TalkShite last year, ten dustbins standing still in a box are hard to score past, let alone when the dustbins have legs. If RvP has three or four men around him he cannot receive the ball, let alone find a pass to another man, other men might be in space but guess what the space isn’t in the danger area because there are four men marking that space not RvP himself.

    Put more players into the box and hope to meet a header is one option, thats what Stoke do, second option is to move the defenders about by clever runs and passing, shooting from distance and crossing from varied positrons, the last thing is the one thing we don’t do well enough or often enough, but then if we did it would just be met by a groan of “why do we bother no-one will ever win that against their defence.”

  185. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Peaches,
    Well done. Hope its a good expensive one!

  186. Rasp says:

    Rocky, take a look at the seasons compared widget at the top right of the page – we’ve taken 2 points out of the last 9

  187. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GiE,
    I wouldn’t mind betting that when you play in goal, you move the sodding thing about a bit as and when it suits you :-)

  188. Gooner In Exile says:

    Right i’m out of here because it appears there is no reasoning…….

    I’ll leave you with words from the BBC match report:

    “The aesthetic football of Arsenal has regularly struggled to flourish at the Britannia Stadium with the Gunners having lost three of their last four games against the muscle of Stoke going into the match.

    This time around, Arsenal displayed plenty of intent and industry as they combined the style of their football with the substance they are often criticised for lacking.”

    “The Potters had quickly started to employ the tactics that have proved successful in the past as they pressed Arsenal and tested the resolve of the Gunners defence with some searching aerial balls.

    The visitors seemed ready for the challenge though and Arsenal carved out two early chances”

  189. Gooner In Exile says:

    Micky I used to hand from the cross bar at every opportunity to make it a bit lower ;)

  190. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rasp,
    I think the end of season collapse last season was an attitude problem. I don’t think that’s the case now.

  191. goonermichael says:

    Rasp. You are saying we don’t have a chance to win our next 2 games

  192. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hang with one arm, smoke with the other. Good look :-)

  193. RockyLives says:

    Rasp
    Another way of looking at it is that we drew with a team who are now in with a chance of being champions of Europe and we toughed out a draw at a ground where our recent record has been terrible. And that’s with some injuries to key players.

    I’m watching it now ( delayed) and we’re playing really well (25 mins in).

  194. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oh don’t cop a strop GiE, its all friendly and reasonable. Rasp is a bit miserable, that’s all.

  195. MickyDidIt89 says:

    In fact, I’d say it is our attitude that will see us over the line and in third.

  196. RockyLives says:

    Micky @6.06
    Exactly.
    Watching this game feels very different to the lame efforts at the end of last season.

  197. RockyLives says:

    GiE
    I thought Szczesny seemed a bit flat footed for the Crouch goal. Am I being harsh?

  198. Big Raddy says:

    GIE. OK, I was wrong about Rasp, but BR is positive about the team :-D

    The question is “Am I happy with a point at the Britannia?” and the answer is that I am satisfied but not happy.

  199. Big Raddy says:

    RL. Later in the broadcast you will see the goal from another angle and see it was unstoppable given Chesney’s starting position. It was a good goal.

  200. RockyLives says:

    Arsenal fans sound great.
    Well done Chas!

  201. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I’m off to a classical piano concert tonight. How rock’n’roll is that

  202. Rasp says:

    One reason I’m feeling like this is that since little has changed, I’m preparing myself for the usual summer transfer debacle.

  203. evonne says:

    I enjoyed the game. I thought Stoke played well, better than their usual, a bit like football used to be, physical yes, but well organised and disciplined. Fast and furious, just the way I like footy

  204. RockyLives says:

    Nearly half time now (for me). Really good half for us – in addition to the goal we’ve had three or four really good chances (particularly Benny, Gerv and another great RvP effort). We could easily be 2 or 3 up.

  205. RockyLives says:

    Rasp
    For me, a LOT has changed. We still have failings, but watching this game is nothing like watching the fragile, characterless defeat-junkies of last year.

  206. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Right lads. Mozart, Ravel, Schubert and Fauré for me. All better than Sham 69!!!

  207. evonne says:

    Rocky – second half is even better, Robin scores twice

  208. RockyLives says:

    Micky, you Philistine :)

  209. goonermichael says:
  210. Rasp says:

    Hi Rocky, surely you are suffering from deja vu with phrases like “we’ve had three or four really good chances . We could easily be 2 or 3 up.”

    We are still 2-3 players short of a team that will compete with the best. It is quite possible that one or 2 of our existing emerging players will be part of that 2-3, – but what if RvP and Song leave?

  211. goonermichael says:

    What is the world ends tomorrow Rasp. :) If song leaves we’ll get mvilla if robin leaves then we’re a bit cattle trucked. See you all later

  212. RockyLives says:

    No Rasp
    This time last year I wasn’t bemoaning missed chances. It was our lack of bottle that was upsetting me then.

    What if we sign Podolski and M’Vila? And keep RvP and Song?

    I just don’t see this as ‘groundhog day’ – but you clearly do.

    I guess that’s the joy of watching football. We all see it differently.

  213. Rasp says:

    gm, we won’t pay upwards of £20m for M’Vila unfortunately.

  214. evonne says:

    how about Llorente, bargain at £30m

  215. RockyLives says:

    Have just seen the Benny penalty appeal.

    Probably not a pen, although there was a shove in the back.

    However, I can safely say it was much more of a pen than any of Ashley Young’s recent ones.

  216. Rasp says:

    Hi Evonne, Llorente was amazing in the EL semi and is a bargain at £30m, but not for us.

  217. evonne says:

    hiya Rasp :) why not for us, except the price tag of course

  218. RockyLives says:

    OK – seen the whole game now.

    We did pretty well and I just can’t feel as negatively about the performance as you do Rasp. I even thought Chamakh looked OK (although Diaby was really rusty and also looked like he pulled up injured right at the end).

    If we don’t beat Norwich maybe I’ll join you in the doldrums, but if we do beat them, will you join me in being optimistic again? :)

  219. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    I can understand Rasps frustration. What was needed was a 23 old Ramsey, Chamberlin, or Wilshere to create or score a goal. We all realise we are not were we want to be but it will come and we as fans have to show more paitence. That been said, we competed very well today, and with a bit more effeciency would have scored a couple of more goals in the first half.

    In conclusion then, we are making progress, and our time is just round the corner. We have the talent, but many of those exceptionaly talented individuals are yet to reach maturity. When they do we will thrash the likes of stoke, and Tony Pullis will end up having a punch up with one of his players over a towel flicking incident gone wrong. Great times ahead.

  220. dandan says:

    So I am Delusional EH. OK, maybe that’s why I don’t get angry over football, or could it be, that I feel life’s just too short for all that Anger?
    As for this summer it will bring what it brings, good or bad, no doubt it will fuel the blog with endless discussions and at the end of it, come hell or high water, we will still all follow the Arsenal into a new season, with the same hopes and in my case delusions. Happy I guess that I am lucky enough to be an Arsenal fan.

  221. VCC says:

    So disappointed with the second half. Crazy not bringing the Ox on.

    Diaby and Chamahk have to go, I’m fed up of both of them.

  222. evonne says:

    Rasp – I get very sad and hurt when we lose, but I cannot get angry with my team, especially when they played well. Ok, they didn’t win, but they played well. I’d critisise them if they threw the game, but they didn’t

  223. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Great write up by the way “Pre match King”.

  224. evonne says:

    rocky – you missed the vital points in the game

  225. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    dandan, lets get one thing straight. If there is one person on here that is not delusional its you.

    Lets get third spot, and march on next season. Ime very excited.

  226. RockyLives says:

    evonne
    eh?

  227. evonne says:

    you were blogging and watching. no man can do multitasking, not even you :)

  228. RockyLives says:

    evonne
    I am that advanced mutation of the human species that has learnt how to use a pause button…

  229. RockyLives says:

    Terry
    I think I manlove you :)

  230. Slimgingergooner says:

    A point away at Stoke with an apparently tired team missing a couple of key midfielders is a decent result. It’s not great and it’s certainly not rubbish.

    Spurs and Chelsea show no signs of winning all their remaining games, and Newcastle definitely won’t based on their run-in and today’s “performance”. A win at home to Norwich next week and I think 3rd is pretty much secured.

    It’s pretty obvious we need a few players, today’s game hasn’t shown us anything we don’t already know about the squad. A creative midfielder and a striker are a must, then see what happens after that. Speaking of creative midfielders, what a beautiful cross that was from Rosicky for the goal. World class.

  231. evonne says:

    3 tasks at the same time! No way :)

  232. VCC says:

    Guys, I can see Rasp’s point of view, I’m half with him.

    The two guys who came on (Diaby and Chamahk) are just not good enough, just imagine if we had two class layers to come on, we would be in a different position. Wenger seems to hang on to guys that are not good enough far too long.

    Even try some fringe players, they would not do any worse, surely.

  233. RockyLives says:

    you caught me out evonne :(
    (how did you know about the third thing I was doing….?)

  234. evonne says:

    oohhh!! you!!! All right, you win

  235. RockyLives says:

    Slim
    TR7 had an excellent game today. Our MoTM I thought.

    VCC
    Chamakh did Ok in the short space of time he had (and we haven’t exactly held on for him for too long – he’s only been here a season and a half). As for Diaby – he’s had about an hour of football in months. Of course he’s not going to look great.

  236. VCC says:

    Rocky… Exactly……why not play Coquelin instead of Diaby (Wengers new love child) .

    As for Chamahk, that shows how short we are for players up front?

    It really worries me if Wenger see’s it like
    you, that Chamahk is the answer up front.

    I’m sorry, I have seen enough of him to judge he is not good enough for the mighty Arsenal, IMO.

  237. Slimgingergooner says:

    Not seen any of the game today, but just want to make a point about Chamakh.

    He has never, and will never be, an impact player capable of turning games from the bench. All his stats show that when starting games he has a decent record, but from the subs bench, he’s dreadful. That’s why we need a replacement for him who can have an impact as a sub. Also, we can’t expect to have 3 or 4 world class players in every position, especially with our financial restrictions. Djourou, for example, is not a favourite at the club, but there aren’t many better 4th choice CB’s around.

  238. RockyLives says:

    VCC
    I’m not sure I said I see Cham as the answer up front. But in the circumstances, against a tall team and with time running out, I don’t think it was the worst decision in the world.

    I agree with you that he’s probably not good enough for us (or at least, his style of play is not suited to us) and I have a feeling he’ll go back to France in the summer.

    I also agree that Coq might have been a better option than Diaby – but I suspect AW went for Diaby because of his height and also because he carries more of goal threat.

  239. chas says:

    Peaches and Rasp,
    Report sent to Arsenal nuts.
    I haven’t really had a go at player ratings, so if anyone else wants to send some in?

    GM,
    Is that you at 6:35? Hahahahahahahahaha, brilliant.

  240. RockyLives says:

    Well done Chas – could hear you lot loud and clear all through the game!

  241. evonne says:

    chas, did you enjoy the game? I could hear you here, well done

  242. RockyLives says:

    evonne :D

  243. evonne says:

    great minds :)

  244. chas says:

    Not my favourite game of the season, Evonne and Rocky.
    But at least I got out alive. :)

  245. Thanks chas, you’re a star ;)

  246. RockyLives says:

    Lovely goal.

    The Orcs probably didn’t recognise you because of your sunglasses Chas :)

  247. chas – can you be an angel and send the photos again separately please xx

  248. kelsey says:

    One thing Chamakh is good at, is heading.His goals before he joined us was pretty good, but a striker he ain’t.invariably he has his back to goal and passes sideways or backwards as if he is afraid of the ball. A bad bit of free business.
    Gerviho is another who reminds me of Walcott. in a way.Plenty of speed, but gets his feet mixed up and has a lame shot.
    I thought schnitzel had a good game today my man of the match.
    We dis well to get a point, could have won it,but many thought beforehand we would lose.We are getting there.

  249. kelsey says:

    Have i started a fashion ;).

    that young black girl on the Voice, Ruth brown has some lungs on her.

  250. VCC says:

    Sign her up for your band Kelsey.

  251. chas says:

    Done, oh Raven-Haired one.

  252. chas says:

    GIE,
    Billy Bragg?!!!!!!
    Cheeky fecker.

  253. Gooner In Exile says:

    Kelsey u went all street there for a second….must be the glasses..

    “We dis well” 8)

    Maybe Diaby is getting game time because Wenger wants to make a decision….that said its a free transfer only I fear given his injury record.

    I’ve been unsuccessfully trying to fix my Sky box..well I’ve successfully disconnected the HDD which now means it can at least do the primary function of watching TV.

    Now to somehow format a new HDD to make it work with sky box.

  254. I always wanted to have long blond hair and now my wish has come true but come midnight I shall be returned to old raven haired chocolate legs …….. thank you kelsey :D

  255. TotalArsenal says:

    dandan & GiE, once again you have been the voice of sanity. I can understand Rasp’s frustration and I think we all share some of it at least, but that was not a bad performance at all. We are missing a bit of class and sparkle at the moment, but which team is not at the moment?

    I am very pleased with the way we battled today and we did really boss the midfield, which was crucial. To come back from an early goal was also no mean feat: we needed to keep cool and focussed and not try to force it, and so we did. The goal was pure class too.

    To be fair on the Orcs – for once they played fair and did not try to wind our players up, but I am looking forward to Chas’ report on his ‘live’ experiences! :)

    To criticise Chamakh for his performance at the game is simply ridiculous. I agree with most on here that it is time for him to go, but he did nothing wrong in those 8 minutes or so he was on the pitch. In fact, I thought he helped us regain some shape and momentum, and he put in a bit of a shift, and he should have come on at least 15 minutes earlier. But if it makes the likes of Rasp and VCC feel a bit better to have somebody to aim their disappointment at, then I am all for it! :)

    Peaches, I love your avatar – you are the embodiment of sunshine on AA :) I also like the ‘real deal’ pictures of Evonne, GiE, Oz, VCC and Chas :D

  256. Rasp says:

    Nice total, thanks

  257. Gooner In Exile says:

    By the way I never answered Rocky earlier….yes Szczesny was flat footed for the goal, thankfully the lad is made of stern stuff and whilst he could have beat himself up for not coming out for it (it should have been his ball because of the trajectory) he came for everything else ultra positively, even flooring Kozzerat one point, which some will think is bad co-ordination but which I think is just good strong keeping. Every centre back should get clouted by his keeper once in a while if the keeper is doing his job properly anyway.

  258. oz gunner says:

    well said GiE, i don’t care if the queen is under it you should come out and take no prisoners. There is no time to look who is under it. A little bit of friendly fire doesn’t hurt anyone.

    As for diaby…surely enough is enough! Give lansbury his squad number!

    Stoke defended well, so i’d have taken a draw after we conceded. We definitely lack goal threat which is what disappoints me about Gervinho, he offers none! We will still take third though.

    As for players coming in, it was reported that grimandi was at a game scouting giroud (french league leading scorer). He is an amazing striker and a future french international star. Although rvp, pod and he look unlikely. But who knows if we get rid of cham and park

  259. TotalArsenal says:

    Apologies Rasp, I should have phrased my penultimate paragraph differently.

  260. Gooner In Exile says:

    Has anyone seen MotD by all accounts Lineker decided to join in with the Stoke fans. Nice independence there. Reckon he’ll do the same to Fergie at any time? No neither do I.

  261. RockyLives says:

    Lineker is a word that is banned on AA but can be found hiding in the fine North Lincolnshire town of Scunthorpe.

  262. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Our time is coming. Dont lose faith my friends, glory is round the corner. Who knows this? Inteligent football men Arsene Wenger and Alex Ferguson.Man Utd have a great team in the making but we will chalange them, that is certain. Who will come out on top? only the Gods know, but lets enjoy and relish what is to come. A battle for suprecemy awaits and its going to bolt us 1000 feet in the air, bring it on.

  263. 26may1989 says:

    Hello chums, and greetings from Singapore. Long time no blogging for 26, usual excuse, muchos work.

    After finishing work yesterday eve (yup, on Saturday) I managed to get to a bar to see the second half of the game. As Evonne says, Stoke played well. The element of intrinsic violence was kept below the surface and they were just intense in closing us down across the pitch, a tactic which (if the players are fit and smart enough, works well against us). We didn’t really open them up in that second half, but for me we should have had two penalties. Not the clearest calls but the foul on Benny would have been given outside the box, so should’ve been given inside. And the handball from TV’s shot was definitely a foul, only question was whether it was on the line (in which case penalty) or just outside the box. Referee’s answer: neither.

    But truth be told a draw looked right. It’s disappointing to have picked up 2 points from 9 but draws in the toughest games in our run in (Chavs and Orcs) is acceptable. It’s just that defeat to Wigan that causes the frayed nerves. Great news re Newcastle but we definitely need to see Chelsea and Spurs drop points immediately. And we need to lift ourselves for the last two games, we need all six points.

    Rosicky, Kos, Sz, Ramsey, Gibbs and TV all looked good. Van Persie was a shade better but still off form. Song continues to frustrate me. But it’s Gervinho that I feel most disappointed by. He really isn’t progressing, he’s going backwards. Is he another Chamakh?

    I hate Stoke. Not original I know, but I like saying it. My reasons are mostly obvious (though there is the matter of my wife’s tool of a former boyfriend being from tere and being an Orcs fan). My enmity is reserved much more for Pulis and their fans than it is for the players, many of whom I respect (can’t say I actually like any of them, perhaps except Begovic), even if they are the ugliest team allaying the ugliest football. One thing I don’t really get is how they’ve not been criticised for their failures this year. Yes, they’ve lifted themselves for the bigger teams and had a Europa run but they were one of last summer’s biggest spenders. Even with the Euro games they should be aiming much higher than they are, safe but just above the relegation zone. They should be called out as failures while the likes of Wigan, WBA, Newcastle, Swansea Fulham and Everton have all done well. But it seems Pulis gets an easy ride from pundits.

    As for the fans, they just revel in their uber-utilitarian image. Pathetic bunch. But then if we had to wake up every morning in that woe begotten part of the world, we might behave the same way. Tossers.

    Ok, over and out, will catch up with you lot when I get back to blighty.

  264. 26may1989 says:

    Sorry, meant to say: top prematch Raddy, loved it.

    And apols for the errors in my post, I’m blaming this iPhone and it’s eccentric spellchecker, not my shaky grasp of rules of grammar….

  265. spanishgooner says:

    Rl @ 1.39 . Beautiful – and so true .

  266. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Could anyone tell me what it is that WordPress did a few weeks ago that has in any way improved things?
    I’d like it to refresh to the bottom of the page and I’d like my pink panther back. Can’t even join in the fun by adding a “ooo, look how gorgeous I am” pic.

  267. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. I don’t understand how the changes improve WordPress. I lose comments, have to repeatedly log-in and it is slower.

    No idea why my gravatar works – it seems random.

    At least you have an F5 button to refresh, I have to press two keys simultaneously or play mouse. (oh, the problems of modern life!)

    Great to see 26 back. Must be lovely and warm in Singapore. We are considering building an ark here. If the price of wood was cheaper I would be out in the yard with a rusty hammer and saw.

  268. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Morning Raddy,
    If Spurs lose today, then we have St Totteringham’s at home to Norwich. There’s a nice thought.
    I think. Also, if Chavs lose, they cannot catch us. I think.
    Its Ark conditions here too Raddy.

  269. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Raddy,
    Am I right in thinking you are still after two tickets, and can I assume they need to be together, or does that not matter?

  270. Big Raddy says:

    Having had a night to reflect upon yesterday, it must be said that Stoke played well to restrict us. It is becoming boring seeing teams play such a narrow game against us.

    I know the opposition rightly believe that if they pack the area with 10 men within 20 yds of the goal we will struggle, but it makes for a dull game. It is amazing Stoke get the number of fans they do watching the style of shit football week in week out.

    Strangely, the teams that play expansively tend to beat us. Wigan, Swansea, MU, Fulham, QPR all attacked us and won.

  271. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. Maybe. Could one be available?

  272. mickydidit89 says:

    Is my panther back?

  273. mickydidit89 says:

    I’m back.
    So what you are saying then is that if they pack men behind the ball, we struggle, and if they play expansively, we struggle also!
    Bit harsh :-)

  274. Big Raddy says:

    Another thing.

    I was as angry as AW close to the end of the game.

    If you recall, we were on the attack, Stoke broke and then with Sagna breathing down his neck , the Stoke player dived to the ground close to the halfway line. The ref gave a free kick and AW went mental. The crowd behind him became abusive (as expected).

    What infuriated me was …. Don’t referee’s watch football? It was a clear dive. The Stoke player should have been booked and we should have had a free kick. Instead Stoke gain an advantage and have the opportunity to attack.

    I accept that at the end of a game a referee must be tired and can make mistakes but where was the linesman.

  275. Big Raddy says:

    :-D Been that type of morning!

  276. mickydidit89 says:

    Raddy,
    I have two red memberships. I won’t know until monday afternoon whether I’m coming and also whether that will be on my own or with Oscar. If with O, then I’ll need two together.
    Peaches is now sorted. I will try and get two together whatever I’m doing. I might be able to find a single one elsewhere, so possibly you could have the two together (if available on exchange).

  277. mickydidit89 says:

    I know I got a telling off from Peaches yesterday, and of course I’mm always against any form of personal verbal abuse, but I still find the mimmicking of AW’s arm waving funny.

  278. mickydidit89 says:

    Am I right about the maths of Chavs or Spuds losing today?

  279. VCC says:

    Micky 7:40. WordPress have done us all a favour, keeping your face off the site. We would all have night mares. he he.

  280. evonne says:

    Morning all

    I just watched highlights of the Swansea v Wolves game. How the feck we didn’t take full 12 points of them, I cannot understand.
    sorry to someone, cannto remember who – Bendtner scored only one goal yesterday, I thought he scored both. But it was a beuaty.

    See, we have another striker, bring NicB back! Vela is back already.

  281. evonne says:

    Micky – I am sorry you are having problems with your ‘look how beautiful I am’ picture. However, I suspect it’s nothing to do with WordPress :)
    Just look at my pug, he looks gorgeous wordpress or not :)

  282. chas says:

    Look how beautiful I am.

  283. Big Raddy says:

    chas. I bow to your georgeousness

  284. evonne says:

    that’s that disgusting chicken balti pie picture, not your best :)

  285. mickydidit89 says:

    VCC,
    Fair comment, I could definately be improved upon :-)

  286. Morning all

    My new garden is completely water-logged this morning, good job it’s not finished – I might need a dinghy to get to my greenhouse!!!!!!

    Nice to see your pinkness back Micky ;)

    I don’t have any problems with wordpress but I’m logged in all the time although I don’t know if that makes a difference.

    Tickets – Micky if you look on the exchange right now this very minute there are two – not together but you’ll see how the system has changed. I’ll keep an eye out for both you and Raddy because I have another 2 tickets I can use. Rasp is playing cricket so his ticket is available.

  287. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. If I KNOW I have a ticket I would love to come over for Norwich. It was to be 2 tickets now it would be just moi. I need to be sure of a ticket before buying flight and of course the closer to Saturday we are, the more expensive it becomes.

  288. chas – you win ;)

  289. mickydidit89 says:

    That’s a good ‘un Chas. I still like GiE’s the best. To me it says: ” So I sit in a field and read a book sometimes. What of it?”

  290. evonne says:

    Guys, just off the track, sorry. You are all sporty types, so might know what happened to my knee – it’s killing me. No idea why. Not swallen, not bruised. Cannot staighten it and it hurst badly all the time, almost impossible to walk.

  291. Meireles – what on earth happened to him!!!!!!!!!!

  292. mickydidit89 says:

    Peaches,
    My problem is that without two together, I can’t bring Oscar, so I’m waiting until monday evening. Then I get whatever I can and if they are two singles, then I’ll have one spare anyway, maybe two.

  293. evonne says:

    Peaches – self-abuse. Wasn’t he a beautiful boy? Perfect features

  294. evonne – does it feel like it’s filled with concrete or like there’s a brick attached to the back of it? Any unusual swelling on the knee-cap?

  295. chas says:

    Evonne,
    Could be a meniscal cartilage tear. Either that or gangrene.

  296. Micky – I understand you need two together, I’ve just texted Holly and Carlito to see if they have spares in their group.

  297. evonne says:

    Peaches – bit of both, brick and concrete. No swelling. But when I bent it side of the knee cap hurts sooo much :( how will i walk the dogs :(

  298. evonne says:

    Gangrene?? I could lose my leg?? off to check meniscal cartilage, thanks xx

  299. Red Arse says:

    Morning Peeps, :-)

    Just read yesterdays comments and being objective about them I have come to a startlingly obvious conclusion!

    You are ALL right in what you say, no matter the apparent contradiction.

    How so? [A layman's observations! :-) ]

    Well, we all have different ways of dealing with disappointment.

    Some express themselves in a manner that sounds negative at first read, but is just a rationalisation of the team ‘only’ drawing by picking up on the instances where a mistake(s) was made, because disappointment clouds the ‘good’ play.

    Others rationalise by being determinedly positive, knowing from experience that life and football goes on, and anyway no game is so predictable that the result can be guaranteed, otherwise who would want to watch football?

    So you see — you are all right — just ways of dealing with disappointment – and delight.

    Just what was the Rudyard Kipling poem “IF” was trying to tell us! :-)

  300. chas says:

    Very true, RA.
    There’s no so thing as reality, only how you choose to perceive events.

  301. mickydidit89 says:

    Chas,
    We won yesterday :-)

  302. chas says:

    Micky,
    Compared to Newcastle, I’d say, yes I agree with you.

  303. LB says:

    Stoke are a Pikey club: Pikey ground, Pikey supporters, Pikey manager, Pikey players best illustrated by Jermaine Pennant and the tattoo on his neck. Tattoo on the neck = Pikey, Meireles = Pikey, David Becham = rich Pikey.
    A point against that bunch of Pikeys is not so bad. With a Bean pole like Crouch any team can get caught out so in my view it would be harsh to blame the defence including the goalie for letting that one in.
    But, on the up side it should be recognised that Arsenal came back with a look of calculated determination and we got our just reward. Newcastle loosing obviously helped as would any points dropped by spuds and chavs.
    I know RvP only scores when he wants but we do need him to want it a little bit more in these last few games.

    Morning.

  304. kelsey says:

    Morning all.

    I have my own views about this season and what will happen in the Summer regardless if we qualify for CL or not.

    evonne, Vela is back ? Back where,may I ask.

  305. kelsey says:

    Re the abuse shouted at Wenger yesterday and Ramsey.

    It has nothing to do with the leg break suffered by Ramsey, or with Wenger.I am being imparial here as I don’t want to bring up the feeling by many Arsenal supporters about Shawcross.

    There is history between the two clbs since Arsenal beat Stoke in two consecutive FA Cup semi finals in 1971 and 1972 to deprive Stoke a chance of a first ever Cup win.This has been passed down to further generations of Stoke fans.

    On the game, a fair result and nothing too physical by either side.

  306. mickydidit89 says:

    How’s this for DidIt Family logic. It’s raining. I just said to MrsD, sod it, let’s get waterproofed up and go to the Atlantic Cliffs. She says that’s only fun when there’s a Force 7/8 wind minimum. In other words, we’re not going for a walk because the weather is not bad enough!

  307. LB says:

    Morning Micky

    Surely it is a Force 7 up there?

  308. mickydidit89 says:

    LB,
    Firstly, its down here. Second, no its a pathetic 4 according to MrsDidIt :-)

  309. chas says:

    kelsey,
    From what I saw yesterday it was exclusively to do with Arsene Wenger and the Ramsey/Shawcross incident.

  310. VCC says:

    Kelsey 9:07. How do you explain the boos being loudest when Ramsey was in possession.

  311. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. Women, eh !

  312. Big Raddy says:

    VCC. The explanation is that they are Orcs and Orcs can only be Orcs

  313. mickydidit89 says:

    Raddy,
    Even my children agree the weather is not bad enough to bother going out!

  314. mickydidit89 says:

    Right, off to make 8 boiled eggs and eight rounds of marmite toast. Soldiered of course.

  315. LB says:

    “Down there”…….lol

    Force 4?……………Tee shirt weather.

  316. evonne says:

    micky – a dog is your answer. I am in pain, wind, rain, i have to go to the woods. Get them a dog

  317. VCC says:

    BR …im going on a Stoke site and venting my anger. Ive never done this before, but they are a bunch of A— H—-.

    I simply hate any thing to do with ManUre, but I would never stoop so low and boo a player who had a horrendous leg break.

    Tony Pulis is quoted in the papers “The police must act” ????????? What about him in his programme notes. Why doesn’t he try and tell them to behave and act civilised.

  318. Lets have a New Post ……………..

    New Post ………………..

  319. kelsey says:

    I don’t disagree with that chas, I just said their was history between the two clubs.

  320. Gooner In Exile says:

    Morning all.

    Come on Blackburn!

    Chavs, Spuds and Toon will all be equal games played by the time we take on Norwich next Saturday so we will see where we need to be.

    Spuds have kindest run in altho all teams chasing only have to drop
    2 points to leave us needing 3 to secure 3rd. It’s good we will know where the catch up games have left everyone by Saturday next week.

    Spuds
    Blackburn (h)
    Bolton (a)
    Villa (a)
    Fulham (h)

    Chavs
    QPR (h)
    Toon (h)
    Liverpool (a)
    Blackburn (h)

    Toon
    Chavs (a)
    ManC (h)
    Everton (a)

  321. mua ban oto cu…

    [...]If the Kid’s are United: Stoke Preview « Arsenal Arsenal[...]…

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