Big Raddy’s PM’s are what most of us look forward to, his insights and his odds has us all debating – the man’s a genius, but he has to have a break now and again, and somebody has to try and cover. Word went out or should I say plea, so to follow the great man’s PM views is asking quite a lot, but if this is used, here goes……..
Today’s game at home against a tough rival Stoke City have seen many physical battles, Stoke have a reputation of tough tacklers and putting themselves about. Mark Hughes, Stoke City’s present Manager has brought a slightly different approach to their game as they can play some attractive football now. Hughes was known for his aggressive play when he was a player, the same mentality is now put into use as stokes Manager.
Stoke have had tough times at The Emirates, played seven, lost seven. Her’e a few comments from Hughes leading up to this fixture.
Mark Hughes believes his Stoke City side are better equipped to tackle Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium than ever before.
Despite enjoying a frustrating start to the 2015/16 campaign Hughes is optimistic ahead of Saturday’s fixture and has pin-pointed the attacking qualities of his side as potential game-changers in the capital.
“It is never an easy place to go to be perfectly honest with you, and in previous seasons we haven’t managed to cover ourselves in too much glory down there,” the Welshman told Stoke City Player ahead of the game.
“In fact there record against us at the Emirates in the Premier League is perfect – having taken maximum points from all of the games between the two sides up until now.
“I would like to think that we are better equipped than we have been in seasons past to go down there and deal with them given the quality of player we have inside the building now.
“We have been to other very difficult places and picked up good results; obviously Manchester City springs to mind, so we know we are able to take positive results from these games.
“Arsenal are one of those teams who are difficult to play against, especially on the road, and they have that upper hand over us, but that has to change at some point I would suggest.”
Hughes admits he has been unable to pin-point the factors between the Potters contrasting fortunes against the Gunners at home and away.
“It’s a difficult one to figure out really. I’m not sure what it is. I suppose they are one of the top teams in the league and in Europe to be fair to them and when you take on teams of that ilk it is difficult,” he added.
“We have been very good at home against them and performed exceptionally well for the best part, but away from home we have struggled somewhat.
“They are capable of hurting any team in the world on any given day, but we know that we have our own game-changers who can hurt them.
“It is all dependant on what happens on the day. If one or two things go for us and we play to our maximum capabilities and remain resolute then we have a real chance of picking up a positive result.”
Well those few words from Mark Hughes says to me that he feels today will be a tough game. Of course we still have to win at home this season, so Hughes must feel a little easier.
For ourselves of course there is bad news. Wilshere who was to make his comeback in this fixture has had a setback and won’t feature, Welbeck has also had a setback, and has undergone surgery, so he too is long term. Our Striker Oliver Giroud was boo’d off the park in his international match by his fellow Frenchmen, so his confidence has taken a knock.
Koshielney has had problems with his back, and was left on the bench while on international duty, where his fitness is now will soon be announced
On the positive side Theo scored twice for England so he could be a starter.The rest of the squad seem to be available but I wont be doing a Raddy and predicting a line up, as he I’m sure gets inside information.
I also wont be giving a percentage as is normal on Raddy’s post I leave you all to do that for yourselves. Arsenal have to kick start their season. I feel that our possession stat’s have been excellent, but we just seem to be lack that finishing touch. Get that sorted and I see another win on the cards. Seven wins on the trot at home, looks good on paper but Stoke can cause us problems. We have a few injury problems and after this hard fought game I expect a few to have bruises, hopefully just bruises. I predict a win, it has to come, and today I feel is the day.
Speaking on Friday, Wenger explained that many supporters were unhappy at the lack of signings in the transfer window. He did go on about the reasons but many have heard all that talk before so I won’t bore you with it, but he has asked supporters to get behind the team, he feels that the players deserve your support. Arsenal supporters always get behind the players, today will be no different, Perhaps Arsene feels guilty, I honestly don’t know why, Do you?