Stoke Pre-Match. Lee Mason?

To say I dislike Mark Hughes would be like describing  the size of the planet Jupiter as being bigger than a dog. I don’t like the cut of his jib. You can tell much about the man by his football philosophy – this is a chap who can take the wonderful artistry of Shaqiri and turn him into yet another water carrier. Stoke are a club where the manager’s personality reflects the club itself (as does ours, of course).

Just in case you forget, ask Ramsey and Debuchy what they think about Stoke’s physical approach.

But, their recent results are good, since September Stoke’s results would have them in 4th place in the PL, above the Mighty Totts. They have won 5 of the last 7 games.

We are on  quite a good run ourselves, unbeaten in the league since the opening day blip and scoring 9 goals in our last 2 games.

This is our third game in 8 days so we can expect rotation.

My Team.


Gabriel     Mustafi    Koscielny     Monreal

Xhaka    Coquelin     Ox

Theo    Alexis     Mesut

Not easy to get the midfield correct. AW loves Coquelin and he is rested after missing the midweek victory, so I expect to see him start. Xhaka is the sort of chap we need to fight the Orcs but I fear he may retaliate – perhaps he is better coming off the bench, but what the heck, let’s see if he can show grace under fire.


Warning. Today’s referee is Lee Mason. A man who is so stupid he cannot see the continuous rotational fouling Stoke use against AFC. This is a chap whom Alan Green (who knows a thing or two about football) calls “the worst referee in the PL”. A man who gives our players a yellow card for every 2 fouls and every 9 fouls for the opposition. I suppose it adds to the spectacle 😀

Stoke have yet to win at The Emirates. The run needs to continue.


159 Responses to Stoke Pre-Match. Lee Mason?

  1. mickydidit89 says:

    Ha ha. Very nice Erik. Thank you.

    Bar Bell, that’s our First XI. So, if you want my advice on a sure way to guarantee we thrash them and score four goals, then rest Mesut and Sanchez 🙂

  2. LB says:

    Wouldn’t it be great if Wenger carried on with Perez on the right?

    I suspect you have got the team right today BR, it’s not easy trying to double guess Wenger these days.

    Thanks for taking the trouble to write the pre-match as ever.

  3. chas says:

    Excellent, BR.

    Tough game today, especially with Hislop refereeing.

    Maybe he’ll give us a penalty as it’s nearly Christmas.

  4. chas mobile says:

    Shaking Swedens is Carlito you were talking about the other day.

  5. VP of Oz says:

    I’m all set
    I’ve read the BR Pre-match (thanks BR)
    Will now go watch a movie with my my son on the couch (because this 15/16 up-and-coming footballer enjoys the home life:-) btw, did I mention he is now playing in the juniors at Melbourne Knights FC, the home of Mark Viduka)
    Go pick up my daughter from an 18th party at 1am
    watch the game at 2am COYG!!!
    go for a run at 7am
    church at 9am
    Brunch at 10.30am
    nanna nap at noon
    basketball at 3pm
    crash and burn at about 6pm

  6. chas mobile says:

    That’s some schedule.

  7. Big Raddy says:

    VP. Can’t you record the Arsenal and give the run a miss?

  8. Ant says:

    This clip starts to explain, apparently why Stoke hate Arsenal as George Armstrong got a slight nudge in the box from Dobing which looks like the sort of thing they might give now but wouldn’t consider in those days, and it lead to Arsenals equalising penalty

  9. Big Raddy says:

    10.41 I was at that Everton game though in the Clock End. Like SS it remains one of my all-time fave goals

  10. Gööner In Exile says:

    Bloody Lee Mason……saw that news yesterday and realised Mark Hughes will have been laughing his head off. Interestingly Hughes has spoken about using the Emirates crowd against us. Hopefully the appointment of Mason and the inevitable rubbish decisions he will make will lead to a vociferous crowd barracking the ref.

  11. Big Raddy says:

    Love that Stoke clip, especially Charlie George’s celebration of BR’s goal

  12. Ant says:

    Ant and Duck will definitely be vociferous against Mason, unless we are 4 up by then

  13. Ant says:

  14. VP of Oz says:

    LOL Ant. Wow, Market Harborough, thats a fair way out of London

  15. Ant says:

    Fascinating stuff and much more interesting than Cuffley

    Market Harborough is a market town within the Harborough district of Leicestershire, England. It has a population of 22,911 (2011). It sits on the Northamptonshire-Leicestershire border. The town was formerly at a crossroads for both road and rail; however the A6 now bypasses the town to the east and the A14 which carries east-west traffic is 6 miles (9.7 km) to the south. The town is served by East Midlands Trains with direct services to Leicester, Nottingham, Sheffield, Derby and St Pancras International.

    Market Harborough is located in an area which was formerly a part of the Rockingham Forest, a royal hunting forest used by the medieval monarchs starting with William I.

    The centre of the town is dominated by the steeple of St. Dionysius Parish Church which rises directly from the street, as there is no church yard. It was constructed in grey stone in 1300 with the church itself a later building of about 1470. Next to the church stands the Old Grammar School, a small timber building dating from 1614.

    Market Harborough has two villages within its confines: Great Bowden lies over a hill about a mile from the town centre; Little Bowden is less than half a mile from the town centre. The three centres have largely coalesced through ribbon development and infill, although Great Bowden continues to retain a strong village identity.

  16. chas says:

    At Market Harborough we thought we were delayed as we seemed to have stopped before the station. As it turns out, we were at the station and the platform wasn’t big enough for the whole train.

    Sebastian our train manager didn’t make it clear, though he did say he could answer most queries, as he was knowledgeable on most subjects, except on geo-politics and sport.

  17. Big Raddy says:

    No booze in the pic. Bizarre

  18. Big Raddy says:

    Train manager? Sebastian? What is this …. the Orient Express? Or are you on your way to Hogwarts?

  19. VP of Oz says:

    Hercule Poirot or Harry Potter on the train?

  20. Ant says:

    He also said that coach A used to be a quiet coach but no longer .. but if you were in it that you should still act with decorum and decency to other humans

  21. Big Raddy says:

    I love Sebastian. Is he a “man’s man”?

  22. VP of Oz says:

    BR 11:02, now on Optus here in Oz, not on Foxtel anymore, so cant record it as it drops down as a viewable game app. But sometimes Optus does not deem the game worthy of a full game app and only includes the game as a highlights package so it safer to watch it live. Plus its a rites of passage here, if your an EPL fan, you forgo sleep during the season and watch the games live. You get used to it after a few decades.
    Also, as for the 7am run, I just love to run. I go off with my garmin watch and record it all as part of weekly step challenges etc.

    I lead a sad life

  23. chas mobile says:

  24. Ant says:

    We have not seen Sebastian yet BR but will get a photo if he walks through the carriage

  25. Ant says:

    He sounds like he Is both a man’s and a woman’s man!

  26. Big Raddy says:

    Ah, a practical man. Best pf both worlds.

  27. Big Raddy says:

    Better get some work done pre-match.

    Be back on the sofa for the game.

  28. Ant says:

    It’s a special day today as Jc is attending his 250,000 match!

  29. Ant says:

    Were getting off now… cheers😈😂

  30. LB says:

    That really was a good Ian Wright goal against Everton.

  31. LB says:

    After the kind of stories that have gone on this morning I am almost embarrassed to explain how easy it is for me to get to the ground and more importantly — how easy it is to get home.

  32. Gööner In Exile says:

    Definitely never have an excuse to leave early LB 🙂

  33. Gööner In Exile says:

    There are two things I love about that Ian Wright goal, the look on Neville Southalls face, the length of time afterwards the North Bank were singing Ian Wright Wright Wright from memory he stopped to applaud the North Bank about 5 minutes after the goal.

    Oh there’s a third thing….I was there and still had a season ticket…..before foolishly giving it up at the end of that season to play senior football.

  34. LB says:

    As excuses go GIE that is a pretty good one.

  35. mickydidit89 says:

    Changed my mind
    Want Perez to start. And Iwobi. Any chance?

  36. mickydidit89 says:

    Sebastian 🙂

  37. mickydidit89 says:

    Cech, Gabriel, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Xhaka, Coquelin, Walcott, Ozil, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Sanchez.

    Subs: Gibbs, Lucas Perez, Giroud, Ospina, Iwobi, Bellerin, Elneny

    11/11 Erik. The Master at work 🙂

    Bell on the bench. Great news.

  38. Well done Raddy, team is as you predicted.

    What’s happened to Ramsey?

  39. mickydidit89 says:

    That is a very very strong bench

    (you know what I mean. What’s on the bench 🙄 )

  40. mickydidit89 says:

    They’ve found a buyer Peaches?
    Ooops 🙂

  41. mickydidit89 says:

    Back for ko

  42. Big Raddy says:

    Peaches. Ramsey played midweek and I guess they are easing him back after his injury problems.

  43. VP of Oz says:

    So they are about to start the coverage of Arsenal vs Stoke and they cut to a classic highlights package of when Manure put 8 past us. What was the point of this? Whose fans was it entertaining other than some twat Manure supporter sitting in their media player room pressing the play button. Seriously that is a bs way to start an Arsenal game coverage.

  44. mickydidit89 says:

    Come on you Gunnnnnners

  45. mickydidit89 says:

    Trying ch8 Erik…nothing…you?

  46. Big Raddy says:

    Nothing Micky. Thankfully it is on Danish TV.


  47. RockyLives says:

    Excellent PM BR.

    10 minutes in – it’s an open game which will hopefully suit us – but they do carry threat going forward.

  48. Big Raddy says:

    It is back on Micky

  49. RockyLives says:

    Canadian TV serving up the goods too!

  50. Big Raddy says:

    Sa little worried about how open we are playing. Stoke had two very good chances.

    But enjoying our attacking play, some excellent combinations.

    Bugger, Mustafi knacked

  51. Big Raddy says:

    We knew it. Lee Mason stiffs us

  52. RockyLives says:

    You won’t see a softer penalty than that this season.

  53. Eddie says:

    rocky. xhaka went for Allen’s sheen and then whacked his head for good measure. Soft indeed. Do you want a player dead on the pitch to justify a pen?

  54. Big Raddy says:

    Eddie. You must be watching a different incident.

    Xhaka went for the ball and got it. It is not his fault that Allen flew into the tackle and hit Xhaka. There was no movement whatsoever from Xhaka to hit Allen, if Mason thought there had been he would have sent Xhaka off for violent play.

    Dreadful decision from an awful referee.

  55. RockyLives says:

    Eddie – BR has it right.

    It was an accidental coming together. Never a penalty in a million years.

  56. Gööner In Exile says:

    Can’t get a stream, just wondering how dirty we are, can’t believe stats that we lead foul count 7-2 compared to tackle count being 5-6?

  57. RockyLives says:

    I wish Lee Mason would

  58. RockyLives says:

    GiE – it’s Lee Mason

  59. RockyLives says:

    AW has criticized Mason in the past and it looks like payback time.

  60. RockyLives says:

    Get in Theo!

    Great goal.

  61. Big Raddy says:

    Get in.

    Brilliant build up and terrific finish. Theo gets another cracker

  62. Gööner In Exile says:

    He has hated us for a lot longer time than a season Rocky, I think Wenger just finally lost it with him last season and called him out on it, every tackle by the opposition fair, every tackle by us foul.

  63. Big Raddy says:

    Ox back on form which is great to see, he is such a trier

  64. Big Raddy says:

    I put the Mason foul stats in the post

  65. Gööner In Exile says:

    Have seen penalty can’t really see what Xhaka supposed to do to avoid contact, he plays ball and turns, its only because Allen is 5ft his arm connects with his head, any of Stokes Orcs and it would be in his midriff.

  66. Rasp says:

    Hi guys, I’m afraid I haven’t been able to read the post or dreamy if the game, but by the sound of it, Mason will be looking to send one of our players off next!

  67. Big Raddy says:

    GIE. Danish summarisers and commentators agree with you

    We played well in that half especially upfront but there are worrying gaps at the back. Is this due to Coquelin or Gabriel not holding their positions or just good play from Stoke?

    Should be a n exciting second half

  68. Big Raddy says:

    Wow! A Mesut header

    Come on you Gunners

  69. RockyLives says:

    Another lovely goal. Oxo’s resurgence could have a huge impact on our season

  70. Eddie says:

    you lot are so biased. If that happened to one of our players there will be calls not just for the pen but also for a red card.

    Commentators here agree with me – def pen.

    Gie – please don’t go away. There has been a discussion about academy. Apart from Peaches I was without any substance on either side of the argument. I know you just LOVE the academy, but tell the truth, are we losing money or cutting evens?

  71. Big Raddy says:

    Mason is dreadful, Stoke Orc goes through the back of Xhaka and Stoke”s 12th man waves play on

  72. RockyLives says:

    Eddie – I will happily plead guilty to the accusation of bias.

    But I’m still right.

  73. Big Raddy says:

    Eddie. What you mean is that no one agrees with you😉

  74. RockyLives says:

    Le Coq is having an excellent game

  75. Big Raddy says:

    Rocky. I second your emotion

  76. Eddie says:

    raddy – I wouldn’t call you no one 🙂

    it was a pen and it should have been. Xhaka knew exactly what he was doing. He didn’t just turn and caught Allen with his elbow – pee off, he hit him on the head full strenght

  77. Big Raddy says:

    Eddie. We disagree

  78. Eddie says:

    yeah, and you don’t like pugs.

  79. RockyLives says:


  80. Big Raddy says:

    Lovely, lovely from Iwobi with a fine assist from Mesut

  81. Gööner In Exile says:

    Wow Ozil, great run and finish by Iwobi too …… things are looking rosy

  82. mickydidit89 says:

    Stay 2 ahead and we go top

  83. Big Raddy says:

    We are in a good place when we can bring on Bellerin and Iwobi as subs 😄

  84. Big Raddy says:


    Ozil my MotM. Superb performance

  85. mickydidit89 says:

    Very good performance from what little I saw

  86. RockyLives says:

    Very good all round.

    Big kudos to Paul Easter who looked very solid when he switched to CB

  87. mickydidit89 says:

    Bad: Mustafi
    Good: the strength of our squad
    Brilliant: resilience and quality of football in attack
    Outlook: scorchio 🙂

  88. Red Arnie says:

    Brilliant PM Raddy. 😊

    Had an interesting day. Started the day at a conference in Seville. An inefficient giggly but pleasant secretary took 30 minutes to book a taxi and almost got me to miss a bus to Faro, PT. Anyway reached safely and to my surprise got to see the entire game at a sports bar. Together with Bacalhau, fine cut chips and plenty of Super Bock. On my way to Aveiro PT now. How good was that! 😊

  89. Big Raddy says:

    Arnie. Sounds like a top day. Scorchio even-

  90. Red Arnie says:

    What an enjoyable game! I have a few questions but I will wait for the headline post tomorrow. But here is one for which I cannot wait.

    How much consistently gullible must a referee have to be before you suspect, and allege, negligence with sinister intent! Beggars belief

  91. Gööner In Exile says:

    Eddie I gave my tuppence on the academy in the early hours …. got to be worth it.

  92. Red Arnie says:

    Thank you Raddy 😊

    Got through all comments. Great blogging. Eddie trying hard to be the devils advocate. Unfortunately not enough conviction 😊

    Have to catch a train. Bye now 😊😊 tea la la

  93. OMG I just don’t think you understand – Mesut’s goal scorchio indeed 😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁

  94. Ant says:

    Wow that was fantastic. Everyone played well. Loved Granit and Coq’s displays.. ooo err.
    If that was a penalty then I’m Twiggy.
    Mesut was sublime.
    Roll on a trip to Goodison on Tuesday

  95. chas mobile says:

  96. mickydidit89 says:

    Oi Twiggy…..Leave Sebastian alone!

  97. chas mobile says:

    Hell’s teeth, anyone who thought that was a valid penalty is either a Stoke fan, a lobotomist or winding us all up.
    I know what my money’s on 😕

  98. mickydidit89 says:

    I agree about Coq and Granit. We are looking so strong all over the pitch, and our options for freshness and goals from the bench is, well, christmassy

  99. mickydidit89 says:

    Also, how much better is the right attack with Bell back in action.

    Hope Mustafi is not too long out.

    Any medics here who know about these things?

  100. chas mobile says:

  101. Ant says:

  102. mickydidit89 says:

    Leicester 3-0 v City in 20 mins

  103. chas mobile says:

    Hey,Iwobi’s Mum, what you cooking your boy to celebrate his goal tonight?

  104. chas mobile says:

    Where’s VP?

    Cmon VP it’s only 5am. Nearly time to get up for your run. ☺

  105. Big Raddy says:

    Man City. 76% possession, 3-0 down.

  106. chas mobile says:

  107. mickydidit89 says:

    Ahhhhh, my boy 🙂

  108. mickydidit89 says:

    Must go
    Nite all

  109. chas mobile says:

  110. Big Raddy says:

    Think we should have scored more

  111. fatgingergooner says:

    Hope City are this generous when we play them. Shame we can’t draw them in CL because they are a shambles at the back!

  112. chas mobile says:

  113. chas mobile says:

  114. chas mobile says:

    Where’s StewDog?

  115. Mesut’s goal

  116. Alex Iwobi goal

  117. Who was MOTM, everyone was sooooo good 🙂

  118. LB says:

    I have something for tomorrow although struggling with a title…..

    Any ideas?

  119. Rasp says:

    Wow, wonderful goals … thanks Peaches 🙂

  120. Rasp says:

    What was the nature of Mustafi’s injury?

  121. chas mobile says:


    Player ratings for the demolition of the orcs
    will pull in the most punters

    Mason lives up to exceedingly low expectations

    If that was a pen, I’m Twiggy

    Mason’s dodgy handshake

    Rugby team stuffed at the Emirates

  122. VP of Oz says:

    Morning Chas:-)
    I’m wrecked but fine. Had to drive my daughter and her friends to a club after the party but got back in plenty of time for ko. I’ve delayed my run until noon so will scrap my nanna nap but I’ve had a good 3 hours sleep. The fun bit is waking my daughter now. An angel last night, she turns into a demon in the morning.

    What a great game overnight.
    I 100% agree, def not a penalty. Why are the commentators so dumb? The slightest touch and Allen is down for the knockout count. Stallone could act better.

    …according to former Premier League referee Howard Webb, it was neither a penalty nor a deliberate elbow from the Swiss international.

    “If he throws his arm at Joe Allen that’s a separate action, that’s worth a penalty but you can’t say that’s intentional.

    “It’s a coming together, there is some contact, for me I think it’s a harsh call and he’s really unlucky.”

  123. VP of Oz says:

    What’s interesting is how Arsene is so upset about the penalty call but losing to Southampton in the EFL was a bit of a laugh.
    Actually, not really that interesting…

  124. LB says:

    Great titles Chas, made me laugh.

  125. VP of Oz says:

    What is interesting is how the dynamics are suddenly changing –
    If spuds win, they are back in the top 4 and could even go as high as 3rd
    If Manure win, they will much closer to finishing the season above their shitty rivals
    All of a sudden both teams have extra motivation and impetus. Which team capitalises on this will show the better coach/team…

  126. LB says:

    Oh, Finch, I know you are reading this got any ideas?

  127. LB says:


    It looked like a hamstring. Hard to say whether it was any worse than they usually are.

  128. Rasp says:

    Thanks LB, hamstring would not be good …. 4-6 weeks if a low level or several months if a major tear 😦

  129. Rasp says:

    So are we saying that Granit is growing into Santi’s role but because of that we are playing in a slightly different way = fewer short passes, more diagonals?

  130. Love this

  131. Big Raddy says:

    For the first time in ages (since Keown/O’Leary/Adams) we are well served at CB. With Gabriel, Holding, BFG (almost fit), Kos and Mustafi we can have one or even two out and be covered.

    Though I really hope Mustafi will be back for the New Year

  132. VP of Oz says:

    LB, Peaches just provided a title – swagger we’ve displayed on the road is flashing its knickers at home.

  133. VP I don’t think we can use those exact words cos they’re someone else’s and ‘knickers’ might not pass the newsnow filter sadly

  134. VP of Oz says:

    I thought as much Peaches but I love the word swagger. Its why I had Jagger playing CF in my academy team in the previous post. You need swagger in a CF. That photo of Giroud with Sanchez on his back after scoring against Manure, now thats swagger

  135. Oh I definitely agree with you VP

    LB – can you get ‘swagger’ into a title? Where’s Rasp, he’s good with titles

  136. Rasp says:

    Arsene finds the zip?

  137. I like that one 😁 I’m sure LB will find a clever one 🙂

  138. Rasp says:

    Mason lays a brick, Theo smells the coffee and Mesut uses his head

  139. TotalArsenal says:

    Top of the League- It’s beginning to look a lot Christmas

  140. TotalArsenal says:

    Top of the League – It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

  141. LB says:

    You have made it very easy for me now.

  142. fatgingergooner says:

    Joke of a pen. Couldn’t give 2 shits about the elbow. How does a foul there (Allen running away from goal) deserve a free shot from 12 yards. Another terrible example of the penalty rule.

  143. Gööner In Exile says:

    FGG you’ve just given me an idea for a major rule change that would change the diving nonsense and the lifting the ball on purpose into a defenders hand.we’ve seen i recent weeks.

    The same rules as a penalty should be the result, direct free kick in the area should be awarded rather than a penalty from the spot. All rules of penalty stay the same except the player must shoot at goal rather than just play ball forward.

  144. mickydidit89 says:


    If you go for a top of table flavoured title, can you post early. We have six hours to gloat, and I am ready to do my bit 🙂

  145. mickydidit89 says:

    3 goals and I cannot decide which is best. That good. Oh joy

  146. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Best goal? Has to be Ozil’s. Superb accurate pass, brilliant run to find the space, wonderful intelligence to sum up where the keeper was and stunning technique to lift the ball into the net.

  147. LB says:

    New post

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