Stoke Thrashed. Player Ratings

April 2, 2018

They came, we conquered.

All this nonsense about a penalty which upon first sight was nailed on and only on slo-mo was perhaps wrongly given. By this time Stoke were blowing and an Arsenal victory assured,  just check the stats – we had 24 shots! Were Stoke unlucky to lose by 3 goals? Of course not, they were lucky not to lose by more.

That said, the first half was simply awful; full of wayward passes, backward movement, silly defending and hardly a shot on target.

Ospina:  Kicking a bit wayward. Didn’t concede. Stoke hit the post from a corner which he should have caught.  I don’t trust him.   6

Chambers: Some of his passing was dreadful and put us onto the back foot when we should have been launching attacks. His tackling was good as was his work at set pieces. Should/Could have scored.    4

Mustafi: A strange game. Some of his interventions were excellent though I worry when as the last defender he goes to ground to block the attacker. Needs to play the simple ball out of defence.   7

Monreal: Not his best game. Not secure at the back nor contributing much to attack. Had one very good shot saved by Butland.   5

Ramsey: IMO our best player. Always in place for a pass, working hard to supplement the attack. Like others his passing in the first half was below par  8

Wilshire: Didn’t really influence the game. I want more from him.  Worked very hard and improved 2nd half   6

Elneny: We saw his limitaions in what was probably his worst game in the shirt. The difference when Xhaka replaced him was massive, though it must be said that Stoke were tiring at this point. His passing was awful in the first half.   4

Welbeck:  Worked ahrd as always. Contributed little missing a good chance. Again, we saw the difference when Miki came on.   5

Ozil: Not at his influential best but lovely to watch.   7

PEA:  Scored twice. Missed a one on one though Butland did well to stop him. Lovely finish for his second and generous in giving Laca the second penalty.  6 games, 5 goals. Gave a good post-match interview in excellent English (did you listen Sanchez?)  7

As ever ratings are subjective and on a day when few are blogging, does it matter if you disagree? 😀

written by Big Raddy


Time for a Change

October 18, 2017

Just a quickie…

Last weekend’s 15 minute collapse was horribly painful and worse, a return to the type of loss of control we have seen over the past few seasons.

But

Everything changed in one moment and it was a moment out of control of anyone in an Arsenal shirt. I write of the cheating Watford player and the awful refereeing decision made by Swarbrick. WE NEED VIDEO TECHNOLOGY IN THE PL.

I have no doubt that Arsenal would have won the game had the penalty not been given. We were comfortable and likely to score again, instead 3 points were lost and more worrying the fragile confidence built over the brief run of wins is gone.

And we would have 3 more points has Lacazette not been wrongly adjudged offside at Stoke.

A 30 second delay whilst a video ref assessed the footage and wrong decisions are reversed.

How can this work? Well, it is hardly a new discussion, is it? Do I care whether this technology is not available at all levels of soccer? No, I don’t give a monkey’s cuss. Do you? All I care about is that AFC stop being the victim of rubbish refereeing and diving cheats.

n.b. I am fully aware that Leicester would have been awarded a penalty when Mustafi brought down some numbskull but Cech would have saved it (as if :_D)

written by Big Raddy


Stoke, no longer The Orcs?

August 19, 2017

I admit it – they don’t play hoofball any more, they have players who can pass a ball and others who are highly skilled, but they are still Stoke and the stands at The Britannia are still packed with Neanderthals and Orcs.

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Even the obnoxious Sparky Hughes has mellowed, though not to the extent where one would want him to meet the family. There is a cockney saying …. “you can’t polish a Richard (the Third)”.

Stoke, on paper, look a decent team; the addition of Zouma, on loan from Chelsea, will tighten an already good defence. They have got rid of the appallingly violent Bardsley,  Whelan and Walters and replaced them with ball-players from abroad. Though they have signed Darren Fletcher who loves a tackle from behind.

Given the size of the Stoke team allied to our vulnerability to the high ball it will be no shock to see Stoke rely on set plays to score. This will be recurrent theme this season. For this reason I would start Giroud ahead of Welbeck (though the return of BFG and Mustafi is a major positive). Or we take the  preferred Micky route and just score more than Stoke.

Our Team:

Cech

   Mustafi     BFG     Monreal

Bellerin    Ramsey    Xhaka     Kolasinac

Ozil

Giroud    Lacazette

I expect AW to play Welbz but IMO it would be a mistake.

Where do we find a place for Ox? Does he replace Bellerin in home games? Or Monreal? No wonder the young chap is restless and concerned about his future at AFC.

Last weekend saw us win a very exciting and error-strewn game. More of the same could be fun but I would prefer a copy of last season’s game – a 4-1 victory to the Arsenal.

Let it be So …

COYRRG


Thug Tactics

January 12, 2015

After yesterdays game, and also from our last game against Stoke, it’s got me thinking about the dynamics of certain types of tactics. Intimidation and violent play now seem to be a part of the English game. We all talk about the English game being a physical one, but there is physical and there is violent. There is a distinction. Arnautovics push on Debuchy yesterday was violent, Charlie Adams strangle hold on Sanchez in our last meeting with Stoke was violent. Crouch uses his elbow as an offensive weapon against players when jumping for a ball. This is not physical play, but acts of violence.

This is how the BBC described the push against Debushy:

“The Frenchman, 29, landed heavily after colliding with Stoke’s Marko Arnautovic and was replaced by Hector Bellerin in the 13th minute at Emirates Stadium.”

After colliding, ffs, are they blind? The referees have to take some blame as well, they clearly failed to act on a couple of violent fouls yesterday and in our previous game against Stoke. So who is to blame? Does the manager instil a Thug mentality into his players during training and the pre match team talk? Or is it already a part of the players mentality? There are players who have that type of DNA, Joey Barton springs to mind, Shawcross as well. I can imagine managers like Mark Hughes capitalising on the aggressive nature of some players, telling them to target certain players, but do they actually incite violent play in their team? This is my question?

written by Northbank 1969