Stoke Preview: Arsène On Injuries & Tackling But Let’s Just Win

Stoke City arrive at The Emirates on a high with their throwback style of football taking them to the top of their Europa League group. If that were not enough in this curio of a season, an Arsenal win will take them above Stoke in the table, to within striking distance of a top four that was deemed to be entirely out of their reach by those who are more knowledgable than I.

The usual guffaws can be had if we want about Stoke’s style of play, its limitations but essentially, it works for them and is not going to be changed under the managerial guidance of Tony Pulis. With the paucity of some of the teams in this season’s Premier League, Stoke are unlikely to be threatened by the spectre of relegation. Unfortunately.

There is a good reason why Stoke are hated at Arsenal ground that is often retrodden in the build-up to this fixture. Arsène Wenger did not so much defend the 1950s team but lamented the lost art of tackling, something that his team have been on the wrong end of in the past with devastating impact,

Sometimes you feel now that tackling is punished too much. Tackling is a technique, and if it is done well, with the desire not to hurt but to win the ball, it is a fantastic technique. I am not sure if the referees always make the difference between what is the right intention behind the tackle.

Wenger drew parallels with Campbell and Adams, Keown & co, all capable of darker arts but like their peers, able to tackle properly. Fifa’s stance is gradually sanitising football into a non-contact sport, officials are not allowing legitimate tackles on as regular a basis that they miss foul play. The point he made regarding Diaby is not entirely evidenced by Eduardo, but certainly stands in the English game with ankle injuries finishing many a promising career.

The Frenchman is close to full fitness but in his head will be the bigger battle. Every season we hope that he will deliver on his promise; it has yet to materialise although gradually layers are peeled back and some more of the psychological battle he faces are laid bare. What punishment Dan Smith has wrought in his wrecklessness.

On Friday Wenger alluded to resting Robin van Persie, its Sunday, he must play. At this moment, Arsenal are in a run of five wins in six that becomes more stabilising to the club the longer it continues. He would not play against Bolton in this week’s Carling Cup tie, his rest will come then. Fears of injury with the Dutchman are not misplaced but it is the current psychological state of the manager which is laid a little more bare. That reliance upon van Persie is enhanced by Marouane Chamakh’s inability to impose his form on English football and Park’s yet to emerge adaptation to this country. Nicklas Bendtner’s form at Sunderland is forcing some reappraisal of his capabilities, perhaps heightening the sensititives about the two at the club.

Injury has forced a change in defence, Johan Djourou will play this afternoon in Jenkinson’s absence. That height and presence will help somewhat in set-pieces although I am sure Matthew Etherington is less concerned by facing a centre back playing out of position than he is a specialist full back. Peter Crouch against Per Mertesacker is an interesting clash, for the first time in living history Arsenal have a player who does not need a step ladder to look him in the eye.

The line-up I expect Wenger to go with is,

Szczesny, Djourou, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Santos, Ramsey, Song, Arteta, Walcott, van Persie, Gervinho

It has been forty years since Stoke have left Arsenal with maximum points in a League match, a run of nine straight wins since. The much-maligned Sebastian Squillaci scored the winner last season. A single goal victory for Arsenal would do nicely for me this afternoon.

Oh, and me? An irrational dislike of Terry Conroy fuels my antipathy toward the Potteries.

Enjoy the match wherever you are watching it. ’til Tomorrow.

Posted on October 23, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 371 Comments.

  1. It’s gingerphobia is it Yogi ? Personally, Pubis is for me the most unpleasant human being in the PL, eclipsing even Phil Brown/orange as a nasty man encouraging dirty play in a team of ugly ‘footballers’. A win, any win – and no injuries.

  2. Too much concern about Stoke around these days. If we are not conident of beating them, and I mean us, the fans, then that is poor. Fans always expect the best, always see the positives, always look to win.

    Unless your soul has been eroded and debased by reading the papers and watching BBC and Sky of course.

    I remember Stoke stuffing us 5-0 in the first Double season, couldn’t believe it and nor could the team either. They went on and overhauled Leeds who had a 7 point lead with a few weeks to go and that was in the era of 2 points for a win. They beat us at their place in that run in as well.

    I expect a clear win today.

  3. 1:0… The big sack to score from a set piece. Oh, the irony…

  4. On this day Saturday 24th August 1965 Arsenal faced Stoke at Highbury.

    Denis Hill-Wood, Chairman, noted in his ‘Message’ that, “We all appreciate that a long period has elapsed since Arsenal won a major trophy and you may rest assured that this concerns us as much and probably more so than the spectators. The spirit at the club now is as high as it ever was and the determination to do well is as strong as ever, but there have been occasions when injury has set us back and that little something, known as the ‘ability to click’, has escaped us.” Plus ca change.

    Arsenal played in a ‘new strip’, in fact reverting to the original one of plain red shirts, as originally donated to the club by Nottingham Forest, because, ’The Voice of Arsenal’ informed us, it was felt that it would”…look nicer and be more practical from a players’ point of view.” While reminding us that it was Herbert Chapman who introduced the white sleeves to the shirt originally. The Voice also thanked fans for supporting an initiative to give one point for every four goals scored which unfortunately at the FA General Meeting failed to garner enough support.. A rule change to allow substitutes for the first time was approved.

    Bob Wall highlights a problem with fans leaving the stands early and blocking other spectators views although, he tells us, the locals don’t mind people living a distance away leaving – just don’t stand in the aisles. He also tells us that “..bad language is part of the modern scene and that…on reflection I am sure all our male supporters will agree that it is not only unpleasant but embarrassing if a man brings his wife or girlfriend and has to endure the sound of a man nearby constantly using foul language. Arsenal, he says don’t “..wish to be stuffy”. Apparently, this is only a problem in the Enclosures, not the Stands.

    Reminds me of an afternoon on the ‘new’ North Bank when I sat with consolslel behind a woman with her two children all decked out in Arsenal colours. How sweet we thought, and then Wrighty missed a penalty! Whereupon the aforementioned mother bellowed out a stream of foul abuse that would have made my Dad blush, and he was a Marine.

    Elsewhere we learn that of the 32 players retained for the season, only 6 were born in London. Three were signed from ‘Glasgow Utd’, three more from ‘Possilpark YMCA, also in Glasgow.

    A glance at the ‘Apprentice players, shows that of the eleven then on the books, only one, Pat Rice, went on to have a career at the club.

    The Arsenal team that day:

    Furnell, Howe, McCullough, Neill, Ure, McLintock, Skirton, Eastham, Baker, Court, Armstrong.

    While the Stoke side included Dennis Violet and Maurice Setters, both signed from Manchester Utd This was their first season without Sir Stanley Mathews who retired at the end of the previous season.

    Fancy a trip to Burnley for a game? An excursion train was available for Saturday 28th August for only 47/6. (That’s £2.37 in today’s money). Hurry though, only 100 available.

    The Programme of Music provided by the Metropolitan Police Band included ’March of the Guns’, a selection from ’Mary Poppins’ and in the ’Pop Parade Selection’ ’Tis the Day’ sung by Constable Alex Morgan.

    Here is yesterday’s football result: Arsenal 2 Stoke City 1

  5. Ohhh consolsbob,you are a gem

  6. cbob

    Not sure that its people being worried about Stoke, just worried about The Arsenal’s confidence.

    Ponyboy

    Possibly, but its amazing how his shirts always looked grey and red, not red and white, stripes. Must be something to do with the pallor of his skin.

  7. thank you for the post. I think, like others that we will probably win today. For me its not just about the team gaining confidence, I have to as well I suppose. Maybe there are still some doubts . It feels like early days as we are re-building and that edgeness is still with everyone connected with the club. A good start will help settle us down, and me.

  8. CB
    You are making me feel older each week as I remember these games (actually I am older each week). Can’t remember the scorers from this game but if Joe Baker was playing he probably got one.
    Talking of Sir Stan, I’m sure I saw him play at Highbury for Blackpool a couple of years earlier. We were 2-1 up in about 2 minutes and won 5-2 or 5-3. I met Sir Stanley in 1996 and he was a lovely man and remembered that game. According to him he remembered most of the games he played in. How many must that have been? I got his autograph (for my son, of course).

  9. Two things from your post. first, RVP. He has to play today of course. His injury problems are a constant worry, but if I remember right, quite a few of these injuries were contact ones, hang on we are playing stoke, maybe he shouldt play, no he should. I would love to see Diabi back and fit and consistant. Some might disagree but if all parts of his game were tip top then in my opinion he would be up there with best attacking midfielders in the world, seriously. I think the mans a genius, its not his skill that lets him down, i think its his decision making sometimes. But as you said these layers have been comimg away. with TV back soon the team becomes stronger in the places it needs. Not ure but with yesterdays results a win takes us to at least 8th

  10. I remember reading his biography back in the 70’s Billboy. he was still playing then of course, In Malta if I remember correctly. How old was he when he retired, 50+ I think. Lovely man.

    Did Bobby remind you of him a bit?

  11. CB, do you mean the dip of the shoulder and then the defender standing on his own? It hadn’t occurred to me but I do see what you mean. I think he was 50 when he played in the Highbury game but I might be misremembering that. I sat chatting to him in the old Wembley green room for one and a half hours , drinking tea and being thoroughly entertained. He only had a bad word to say about one person and that was someone from a later era who is now in the media. I wouldn’t dream of telling but you would be surprised. Not an ex-Arsenal player BTW.

  12. Diaby’s arsenal career has been a frustrating one, injuries hampering his development, putting him behind where he would be otherwise. Like Dr Nick, I have time for the lad, and I think if he could put together a run of fitness he would very easily be in our first 11. That is a huge if though, I hope it happens at some point.
    I’m a little nervous today, but that is mostly because I hate Stoke and want to see us stuff them. Should Walcott/Arshavin play? I suppose with the squad the way it is, one of them has to, but I fear they will get lost in the inevitable two banks of four we will come up against.
    consolsbob, thanks for sharing that, really fantastic

  13. CB,
    A first for me. I just looked Sir Stan up on Wickipedia. He was born Feb 1915 if they’re right.

  14. So he was 50 in 1965, although my programme notes had him retiring at the end of the 63-64 season, which, taking yout cue and checking wiki, disagrees with them who cite 1965.

    I don’t think Stoke where in the old 1st between ’61 and ’63. I wonder when you saw him.

    I never saw him play. Big regret.

  15. Good quote in the paper today,
    Materialism counts for everything;spirituality not a jot……..Man City anyone?

  16. I have a good feeling about today. I can see us stuffing them.
    COYG!

  17. Team Line Up

    Szczesny – Djourou, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Santos – Arteta, Song, Ramsey – Walcott, Chamakh, Gervinho

    Subs

    Fabianski, Frimpong, Rosicky, Benayoun, Park, Van Persie.

  18. No 7th sub named, RvP on bench. Big opportunity for Chamakh. Wonder what Gervinho, Santos and Mertesacker will make of agricultural football?

  19. Chamakh to start. Encouraging. Suitably rested and with a point to prove to the emirates crowd. You know its written in the script that ex Spud Crouch will get on the score sheet but im sticking my neck out on a win for the Gunners 2-1. A great team performance in the week by the players
    Onwards and upwards.

  20. Thanks Yogi. Thanks C’bob – star comments.
    I have one of those sneaky irrational feelings about Chamack today. A good sneaky irrational feeling I mean. Funny how I am so sneering of superstition in all areas of life except football. I’m also conciliatory, understanding and willing to see the other guy’s point of view. In all other areas except football. And politics.
    And music.

  21. Yogi – I thought Arshavin was named as a sub?

    Interesting the way folks on Twitter are moaning about RVP being benched and feigning surprise when Wenger has publicly stated he’ll rest the Dutch ace.

    I agree about Chamakh, I really want him to have a good game.

  22. i love a good tackle..
    a good crunching, ball winning, spine tingling, blood and thunder tackle..get the ball and send the man on his arse at the same time..let him know every time he gets the ball hes standing on the track and the trains coming..gets inside his head, stops him from wanting the ball and always gives the crowd a buzz..i love a good shoulder charge too..shoulder to shoulder, man to man, send the fucker into the advertising boards..grrrrrrrrrrrrr who’s ya daddy…
    the way the rules are going though football will soon become a game where the teams come out holding hands, wearing plimsoles and tutus..
    the refs have that many petty rules to think about nowadays they are missing the basics and players are being punished unfairly, rodwells tackle was a cracker, as was big johans the other night..both got punished.. shame really..its killing the game..amoungst other things..

    anyway id be tempted to rest robin in the remaining cl games..
    chamakhs domestic game has gone to shit, he likes to run the wrong way alot..with the table looking heavily in our favour and 2 of the three remaining fixtures at home id say we give chamakh a run and see if the euro stage is more friendly than the domestic stage..a few goals, abit of confidence and you never know..he might figure out which way hes running in the PL again..

    as for nik..i think a few of us said at the time we’d rather chamakh be the one that left..but i think the decision was more niks then wengers..

    weve gotta win today..and we will win today..

  23. And congratulations to the New Zealand All Blacks. Undoubtedly the best rugby team on the planet. Kudos to the French for turning up and making it one of the best rugby games I’ve ever witnessed.

    What I liked about it most is the fact that the All Blacks defended with their lives and knew how to close the game down, pull down the hatches and shut shop while defending a single point.

  24. Consols – Thanks for that bit of history. As a new boy to the Arsenal and a child of independent Jamaica, hankering after old colonial memories was not my thing. But, unlike Steww, when it comes to Arsenal I am very open. Heh, heh, heh!

  25. By the way what do folks do now MyP2P has been closed down? Is there a similar alternative?

  26. Darius

    Surprised he’s missing, yes. Resting a player means not playing him, this smacks more of protecting him from injury by including him on the bench; has AW 1/2 an eye on Chelsea? He won’t play against Bolton so would he be any more tired by 90 minutes against the Luddites?

  27. chamakh starts??
    well this has gotta work hasnt it..he has to do the biz cos if we dont get the result today then its another stick to beat wenger with..

    need a big game from theo and gervinho today too..time to step up..

  28. @ Yogi Arshavin is also a sub.

  29. I know Shotta, I can learn a lot from tolerant and open minded people. And I would if I wasn’t so intolerant and closed minded.

  30. Excellent post as always Yogi. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised to see Chamack on the team sheet. Personaly I would rather lose the game than lose RVP through injury from an Orc’s so-called tackle. That coupled with the fact that Chamack will be a target for our crosses, something we lack when he is not on the pitch, will cause Stoke a lot of problems. We have had more corners than any other team, 61 I believe, yet have only scored a couple of goals. Can see us winning this by a couple of goals to be honest but would love to do so with a clean sheet.

    Cbob – As ever sir you are a treasure throve of information when it comes to The Arsenal. A truly enjoyable read from an era I can proudly say was before my time 🙂 I often wonder how Arsenal players from past eras such as the one you mentioned would judge the club/players today. Maybe a guest post YW from one such player could be arranged?

    Interesting little fact – RVP has hit the woodwork more times than any other EPL player since August 2008. A grand total of 19 almost-goals.

  31. steww. If you have sopcast you can just run that and search the channels through it. Myp2p was just a site that took you to the right channel but if you have dl sopcast you can find it,might take more time but they are normally there somewhere.

  32. @Yogi – and they say Wenger isn’t tactical. I suppose cynicism has its place in the arguement as to whether he’s being rested or being protected. If it works and he’s not needed when we win, then its a good judgement call.

    I’m hoping Chamakh has a real confidence boosting game as we need him firing on all cylinders.

  33. Darius, I hope it’s not a return to the days when the All Blacks would win every match!

  34. Thanks duke – I liked the way myp2p was laid out it just made life easy!

  35. @Kenyan. As a shameless supporter of the All Blacks, I just want them to play the best rugby they can. They’re beautiful to watch and they show how the game should be played.

    I doubt if they’ll win everything though – the Tri-nations and Bledisloe circuit is not as straight forward. Also, Argentina are now joining the southern hemisphere clubs in regular test matches so the intensity and quality will improve all round.

    It’s ironic that the kid who lost them a tournament in Hong Kong was the hero today even after being shunned from the All Blacks. They’ve run out of fly halves like Arsenal have run out of defenders. It was a shame that Dan Carter the best player in the world did an RVP on the team and was sidelined with a groin injury.

  36. Sopcast Channel – 91871 looking good at the mo

  37. Nice post YW – thanks.

    Massive match, 3 points is critical; we need to stay focused on playing for 3 points.

    This is probably our tallest line up: attack wise AND defensive.
    Djourou – Mert – Kos – Chamack

    Stoke has drawn with Chelsea and ManU (at home) and taken all the points from Spurs and Pool…….looks as if its easy for them to get pumped for the big clubs.

    Recently – Arsenal’s defense is showing confidence…… Stoke will be a major test on defending set pieces.

  38. wow its all about the high balls today..lol its almost like we playing Stoke using their own trademark

  39. and honestly i dont understand why people say “massive game” and three points crucial.
    Every game is massive, and every 3 pointer is crucial if you want to win the PL.
    there are no small games anymore..
    Thogh the commentators are jizzing over the “gerat stoke” though…

  40. Interesting the stoke player opted to fall over for the foul rather than compete with Chamack from that corner…

  41. My commentators are Russian poodle, they are wholly behind arsenal, I feel certain.

  42. Any links? Gooner4life’s wil not open for me 😦 WAAAAHH!!

  43. Irish – you have sopcast? Mine is very good quality Sopcast Channel – 91871

  44. Stoke’s game plan is very interesting – the 2 banks of 4 are really parking that bus thing and making it difficult. They’re letting us have it until half way line and then parking the 18 tonner.

  45. Glad the people in the stadium are reminding the ref about time wasting at every throw. Wonder if he’ll take any notice.

  46. ramsey has some shot!

  47. They are starting to get dirty already – we have them rattled.

  48. Rambo is really running this show. How the hell did he pick Gervinho for that one.

    Great goal.

  49. With Ramsey and Wilsherre back to top speed we will seriousley rule the PL!

  50. are we seeing the team starting to “gel” now? 🙂

  51. Once again while we’ve all been fretting over Aron’s form Arsene knew.

  52. Rambooooooo….in your face. What a pass…

  53. Poodle – that’s a good way of putting it. The test now is to assert ourselves, stay calm and confident.

  54. What the hell does Dean Whitehead want with Arteta. That’s the second time he’s targetted Mikel with a dodgy tackle.

  55. Really good closing down from Chamack – forced the early pass which was then rushed and therefore shit.

  56. So, we score a goal without RVP on the pitch and Walcott can actually run with the ball.

  57. Darius – I wondered that. At least he’s booked now.

  58. Just realized we have eleven nationalities on the pitch!

  59. any working stream please

  60. that was a tricky freekick tactic…

  61. Beautiful football from Stoke. they are a joy to watch.

  62. Cheap goal to give away

  63. that was not a sloppy goal though, it was a very clever freekick from Stoke!

  64. And that was a penalty. Oh and the goal came from a free kick that never was.

  65. every “normal” freekick with no “tactics” or pre reheasaled clever trick they thow at us will not go in today…

  66. Steww – Thanks for the link mate. Althought he second I clicked on it the Orcs scored!!! Sorry guys, my bad.

  67. blatant penalty….a high tackle and body slam.

  68. Good job, ref! Well done to even the game out, after we have been all over them for the past 30 minutes. It will surely do their confidence a world of good knowing that they can foul all they want in the penalty box and at the same time that they will be gifted a dangerous free kick every couple of minutes. That’s what playing against 12 men is like.

  69. Crouch is a cunt for going down that easy. Koscielny won that ball clean.

    But we just need to continue playing.

  70. And now we see their tactic. It involves winning free kicks and throw ins. Or is it throws in?

  71. Like I said, the Crouch is a cunt.

  72. its funny he gives a wrong freekick that leads to a goan and denies Arsenal a penalty kick that was clear as day.
    And people say we dont get screwed over by the ref?
    two match deciding incidents.
    We NEVER gave away a freekick in the first place!

  73. Considering that Crouch is 10 feet tall, he is falling over like a little girl. I hope someone will give him a real reason to go down.

  74. Crouch is unbelievable. Did he always used to fall over like that? I don’t remember it being a feature of his game. Maybe Pulis has given him special coaching.

  75. I hope these calls do even up.

    bogs free kick, no pen.

    Tricky free kicks work once in a while.

  76. so are we gonna let it bother us and fall apart again..
    or are we gonna show some mental strength, stop feeling sorry for ourselves and use it to spur us on and kick some arse…

  77. @steww its their only chance to score against a team like Asenal. they will use whatever dirty trick they can. Their only game plan is long throws and falling over and getting freekicks and throw ins. Everybody knows Stokes tactics.
    With our clean tackers they got to throw themselves to get those kicks…

  78. Steww – its chapter 1 from the Tony Pulis book. Fuck football. Get the foul and get the ball into the box.

  79. I’m surprised Koscielny is the one man marking Crouch and not Mertesacker.

  80. well if the rules were followed as they are suppose to be we would be
    1-0 up.
    When you have to fight the ref every game you cannot blame the guys for being abit frustrated. Even when you play within the rules they punish you.

  81. Well. A perfect illustration of the two teams. We utterly dominate, play proper football, craft a beautiful goal.
    They mug the ref and score a scrappy equaliser.

  82. No Poodle we would be 2-0 up as we would have had a penalty, and the odds are we would score it.

  83. JJ, the team didn’t drop their heads did they?

  84. Walcott got lost as the game progressed. He really needs a goal to boost his confidence.

  85. That set piece goal is so frustrating.The fookin thing is it wasn’t even a foul by any stretch.. If that was a foul then the subsequent wrestling of Chamakh by Wilkinson was a clear penalty.
    Stoke offer nothing going forweard except set pieces. We can win this one.

  86. Despite the referee’s bias and incompetence, I can’t help but think that we could have defended that goal better.

    But the most important thing is to keep playing our game and be patient.

    The way Peter Crouch is going done – he’d do a fine job giving head in a red light district.

  87. Come on guys,, its always the ref isnt it. If we want to be a big team we have to overcome this. We have been very waste full in front of goal again, that is more of a worry that a couple wrong calls.

  88. and honestly JJ i really doubt you CAN win games if the ref is against you. Far to many small match decicive things happens.

    Its like living in a country where the police is corrupt. You cannot fight the system, and you will always loose in the end. They will do with you what they want and nobody can stop them as they are the law.

    Same goes for PL.
    So far we have learned, arsenal plaeys cannot tackle Stoke players in arsenals half. Arsenal plaers will be heled in stokes box and its ok.

  89. gunnerjones you dont get it. wastefull or not, one goal is all that matters..
    wheter you win 10-0 or 1-0 its still only 3 points….

  90. Just score more goals than one. That would help.

  91. My missus and I just decided the best rule change to fairly reward good football. I point per goal and one point for the team with the greater possession and presto arsenal go in 2 – 1 up at half time.
    I think it’s a great idea myself.

  92. Gunnerjones – how do you overcome corruption? Do tell.

  93. Paul-N, Thanks for the streaming link 🙂

    Didn’t we expect Stoke to offer nothing but set pieces? When was the last time you saw Stoke playing creative football?

    I have to say I’m disappointed with our set pieces, not just the goal (which I thought was a nice set piece from Stoke) but rather the fact when we have one we do look completely clueless as to what we are going to do with it. Whether a free kick or a corner it looks like we just kick the ball for the sake of getting the game going again rather than having any sort of plan to use the better ariel players to attack the goal.

  94. A foul that wasn’t a foul led to the goal and a penalty on Chamakh wasn’t given. the wiping of the ball by Delap is pathetic, how long does it take for a throw?. It looks like we are not going to get anything from this ref. We need 3 or 4 goals to finish off this game

  95. The referee is playing his part well. In some other stadiums Crouch would have to be pummeled before they call a foul as cheap as that. Chamakh getting wrestled down went unnoticed as well.

    The team is playing well, I think. We kept them pinned in their half for the better part of the first half and we pressured them constantly. We have to draw them out so that our wide players get a chance to run at them. I feel that taking it out of the back so slowly is not helping us at the moment.

  96. We will have to score more goal Mr. Bob but my fear is that if we score one, the ref will find another way to gift them a chance.

    We need better reffing in the game as this is just not good enough.

  97. heh, if CIty indeed wins the league this year i doubt anybody can take them down for centuries. They can singelhandedly buy he 100 best playes in the wrold. sprinkel them out on loan deals all over PL and deny them to play against City.
    They can buy every team to if they want. heck they can buy all the refs and the entire FA!
    if they do win the arab peninsula will rule England for decades to come…

  98. Man City are up 1-0, I wonder if they can hold onto that?

  99. @steww i think the answear frum jones is obvious. you overcome corruption by sacking AW…

  100. Let’s just hope for a great second half where football, real inventive, creative, incisive and skilful football conquers all.
    It really isn’t ‘all about the result’ otherwise why do we watch? Why not just read the results at the end of the day. We watch to be entertained, we watch for those special moments of quality. We’ve seen one, lets see a couple more.

  101. Limestonegunner

    It is entirely predictable that Stoke would play for and try to score from free kicks. They use free kicks even from their own half to do this so I don’t understand the implication that this is somehow a surprising mugging of us. That is how they play and everyone knows of our vulnerability to set piece goals. The question is what do we do to stop this evident weakness? I am surprised too that Kos is marking Crouch. Isn’t this what Mertesacker would excel at? Countering a tall forward’s aerial threat? We are going to see more of that because Stoke would be happy to get away with a point and will try to preserve their defensive shape in open play. Long balls and free kicks will allow them to continue to stay back and keep organized.

    I am glad Chamakh is getting a chance to play and hopefully he will still prove effective. If we don’t get a second by the 70th minute, then we should expect RvP to come in. We are doing well and what we need is just to keep our heads up, our wits about us on set pieces and battle for a goal. Chamakh to get one or a Walcott run on a counterattack from a Stoke set piece for the winner!

  102. We need to be patient and continue playing our game.

  103. Anyway things are still as you would expect. Stoke to get one of their set pieces goals lets hope we score few more to calm things down.

  104. Dam it to Hell and back, apparently I have somewhere to be other than sat here watching The Arsenal!! There are days when I truly hate cell phones!! ARRRGG!! Enjoy the second half guys, COME ON YOU GUNNERS!!!

  105. LOL Did Koscielny just go for the overhead kick?

  106. Paul, Poodle man up and stop blaming the fucking ref!

  107. This is really hoofball possession play from Stoke.

    We need to be professional and do the basics right and focus on getting the 3 points.

  108. Am I right to say that the last time we scored from a corner was against Ipswich in the Carling Cup semi-final – a clean Koscielny header.

    I’m just wondering whether we should just go for short corners. We don’t seem to be getting any joy.

  109. yeh spy, its not the refs fault we conceeded a freekick it is the dirty KOs we shoudl blame! manhandling crouch like that! ofc it was a freekick!

  110. WTF is going on. Is this time wasting? Is anyone hurt? No.

  111. How many minutes does Begovic waste on back kicks?

  112. So when a series of bad decisions go against us that is because we, the fans, need to ‘man up’. Interesting philosophy.

  113. still think we can win thouhg, we have scored goals in the 94th minute before and surly we can again…

  114. You see if we close these clueless thugs down they inevitably hoof away possession.

  115. RVP is coming on….

  116. this is when we miss cesc most though, when teams park the buss. he was great in opening things up. he must have been one of the best in the world on that….

  117. Shawcross is a certified cunt. That’s a red card

  118. That our fault as well spy? Am I not man enough – that why VP got elbowed?

  119. Nice to hear the commentators making excuses for Shawcross. “He can’t jump with his arms down his side” … they should just shut the f*ck up.

  120. Paul-N, the commenters via this stream certainly are not fans of Arsenal are they!

  121. Man Utd getting spanked 3-0

  122. OFC it is steww, its AWS fault actually…

  123. but really its the refs fault for not being man enough to control the game.

  124. Limestonegunner

    RvP!!!!

  125. Vantastic. Goal!!!!

  126. That’ll do me. Don’t know how it went in but it did.

  127. A class above everyone else in the Prem.

  128. Oh just seen replay. Great run brilliant finish.

  129. oh now they try to ruin the day with flogging off RvP as now we may win..lol

  130. Jonny Evan sent off… lol

  131. he Miami mwybe they will loose 6-0 that would taste lovley!

  132. RVP…world class….Tony Gale eat your words. Gervinho has been doing that all day. Theo take notes..

  133. Calm down we re ahead

  134. these cunts sure fall over easily for being the big physical team they are. bunch of fuckin cunts

  135. Credit to gervinho for his persistence and RVP does not miss from that distance. a 3rd would be nice to settle things

  136. I could weep when I think about how many games we’ve been without RVP in his career. So often thanks to pointless internationals.

  137. these pundits really are willing Stoke on for an equalizer…fuckin laughable

  138. @spy even if we win this game the ref has been shit…

  139. You tell him Szezzer

  140. “He got every right to go for it” … can someone please drive over and slash the tires of that son of a b*tch commentator?

  141. wow…really…that wasnt even a foul

  142. Santos better not be silly.

  143. @spy because the team are doing well doesn’t excuse you impugning my manhood. Or its altitude.

  144. Fuuuuccckk em all…we got RVP!

  145. He can’t stop scoring. RVO!

  146. once again, excellent Gerv

  147. but also the french count, gervinho hes doing his buinsess well…

  148. nasri who?

  149. And all the commentators can do is wish him off to La Liga…fuckin idiots

  150. Timing of Arshavin’s pass. Don’t forget that. Brilliant, just brilliant.

  151. Is this the start of something beautiful? Two assists by Gerv for RVP!

  152. RVP! RVP! RVP!

  153. and Rvp times his runs so so so so well!

  154. Paul, who is this cunt commenting on the match? I want to send the fucktard a pipebomb

  155. Wow, Stoke are even too stupid to kick off properly.

  156. Laurent Koscielny is definitely man of the match.

  157. Game over…Gervinho RVP the deadliest duo in the premiership. Gervinho MOTM…absolute quality.

  158. It looks like Gervinho RVP partnership is really growing. What a block from Kos

  159. Wonder what Pulis Plan B looks like. 10 minutes to find out.

  160. hah if tottenham loose today we will overtake Tottenham

  161. What a pass from Arsh. Really good to see the boys get some passing practice in a real game.

  162. And this achieved without a left back, a centre back, two right backs and a first choice midfielder. Superb.

  163. 14 different nationalities for us tonight!

  164. I only got to watch this second half, but from what I have seen Stoke has offered absolutely nothing…fucking outclassed in every way.

  165. lol aparantly we cant do shit without van persie..

  166. Hair on the back of my neck up listening to the Ems crowd singing Ramsay’s name.

  167. Spy move yu blow wow!

    Gooner4life, get off of Theo. The game was tight for everyone until RVP came on..

    Great win!

    JD must be crying

  168. You know the sad thing is that the media will focus on Arsenal being dependent on RVP who has allegedly refused to sign a new contract (notice my cynicism when I say that) – instead of the fact that Man United have been hammered 6-1 by Man City.

  169. And the winning run continues…it is starting to click.

  170. Yeah the ref was shit

  171. @miami plray its 8-2 that would tell every one all they have to know about “wonder united”.

    but i guess nobody will talk about it tomorrow, as everyone are afraind of SAF.

  172. Now what is United’s excuse?

  173. Limestonegunner

    Great win for us. gervinho’s best game so far and super RvP to finish it off. Crown chanting Ramsey’s name. Glorious!

  174. Deep deep joy. Testament to the squad. Belief and confidence.

  175. @ Poodle @ steww i think the answear frum jones is obvious. you overcome corruption by sacking AW… Go fuck yourself Poodle ,, making shit up again.. Pathetic.

    You see we played better second half and got the win,, fucking idiots with your corruption bullshit, grow up, .

    Great win, Still i shit myself every time RVP gets tackled. We are a differant team with him in it.

  176. Just like I promised!

  177. oh how good was manure’s defence?

  178. we still kool though Spy! ha ha

    ARSENAL!!!

  179. Limestonegunner

    ManU turned over. That is as bad or worse than our 8-2. This is an essentially full strength ManU team.

  180. Wow the red Mancs really got their asses handed to them…kind of scary to see Oil City picking up steam…it is only a matter of time before they start winning things with the GDP of an entire nation backing them.

  181. Wonder what tomorrow’s headlines will be? Man Utd outclassed. Think not.

  182. Maybe rednose is over the hill and should retire!

  183. The commentators for this game can f@ck off. The swagger is back. Form is temporary…class is permanent. And United get tw@ted by Oil City 6-1. Oh dear humiliating isnt even the word.A great day to be a Gooner.

  184. Ha ha ha ha. Manure have been humiliated by City 1-6. I wonder what the press will say. Possibly thye weather did not suit United or maybe it was just a bad day at the office. Excuses wll be plenty

  185. Gunnerjones – sorry you are so cross when we win. I am over the moon personally.

  186. Does anyone care what gunnerjones thinks or writes? Attacking other gooners. What a tool!

  187. Can today be more perfect? We beat the orcs and manure collapse spectacularly AT HOME!!!

  188. Ouch…at Old Trafford nonetheless…that is rough…fuck em.

    Great to see glimpses of the old Arsenal style of play coming back. RVP is unstoppable, and he gets to rest midweek ahead of the trip to Chelsea. Can’t wait for the midweek Carling Cup to see the kids run out and have a go.

  189. It is shocking, a football team cannot actually pass the ball around.It looks like Stoke practice defending and set peices and that basically it. Truly shocking

  190. it gets better, Blackburn equalised against the Spuds

  191. RVP scores the goals but those assists by Gervinho were world class. Who needs Nasri?
    And to think the one goal they got from a set piece wasn’t even a foul, not even by a long stretch. Koscielny is a great defender. I said that from his first month with us. And to think he can only get better.

  192. Paul, you mean Djourou! 😛

  193. So – do Man United need to spend £50 million in the January transfer window? Alex Fergusion should retire – he’s lost the plot.

  194. To be honest I find the 1-6 result a bit sad. It just goes to prove that money matters most in football. As long as there are people like the City oil sheik we can’t hope to win things on a regular basis because we just can’t compete financially. I really hope that Fifa decide to improve on their very lax FFP policy because it clearly is not enough, yet. And I can’t wait for the day that the oil sheikh decides to abandon his toy and City can rightfully go back into the mediocrity that gave birth to them.

  195. Good to see Gervinho score a quality goal as well. That pass from Ramsey was…dare I say it… Cesc like.

  196. LG, I think this manure result was worse than ours. They were at home for chrissakes and had few chances, whereas we could have scored 2-3 more at Old Trafford.

    …….

    Sky-sports pundits now saying manure lack leadership, ha ha. They miss Roy Keane apparently. Duh!

  197. Koscielny oozes class. To be honest for me our first choice partnership should be Vermscielny, Mert can be a good third choice option. There is a reason why Kos had players like Messi right up his pocket.

  198. French-Algerian from Marseille who? Gervinho could’ve had a couple and Van Persie a hat trick. You wouldn’t know it from listening to that prick commenting the game, though.

    That twenty odd passing move gave me the chills. The most Arsenal-like we’ve looked for a while.

  199. Great result today. Put the evil demons from Stoke in their place. We are starting to gather some momentum. RVP is the best striker in the PL right now. 2 points closer to Liverpool. Top 5 or 6 by Christmas with momentum and the bad start will be mostly forgotten.

  200. Darius, I doubt very much that arsenal will get much press in the next few days. It’s all man city now.

  201. Yes, Consols – you were right. 41 years now.. very pleased with Gervinho, looks like he’s gelling and making the right moves; great timing from him and sweet lob from Ramsey.. great stuff.

  202. Evil, manu is just as guilty of buying success. Their bad luck is that there’s a richer idiot in town.

  203. @Gains
    Full agreement, I properly enjoyed seeing us pass it around and just keep the ball. We are finally looking like the “old” Arsenal. Really anxious for the match against Chelski, I wonder what answer they will have to the one and only RVP.

  204. And RvP, what a monster of a player. Arsene please do whatever you have to do to tie that man down!

  205. @a missis jones!

    You are just to thick to get it aint you?? us playing good does not paper over the fact that the ref was not very good in the first half.
    we won yes, we did.
    STILL the ref totally screwed us over in the first half. Those were potentially match deciding decisions.
    Not giving a penalty when Chamakh was held like that? gvign a freekick to stoke in that position when it was not freekick at all?? WE never gave away a freekick in the fist plac! KOS did a great tackle and gets punished for being a good footballer! is that ok??
    Is it OK to hug chamakh like that in the box? is that a part of the game JONES?? Is that not a penalty Jones???

    Those incidents got nothing to do with wheter a team plays well or not. Yet they are the decisions that tips the balance in tight games.
    all that is needed is ONE goal.
    YOU may be happy with the way refs keep giving that to oposite teams. YOU not care wheter the ref is biased aslong as we win. but I do.
    Because i belive in equallity. im sorry if you dont. but i belive that aslong as there is a ref that is hired to upheld the rules in a game he should treat all equal REGARDLESS of what team they play on.

    THAT is the rules of the GAME.Simple as.

  206. That was top class performance, there was an unterupted sequence of passes. did anyone count the how manys?

  207. @evil

    Vermscielny tihi 🙂

  208. RVP is keen
    Red nose is blue
    3-1 is true
    6-1 is to
    And I say to myself what a wonderful world

    Yes its awful….but I’m in that kind of mood.

  209. I completely agree with Evil & Kenyayn!

  210. Heard somewhere the stats that ManU had beaten 15 transfer records in 12 seasons. Oh irony.

    Ramsey starts to come good.

    RVP, I love you.

  211. Merty was impeccable today. This being said I think Stoke got one shot on goal total today.

  212. Well Tony Gale is a cunt is he not?
    Apparently the game changed for United when Evans got sent off .It was the turning point.Really?I thought they were 3 nil down at that point.

    Arshavin looked good again ,That’s my boy

  213. I feel for Howard Fucking Webb, hope he had a good time from the sidelines!

  214. Manutd are only 7 points ahead. Doesn’t look that bad now. Now to beat Bolton and then deal with Chelsea.

  215. Limestonegunner

    A draw would have been a better result for us theoretically; but that’s in theory. In reality, it feels great to see ManU humiliated by a result that is frankly worse than our loss. They were at home at Old Trafford and with an essentially full strength side. There is no way around this humiliation and it might have some real repercussions this season. ManCity will take great confidence from this result but they are still vulnerable in Europe. I hope Napoli gets a win at home and qualifies ahead of them; but it would be the worst thing if they are triumphant this season doing well in Europe and winning the league. So it feels great right now, but hopefully they will stumble and get caught by Chelsea or ManU later this season. We are used to those two winning the league and it would be dangerous for a third club to win ahead of us before we have a chance to recover and build a new side to challenge in the future. That is, unless we are satisfied just to compete for a CL spot. But for the moment, this is a great weekend that would only be better if Spuds drop points too. Unfortunately they were up 1-0 last I checked. Still time though.

    Arsenal win, ManU lose, Pool drop points. Now for Spuds and Chelsea to drop points too. 1st time we have had back to back wins in the league for ages and ages. Now for a good performance away to Chelsea.

  216. GB69, yes 1 shot on target from the cunts!

    Right George, we must restrict him to playing less than 45 mins a game 🙂

  217. It’s nothing pb.

    I have to be right sometimes.

  218. I agree that Laurent Koscielny is shaping up to be one of the best defenders in the league. He gets little respect for his tanacity and his class.

    I’d definitely like to see a back four of Sagna Vermaelen Koscielny and Santos.

    Fortunately, the way it works is that with injury and suspensions there’s enough games to go round for everyone and Mertesacker was very solid and he and Koscielny have built quite an understanding.

    What was really strange though was that Koscielny was the one Police marking the cunt called Crouch who showed today he’ll go down easier than a 2 dollar hoe. Most people would have thought Mertesacker had that covered.

  219. All right, I have a confession to make; I enjoyed the 6-1 more than our 3-1..

  220. and another week closer to getting TV5 back 🙂

    we really could do with RvP signing a new deal… what a great week that would make 🙂 oh, and whilst I am at it a loss for the Spuds

  221. Gunnerjones, maybe the ref wasn’t corrupt, but he was absolute shit. To me, the Arsenal v Stoke game brings a bit of histrionics along with it and this referee just doesn’t have the personality to deal with that sort of pressure. Where people may see corruption, or at least the referee favoring one side, in a tight game like this one is the little decisions. These seemingly insignificanr decisions matter and, if he has an agenda, he doesn’t have to make it so blatant. He can call a non-foul like the one he did and Stoke go from being outclassed to being in the game.

  222. Great result but only had here and the Sky Sports App for updates. Anyone who watched it how did Djourou look at RB…?

  223. Joey Barton laughing in the tunnel because United lost 6 ; 1

  224. I think Wenger would break the bank to keep RVP. He’s the sort of player who respects the fact that he can lead Arsenal to glory as opposed to “move to win trophies”.

    Speaking of which – I hear the prodigal son is already calling Seville players terrorists.

  225. Supercod, Djourou and Arteta were solid and unspectacular. They got the job done.

  226. DS, Koscielny will be the best defender in the league IF he cuts down the occassional mistakes. Fortunately, there hasn’t been any recently!

  227. Supercod…Djourou was solid at right back. He has played there before.

  228. I want to see where the people who said that the 8-2 was due to our lack of quality and not a one off defeat that any team can suffer on their day. United, with a full squad got beaten by one less goal than they beat us. Let’s see what Andy and the other morons have to say. I remember Andy and many others becoming apoplectic after that defeat. Let’s see how they explain that away.

  229. 2 of my brothers are arrogant United fans and they made me suffer when we were given a good hiding.

    It’s amazing how they’re phones are switched off. Even my 70 something year old dad who is a die hard Gooner is trying to get a hold of them but they don’t seem to be available.

  230. Djourou looks much better than Jenkinson, he should play in the CL & EPL. Jenkinson should be restrcited to CC & may be FA cup games.

  231. I like Djourou out on the right. For some reason our regular fullbacks don’t cut in and take advantage of the acres of space left in the middle, but he does. When he does this it draws away defenders from the middle and Theo takes advantage of this. Did so today and against Marseille.

  232. Hahahahahaha!!!! That’s funny Darius. You should leave them a bunch of text messages or call their wives and tell them you have to talk to them because it’s an emergency.

  233. Now we just need one of Arshavin or Walcott to hit his stride and our front attacking three will be very menacing indeed…Little Jack Willy will add another dimension to that midfiled as well…the future is still bright.

  234. I know I am going to attract a lot of negetive comments for this but Walcott was poor today, maybe our worst player

  235. the game we lost 2-8 at old Traford we were absolutely slated as the worst Arsenal team, Wenger simply lost the plot and needs to go. No one looked at the circumstances. top players left , 9 players injured down to 10 men and back 4 made up of very young players Jenks Miguel and Traore. these situations were overlooked and nothing was going to get in their way for slamming Wenger and the team, unfortunately some gooners could not resist to have a dig too. Now lets see what Manure ghoing to make of their humiliation, They have no excuses.

  236. Off to watch the Mancs get a hiding. I’m sure Steww is going to be watching it as well.

  237. 1-0 QPR…soft pen but I will take it!

  238. There was a passage of play where we kept the ball for at least 4 minutes without a Stoke player touching the ball. Arteta was very instrumental and he totally dictated the pace of that passage of play – slowing things down, speeding them up, moving the ball from right to left and settling the team down.

    That was great leadership and the kind of cool head we needed. Arteta also weaved some intricate moves with Arshavin, Song, RVP and Santos.

    I have a feelign that the role and leadership that Arteta, Rosicky and Arshavin provide as the oldest players in the squad might just be the balance we need to bridge the gap.

    Today’s performance was very professional.

    As for Gervinho, what the hell can you say about his performance today – 2 assists and a goal – top class. Very direct player, very “in your face” approach.

    But my man of the match despite what role Gervinho and RVP played was Laurent Koscielny who was pure class. Silky, dependable and very solid.

  239. TV will struggle to get back in the team.Koscielny is the best defender in the league on current form.

    I really hope people will stop saying that you cant buy success.
    We are the only team in premiership history to have won it without outspending our rivals in the transfer market.

  240. & the Chavs are down now LOL!

  241. Darius. How many passes were made?

  242. “When you’re 17 or 18 all you want to do is to play at Emirates, so it’s a dream come true for them and with a packed stadium it will be even more special,” he told the Official Matchday Programme.

    “I hope that most supporters will stay and have a look at the future of Arsenal; I’ve seen the Under-18s play a couple of times recently and I can assure you there are some very promising boys coming through.

    “Hopefully we in the first team can do our job with a nice win so that everybody is in the mood to stay around for more!

    “I’ll certainly be watching their match with great interest, and it would be fantastic if the fans were able to stay as well.”

    Surely, these can’t be comments of a man thinking of signing for another club, let alone Oil City!

  243. @Gainsbourg.

    I’ve already called their wives. One has gone M.I.A – a “johnny come lately” United fan herself, and the other one is smart. She’s just told me “Darius, I’m the one who has to share a bed with the bastard, I’m not getting involved – leave me the fuck out”….LOL.

  244. Great win with a good atmosphere at the ground around me. I have to say the ref, Mason was bad. But we should have defended the free kick better. Apart from that the defence looked solid and was in tune with each other.
    What can I say about Van Persie, one could argue he is our only world class player. He was class. His movement and control made the difference.

    Good to see Arsène giving the fourth official hell again. I’ve missed that.
    All in all a excellent day for us Gooners.

  245. MJ, Gervinho, bar his assists and goal was largely invisible today. I’m saying this not to make excuses for Theo, but because we’ve been having trouble getting the ball out wide recently. In fact, the half time stats saw our attack coming 71% down the middle, 17% from the left and 12% down the right. This makes our wide men look ineffective, but what we don’t see, and it never shows up, is what these players do without the ball. Stoke only got one shot on goal today and I don’t even remember them beating our fullbacks and getting a cross in. Theo is a constant threat and he keeps his side quiet. Perhaps he wasn’t awesome offensively today, but the stats speak for themselves. Another thing, every one and his uncle knows Theo is the fastest player in the league so they double and sometimes triple mark him. To me, this is yet another he has to learn to deal with. Lately I’ve been seeing him knock the ball beyond the left back and beating them for pace. This means he’s finding his own ways to get in games and be more productive.

  246. Darius, did you watch Santos have a talk with Frimpong as he was coming on? I think Santos offers a lot of guidance as well. From what I’ve seen he’s also slotted in to the group and it seems as though he’s well liked despite probably speaking zero English.

  247. Arsenal.com on-line poll has Gervinho shading RVP for man of the match. Personally i had to vote Gervinho but RVP scored match-winning goals:

    Wojciech Szczesny0%
    Johan Djourou0%
    Laurent Koscielny4%
    Per Mertesacker1%
    Andre Santos0%
    Alex Song1%
    Mikel Arteta0%
    Aaron Ramsey3%
    Theo Walcott0%
    Gervinho48%
    Marouane Chamakh0%
    Emmanuel Frimpong0%
    Andrey Arshavin1%
    Robin van Persie41%

  248. Theo should play the first 45 and Andrei the second.

  249. Koscinely for me is the MOTM, second game in a row for him. serious selection headache for Le Prof when Vermaelen returns.

  250. @1LC – I’m not sure how many passes that passage of play was.

    On the discussion about Theo and Gervinho – I think each of them has a purpose. In the first 20 mins for example – everything went through Theo and he run roughshot over Wilson.

    The thing with Theo is that he doesn’t have to be inch perfect in everything – anything he does using his pace in particular will scare the living shit out of any defence and give us the momentum. He’s an impact player whenever he’s on the pitch. But he’s also scored some massive goals like against Barca.

    We need everyone in the squad – and the 3 that I’m really looking forward to are Vermaelen, Li’l Jack Willy and Diaby.

    When everyone is playing well, for certain profile games, I’d like to see a midfield of Song, Li’l Jack and Diaby. I think they can be ruthless.

    Also, it was very very interesting that only a few years ago, Alex Song was literally lynched out of Craven Cottage for a performance that any young player would want to forget. Seeing him as captain today made me really proud. He’s definitely earned his stripes.

  251. Shotta .those are terrible voting figures.
    Andrei was easily MOM 🙂 What? I can think what I want.

  252. Darius at 4:26 pm – Massive point. I was really proud to hear Alex was wearing the armband:

    “…. it was very very interesting that only a few years ago, Alex Song was literally lynched out of Craven Cottage for a performance that any young player would want to forget. Seeing him as captain today made me really proud. He’s definitely earned his stripes.”

    Did you see the way he used his skill and upper body strength to simply impose himself on the Stoke attackers?

  253. p.g. @ 4:29 pm – You are just being your pedantic self. LOL.

  254. I’d like to see a midfield of Song, Li’l Jack and Diaby. I think they can be ruthless.

    I think that will be our 3 with Ramsey spelling them .3 from 4 if you like

  255. Koscienly is underrated, Maybe that could be a good thing playing an underdog role

  256. Omg how bad is the ref at the Chelsea game.Fucking awful sending off

  257. Very interesting – Al Jazeera are to bid against B Sky B for the exclusive rights to broadcast Premier league matches.

    The question is – will they employ the same cunts as pundits and commentators? Or will they go for their “refreshing” approach.

    I’m trying to picture Paul Merson in a job interview in Doha.

  258. Diaby, i miss you

  259. GB, Gervinho has a very good rate of beating his man & putting a good cross in, Theo has certainly improved on his crossing but talking of today, I stand by my stance. However, lets not go towards that disucssion & just enjoy the result!

  260. you’ve all missed something

    Santos was an unsung hero. Solid, reminds me of sagna except on the left

  261. oh this just gets better 😀

  262. @darius hehe that would be interesting indeed. does Murdoc not have interests regarding sky?
    but Al Jazeera is supported by some very rich people though.

    If Al Jazerra win the entire hierarchy and the power scene behind the clubs will change i pressume.

  263. chelsea 2 red cards, my day keeps on getting better

  264. Drogba red. He wouldn’t be playing against us. Anyone knows when suspension ends?

  265. and honestly, if this is what “geling” feels like i think i like it! 🙂

  266. Ohk, let me tell you all, Chelse are down to 9 men & a goal down!

  267. Does anyone know what the final score for Blackburn v Spurs was?

  268. I missed Torres. When does his suspension end?

  269. 2-1 90th minute, Darius 😦

  270. Darius

    still playing

  271. Looks Villa Boas will be sacked at the end of the season.

  272. i really don’t think walcott is a winger, but with van persie upfront i don’t know how he is ever getting to go upfront. Gervinho is a winger/inside forward

    And have you lot seen the amount of runs we make now, too bad our midfield players ignore the majority of them otherwise we’d murder teams.

    Oh and what the hell is going on between Wenger and park chu yong, why does he get no chances at all. WTF? im actually baffled……..

  273. & India beat England to complete a lovely day!

  274. We can be three away from Chelski if we beat them next week-end.

  275. Bill and Jabba are having a shit Sunday aren’t they?

  276. I wouldn’t want to watch a match between qpr and stoke.

  277. C’mon GB, Bill contributes well to this blog IMO

  278. ”Because we play with two wingers it is very difficult to play with two strikers because you are too open in the middle of the park. So unless I change the system it will be him or Van Persie. It is difficult”

    So we are not going to a 4-4-2 any time soon….

  279. van persie to the rescue eh

    whos got the best striker in the league??

    thats what happens when you make your possession count and stick the ball in the net..nobody gives a toss about what the ref does..

    its starting to look a little better isnt it..momentum building the results are coming..we are being carried by our flying dutchman but its looking better nonetheless..

    huge props to gervinho today as well..well played..

  280. Pundits and fans are so fickle. I hear uniterd need to buy players in january. We were told Fergie is a genius because he has done his business so early and made fantastic purchases . now he is rubbish and needs to spend. Laughable really.

    Chelsea’s 9 men diving all over the place inside the box hoping to get a pen. Comedy

  281. Gains,
    We sort of had the 8-2 defeat coming, considering our understaffed shaky defence, and poor form up to that point.
    Similarly United had this result coming, given their open play of late, and the fact that mancity’s defence were better able to nullify their attacking threat. It wasn’t just a bad day in the office for United, or for us.

    ……………….

    None of my manc mates are answering their phones still, even now. Poor bastards.

  282. Limestonegunner

    Wondering whether QPR can hang on against 9 man Chelsea. They should have manufactured a second goal by now. This Foy guy must have it in for Chelsea. Every 50-50 decision goes against them. Not that I am complaining! QPR need to get another goal but it seems they are playing to hold this very narrow lead.

  283. 1lc,
    You hit the nail on the head. The media worship only results. Its the way its always been. If United keep losing games, you see just how bad their so called favourite Fergie will get bashed. Next thing you know people will be mentioning whether he should be retiring.

  284. Limestonegunner

    Chelsea really losing their cool in frustration, but they still look a lot more likely to score that QPR.

  285. Bill and Jabba are having a shit Sunday aren’t they?

    Bill is a true fan.Enough said,

  286. MAn if ever there was a perfect Sunday, this would be it. We get to beat stoke 3-1 and our boy Ramsey assists. Manu gets annihilated 6-1!!And i hear chelsea may miss some of their vital players agaisnt us. Gervinho is my man of the match.

  287. Neil Warnock is an idiot. this is the guy who called Armand Traore an idiot on MOTD. He is playing against 9 men and sent his team to defend. pathetic really.

  288. perhaps it is time to look altering our formation, it is I think evident even on todays performance that another central attacking option could prove a difference. If Arsenal are going to use the middle for the most part to attack we are taking two players effectively out of the game. Still, Gervinho was excellent in creating the few opportunities that did come his way and how nice it would have been to see him score a second there at the end.

  289. Holy crap how many players for Chelsea have not been booked? The referee I would have to assume is going to be charged by the FA for failing to conrol the game 🙂

    Chelsea are well pissed with this referee, and to think we thought all decisions only go against us!

  290. QPR living dangerously. defending so deep

  291. What a horrible game. QPR poor and chelsea were diving all over the place hoping to get some decisions their way Worst derby game so far. the ref was the worst of them all. having said that I’m pleased with the result.

  292. Personally, I loved the QPR game. Bloody brilliant.

  293. Great Sunday.

    Us winning 3-1.
    City spanking United. I would have preferred a draw but a little humiliation to Utd is long overdue.
    Chelsea being punished by referee incompetence. Key players are missing next weekend.

    A music to my ears.

    Shame about Spurs’ winner. Oh well, you can’t have everything in one day.

  294. Not the worst London derby game this season. This one had a lot going for it.

  295. Drogba unavailable against us. nice

    does anybody know if Torres suspension would be over when they play us???

  296. i enjoyed the qpr/chelsea game

    frantic stuff..

  297. Henristic, I stand by my statement. This is a one off for United the same it was for us. Saying it was coming is stunningly obtuse when one considers what can transpire in a game. It also shows some magnificent 20/20 vision if only in hindsight. I will say this, however, I knew Manure would struggle without Van der Sar and an aging Ferdinand. They’ve ridden their luck this season, but they haven’t kept many clean sheets and have conceded more than they regularly do, despite this 6-1.

  298. G69,
    There you go using my word (obtuse) again without acknowledgement. Stop it, will ya!

    You predicted they will struggle, yet you think this result was out of the blues? hmmm…

    Of course no really expects a 6-1 score (like was the case for us), but the signs that United will suffer when facing a quality attacking side have been there in most games they’ve played this season. Even in their 8-2 thrashing at OT, we still had a fair amount of chances that could have tilted the score a bit more in our favour.

  299. G69,
    And I believe that if United don’t get their defensive act together, they will suffer a few more humiliating defeats this season. Its the law of averages. If you continue to play poorly, someone’s likely to take advantage of it at some point.

  300. Bradys right foot

    I might be alone but i found the QPR match to be a damning inditement of the English game. The site of 11 professional footballers who could not keep possession the fundamental building block of the entire game against 9 men was thoroughly depressing, any run of the mill Spanish Portugese or Italian team would have run 9 man Chelsea into the ground. QPR hung on, just. BTW I heard Tony Gale was being his usual cnutish self today, my advice just mute the fecker.

  301. The qpr Chelsea shows the gulf between the two top English league – remember qpr are the championship winners. Nine Chelsea men would have been massacred by a regular premier league team.

  302. the only way anyone could find that game depressing was if they were a chelsea fan..
    im not saying you are BRF i know your not and its a tongue in cheek comment 🙂
    but for me the only thing critical i would say about that game was that there was only one goal..
    other than that it had everything and i had a good time watching it..and a good laugh..

  303. that luiz really is easily wound up aint he??
    face like a slapped arse most of the game..

    talented boy but after watching that there could be a weakness to exploit there, hes quite reckless..id tell theo to play off his shoulder all game..he’ll bring him down at some point..hopefully in the box, hopefully last man and hopefully nice and early 🙂

  304. Can someone please tell me if Drogba could not play against us?

    It was a straight Red, so he should be banned for 3 matches…

  305. To be fair to the chavs, they micro managed the game well when they where down to nine men. They also never gave up. Which is what people around the world love about the English game. QPR did’t help themselves over the finishing line. But they had that mental block of wining their first home game back. And to be honest, of the three teams promoted QPR look poor and are lacking quality. Norwich and Swansea would have passed the ball better. That all adds up to making the game interesting.

  306. Henristic, this is the worst defeat Manure have suffered under Ferguson. Stop being ridiculous. Predicting that they would suffer doesn’t automatically mean that they’ll catch thrashings like this too often. Will they drop stupid points and give up leads? Absolutely. All this means is that Phil Jones, Chris Smallimg, Young and De Gea aren’t the end all and be all some morons were predicting they’d be. Oh, and City is an attacking team now? You’re special, Henristic. No doubt about that.

  307. Yup, Tony Gale spent his time reminding the audience aboutnourndefensive frailties. Never mind that Stoke scored off a non-foul. The same Stoke that scored off a set piece against Manure as well. Yet we’re a team with defensive problems.

  308. Limestonegunner

    ManU obviously have defensive problems as well. That’s been clear and commented on for a few weeks. Doesn’t mean we aren’t vulnerable from set pieces because we still are giving up quite a few. I don’t think Gervinho was anonymous apart from his two assists and goal (sounds very funny to say) as he had some very good runs into the box and almost scored on a play just like the one he later scored from and had a brilliant low cross into the box after taking it down the line but it was just ahead of Chamakh and Song. He had another very good ball into the box at 52 minutes. If you look at his passing numbers as well you’d see he barely put a foot wrong. Brilliant game and my MOTM. Theo looked dangerous in the first twenty minutes but afterwards Stoke mainly played defensively very deep and that doesn’t suit his game. It was a good move to bring in Arshavin. Chamakh played hard but missed a couple good chances but should have had a clear penalty. Btw, I watched the pre_Marseille press conference and Santos’ English was surprisingly good–even Wenger remarked on it as impressive. He seemed quite proud of Santos and even affectionate–I think he likes the Brazilian.

    As you said, Gains, the ref was pretty awful. Kos never fouled Crouch, he missed a clear penalty, and waived off a thuggish elbow from Shawcross to RvP’s head.

    Great weekend of football though. If only Spuds drew, but you can’t have everything. Drogba and Bosingwa out for our trip to the Bridge. I am planning on watching that Manchester derby replayed on Setanta here in Canada. Good stuff!

  309. Gains,
    City are more attacking this season, is what I said. But with you been obtuse and all, feel free to continue twisting my words.

    “Predicting that they would suffer doesn’t automatically mean that they’ll catch thrashings like this too often. Will they drop stupid points and give up leads? Absolutely.”

    I agree, and to my mind, losing 6-1 to City with 10 men is as ‘humiliating’ as losing 4-2 to Blackburn,or Stoke. And my point is they will probably suffer that kind of humiliations this season than in previous ones where they had better defence.
    What you don’t seem to understand is that if you consistently have a poor defence, results like today become even more likely. In the hey days of the Rio/Vidic/VDS partnership, such a result would be termed a one-off. Now, not so much.

  310. Steww, myp2p is now wiziwig. http://forum.wiziwig.eu/

  311. The Beautiful, beautiful game. It rarely all goes your way, but I don’t even mind about the Spuds today.

    To all those ManUre pretenders who behave like Arsenal are still bottom of the Premiere League, Hahahahahahahahah, you got what was coming. How can you pick yourself up now?When we lost we had 5 injuries and suspensions, our captain had left and we have since bought 5 new players. What is your excuse?

    I don’t mind about $hiite-y either, because they will surely self destruct in about three months time. Tick tick tick tick.

    What a day,

  312. Bradys right foot

    JonJon | October 23, 2011 at 7:20 pm
    the only way anyone could find that game depressing was if they were a chelsea fan..
    im not saying you are BRF i know your not and its a tongue in cheek comment 🙂

    lol JJ there are certain things you can’t joke about and being a fan of that shower of shite is right up there.

  313. Lebob, thanks for that. I was wondering where they’d gone too. They have a site called MYP2P Soccer with a bunch of video links. Last week I saw the game in Dutch and this week I saw it with the regular commentary.

    Henristic, they usually are good for more than two goals. If anything a 4-4 or a 4-3 is something we’re much likelier to see than a 6-1. They’ve had shittier teams in the past and they didn’t suffer such bad defeats. In fact, much like we did in our game against them, United looked to have kept it close until a game defining event took place. This is why I think a 3-1 or even 4-1 was likelier than 6-1.

    I don’t care about this anymore, though. The pressure is on them now after this 6-1 while the 8-2 is looking like it’s just a part of Arsenal lore and not a season defining defeat.

  314. Lime, I had no idea he spoke English. I guess South American sides are giving their players English lessons like I saw in this movie called Bossanova. Who knew? I’m going to look for one of his interviews in English. I love it when our foreign players make the effort to learn the language. Anderson still speaks English as if he never left Brazil so it’s kind of cool that Santos is not as lazy as he is.

    Gervinho, was quiet, more or less, until Van Persie came on in the 65th. When we got our movement going he was a hell of a lot more dangerous. I really enjoyed watching him take players on and mix it up with the cement statues that are Stoke. He’s on like five assits at the moment and on pace to beat the little quitter, so I’m happy about that. Hopefully the team has turned the corner and we can get our season back on track.

    Almost forgot, applause for Arteta. He was brilliant today. He’s a very good, deep play maker. It looks like him and Aaron are starting to understand eachother a lot better.

  315. only spurs didn’t get the memo for today… all else on track… most importantly of all… team is gelling!

  316. Jeff@ 6:16

    Fernando Torres will be available for Chelsea when they play us. His red card in their game against Swansea earned him a three match suspension (Bolton, Everton and QPR).

  317. I said last week that if we are in a fight for 4th it is with Spurs and not Liverpool.I was sure then and I am even more sure now

  318. Theo,watch and learn from gervinho

  319. skywatchingmug, I am surprised you would follow that clown of a commentator in saying that RVP is arguably our only world class player!

    Sagna is world class and even though many struggle with this, Song is the best DM going, he is tops.

    Just because many of our players are not big money players, it doesn’t mean that they are not up there with the best.

  320. Looks like everything I would have said from the match has already been said. I don’t get this attempt to spin the ‘one man team’ thing in the media. Did we complain when Wright or TH14 were on fire? RVP cannot do what he does without the support of the team and Gervinho was great today. It’s good to see the team starting to settle and the crowd solidly behind them.

  321. ace, watch learn from George.

  322. Theo had some great moves early on in the game. The Stoke LB didn’t know what to do with him.

    I just don’t get this obsession with saying negative things about the young man.

    It wasn’t until the end of the game that Gervihno really got going. To me RVP coming on gave the team and the supporters a big lift. That was the Turning point of the game as far as I could see. It seemed as if it unsettled Stoke defensively and more room started to appear. I could be wrong but that what it looked like.

  323. I agree Passenal, it was a good team effort. Those goals were more than just a moment of magic from one player, the team played really well.

  324. Paul, it seems Arsenal fans cannot do without a scapegoat. TW14 contributed to the overall team play. No one was poor today, RVP’s movement just gave us a bit more penetration against a tiring Stoke defence.

  325. True dat Passenal, no one had a bad game. Again, it an excellent, against a stoke team that came in very confident.

    I feel very proud of the team!

  326. TW14 didn’t have a good game again. Even arshavin’s stats trumped his.now, that is a pleasant surprise.

  327. Chamakh had a poorish game.But what do we expect.He has to be compared to RVP and at the moment everyone else would look distinctively second best.
    The media seem to want to paint us as a One man team,Absolute tosh.
    I think we should make RVP an offer he cant refuse .Say ,£150k for 5 years and the promise that as he slows down a little with age we will allow him the Dennis Bergkamp role and let him drop deeper perhaps almost into mid field as Dennis eventually did.

  328. George, I disagree that Chamakh had a ‘poorish’ game. He didn’t score, but he contributed to the overall team play and got himself into one dangerous position that the Stoke player was fortunate to prevent him capitalising.

  329. The whole team was faltering in the final third until the end of the game. For the most part, other than the goal, nothing was coming off. Walcott had the best moves in the early part of the game. Not saying that he was great but to single him out is plain foolishness.

    I have made up my mind to defend this young man against the unfair abuse.

    WALCOTT!!!

  330. We did struggle in the final 3rd for a decent part of the match, that was my only concern.

  331. Theo’s game is so one dimensional and predictable.any average defender can figure him out in a bit.i felt sorry for him when he was substituted.he’s trying so hard and its just not working for.4 consecutive games now he’d done poorly.

  332. Theo’s game is so one dimensional and predictable.any average defender can figure him out in a bit.i felt sorry for him when he was substituted.he’s trying so hard and its just not working for him.4 consecutive games now he’d done poorly.

  333. ‘for him’

  334. Theo did his work early doors.
    He set the pattern and pinned them back.But they would have sat back anyway.

    Stoke’s master plan .Sit deep ,cheat to win free kicks and lump it in.Pure hoofball.
    That the get any credit for the way they play reflects poorly on the media

  335. Limestonegunner

    Amazingly, the story coming out of Chelsea’s self-destruction to a newly promoted QPR is of Villas-Boas’ brave tactical ingenuity and their near fight back to a point or even victory. Unbelievable.

    Watched a replay of Manc derby. It wasn’t naivety or anything else Fergie wants to spin. He brought on Hernandez instead of another midfielder or defender. The players gave up. They were shocked. I wish we had gone after Balotelli and Silva. I was also impressed with Micah Richards and Milner.

    On our game, everything I mentioned about Gervinho’s performance was before RvP came on, I think, at 66′. He played well the whole game. When RvP came on, there was someone to get on the end of his crosses/passes into the box. That is the difference, but he was making those kinds of plays the whole game. What I liked was Ramsey dinked the ball over the back line the way Cesc used to do, relying on the control and skill of our attackers to bring the ball down in a tight space and get a shot off before the GK could close it down. Jack does that sort of thing too.

  336. Limestonegunner

    Love Delap’s modified shirt with towel-like internal extension. Disgrace to the game.

  337. Yeah LG, Richards was rather impressive, and I heard he is a gunner. Not sure he would have wanted to play second fiddle to Sagna though.

    G69,
    For the first time in United’s history under Ferguson, they now have a rival with way more resources than them. The depth of attacking talent that City own has never been seen in the english league before, I reckon.

    If Mancini is able to motivate his players well enough, City will run away with everything based on talent alone.
    Thankfully football isn’t quite like that, as we’ve seen in the past. I really do fancy our chances against City for some reason.

  338. Henristic – I do not think this is the first time Utd face an opponent with more resources than them. Both Chelsea and Blackburn bought titles before City came on the scene but I do agree that City do have an amazing attacking line-up. But not a one of them can hold a candle to RVP!!!

  339. We have to play our number 2 striker sometimes. If we don’t he has to wait for the inevitable injury to our number 1 striker, that would mean no game practice.

    It would also condemn him to the same fate as Eduardo, Bendtner, Vela et al who rarely had a chance and when they did it would be without game time.

    As soon as vP scored, the inevitable ‘Is he the next one to leave?’ started. You almost wish him away so you don’t have to listen to their rancid bleating.

    vP is class, but we have a good team. Gervinho looks better and better and I thought Arteta was beginning to look a bit more composed and less rash, that is another good sign.

    There are lots of games coming up and the team and squad are better suited for all these games than they have been in a long time – especially when you think of the players still due to return. The rotation in the middle and front of the park will be vital to change games.

    We should not be undermined because the press, spuds and Le Moronic Unconvincibles don’t know their arses from their elbows. This team has plenty in front of it and unlike ManUre, our horrors are becoming distant past.

  340. SA – In as much as I agree I think giving Chamakh an hour or so of playing time is exactly what he needed. I can also see him starting on Tuesday ahead of RVP who I hope AW will hold back for the Chelsea game. I would also like to see Park coming on and getting some playing time as well. I was pretty impressed by Djourou at right back, not as cavalier as Eboue but nor is he as steady as Sagna. Right in the middle if you ask me which is fine as our first choice 2 are out, not much more you could expect from a third choice RB.

  341. Nasri must be really enjoying playing with a proper football team and watching them win.

    He must have felt really happy watching the game knowing that the real class was playing…………..in the South of England.

    Just remember: even though your cash-lined security blanket makes you feel nice and warm, you are not that good.

  342. I can’t wait to see Vermaelen and Diaby when they come back. I know Diaby is a divisive figure but he is just so different than any other player we have. When he gets in his stride and starts taking on players straight down the middle it is a sight to behold, I would love to know how opposition players rate him as compared to the rest of our midfield. That, in fairness, would depend if they remembered him or not. 🙂

  343. SA – I watched the game and Nasri did dick when he came on. All that extra change must be weighing down his pockets, slowing him down.

  344. Fucking Hansen!! When we lost 8-2 to Utd he came out the next day and said that there was noone who could touch them and that they where basically the de facto champions. Now Utd have lost 6-1 and he is claiming City are the uncrowned champions!! Woud someone please stick a rock down this guys throat or break his fingers, something to stop the non-stop drivel he comes out with. I do not know which is more annoying, reading his stupid articles or doing so whilst having to look at his stupid grinning face as I do!!

  345. Calm down Irish. Getting angry at the likes of Hansen will only raise your blood pressure.

    Pointless. Both to watch and to bother about him and his ilk.

    Expect the Scousers to start being touted as potential Champions next.

  346. Irish,
    Well of course. RvP is the best striker on the planet right now. Only other forwards who can compete are Messi and C.Ronaldo.
    Like you said, Chelsea/Blackburn never had this number of attackers, or the sort of squad depth City now own. Crazy to think they still have players like Adebayor out on loan and are probably paying him more than we pay RvP for staying at Spurs. Who can compete with that?

  347. http://wp.me/p1aPg-1Tm

    Today’s post was rescued by Robin van Persie. Phew!

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