Arsenal take 3 points at the death and catch on Chelsea and Everton

by & filed under Match Preview.

Playing Stoke is a trying 90 minutes for most teams in the Premier League. They’re the last of a dying breed, the final remnants of an era led by Sam Allardyce and his brutal football regime. Things aren’t quite as easy as they used to be. Thugging your way to three points is becoming increasingly difficult in a league that has seen an influx of teams who actually want to play the game.

Stoke lined up like the team who were in fear yesterday. Breaking into our half was not something they were particularly interested in and as a result, we dominated possession and had the best chances. It wasn’t an easy afternoon. Stoke really know how the park the bus, what I would say is that the timid score was more down to some exceptional keeping and some very off the boil finishing over a stoic display of tactical defensive mastery.

Arsenal had plenty of opportunity to fire ahead in the opening 45minutes. Oxlade Chamberlain the guilty party on two occassions, the first when he managed to find Begovic from 4 yards out after a goal mouth scramble, the second, more forgivable when he fired a shot at the far right corner and once again forced a very smart save from a keeper who is fast establishing himself as the hottest property outside the top four (and available if Stoke have made a move for Butland).

It wasn’t just Chamberlain having a bad day in from of goal. Giroud made a few interesting decisions when he cut back a header in the box that looked easier to head goalwards.The ball made it back into the box straight after and Koscielny showed the way with a good header that was blocked.

The second half proved to be a little more fruitful on the goal front. Theo Walcott was fouled on the edge of the box by Wilkinson. Lukas stepped up, fired a terrible low ball at goal, it rebounded in off a Stoke leg… it was a goal. The lino had other ideas though, he called the ref over to claim offside. Little did he know… he’d totally hashed up the rules of the game in thinking it was offside. We were granted the goal.

The Emirates took on a bit of a silence after that. We closed the game out in the end, but we gave Stoke far too much of the ball. I totally understand why we’d play for a 2nd when we’re one up with twenty to play… but really, what we should be doing is playing simple posession football. Stoke didn’t have the heart to beat us that way. I think everyone was expecting us to concede a late goal, but we didn’t, we held out and took the three points. An exciting three when you consider Everton and Chelsea both dropped valuable points.

Arsenal are still in with a major shout for third this season. It all depends on the consistency we can show. Those above us will drop points over the coming months, we just have to be on hand to deal the killer blow when we need to. The gap, between 6th and 3rd is 5 points. That’s not a mountain to climb. It’ll be tough, but there’s no reason we’re not capable of having a good go. One thing is for sure though, our finishing needs to get better and our confidence to close out a game needs to improve.

The next few weeks sees a bit more of a focus on the cup games. We’re taking on Blackburn at home with Bayern Munich away. Our two Premiership games must be 6 points in the bag. Sunderland and Villa are as easy as they come this season. Then the fun starts, potentially Everton, Spurs and Swansea all within a month. That’s what defines where we finish this year. If all three are wins, we’re on our way to top four. Lose any games in the league over the next 2 months and we really could be in trouble.

On the player front, things are looking positive. Jack Wilshere really is looking good. I love the way he defends his teams honour. After Owen threw a very girly punch at Arteta, he was the first in line to get in his face. Sometimes, when decisions go against us, I wish it was more than just the other teams players around the ref. Shawcross made another nasty challenge yesterday. He just doesn’t care who he breaks, he really is a disgraceful footballer on every level. I hope his come-uppance is a two year injury lay off.

Monreal looked ok yesterday bar a few shaky errors late on. He’s far more Spanish than Gibbs, obviously, Gibbs is French. He has a real one touch flavour about his game. He looks ok going forward, but he looks better at the back showing good positional awareness and strength. You felt comfortable with him at the back, which was a good sign considering how long it can take for players to settle into the game.

3 points in the bag against Stoke is a start… let’s see where we go from here.

Have a great day Grovers.

531 Responses to “Arsenal take 3 points at the death and catch on Chelsea and Everton”

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  1. tom

    ric,

    That I find insulting. Thickest to ever post here…really. Have you read Ramsey’s backpass ?

    I’m not a plant or a shrub or a tree. Just an Arsenal supporter that disagrees and will argue the point.

  2. tom

    for once gambon seems disinclined to tell us how it is…
    Come on dude, tell us how you had Henry pegged as world class from the off.
    And tell us how you would have carefully nurtured Adams past his donkey phase and onto greatness.

  3. gambon

    “Be honest….cause he didn’t score much at first.”

    26 in his first season…..didnt score much…lololol

    I saw his greatness at Monaco when he dominated in the CL as a teenager.

    “How can you say he’s terrible? And if he is, why do kids choose AFC over our rivals?”

    Erm, because we pay way more than any other team to kids and average squad players.

    “Who of our main rivals have done better with their kids than Arsenal? United’s Kids were too long ago to count.”

    UTD who have basically won the PL with Amos, Rafael, Cleverley, Welbeck, Fletcher, Giggs and Scholes in the squad.

    Also Jones, Smalling, Anderson, Powell, Nani all brought in as teens?

  4. Alex James

    Tom
    The fact remains that some of our young players are on huge salaries for their age. This is Wenger’s decision, not Liam’s. The fact that we supposedly have another bunch of emergent talent does not excite me, as it one would have done. Too many false dawns. I first went to Highbury in the mid 50s and have experienced a number of bad decades success wise. But I can’t recall ever being so depressed about the club as I am now. Perhaps it is because we have tumbled from being a magnificent team in quite a short period. Ferguson never allowed this to happen, even when Chelsea and ourselves were top dogs. For me, the fact that we remain the club of tradition is the one remaining solace at my age. Still we may do a Chelsea and win the CL. Well am old fellow can dream!

  5. tom

    Jones, Smalling, Anderson, Powell, Nani all brought in as teens?
    not home growns and not very good…Powell, do me a favour

    And if you can say Jones and Nani I can say Cesc andRVP

    Amos is still nobody and I didn’t think the Rapheals were home grown.

    Giggs and Scholes are too vintage to be relevant…as I said

  6. Guns of brixton

    benteke, a must have this summer, 13 goals this campaign i believe. no doubt at a bargain price too.
    we can get sneaky and pinch dzeko/tevez from man shitty too!

  7. gambon

    tom

    Remind me where UTD are in the league?

    No bullshit, no dodging the fucking question. Where are UTD in the league?

  8. tom

    Alex perhaps it’s cause you are spending too much reading sites like this…it IS depressing.
    I respect your perspective though.

  9. VIX AFFAIR

    LOLOLOL Tom has been sent in by the AKB’s to knock Gambon off his perch..

    What Gambon is to the AAA’s,Tom is to the AKB’s…

    This is absolutely hilarious..

  10. tom

    ganbon,

    United are first by some considerable margin and are, for now better than AFC. I can’t argue that. Still a one man team with a shit defense.
    Ferguson over time has proved to be the greater manager. Then Ferguson is the best manager these isles have produced, perhaps ever.
    Wenger is second only to him in the modern game in this country.
    I still see wenger as progressive and Sir alex as a bit of a throw back. I doubt we’ll have another like him.

  11. tom

    ganbon

    I take you word for it that you have recognized every future star and dud. You ought to think about becoming an agent. I think your character would be suited.

  12. tom

    ganbon,

    I’m not Tony. I’m Tom. I don’t work for the club.
    I support the club and disagree with you in you assesment of Wenger. It’s ok. A free world where we can see things differently and debate it if we choose.
    Don’t get riled. Not everyone is always going to agree with you. Actually most Arsenal supporters don’t.

  13. Guns of brixton

    LOL tom only jokin! hes part of belgiums new look and current crop of talent. hes big, can tussle defenders, quite fast, and has a deadly finish.
    he and lukaku are similair but lukaku edges him a bit.
    both are drogba-esque in my opinion

  14. Relieable sauce

    Toms gone into overdrive!
    Must be one hell of a commission or perhaps the promise of a suck on Wongas cock.

  15. Arsenal 1886-2006

    And in other news (aside from the Gambon and Tom love-in), Muhammad Ali is seriously ill and expected to die within days. The term ‘Great’ is over used these days but here is a man who truly is ‘Great’, not just for his boxing but for his personality and standing up to prejudice wherever he met it.
    Best wishes to you big man.

  16. Alex James

    The fact remains that our much vaunted youth policy has still not produced a Messi, Ronaldo, Best or Giggs. I know that are/ were special players but, given our investment in youth these last ten years, one would have expected at least one major find. As good as they are, Cesc and Jack are not in the super Best category. Best was unplayable and would win games on his own. Ask Benfica in 68.

  17. Toli83

    He’s nothing like Giroud in my opinion. I think he’ll have a big move in the summer.

    We def need someone else to bolster front line. Guessing that kind of depends on us shifting bendtner and chamakh in the summer break.

  18. tom

    Toli.

    I doubt we’ll see either NB or Chamack again. I hope their loans work out and they generate some interest.

    Alex james

    I do think expecting a Messi or Best is a tall order but a Wilshere or an Adams is possible.

  19. Daniel

    Fantastic! I don’t even agree with Tom but he is ripping you guys a part. I haven’t noticed any real insults and he has responded to all queries respectfully and appropriately. Conversely, Gambon’s kids are backing up their daddy by responding to Tom with meaningless insults and impotent indignation. Keep it up Tom!

  20. Guns of brixton

    Tom, yeah your probably rite on that 1, though benteke has more of a physical presence than giroud does. . . we should be aiming to land a goal poacher, some one who will get us 20-30 goals per season- rvps replacement. however AW wants a young striker. . . hope Falcao or cavani is on hes mind. how abou AC milans el sharaaway?

  21. tom

    Ramsey’s backpass.

    I want my team to win as much as you do but not by any means necissary.

    I hear Wenger bashers say they want the team to lose. Shocking and wrong.

  22. tom

    GoB

    Any of those you mention would be wonderful but It’ll be hard to outbid CFC and City for their sigs.

    I agree a poacher is something we don’t really have.
    For me priority would be another center back too.

  23. El Tel

    Alex

    Agree that we haven’t found a super star like all on your list except Giggs.

    How the hell did he get in on the act.

    He is a good player but not a player in the same class as all your others on the list.

    If you include Giggs then you can without doubt include.

    George
    Kennedy
    OLeary
    Brady
    Stapleton
    Rocastle
    Thomas
    Davis
    Adams
    Keown
    Cole
    Cesc
    Willshere

    There are more but I am watching TV and writing at the same time.

  24. tom

    Ramsey’s backpass

    Come on mate.
    If you dish it out you ought to be able to take it too.

    I didn’t mean to offend you and I hope you spread the faith in China…just don’t be too negative.

  25. El Tel

    Have a good night Tom

    I am not a Wenger fan these past five years but respect your views and the fact that you are a true Gooner.

    We will return.

  26. Arsene's Nurse

    tom February 3, 2013 18:50:42
    Toli.

    I doubt we’ll see either NB or Chamack again. I hope their loans work out and they generate some interest.
    ——————————————————-
    Bendtner returned to Arsenal earlier this month with a groin injury which means he’ll be out 2 months.

    Chamakh is shite, no one will be interested unless Arsenal pay a large chunk of his wages.

  27. gambon

    Tony

    You’re not an Arsenal fan, and your site isnt an Arsenal site, so lines like

    “I support the club and disagree with you in you assesment of Wenger”

    make absolutely no sense.

    As for basically every argument you’ve tried to make today, well they all fall apart when you consider:

    - Where are we in the league?
    - When did we last win a trophy?

    No amount of pro-Wenger, Anti-Arsenal bullshit can mask that we are declining, we are nowhere in the league, and we cant win a trophy even when we face relegation bound Birmingham.

    And even more embarrassing is that the club are so petrified of the fact that the fans have cottoned on to the anti Arsenal feeling that they send mentally ill pensioners like you on to try that bullshit you get away with on your cult site.

  28. Ramsey's backpass

    Tom

    you keep saying someone is a kid.

    You keep forgetting that those 9 years old kid would be the next generation of supporters

    and if we dont win trophies we will loose them,automatically that leaves arsenal with drunk Old men like you telling norwegian gooner the importance of 4th being a trophy

  29. gambon

    Most defensive errors leading to a goal in the PL

    13 – Arsenal

    12 – Wigan

    10 – Southampton, Liverpool

    7 – Newcastle, Fulham

    Highlights just how much work we are gonna have to do to ever win a trophy again.

    Does Wenger care about this? nope, probably doesnt even know.

  30. Daniel

    Ramsey’s backpass,

    Did it really take you 10 minutes to come up with that? Were you waiting for Gambon’s permission? I didn’t even single you out in my post. You are a very sensitive child.

  31. Ramsey's backpass

    Lol @ daniel

    trying to impress himself
    ………………………………………………………..

    You were asked a simple question and you should have answered like someone who is responsible not some bloody w**nker

    well,you cant always hide the behaviour.its in your genes

  32. Ramsey's backpass

    Am suprised that most of the Akb’s on le grove have been supporting arsenal from late 40′s.

    its amazing how they would just lie to prove their point.

    For example Tom has being supporting arsenal since 1947.thats very good Daddy,very good

  33. Alex James

    El Tel The reason I included Giggs is that in his teens he was running defences ragged, including ours when he scored that bloody goal in the cup semi. But you are right. On reflection, he is below the Messi/Best level. I wish we had discovered him though, albeit we would have flogged him for a huge sum at some point.

  34. Monkeyjeffrey

    Ramseys

    I’m surprised you think akbs are older. …..I think there younger. ..
    I have 3 lads working for me. 21,20, and 27 and there all stanch akbs. They don’t know any different than wenger

  35. kwik fit

    Just heard that Squillaci will be out of contract this june and the powers that be are not re-negotiating a new deal. How much more of theses incompetent oafs are we to take. First Walcot now Squid. FFS!

  36. Ramsey's backpass

    Monkey

    hahahaha
    i dont understand why they would now come here and claim they have been suporting arsenal since the late 40′s

    they think for someone saying wenger has to go means that someone is still a toddler.its absurd

  37. charlesbronson

    Whilst our manager bangs on about socialism and rich sugar daddies, Fergie gets on with his business, and adapts. Each time his teams have lost out on the title, he adapts and changes. Our manager doesn’t. He may be a red faced cunt, but he is a excellent manager.

    Look at our defence. How the fuck can 3 full internationals for decent international teams defend like that?
    Why hasn’t our manager sorted this?
    Why hasn’;t he bought players that we clearly needed?
    Why weren’t RVP, Nasri, Toure, Campbell, Cesc and the rest not replaces in time and with decent replacements?

  38. Norwegian Gooner

    Why hasnt the manager sorted out or defence? I really don’t know. To much focus on the offensive part of the game maybe? Players given to much individual freedom to go where they want on the pitch. A lot of individual errors. And sometimes the wrong players.
    It has to be sorted out one way or another.

    Why we havent bougth and replaced players like all of us would have liked. Mostly because of the focus on a bigger goal than short term sucess. It is obviouss that we are going in the direction to become an economic super power under FFP. Money equals sucess in this game. And I think we all can agree on that.

    The times when we bougth Squilacci’s is behind us. Next summer no important players will leave us for the first time in many years. We have money, and it would make sense to buy big, because very few of our competitors would be able to outbid us and some of them would need to sell to meet UEFA’s reqirements.

  39. Thomas

    Norweigan Gooner @

    Why would you focus more on the offensive part of the game? You always build from the back. Sort out the defense first then everything else will probably come naturally. The answer is that Wenger is a clueless cunt and has absolutely know idea what he’s doing. Noticed how Bould came in and all the sudden we started to defend like a team in the beginning of the season. Bould was getting praise, the cunt couldn’t stand it and so he took care of the defense and what happened? Yeah exactly. Like I said he has know idea what the hell he’s doing. He even said in an interview once that he doesn’t practice defense in training. Haha what the hell? Madman.

  40. GoonerHart

    I don’t think it’s right to question the defence this season I mean as stated above only city have an outstanding defence so it’s kind of par for the course at this stage

  41. Cesc Appeal

    Spurs have got a great team in the making watching them on MOTD.

    Gareth Bale is something else.

    In Lloris, Walker, Caulker, Vertonghen, Dembele, Sandro, Holtby, Bale they’ve got some serious talent for the future.

    Thank God they didn’t manage to get Moutinho in the summer or Damiao last week!

    In comparison we’ve got Wilshere for certain, perhaps Walcott….maybe Gibbs and Chamberlain, maybe.

    Ox has really disappointed me this year, all his spark and drive has gone.

    Seems to happen to a lot of players at Arsenal, you lose that rawness that he had. To just turn and run at a defence.

    Walcott is playing well now because he’s doing just that, ignore the Arsene Wenger, passive passing game and inject some aggression, some daring.

  42. Ric

    Good Morning all!

    Got Yer coffees out yet?

    Please no more tom… please no more tom….
    Please say tom got raped by an amerous Paddington bear…
    Fingers crossed lads.

  43. goonerboy

    Wenger is a risk taker- but he is only a risk taker with immature players he likes- forwards mainly.
    He talks about people paying over the odds and claims that every top player we enquire about is over-priced-so when we allegedly have very little cash- he will splurge 12m on the Ox. Given 16.9 m is the most we have ever paid for anyone- thats a hell of a gamble for an 18 year old.
    That is not prudence FFS. Walcott was not prudence. Apart from a few exceptions,buying kids is a gamble- because we don’t even know if they will make it when they grow up.