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A few thoughts on the Stoke RFC 0-0 Arsenal league match

August 27, 2012

Good Bank holiday Monday morning to you Gooners. The week started with another of our top players from last season Alex Song joining Barcelona. As one wag commented on Twitter, Wenger sold the phone to United and the charger to Barcelona. That’s another £38m in the coffers and for an outlay of what £3m? AW sure does know how to make money.  I really liked Song. However, maybe I liked him so much I could not see the so-called laziness what was apparently sold for. I got over players leaving years ago. There is no real loyalty in football today, all this kissing badge, they may as well kiss my arse.

Maybe it’s their agents (kerr-ching!!), that cause the problems but at the end of the day, players are adults and can surely make their own decisions and if need be, tell their agents where to get off. Having never been one for getting players names on the back of my shirts and even if I were you can be sure that would have stopped. Wonder how many Gooner shirts there are out there with Cesc and RVP on them. A little bit of creativity needed there I think to wear them again.

To the game.

They travelled to Mordor to do battle with the Orcs…

The leader the Orcs, the almighty Pullis once said “One does not simply walk into Mordor. Its black gates are guarded by more than just orcs There is evil there that does not sleep, and the Great Eye is ever watchful. It is a barren wasteland, riddled with fire and ash and dust, the very air you breathe is a poisonous fume.

Nothing changes..

After starting at home to Sunderland a team with no intention of playing football in the spirit and style it is intended and not called the beautiful game for nothing, Arsenal now had to contend with the founders of recent anti-football. The great one Pullis, is a small man who wears a baseball cap and likes to surround himself with basketballplayer sized footballers and pardon the pun, likes to stoke up the Orcs, is surely one of the most annoying people in the game.

The great Pullis also said

“People talk about us being a dirty team but I haven’t had as many red cards as Arsene Wenger as a manager. But people always mention me and Stoke City — but  no one talks about the situation with Wenger when he took over at Arsenal.   When that was going on, he never saw a thing! History has been re-written.   The balance isn’t level. It’s frustrating that you get labelled like this.”

Total rubbish, AFC were never a really dirty side. PV4 made a few tackles and so did Petit. AFC were strong with their back four, but never really looked like ending players careers with awful tackles. Many of our reds were two cards for dissent of a mixture of dissent and a foul or two.

Still these games have to be dealt with and the last four seasons away games in Mordor have been difficult as AFC’s diddy men have tried to facean ariel onslaught and getting the ball down out of the air to play their game. This trip to the dark lands was going to be slightly different though, AFC have some bigplayers of their own to contend with the ariel battle that may ensue.

Arsene picked his side and save S13, there was some height, fight and might in the side: Mannone, Jenkinson, Mertesacker,  Vermaelen, Gibbs, Arteta, Diaby, Cazorla (Ramsey 81), Podolski (Oxlade-Chamberlain 72),  Giroud, Gervinho (Walcott 72)

The teams came out and the Orcs in the stands did there best “Do the Wenger” something they seem to have been coordinating amongst themselves since the fixture list threw this match up as there first home game. What a classless lot they are.

Referee Mason get the game under way. 2 mins and the Poundshop goes right through the back of Cazorla. Who wants to bet me that was not part of the Pullis tactic in the dressing room just before they came out to play Rugby? McLeish, Taylor, Edurado?  Stokes first meaningfull attack comes from a throw-in as their new replacement for Delap, Cameron ( a player that fits the Stoke squad ethic, GIANT!!!), takes the throw looking for the King of the Basketball sized players and beanpole Crouch.

Six mins later Stoke have the ball in the net after the beanpole cushions his header down for Walters to slam the ball past The Mafia boss, but wait, the referee’ assistant has his flag up and correctly so. Sit down you MUGS and put your teeth back in!!!

Podolski now has a chance for Arsenal who fires in a shot, but there is the Poundshop to put himself in the way and block the shot. Fair play to the Stoke players they do make every effort to defend the goal.  AFC having loads of possession, but like against Sunderland not much to worry the Stoke defence with as far a real goalscoring opportunities go. Pod and Giroud have chances and wasted them. They shall not pass as Huth (or Hoof) brings down Podolski and Mason takes his name. Wonder how he spelt it?  Cazorla takes the free kick and slams it into the wall, then hits the rebound well wide, have they moved the goals at the training ground in Colney, 10 yards to the left, right and higher than normal.

30 mins gone and Cazorla is the boss. This is one very good player and I reckon he will be right at the top of the leader board for assists come next May. A little guy with lots and lots of ability and a great eye for a pass. Right up there with Cesc, Xavi and Inesta may I be so bold to say.  The class of Cazorla brings out a reaction from Stoke as Wilson decides enough is enough and hacks Cazorla down, Booking surely… What!!! No yellow card ref. You don’t know what you’re doing…………. This is followed by Mason blocking off Diaby and not even giving a foul.

Shawcross (not that type of player) now decides it’s time for Arteta to take some Ramsey treatment and throws himself into the tackle, the ball runs loose to Cazorla, who shoots from distance and the Stoke line defender makes a good stop tipping it round the post for a corner that comes to nothing. The Stoke equivalent of bringing on a player to kick a goal in American football, is Cameron taking yet another long throw for Stoke RFC, this time straight to the Mafia boss, who is having a decent game and looks confident.

Suddenly almost on half time Gervinho pops up. Where has he been? And wins a corner. The first taken by Cazorla is headed out for another and then the second comes to nothing. Mason blows for half time. The expected barrage from Stoke and the Orcs in the terraces has been quelled and AFC really should take Mordor in the second half.  HT 0-0…

That was close Pennant goes down from a tackle by Gibbs and we’ve seen them given, but on this occasion, Mason say no penalty!!! Phew!!! The Orcs are not happy…

Let’s all do the Wenger……….

Podolski on the left bangs in a very good low cross, but no one is near the ball to gamble on the chance and easy take for Begovic.

Now this is the Stoke the Orcs know and love and why they turn out each week. Poundland make a crazy tackle on the edge of the area and blatantly takes TV5 out. Totally reckless and this is what Pullis tells us Stoke should not be known for. That’s a red card all day and yet Mason says No!!! Still maybe the penalty evened things up.

Time is slipping away fast as Cazorla has another shot that goes for yet another AFC Corner. Here’s a stat : Neither Sunderland or Stoke after so far, 165 mins of football have had a corner v AFC.

Arteta’s corner finds Giroud with plenty of space and he tries a spectacular sideways on volley and hits it into the ground and over the bar, good chance and should have done better, however, I feel he will in time. Theo and Ox come on for the disappointing Gervinho and the battling Podolski. Gervinho says he wants to be the new Pires, not on that performance mate. Chance now falls to Diaby, who has done well so far in the match, but his long gangly lets cannot round the ball and he ends up tamely shooting wide.

Penalty scream the Orcs as the ball hits Jenkinson’s chest, but when would expect the Orcs to know the difference. Most have four arms and no teeth anyway. The bird on in Total Recall with three tits was born in Stoke.

Arron Ramsey comes on as sub for Cazorla who was once again the AFC star man. The expected boos ring out from the terraces from the Orcs and show their lack of class towards Ramsey. They really are a sad bunch. In fact I almost feel sorry for them as they have been fed the Pullis line for years now, they actually sit and take watching football where they hardly ever score and enjoy it. Goals don’t matter to Orcs, it’s the getting stuck that floats their boat. 36 goals in 38 games last season and only 94 shots on target for a whole season…

Arteta’s corner is headed over by the BFG and that’s 12 to Arsenal, none to Stoke,  yet it’s still 0-0 and for all I want the winning AFC goal, this has 0-0 written all over it.

Chance for Stoke as the ball runs to Walters who is free, but shocked that Stoke are that high up the pitch and no AFC player within three yards to foul, Walters tamely passes the ball back to the Mafia boss.

Ramsey first, shoots over the bar and then an audacious try from way out of the left by Giroud that goes over the stranded Begovic and just over the bar are AFC’s next chances to break the deadlock.

The game ends 0-0 and at least AFC have something to take back from Mordor as they come to back to the real world.

A disappointing match and one AFC really should have won. Stoke were nowhere near their usual battling self at home. Strange that there was not much of the normal Ariel bombardment and throw-ins and what was sent our way was dealt with strongly by the defence. Maybe stoke were missing Etherington. I saw an article a while back saying that both he and Pennant were two of the finest wingers in the premiership, that nearer broke a few ribs with me laughing.

AFC still have some gelling to do up front and that I am sure will come, maybe with the addition of another forward before the transfer window ends. The Arsenal midfield is just creative enough with Cazorla in there, but with Arteta playing further back, it still lacks something, hurry back Jack or play Oxo more. The defence was good, very solid and two clean sheets you cannot argue with, however, both Stoke and Sunderland hardly tested them and both were happy with not scoring before each game. Bigger fish will not be so kind and that is when we can really look at how good they are.

Big week coming up and the hope from most Arsenal fans surely must be for at least two more players being brought in and at least four of the current squad leaving.

Shout for the Mafia boss who did not look phased and did well, lets hope he can continue and be a good under study to S13, who still has some learing to do himself.  All round though it was not one of the best matches involving Arsenal and a second 0-0 on the trot which is very unusual for AFC, the lads I thought did well, save Gervinho and Theo when he came on. Both are playing like headless chickens and need to start making the right decisions when in good positions to do so. Both very frustrating players, who must be a nightmare for forward team mates waiting for them to do something.

The obvious media tripe with RVP scoring and putting 2+2 and coming up with 143 in trying to make the point of us having two 0-0’s and RVP scoring for United. AFC failed to score in both opening matches last season and RVP played in all 180 odd minutes.  Am I alone in thinking there is a real anti-Arsenal media bias and getting worse right now. Some of the attacks really are quite unfair.

Take a look at this “Lukas Podolski will need more than  an  over-reliance on his left foot to draw comparisons with Van Persie,  but was at  least a willing worker, while Olivier Giroud already looks  ominously like  another  sub-standard Arsenal signing up front in the  mould of Chamakh and Gervinho.

After two games the top scorer in France last season is already labelled as sub-standard.

Anyway no mid-week football again and then we play at Anfield at the weekend, should be some game as surely they cannot play anti-football at home.  I think a lot of patience is going to be needed for about 10 games from Go0ners as the team settle and hopefully we can grab enough points to stay in contention. City and Chelsea are also not far off and in that 10 game spell.

Have a good Bank Holiday Monday.

Cheers

@harlowgooner.

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