Arsenal 1 – 0 Stoke – My Opinion (and give us your opinion as well!)

Arsenal 1 – 0 Stoke
Squillaci (8)

My Opinion

There are a few major talking points about last night’s game. Perhaps the most important are the injuries we suffered. It looks like Theo Walcott is going to miss at least a few weeks with a sprained ankle. I doubt highly that he will be fully fit the Barcelona return leg in 12 days time. The away game at West Brom on the 19th April seems more likely.

Unfortunately, El Capitan also was substituted early on with what appeared to be a hamstring problem. Not only did it put a downer on the game, but it also left me wondering whether it would be Cesc lifting the trophy for us on Sunday. Lets hope he’s fit for at least the last 20 minutes at the end, and the celebrations, of course!

It’s amusing how every time we play Stoke, we end up with 3/4 more injuries than we had before, and Tony Pulis has the cheek to call US the dirty side!? What a joke!

Good to see Bendtner is enjoying being let loose again on the wings – his crossing and final balls have become a LOT better, not to mention the game time that is improving his confidence (as if Bendtner ever had any confidence issues).

Also good to see Arshavin with the spark in his eyes once again. I’m pointing in particular to that dizzying run on the hour mark which almost created a goal. Perhaps Vodka is on sale in London?

Djourou and Squillaci coped well with the aerial threat, and dealt with the raw strength that Carew and Walters possessed. However, I’m still not  totally convinced as to whether either of them are good enough to be first choice CBs. Koscielny and Vermaelen would be my preferred pairing.

Wilshere – again the man of the match for me – what a season the young Englishman is having!

Lets hear your opinion Gooner fans! Comment below.


9 Responses to “Arsenal 1 – 0 Stoke – My Opinion (and give us your opinion as well!)”

  1. Gooner92 Says:

    Have to say arsenals top 3 players this season are nasri, wilshere and of course djourou! We have such a great team for now and the future! If cesc does go we have Ramsey and nasri who can play there and possibly Lansbury too!

    sanga. Djourou. Vetmaelan clichy

    Nasri. Song. Wilshere

    Walcot. Rvp. Arshavin

    eboue. Squillaci. Konscianly. Gibbs

    Ramsey. Frimpong. Lansbury

    Rosicky. Bendy. Ryo

    That’s without diaby denilson ect! Future is looking bright!

  2. meaner Says:

    How many games walcott need to perform in order to get a decent good game? How many chances he need in order to score a goal? How many times he need in order to assist and create a goal? How many English dare to say walcott is shit as well?

    He is the third worse player after Denilson and Diaby.

  3. Paul C. Says:

    I find it hard to believe that you consider Koscielny ahead of Djourou. Look at our record when Djourou is on the pitch. Look at our record when Djourou-Squillaci is the partnership. Look at the record when Djourou-Koscielny is the partnership. Then look at our record when Djourou is missing from our team. All of our players look better when Djourou is in the side. He is the most important player in our team after Cesc.

    Djourou has been a giant this season. He is by far our best defender right now and is an automatic choice when fit. He and TV5 would be the first choice when everyone is fit by a country mile.

    • Admin Says:

      That’s only because Wenger has used Djourou sporadically, and not against the best teams. He wasn’t used against United away, Chelsea away or Liverpool away. Keeping goals out from Wigan, Bolton, Stoke or a very weak Chelsea team at home shouldn’t be difficult.

      Koscielny started the season with a tough trip away to Liverpool, but has settled down since then. Bare in mind this is Koscielny’s first season in English football and he’s still getting used to the game. Djourou has been playing for Arsenal since 2004, and still hasn’t managed to hold down a first team position.

      Admittedly, Djourou had a good game against Chelsea, and has played well since the turn of the year – but I don’t think he has been as good as Koscielny in the long-run.

      • Paul C. Says:

        Djourou was coming back from long-term injury earlier in the season. For a while he was only being allowed one match per week. Djourou has been the best defender by a mile this year, look at what happened when he went off the pitch at Newcastle. The moment he went off the pitch there was chaos. If Koscielny was so good, why couldnt he handle it without Djourou in that game? Just look at our record when Djourou is on the pitch compared to when he isnt. It doesnt matter whether he is partnered by Kos or Squillaci, when Djourou plays we look solid in defense and win. When Djourou does not play, we look shaky in defense. Last night was a perfect example. Lots of people were quaking in their boots about Squillaci playing, but alongside Djourou he looked solid and composed. Squillaci and Koscielny have had all kinds of problems together as a unit this season. You say “Keeping goals out from Wigan, Bolton, Stoke or a very weak Chelsea team at home shouldn’t be difficult”, so is that why WBA and Spurs (who, as Harry keeps saying, “can’t score”) both scored 3 at The Emirates against us without Djourou? And why Newcastle scored 4 in 30 minutes against us without Djourou? And why we conceded 2 at Wigan and 2 at Villa without Djourou? Our defensive record with Djourou in the side is the best in the League. Our defensive record without Djourou in the side is mid-table. The statistics dont lie.

        Djourou makes anyone he partners look good, because he can handle the physical and aerial stuff and leave his partner to clean up.

        I think Koscielny will be an outstanding defender in years to come. He has all the natural attributes and skills to do so. I REALLY, REALLY like Koscielny as a player and think he was an absolutely fantastic buy from AW. I think he has settled in really well to English Football after a tough start and in European Football is a natural. He will be a top player. I love the guy.

        But Djourou has been absolutely outstanding this year. He is an automatic pick right now. When TV5 comes back there is absolutely no question who will be our primary central defensive partnership in my mind.

  4. pete e Says:

    I think we are coping well under pressure but we need to stop the silly advantages we give to teams that can score from set pieces. For instance I am always worried when Denilson comes on because we have a one goal lead and then will have to defend a silly free kick in a very dangerous area or even a penalty everytime he plays…..or is it me being hard on him??

  5. Richie Rich Says:

    Kos is better than JD from a purist view-point. JD is taller and only better at dealing with the route1 big punt down the middle: Stoke, Bolton et al.. kind of football. Look at the marking and distibution of the 2 players…. Chalk and cheese. Wish we had better options though.
    PREDICTION: Kos will be world class within next 2 seasons. JD will be 3rd choice at best; for such a big fella, he gets pushed over too easily, no aggression what so ever. Too nice

    • Paul C. Says:

      On the one hand you say Djourou is only better at handling the route1 stuff, i.e. the physical stuff against big strikers like Carew etc, and then you say he gets pushed over too easily. So if Djourou is better against the route1 physical stuff, but gets pushed over too easily in your opinion, what does that say about Koscielny if he isnt as good against that type of play?

      And yes, I am looking at the marking and distribution of the two players. Once again, look at the numbers and our record with Djourou in the team versus any combination without Djourou in the side. To be honest, Squillaci and Miquel together looked more solid than Squillaci and Koscielny have together on many occasions. All season long people have been blaming Squillaci for all our defensive woes but seeing him in back-to-back games with Miquel (an 18 year old) and Djourou makes you wonder how much of those problems were down to him, and how much were down to Koscielny and his own inability to handle a lot of the physical stuff that goes on in English Football. I firmly believe that will change in the coming years but right now Koscielny is a long way from the finished article (although against smaller, quicker attackers – such as those he saw against Barcelona – his natural pace and quickness come very much to the forefront).

      I agree with you that Koscielny will be an outstanding defender in the future. He has everything. But once again I say, look at the Newcastle game. We were coasting with Djourou on the pitch. The minute he left the pitch we fell apart and Koscielny conceded a stupid penalty and couldnt deal with the aerial stuff Newcastle pumped into the box.

  6. majaa Says:

    Meaner… Walcott’s pace alone worries opponents… Any opponents… If not for walcott Barcelona would have been walking over us easily. When there’s one run that walcott makes into the opposition, they get worried and they start dropping deeper to catch up with him. That is what we need. He is the one player that scares opponents and thats important. He is young and the finishing is what he need to work on, but comparing him to previous seasons, his final product have been improving drastically. You remember the walcott that just runs and does nothing? Look at him now, goals and assist. Who else would be able to run pass the entire team and give RVP the perfect ball he got during the counter the other day. Watch him, and watch him well. The strength of our team at the moment IMO is with song, wilshere and walcott.

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