By Walter Broeckx
So the Huns came to the Emirates and left with empty hands. Fine.
There are teams that you want to see trashed at the Emirates. The spuds come to mind. And in fact Stoke is such a team. Winning 6-1 against Southampton is great but you don’t get a devilish great extra feeling doing this. After all Southampton are a rather nice club with no bad blood running between both clubs.
But with Stoke this is different. So if we could beat them with a big score you have two great feelings coming together. But in a way winning 1-0 against them with a hard fought victory with a goal at the end is in fact almost as good as a trashing. Because now they had hope for getting away with a point with their terrible tactics. And then suddenly we scored with a deflected free kick and they have to go home with no points. This brings the great devilish feeling. Beating them with their own weapons.
I can imagine the usual suspects coming over here and telling us how bad we are and how doomed we are. I think those characters will have been as disappointed as Pukes or what’s his name?
Wenger made 5 changes compared to the Liverpool game. We must remember Stoke had one day more rest between their Tuesday fixture than we had. So a smart move in my opinion. Vermaelen was out and so was Gibbs. And then he gave a rest to Cazorla, Podolski and Ramsey.
It was very much one way football. The BBC gave Stoke more possession in their stats but that must be down for counting the time the ball was out of play and they were time wasting as possession. But all the other statistics were pretty much in favour of Arsenal.
We struggled to break down their 10 man defensive line. It was a game where we had to take the few chances we would have. Stoke is the champion of the draws and of the 0-0 score line so we had make sure we took that we could get. We didn’t so it became a long and frustrating game. With not many chances. They can defend, Stoke, that is for sure.
Wenger brought Podolski and Cazorla in the second half and it paid off. When Walcott was fouled it was Podolski who placed himself behind the ball. And his shot went in taking a deflection from a Stoke defender. Yeeeeeaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhh! We all shouted. And then suddenly ……we saw an assistant with his flag raised.
First the facts:
- When Podolski took his free kick Walcott was standing in an offside position. He was the player the furthest away from all the players and from the assistant.
- The ball was shot in the middle some 10 meters away from where Walcott was standing.
- In the middle no Arsenal player was offside or even close to the ball (apart from Podolski who took the shot of course)
Now being an assistant myself these days most of the time I know a few things about the job of the assistant. And I know the problems you can have at times. But if the assistant couldn’t see that Walcott wasn’t interfering at all in this situation he should have his vision checked. Maybe he has a problem with depth perception. If so then I am sorry but then he should stop being an assistant.
If his vision is ok and I hope the FA checks this every now and then, then this is the strangest flag raising I have seen for a long, long while. This was a disgrace if you ask me. And I think Foy knew that all too well and so he overruled the assistant rightly so.
That was a total embarrassment for the assistant who on a few occasions seemed not really completely up to his task. And I feel sorry to say this but he himself drew the wrong sort of attention upon himself this afternoon.
Towards the end there were a few other incidents and the ref this time didn’t take enough control of. After we scored Stoke became even more aggressive and then Shawcross came in with this studs and slid in the body of Koscielny who had cleared the ball. He got a yellow card (Shawcross) but once again he came flying in like the complete lunatic he is. Breaking Ramsey is leg clearly isn’t enough for this embarrassment of a football player. Lucky for him Foy gave him a yellow card so he once again can escape what he deserved and that would be another ban for a red card. But well we know that Shawcross is ‘not that type of player’ by now. Puke.
Tempers were raised because of the bad spell from the ref and when Arteta went in strong on Owen the ref gave no foul. It was a foul from Arteta and should have been a booking as far as I can see. And then Owen threw a punch at Arteta that missed him. Again the ref didn’t see that. On MOTD the “experts” showed it and laughed it away saying it was nothing as it was a bad punch and didn’t really hit Arteta.
Well another example on how little they actually know about the rules but still try to indoctrinate the general public with their nonsense. In fact when you throw a punch or try to throw a punch it is the same. The offence is throwing a punch towards an opponent. The offence is not if it hit the opponent or not. No the throwing itself is the offence and should be punished with a red card.
Another example is that if a player throws a ball in anger towards another player, ref or spectator this player should get a red card. And then again it doesn’t matter if the ball that was thrown makes contact or not. Such actions don’t belong on a football field.
My final words go to Nacho Monreal who made his début after only one training with the team and having signed a contract some 36 hours before. I think he did his job in a sober way. He had a few misunderstandings in this game as can be expected when you are thrown in to the deep. I remember him joining the attack a few times but being overseen a bit, maybe because of the absence of Podolski on the left flank.
On one occasion he made a good run when he combined with Wilshere and his cross was dangerous but Shawcross I think could get it out of the way just before the onrushing Giroud. Defensively he looked solid and I cannot really remember him getting out of position in this game. So a good solid start from the left back who I feel will grow when he gets used to his teammates a bit better.
1-0 against the thugs from Stoke (they sure lived up to their bad name), a clean sheet. A good début. What more can you want. Chelsea losing, Everton dropping points… I know what more that I want. Let’s hope it happens on Sunday.
- Arsenal v Rugby – a match preview
- Arsenal – Stoke: What can we expect from the ref?
- The moment that power changed hands from the owner to the manager at Arsenal
- What is the Arsenal and what does Arsenal represent.
- Woolwich Arsenal: The club that changed football – Arsenal’s early years
- Making the Arsenal – how the modern Arsenal was born in 1910
- The Crowd at Woolwich Arsenal FC: crowd behaviour at the early matches