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Stoke v Arsenal: the preface to the violence and the line up

By Bulldog Drummond

By and large when a manager says, “We are looking to dent Arsenal’s top-four hopes” one can take “dent” as a metaphor, but when Stoke City manager Mark Hughes says it you know he means “dent” literally.  It will be all out war, with very little to do with football.  And with the referee being who it is we can expect a blood bath.

The crowd will be their normal selves I imagine, booing Ramsey for having the temerity to have a career threatening injury caused by a man who is, like all of them, “not that kind of a player.”  It might be believable if we ever found out who “that kind of a player” actually is but it remains a mystery.

The media, as we have seen in previous articles are playing Arsenal’s resurgence down.  A typical phrase at the moment is “Arsenal have reinforced their hopes of a top-four finish with two successive victories”.  A more truthful reporting would be “Arsenal have just won five out of six, having changed over to the wing back system.”

“Fans always like taking scalps” is another phrase doing the rounds.  The problem for football is that a) Stoke take this literally and b) we know who the referee is going to be.

As for Stoke’s team, Hughes has said that £18.3million record signing Giannelli Imbula is up for sale this summer.  Nice to know that Stoke can actually get something wrong, although in the eyes of the press that is still not the case.

As noted elsewhere, Uefa regulations were changed following the 2012 final, to mean that a maximum of five teams from the same league can qualify for the Champions League.  So if Manchester Utd do win the Europa and thus qualify for Europe, but not end up in the top four in the Premier League, the top four will still get their places.

So what of the teams I hear you ask, or rather I would if my computer had its sound system turned up and you were actually saying anything.

Here’s a possibility

Cech

Mustafi  Koscielny Monreal

Bellerin                           Gibbs

Ramsey          Xhaka

Alexis       Ozil

Welbeck

That would make it 3-2-2-2-1;

Now of course as you will have noticed Stoke, being in the middle of the UK, has no beach, which gives a bit of a problem but I am sure they will do their best.   Lurking offshore therefore we might have seven from this group of eight.

Ospina, Gabriel, Holding, Coquelin, Elneny, Walcott, Giroud, Pérez

This all does assume that the Ox is out but Koscielny is back.  If Kos is not fit then I’d expecting Holding, who has done so well of late, to retain his place.  If the Ox is truly fit he might be played once more instead of Bellerin, but he could equally be saved for the midweek match.   After all, waiting for Liverpool! to lose their exclamation mark only works if we win all three of these games, so this is not really the time for taking risks.

The other option is to give Giroud a start and leave Welbeck on the beach ready for Tuesday, in which case they just swap roles.  Danny has only got two league goals so far this season, to Giroud’s ten.

We shall see.

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70 comments to Stoke v Arsenal: the preface to the violence and the line up

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    Your starts and bench are okay for me but we’ll know better after Le Prof’s own are out. Nevertheless, I think he may start the less working in 2 outings Giroud ahead of the more working in the last 2 games Welbeck. And is that your playing formation not being described as 3-6-1 or 3-5-1 or even 3-4-2-1 in some football quarters? Four descriptions now including yours, so which of the four is the standard description?

    Mahrez illegal penalty kick at the Etihad against Man City this afternoon has denied Arsenal gaining two precious points from that match ahead of our envisaged rugby contest match against Stoke City at the Bet365 Stadium today’s evening. But no problem. Arsenal will come away with all the points at stake in this likely to be a rugby contest match with the Gunners playing 11 against 12 in the match as Mike Dean likely to be the 12th Stoke player.

  • Gord

    The StokeSentinel has a page on the closest beaches to Stoke. The nearest is (I believe) 57 miles away. So, a little far as far as the game today is concerned.

    I had that all prepared in a comment, but refreshing the page deleted everything. It usually doesn’t do that.

  • Norman14

    I tell you what! Dean is going to have to be incredibly poor/bent to surpass “Call me Bobby” and his team today? Talk about guiding a team through a game. If there was a UA Assessment, I doubt he would get to 9.6% let alone 96!

    He should be charged by the FA for bringing the game into disrepute!

  • Norman14

    Samuel…

    It wasn’t a penalty anyway – it was a good foot outside the area.
    Just one of loads of little things that Bobby and his fat assistant got wrong today.

    How he didn’t see the assault on Albrighton’s eye is utterly contemptible. He should be charged with aiding and betting Assault causing GBH.

    Still I suppose at least Riley and his Bookie bosses are happy.

  • Norman14

    I would have Holding in and move Nach into Kieran’s spot.

    Assuming, of course, that Ox hasn’t had his Lazarus pills.

  • Jammy J

    @ Norman – “How he didn’t see the assault on Albrighton’s eye is utterly contemptible. He should be charged with aiding and betting Assault causing GBH” So, say if I was out in town on a Friday night and saw someone being beaten up, but I choose to ignore this, you genuinely believe that I should be charged with “aiding and betting assault causing GBH”? C’mon mate, that’s a bit over the top..

  • Cech,
    Mustafi, Koscielny, Holding,
    Bellerin, Xhaka, Coquelin, Monreal,
    Ozil, Alexis,
    Giroud

  • ARSENAL 13

    Ccooommmee ooooooonnnnn uuuuuuuuuu ggggguuuunnnnneeeeerrrrrrssss

    Efff the stokies….

  • Menace

    PGMOL at his usual selective blindness lets Shaquiri go without a card.

  • Menace

    Time wasting bastards – start early & the blind bastard will not see!

  • ARSENAL 13

    Oh come on…..

  • ARSENAL 13

    Effing banner flying morons…

  • ARSENAL 13

    Ooooooo….close…

    That’s such a shameful dive by Diuff

  • Leon

    Monreal is determined to score

  • Gord

    [sarcasm]
    __First yellow of the game to the dirtiest team in the EPL.
    [/sarcasm]

  • Menace

    Dean has his PGMOL agenda – what a bastard cheat!!

  • gouresh

    When will we ever learn that never to give silly fouls outside the box. What’s more we are to slow in our passing. It’s playing in the hand of stock.

  • ARSENAL 13

    Jonson pulls Giroud down… advantage played!!!!!!!

    Mike Dean is he refereeing!!!

  • ARSENAL 13

    Yyyyyyyyyyyyeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrhhhhhhhhhhhh

    Ggggiiiiirrrrrroooooooooooooo

    Nananaaaaa nananaaaaa nananaaaaa

  • Leon

    How easy was that?was Giroud offside though?

  • Gord

    How to go Gunners! Get a goal on the brink of half time.

    Good work Bellerin! Nice goal Giroud!

    COYG!

  • Menace

    Leon go & fly on that banner! The only one off side is Mike Dean. The bitch should be offering his Arsenal to Riley.

  • Menace

    How many advantages given when bookable fouls committed? Dean does not officiate. He just cheats.

  • Jammy J

    A classic Mike Dean performance so far.

    Commentator making a comment about the banner being flown over the stadium and how it is a waste of time and that there are much better ways to spend your money. Well, the very fact that they even decided to show it, completely contradicts that and as long as the TV companies keep showing these ridiculous banners, then these morons will keep on paying for them.

  • Leon

    Menace
    I usually get the offsides wrong. That’s why I’m asking

  • Alex Dieuzeide

    Dean is truly a shame for the whole football world! How many fouls allowed before he gives a yellow. Is he waiting for Alexis to be injured or what?

  • Jammy J

    Johnson pulling Giroud down to the floor, right on the edge of the box, but apparently didn’t deserve a yellow. Also, the advantage was only played for less than half a second. The ball went out of play practically instantly afterwards; why was it not brought back for a free-kick? Cheating scum-bag Dean.

  • Menace

    Leon – Alexis would have been off side because he was coming back from the bye line. Giroud was behind play till the pass was made. Ballerin was 2 yards on side when he received the ball.

  • Menace

    Jammy J – there were several like it where Dean just sticks his arms forward signalling advantage but does nothing when advantage does not occur.

  • Leon

    Thanks that’s all I wanted to know

  • Menace

    Shaquiri should be in the bath – if the officiating was honest.

  • Polo

    Clap to those who paid for the flying banner, good thing they are helping the economy. I hope they keep wasting their money.

    Come on Arsenal let finish off this rugby team.

  • Menace

    Ozil is lazy. He just does not know how to run! What? he runs???????

  • ARSENAL 13

    Ooohhzzil….
    Ccooommmee ooooooonnnnn

  • Gord

    How to go Gunners!

    Classy goal by the assister, and classy assist by the goaler.

    COYG!

  • Leon

    Superb. I watching on a mobile phone so missing some of the detail

  • Menace

    Shawcross with an elbow in the side of Giroud. FA will not see it either!!!

  • Gord

    According to Tom’s Guide, the Galaxy S8 has the largest screen area.

    COYG!

  • Menace

    Dean is really showing his corrupt side. I’ve tweed several PGMOL corrupt tweets & nothing being done by FA.

  • Leon

    Gord
    This is just a one off. Normally watch on TV

  • Menace

    What a fucking cheating mess of a bastard game with PGMOL at their cheating worst.

  • Gord

    Bah, horsefeathers! Come on Gunners, let’s keep that lead.

    COYG!

  • goonersince72

    Hand ball but Dean to the rescue for the goal

  • Rodelero

    There’s nothing like an ill gotten goal to inspire a football team, is there?

    Mike Dean still being able to referee in the Premier League is inexplicable at this stage. Wherever he goes, misery follows for Arsenal.

  • para

    That man Dean needs to be taken out!

    But we are getting flustered, making mistakes, so keep control lads.
    Yessssssssssssss

  • Gord

    Alexis unassisted? How to go Alexis!

    How does Alexis get injured? Did Dean kick him?

    On the image from LiveScore, the front row have now all scored. So, Monreal, Xhaka, Coquelin and Bellerin are all in line for a goal next.

    COYG!

  • Sheworeayellowribbon

    The icing on the cake for that goal is that shawcross assisted with a slight deflection

  • Gord

    [sarcasm]
    __Ooooo! That bunch of thugs (Arsenal) get another yellow card.
    [/sarcasm]

    COYG!

  • Gord

    Another Gunner goal? Second row now?

    How to go Giroud. Nice work Aaron!

    COYG!

  • Rodelero

    I hope very goal feels like a kick in the nuts for Mike Dean. Scum of the earth.

  • Polo

    Wtf, commentator say Holdings foul on Arnautavic should be a red but didn’t say anything about the Pieters elbow to Mustafi or the elbow to Giroud.

  • Gord

    Unlikely that Stoke will win at this point. Dean has applied a lot of brake to Arsenal by issuing two yellow cards. Dean needs to even the card count now, so that a trivial analysis won’t flag this game as unusual.

    Come on Danny, your turn for a goal. Or the second row. Or the back line.

    COYG!

  • Sheworeayellowribbon

    And Ramsey with the assist this time to rub it in for Shawcross

    Blaming Dean for Crouch’s goal is for once unjustified I think. The commentators didn’t see it and more importantly nor did the arsenal players. It’s not bad refereeing it’s cheating by Crouch.

  • Gord

    Or Theo, you can score too.

    COYG!

  • mk

    Were do they get these idiot commentators.. “borderline handball” by crouch, red card and “cheating” for a push on Anautavich by holding..

    4-1 to the Arsenal, screw you dean and Stoke!

  • Gord

    There’s one yellow to Stoke, still looking for one more.

    COYG!

  • Gideone

    If Xhaka tried that Peter Crouch’s tackle he would be out by now…

  • mk

    You can blame dean for not calling the foul on bellerin? before the handball goal though.. and generally being a pathetic excuse for a referee.

  • Gord

    Someone take that game ball, and shove it into Dean’s small intestine from either end of his GIT.

    I wonder if Walter is done his report yet? 🙂

  • WalterBroeckx

    Yes, Gord just pushing publish right now

  • Jammy J

    @ Menace – Yeah, I’ve notice that a lot (and not just in this match). Whenever advantage is played for Arsenal, it seems to be for less than a second, yet when it’s advantage for the other team, the ref gives them at least 5 seconds, before putting his hands back down. It’s just small(ish) things like this, that all add up to make it such a struggle playing against 12 players practically every game.

    Anyway, excellent victory! Despite the PIGMOBs best attempts at stopping us, we severely outclassed the rugby team today. Made all the more sweeter that one of the goals came off a deflection from that complete and utter neanderthal Shawcross.

  • Jammy J

    @ Polo – That commentator was absolutely ridiculous! Calling Holding a cheater and that it was a definite red card. He seemed genuinely disgusted by it (although, of course Crouches scissor kick was “just a bit naughty”).

    And was then criticising Wenger for when he says “I did not see it” and then smugly continues to lay into him by saying “yeah, but of course he never misses it whenever it’s an incident against Arsenal”, as if Wenger is the only manager to have ever done this. The anti-Arsenal bias is so unbelievably apparent with these shameless arseholes.

  • Polo

    Another great win by the team, well done. Let keep this winning streak going.

    Alexis pass for Ozil’s goal was top class. Hopefully Alexis is ok and nothing serious.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    WOO HOO, HOO ! A great win . Well done guys!
    I guess whoever paid for that banner must be smirking in some hole !

  • Polo

    @ Jammy, I totally agree with you, I was fuming listening to such garbage, the media bias against Arsenal and especially against AW is getting beyond a joke.

    Anyway, our team won so let not let the media stupidity ruin a good occasion.

  • Sammy The Snake

    The boys are back to their best. Great win! Top 4 doesn’t seem so far off now, does it?!

    Jemmy J – you are spot on. The commentary was as bad as the referee.

  • Jammy J

    It’s just such a shame, that even after a great victory, having to listen to these “expert” commentators/pundits (dickheads) slag off and criticise our team, players and manager at every opportunity and repeatedly watching our team being cheated left, right and centre; it still leaves such a very sour taste in the mouth.

  • Jerry

    Great game by Arsenal today! For those complaining about the commentator, it was David Pleat, former Spurs manager making the ridiculous comments. Makes you wonder how he was able to get his coaching badges when he clearly does not know any rules in football.

  • Norman14

    Jammy J..

    If you have official responsibility for that person’s safety, yes!

  • Mandy Dodd

    Another excellent win, despite the …obstacles….
    A fighting chance, should the Hammers do their duty , as they did in their last game
    I really hope they keep and expand on this formation next season,seems to suit them….more and more.
    Lots of reports saying kolasniac in the bag….on a free transfer?

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