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July 2021

Arsenal 3 – 1 Stoke, the revenge of the Aaron, the assist-master doing his job and other enjoyable facts

By Walter Broeckx

We’re top of the league,  say we are top of the league. I could stop right here and maybe most of you will but there is rather a lot to say about this match.  And all some very strange things in fact. We seemed to have entered a reverse world in this match.

The first moment of raising eyebrows was when the teams came out. On they said that Walcott would play. And as the loading of my stream took a while I was baffled to find out that when seeing a player on the right flank he was not carrying the number 14.  But number 44 of Serge Gnabry who was supposed to sit on the bench.  I heard saying that Walcott had to pull out the warm up before the game. So let us hope that his injury is not too bad.

I think Gnabry put in a good shift. Only this Wednesday I saw him shine in the Youth League game at Marseille and now a few days later he went from a rubbish pitch to the holy pitch of the Emirates. What a world of difference for the young German who only turned 18 this summer. Well done Serge and a good game.

Let us move to another German player.  And probably man of the match. And man of the home debut: Mesut Özil.  Well what can you say about that. First game at the Emirates and 3 assists in my book. The first assist was when his free kick could only be pushed back into the field of play by Stoke keeper Begovic and Ramsey silencing the Stoke faithful. It is clear to see that the booing from SOME (but they do seem to be with a lot – too many to my liking) does hurt him because it is such an injustice.  I think we all felt extra delighted that it was Ramsey who once again scored. Well I was.

You can see that Özil is a player that can become  one of the greatest for Arsenal. Delightful touches, some great dribbles and always playing with ease.  And most of all…assists, assists and assists. Because the second goal that was scored by Mertesacker also came from a dead ball from Özil. And to round things off he scored a hattrick of assists when he delivered another free kick that was excellently headed in by Sagna.

In between Stoke had scored a goal. Arnautovic  escaped and hit the post, the ball came out to Cameron who shot in the net. A thunder stroke  when there was a clear sky. I didn’t see that coming and I think most of us didn’t expect it.

And then when we look at all the goals we see that all the Arsenal goals came from dead balls (thanks to Özil) and the goal from Stoke came in open play. I might have missed the odd goal but I think this was only the 4th goal from open play against Arsenal in the last 19 games (or so). And it was scored by Stoke of all teams. You would have expected us to score from open play and them from dead balls. So like I said : strange fact.

Another strange fact is that Giroud didn’t score in the league. He worked really hard and had to fight like a lion against Huth and Shawcross. And he really was giving them lots of trouble. What I really liked was that in injury time he got the ball just outside the penalty area, he could have taken on the shot and I think nobody would have been upset if he would have taken it on. But instead he played the team game and gave the ball to Ramsey who fired a shot that was just tipped over by Begovic.  You could see how much Ramsey would have loved to see that one go in. But kudos to Giroud for showing he is not out there to play for himself but he is a team player.

What this team also is showing is that they are ready to play the dirty game. And I don’t mean making lots of dirty fouls. But the get back and do their defensive job.  It was the whole team who worked their socks off.  We must also admit that indeed Stoke seems to have changed a bit. They tried to play the ball over the ground and put us under some pressure that way at times.  But it was Arsenal who was more determined when it came to defending their penalty area. Again a strange fact looking back at the last seasons. But us followers of the Arsenal have seen it before: We can defend a lead.

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And finally : the last strange fact. When going in front early on I expected some Dean magic.  He blew a few things that looked like being Dean-facts. When Stoke equalized I feared he might try something. But again he didn’t or we didn’t provide him with the chance to do it. When we were 2-1 in front I really hoped we would score a third goal because I still wasn’t sure that he would blow his magic whistle and open his red card book to give a penalty against Arsenal for some little foul. Again our players remained calm and didn’t allow Dean any tricks.

When it was 3-1 I felt relaxed and knew: this team will not give that away that easily. Not even with Dean on the field. And that is the third strange fact: Dean as the ref and we won.

So a very enjoyable afternoon for lots of reasons. We beat Stoke using their own weapons, we won when Dean was there. A young German made his PL debut in the starting lineup,  A somewhat older, and if he continues like that one, of the best midfielders in the world offered us 3 assists and finally Per Mertesacker made a goal and that itself in itself is a rather rare occasion to cherish.  Oh and Arteta is back. Another great thing!

So let us sing : we’re top of the league say we’re top of the league….

64 comments to Arsenal 3 – 1 Stoke, the revenge of the Aaron, the assist-master doing his job and other enjoyable facts

  • AnonymousGun

    we f***king love 3-1 score line

  • bob

    Oh, and Flamini! seriously good fit who relishes the position – a second stealth “steal of the window”. One more quality striker in January and, well, let’s see…

  • Sammy The Snake

    Rambo is a man on fire. Ozil has a magic touch. Wonderful to watch.

  • Kenneth Widmperool

    …good stuff Walter,I couldn’t help thinking a Pulis Joke City side might have put up more of a fight, sure glad they didn’t! I enjoyed watching the Arsenal win in what seemed a relatively relaxed state.
    This weeks pronunciations of Özils name were hilarious; Alan Smith’s was “Urzel” and Jamie Carragher “Ozzle”!! Anyway COYG!

  • Malaysiangooner

    With özil’s signing, our chance of scoring in dead ball situation has increase exponentially. Strange facts indeed. Stoke certainly have different approach under hughes. Todays game is all about revenge. Aaron’s revenge, and our revenge for all of the past goals conceded from delap’s throw.

  • Sammy The Snake

    Have you noticed we have scored the most goals is far this season, 11 in 5 games. We are the only team in double figures.
    Good to be a Gooner!

  • Leo

    I love Ramsey’s celebration by putting his finger to his lips 🙂

  • dan

    Nice to out stoke stoke. Watching the smelly derby, me thinking Webb will do up most to level the score.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    An overall good team effort with Ozil having a delightful home debut . I was apprehensive in the 2nd half when we just set back but the players were not in the least flustered.
    Like bob observes above , Flamini was awesome and I was thinking to my self that he has slotted in so well as though he never left .
    Hope the Spuds drop points , while ManUre are showing that they are a one man team ( where did we hear this before)and will be tenth at the end of the day !
    Where are the AAAAs ?
    Up the Gunners !

  • Klaus

    Stoke stuffed with 3 setpieces …. MoM = Mesut Özil (3 assists in 1 game) … Ramsey stoked one goal again – in brief, a well rounded enjoyable weekend for the Gunners

  • Brickfields Gunners

    And speaking of the Dutch …..

    1. You can get arrested for growing plants, but not for smoking them.
    2. You can make jokes about the Belgians and still drink their beer.
    3.a. You can legally kill yourself
    3.b. You can legally be killed
    4. You’re exactly like the Germans, except that nobody hates you.
    5. You think you are a world power, but everyone else thinks Copenhagen is your capital…
    6. You get to insult people and defend yourself by saying it’s a national tradition.
    7. You can put your finger in a dyke and it will save your country
    8. You live in the most densely populated country in Europe, and still you’ve never seen your neighbours.
    9. If the economy is bad, blame the Germans. If a war is started, blame the Germans. If you lose your keys, blame the Germans.

    10.Bikes are public property. Locks are a challenge.

  • bjtgooner

    Good write up Walter and a very good win. Further, while Ozil provided three great assists we are not a one man team, it was a good all round performance – especially as some of the team must be a bit tired after all the recent matches.

    I think a wee dram is called for!

  • marcus

    Gnabry looked very composed; could be good.

    Dean clearly has an identical twin, because whoever refereed today was impartial IMO.

    Per is a much better player than I ever believed. Big presence.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    We had Steward Robson as ‘expert ” commentator and he had this crap to spew ..” Willshire goes to ground very easily !”
    Its called a foul , you clueless cueball head !

  • Sammy The Snake

    Steward Robson’s commentary was absolutely biased.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Man.Shitty 4 ManUre 0 . Will this night get better ? Bet on it !

  • WalterBroeckx

    I think the fact that we sat back in the second half was also down to the CL game in midweek that might have affected a few players.

  • WalterBroeckx

    I would have preferred a draw in Manchester today but Utd getting learned a lesson is also rather enjoyable

  • bob

    Intentional wordsmithery or not, your spelling of Steward is a better spelling than Stewart (or Stuart, or whetever the fuck he is) because most of all, he is a hired steward of Arsene/Arsenal Hating. (Sooooo glad he’s been stewarded off of Arsenal Player last season and forever because of the mounting outcry from gooners thereabouts that finally reached the club’s ears. A good lesson for all.)

  • bob

    Like you surmise, the Arsenal Player presenters and Bob Wilson all concurred that the players are tired and it showed up in the second half. And Giroud is included. This, of course, is a well-known and widespread worry among the faithful; and will predictably result in an injury unless Bendtner proves miraculous. (And it shouldn’t have come to this, but it’s real.) A sacrifice of the Whatever It’s Now Called Cup on Wednesday will provide a needed rest; but one hopes there are Plans B and C in the wings before the anticipated next quality purchase, as health gambles have decidedly not been our strong point. Our brilliant start plus the O-man should prove magnets for serious quality backup players in the January window.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ bob – actually it was not ,but since Sammy too used it – steward it is ! Works for me !


    1.a person who manages another’s property or financial affairs; one who administers anything as the agent of another or others.
    2.a person who has charge of the household of another, buying or obtaining food, directing the servants, etc. employee who has charge of the table, wine, servants, etc., in a club, restaurant, or the like.
    4.a person who attends to the domestic concerns of persons on board a vessel, as in overseeing maids and waiters. employee on a ship, train, or bus who waits on and is responsible for the comfort of passengers, takes orders for or distributes food, etc.

  • Rufusstan

    SO many good things about the game.

    Ramsey Shushing the away fans, Sagna scoring, 3 goals from set pieces (Özil assists from them all).

    While Giroud broke his scoring streak, he gave both Huth and Shawcross a torrid time all game.

    The Ramsey-Özil-Wilshere axis is starting to click, with The Flamster behind them playing like he never left.

    Even better is resting Özil and Jack in the last 20 mins and successfully protecting the lead. The deep defense was almost Graham-like.

    For me though. Gnabry was perhaps the biggest positive. First start and he looked like he belonged there. A bit more speed of decision, which will come with experience, and he could be very nice.

    Not counting my chickens yet, but all the pieces are there.

  • meaner

    MU are unable to win without diving.

    Now Farkerson is gone and ref is no longer afraid of MU.

    Let’s hope MU out of top 4 permanently.

  • Sammy The Snake

    We might see B52 in action on Wed night. Who else do we have to fill Giroud’s shoes?

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Wine knowledge

    On his first date with a beautiful woman, Joe decided to impress her with his knowledge of wine. He told the wine steward to bring a bottle of 1985 Sterling Chabernet Sauvignon from the Carneros District.
    Upon tasting the wine, Joe berated the steward, “No, no, this is a 1987 Vintage from the North Coast Vineyards near Calistoga. Please bring me what I ordered.”
    The second bottle of wine was poured, and once again Joe was annoyed, “No, no, this is 1985 all right, but it’s from the Mount Helena vineyards!”
    Watching the drama from the bar, an old drunk came up to the table and said, “Wow, that’s an impressive ability. Can you tell me what’s in my glass?”
    Not wanting to pass up an opportunity to impress his date, Joe sipped at the drunk’s glass.
    “Christ, this tastes like piss!” he exclaimed and spat the mouthful out.
    “That’s exactly right,” said the drunk. “Now tell me when and where I was born.”

  • Tom

    “He blew a few things that looked like being Dean – facts” . Perhaps I misunderstood your comment here but are you suggesting that Dean had anything but a stellar game and got almost every call correctly ?.

  • Nelson Wong

    A few things to note.

    Technically, the difference between excellent player and a great player/ legend is slim. The “great” makes everyone play better. Ozil has that effect which is not as powerful on Cazorla. Technically, I don’t see a big difference them. Its a bit psychological and a bit to do with vision. Think about the third goal. Who would choose to set it so high and far for Sagna who hasn’t scored for ages? No doubt they had drilled the move but most would have choose to set the ball up in another track for others to head it.

    This team can beat any type of tactic. Before they cannot deal with a physical game. They cannot handle the tackles. They injure players and disrrupt the rythm and flow. That does not happen anymore. The team can still do their job even though they got fouled all the time.

    Further, the team can score with dead ball now. The trend started last season and excelled after arrival of Ozil. When the other side play “dirty tactic”, they foul our players frequently ending up giving a lot of dead ball. Before, that means no goal but now these turn into real scoring chances. Sooner or later, teams will realize that its no good to foul Arsenal players anymore because that means giving the team goals.

    And now the team has another reserve winger. He can surely do great work for league cup games…

    One thing we haven’t seen yet is how this team stood up against “big” teams… Chealsea, Man U, Man City. If the team beats one of them by two goals, their confidence will go up to the roof.

  • rantetta

    Yes indeed, a great team win, and a lovely write-up, Walter.

    Dean still let Stoke get away with plenty of fouls, blocks and yellow cards. Their players screamed at the officials once they’d committed fouls. However, Dean would still put his consoling hand on the back of Stoke players. But I suppose at least he didn’t award penalties to Stoke.

    As for Robson, he couldn’t hide his disappointment for Stoke.
    Enough of the negatives.

    This really is a superb win. Boy, some of the players looked quite tired in the 2nd half (not a criticism), and they really dug in, yet still went forward to try and get a 4th goal. We all can feel so proud of all Arsenal have done this season. Yes, all. That loss in the 1st league match was entirely due to outrageously bad refereeing, and coming back from that in the next matches has been magnificent.

    I was so glad to see MA8, Ryo and Nacho join in. (I always have to watch a replay to see exactly what Monreal does when he comes on. Again, not a criticism). I expected Gnabry to play well as he’s in a good run of form.

    Flamini, who I hadn’t exactly forgiven (for 5 years???, and therefore, didn’t really want back) has shown outstanding commitment and no little skill. I told friends that whilst he could “jog on”, if Mr Wenger brings him back in, it’s because Flamini’s made an impression in training – that he can and will do the job, and that whatever Wenger decides is always good enough. Flamini’s yellow card tackle against S*^rs totally won me over. **** ’em, yes.

    Forward, Arsenal.

  • colario

    Stuart posts and Stewart also posts. One is positive, the other ?

    Note how Gibbs has come on by leaps and strides. He should be included when we praise our defense.

  • rantetta,

    I was vociferous in my objection to Flamini too. And boy, am I glad that AW is not vindictive like me? He clearly haven’t lost his love for a midfield fight and seeing him against the bullies just gives me so much joy. It’s nice to have our own attack dog back!

    I call our game today “effective football”. We played in a similar manner to the game against the scum from down the road. Just like the Tinies, Stoke had more possession but our defence was resolute. Other than their goal, they did not create clear cut chances. We dominated in all other areas that matter.

    Who would have believed that Arsenal would score 3 set piece goals against Stoke while conceding the only open play goal of the game? We out-Stoked Stoke indeed 🙂

  • bob

    it’s a pun. “steward” means ass-licking servant,
    like steward robson. (nothing to do with other spellings and posters.) ok?

  • bob

    “When the other side play “dirty tactic”, they foul our players frequently ending up giving a lot of dead ball. Before, that means no goal but now these turn into real scoring chances. Sooner or later, teams will realize that its no good to foul Arsenal players anymore because that means giving the team goals.”
    Nelson Wong,
    This would be so great: something to decrease the massive fouling because opponents could be punished by Dr. O!

  • Mandy Dodd

    Agree with all the comments on flamster what a signing! Saved us a big sum on cabaye he clearly loves this club

  • top Goooner

    Man great piece, but i need our table. and then after eiksen scoring a goal against a certain team wcis fighting relegation in norway, spuds fans are comparing the kid to a man who has four assists in two games what a genius. Twitter is becoming a joke

  • bob

    mais ouis! vive la difference! Le Flambeau.

  • bob

    Mandy Dodd,
    The Arsenal Player presenters were saying how Le Flambeau is small but he has a real taste for the physical side of the game and knows the position very well and likes to play at the edge (which is far less carded in the EPL), even though he’s not tall. It’s deeds not words that heal the old rifts and he’s surely committed to that. His self-interest and the team’s success are a great combination; plus he and Arteta being able to provide quality depth for (needed) rotation and better choice of match-ups in a key position. A real difference maker this duo. And yes, AW has known this, despite the howls of the summer for so “dull” or whatever his re-signing was supposed to have signified.

  • nicky

    I am increasingly concerned at the physical assaults being made on Wilshere. Free kicks and the occasional card are all very well but these fouls will take their toll. I simply cannot foresee him lasting out the season.
    Arsene simply has to nurse the guy and rest him whenever possible.
    I’ve long given up on referees’ protection.

  • ALa

    Fabulous result. And glad we are start to look dangerous from set pieces, well done Ozil, Ramsey & the boys.

  • Oluwatoba

    This is unbelievable considering what the media made us believe

    Wenger commenting on Flamini

    [He did] pretty well, and the two [of them] together [Flamini and Ozil] cost £21 million!

  • GoingGoingGooner

    I can believe that the team was tired in the second half but what I found interesting was the spell after Ramsey scored until Stoke equalized. We seemed to come to a stop…no running…no incisive passing just a lot of tika taka. My hope is that more time together will help them figure out what they want to do with the ball.

    Although he put in a good shift, Gnabry is not et up to Walcott’s standard as regards timing his runs in behind the defence. Also, too often he would run and then pull the ball up and pass inside. I suspect he just needs time to have confidence on the ball.

    I thought Sagna played a good game as did Mertesacker in the centre. A lot of our attacking play down the right was due to Sagna and Mertesacker was solid with those incredibly long legs.

    Giroud was a beast up front. He holds the ball up quite well, doesn’t he?

  • rantetta

    bob, hello, correct, thank you.

    Mandy, Nicky, KTSOOA still ruled today.

    All: MF&Rambo intvw:

  • Unbelievable belief

    I wonder why Low came to the match?
    He must already know all he needs to know about Özil and Mertesacker.
    He knew Poldi is still injured and he mustn’t have had knowledge that Gnarby was going to start.

    It’s a big bonus for Gnarby that he was being watched by his international manager.
    Low must be impressed, especially that he can play with Özil seamlessly.

  • rantetta


    Spot on.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Bob, yes, old wounds are being healed, he is a very committed player and great to have with us.I was very worried when I saw Arteta out for several weeks, but Flam has helped out no end. saw an interview with Jens implied Flam was as much needed as Ozil. what signings both are proving!

  • alex

    Very enjoyable day. Very much impressed by Gnabry. He is definitely the one to watch this season for me.

    I would love to see more of Ryo too.

  • Pete

    A very significant fact in this game was that we only had 1 of our normal best 7 front 3 players available (Giroud). No Walcott, Cazorla, Podolski, Ox, Sanogo and Bendtner (not fit enough to start). So we adapted and still scored 3.

    It was also a tough game after a tiring CL away trip. Show’s the importance of a home game being scheduled after a CL match.

    Team for WBA?
    Viviano, Jenks, Vermaelen, Hayden (poss Mert/Kos), Monreal, Arteta, Frimpong, Santi (I can hope), Ryo, Gnabry and Bendtner. But put some 1st teamers on the bench…

  • Pete

    Blimey – Di Canio has just been fired. No messing around up in Sundeland. But what a mess.

  • sukebe

    Great night!!
    Top of them all.!!

    But yeah, fatigue starts to show…

    Hope the Dane do his job clean at coc.

  • sukebe

    Let them haters alone…

    “Seek no revenge a Jedi is”

  • para

    I was just sending a text to my mate that it was a very good day, 3-1, 4-1 and 0-0 then that other team managed to score in the last minute, shucks, but it still is a very good day.

  • para

    Forgot, we need to give Jack a good rest before he gets injured again. As someone mentioned, the constant fouls and bruising on him will take it’s toll and i am glad AW will rest him on Wed.

  • Ray from Norfolk, Virginia

    I wonder if Sunderland will go for Martin O’Neil (just kidding) once again or Tony Pulis.

  • Gianni Dioro

    Great performance by the lads. Wilshere dealt with his kicks and fouls, and although Dean missed a few calls, if he really wanted to stitch Arsenal up, he would have given Stoke a penalty for that foul he called on the edge of the area.

  • ARSENAL 13

    Ramsey scored, shushed the stokies. Walter, I think you missed what happened after the celebration. I saw Ramsey in tears. Thats how much it meant to him. Hope his goal scoring run continue…..

    I thought we let them have the ball. We dint press enough. BUT whats with this 3-1 scoreline.

  • arse_or_brain

    i’ve been trying to hammer this point home stoke haven’t changed,just because we won ,just because the ball stays on the floor a little bit more the fact is they’er just as bigger thugs as they have always been leaving their foot in off the ball challenges and the like and although once dean booked a player after an advantage in the main he let them get away with it nothing has changed and their like need to be kicked out of football

  • bjtgooner

    Also, they seemed to foul mouth the ref anytime they were penalised, that should not be tolerated – but no reaction from Dean.

  • gouresh

    Some of my friends from the red side of Manchester are not very loud today…..not the usual…YES! ROONEY….etc. Since they are in sorrow, let me cheer them us with this song.

    Manchester was never blue, Manchester was never blue.
    Fuckerson has left us and now all the ref’s have too!
    But we are manuntidy and will be back,
    Hopefully with all those ref’s in our bag.
    We have looney and Ashley, in our side,
    And will surly get those doggy penalties with their dives.

    As we’ve said Manchester was never blue,
    Fuckerson has left us and now all the ref’s have too.

    Hope this felt better.

  • AL

    Think Tony Pulis is primed for that job, they do seem to love recycling their managers in the premiership.

    Anyway, very good result against a bogey ref. Cardiff almost made it a perfect weekend. Meanwhile, looks like Rupert is still in Bulgaria. And sperez… erm… well, appears to still have his head stuck somewhere.

  • Malaysiangooner

    Anyone else heard the rumor of our motm flamini standing up to marc wilson regarding his treatment of jack? The words spreading is he said to him, ” do that again and i will blind you” with murderous intentions, haha! Still just a rumor though, but if it’s true, what a guy. I do not condone threat or violence but they definitely deserve it.

  • Gianni Dioro

    Normally when a ref tilts the pitch, he doesn’t give free kicks for the fouls from which Arsenal scored their goals.

  • Stuart

    I agree 😉