Arseblog News runs the rule over Arsene Wenger’s triumphant Gunners after Lukas Podolski’s massively deflected free-kick earned Arsenal a hard fought win over Stoke’s disgusting squad of mean-spirited dangleberries.
Wojciech Szczesny: 7/10 – Tidy performance, commanding enough dealing with set pieces but not overly troubled.
Bacary Sagna: 7/10 – Much more solid than he has been recently, dovetailed well with Walcott. Crossing still shite.
Nacho Monreal: 7/10 – A conservative debut (first touch a throw, second after 10 minutes) but positionally astute, passing polished and lively attacking threat as the game wore on.
Per Mertesacker: 8/10 – Didn’t win every high ball by any means, but dealt with the Crouch threat with aplomb. Massive improvement on the Liverpool game.
Laurent Koscielny: 8/10 – Read the game well, carried ball out of defence when needed and nearly grabbed opener with decent header.
Mikel Arteta: 7/10 – Energetic performance, ruffled Michael Owen’s feathers and always eager to keep play ticking over.
Jack Wilshere: 7/10 – Carried the ball back and forth looking for the probing pass between the Stoke defenders. Hard in the challenge, should attempt a shot now and then.
Abou Diaby: 6/10 – Not his day. Looked lackadaisical from the off, tentative against roughhouse tactics but did get better. Needed to play with more pace.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: 6/10 – Yet to show the direct driving dribbling skills that whet the appetite last season. Unlucky not to score twice before the break.
Theo Walcott: 8/10 – Knew he had the beating of the Stoke defence when he ran with the ball. Stretched play well and was a fine outlet on the break. Crossing still a bit ‘meh’…
Olivier Giroud: 7/10 – Had to work his socks off against Shawcross and fellow Orcs, won a lot of high balls in second half, linked nicely with midfield. Shooting wayward.
Lukas Podolski: 7/10 – Scored the decisive goal with aid of massive free-kick. Remember him slipping over a lot.
Santi Cazorla: 7/10 – Added a necessary zip to play in the final 15 minutes, quick feet in midfield helped spring breaks.
Aaron Ramsey: N/A