Stoke 1-0 Arsenal: The Guff


Arsenal’s title ambitions were dealt an Orcish blow yesterday as we went down 1-0 to Stoke. Here’s some of the reaction from the press and the blogs.

When we desperately needed something to rescue the game, we turned to an unproved 21 year-old without a Premier League goal to his name. I’m by no means holding young Sanogo accountable, but he way he scooped that late chance over the bar reminded me of our inexplicable failure to recruit a new attacker. The priority in January was to find a striker who was better than Bendtner and Sanogo. I refuse to accept that was an impossible task. – Gunnerblog.

This was yet another agonising afternoon after Jonathan Walters’s late penalty condemned Arsenal to a potentially damaging defeat, leaving them four points behind Chelsea. and providing their doubters with further ammunition that they will fall short in their title challenge.- Telegraph.

The most damning statistic about this match is that Arsenal failed to muster a shot on target during the second half. They weren’t much better in the first half either such was the indifference displayed towards the attacking game. Beaten by a contentious penalty, Arsène freely admitted afterwards that his team need to perform and they didn’t. – A Cultured Left Foot.

Arsenal lost ground at the top of the Premier League when they were beaten by a late penalty at the Britannia Stadium, an unhappy hunting ground over the years. Stoke City were just about worth their win and will be extremely grateful for the three points, though Arsenal gave a poor account of themselves as title contenders. – Guardian.

Some mitigation is offered by the fact Stoke have beaten Chelsea and Utd at the Britannia, while also drawing with City, but that line of defence is undermined by the fact they’ve also conceded in every one of their last 14 games, yet we only managed two shots on target in a second half we seemed to sleepwalk through. Yes, the penalty was soft. No, I don’t think we did enough to win the game – and win it we had to. – Arse2Mouse.

Forget the hidings against marquee opposition, this was the significant one – the beating that sounded a bell on their realistic title claims. Even as Chelsea scamper away, Arsenal retain optimistic claims. But the spirit that has kept their season buoyant leaked into hostile Britannia air. – Sunday Mirror.

Follow the links for more post-game reading.

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55 Comments on "Stoke 1-0 Arsenal: The Guff"

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Naija Gunner

Couldn’t agree less with the telegraph and gunnernerblog!


And your reasoning for saying that is……? Let me guess – Wenger should always be above criticism. Am I close ?

My Name Is Difficult To Pronounce
My Name Is Difficult To Pronounce

I know this defeat was difficult. But it does NOT mean our title challenge is over.

Wenger got his shit wrong and needs to get it sorted.


1. We are only 4 points off the top with 10 games to go. It’s not too shabby a position.

2. Liverpool are on 59 pts too and are being called title challengers, so we should be too.

3. We face Man C and Chelsea in so called 6 point matches. I know we haven’t done too well against top opposition, but we could spring an upset.

4. We have a run in that looks like: Sp*rs (3), Chelsea (1), Man C (1), Everton, West Ham, Hull, Newcastle, WBA, Norwich, Swansea (20 out of 21). Points we should aim to get in brackets.

5. Yes, it is going to be difficult. But we did go on a 10 game unbeaten streak last season too. 25/30 avaiable points should win us the league.


Sorry mate but you’re either a half full type or deluded.

1- 4pts and going backwards
2- ‘Pool have no European football, no cup football, have played 10 games less this season so are fresher, have a front line to die for, they ripped us a new one , have just 2 more ‘ tough games’ left against City and Chelsea at HOME……… so yes they are contenders and are in much better shape than us.
3- We are not going to beat City or Chelsea. The best we can hope for are draws.
4- We can’t beat Stoke and have put in below par performances and got away with it against so called lesser teams all season so there are no 3 point bankers with this side who effectively knackered.
5- I’ll give you that one 😉


Could do with a lot fewer empty glass types around here.
1. How cheery. Enjoy your day.
2. Pool just now caught us. They drop points too.
3. perhaps that’s why he has (1) pt for draws next to Chelsk and Shit.
4. When Man U do that, they call it winners who grind it out even when they’re off. Seems a lot of our supporters are whiners not winners. By the way, stoke beat Chelsk and ManU, and Drew City and Everton.

'desi'gner gooner

In reply to Crispy in his order of points:
2)Pool didn’t have European Football even in the first three months of the season when we were playing group stages of the champs league….Yet we were considerably ahead of them in the league table in terms of a point gap. We were the form team then and they are in good form right now that is the difference. But their defense looks far more leakier than us and Southampton had lots of chances which they just didn’t convert on the last weekend. With that defense they will surely drop points but as rightly pointed out by the gentlemen above you – if they are title contenders with that defense – then bloody hell so are we.

3) If you have already decided in your head that we are not going to beat City or Chelski then please don’t watch those games since you already know the outcome…and even if you do and if we win them – I hope we will have the pleasure of reading your comments then….If we lose I know we will read a lot from you and your ilk of eternal pessimists…

4) Apart from Villa on the opening day, Last weekend was the first time when we dropped unnecessary points against lower half opposition. We are where we are in the league because we have done well against such teams. So your argument that we have been poor against such opposition is factually incorrect.

non-flying dutchman

Mpls. I don’t care that stoke best man United everyone’s bast man united this season – except us


Can you explain me the way to take 20 points from 7 games?

My Name Is Difficult To Pronounce
My Name Is Difficult To Pronounce

Oops. I meant about 20

Dennis Gunner

Our unbeaten streak at the end of the season is always against lesser opponents. By then, we are only fighting for 3rd or 4th. Take a look at our abysmal record vs the manure, man s’;Ty, chelski, Everton over the last few yrs and see how we have done in crunch time


As good our defence has been this season. Our attacking play have not worked out, it has been decent enough. But it’s our terrific defense that has taken us where we are now. That we didn’t manage a shot on goal for the whole 2nd. half against a poor side as stoke, is very worrying.


I’m struggling to work out what is wrong with the attack. We have the most creative midfield in the league but can’t create a decent chance…

I don’t want to blame Giroud too much because he has been fantastic but we do need something to change in the attacking part if the team


It’s simple really. No pace.

Can’t stretch defences, can’t get runners behind, can’t scare defenders. Walcott even with his limitations, worries defenders massively. He’s a big miss unfortunately.


You are struggling? The midfielders’ passes are only as good as the player getting on the end of them, and right now that player is (or isn’t) Giroud. Podolski keeps playing like a glorified midfielder and is not a striker, nor is he a winger. Take that and combine it with the fact that our midfielders are horrific finishers from distance and you get a pointless spear. And will anyone please tell me why, out of all the PL players out there, we have no one that can actually hit the goal from a set piece. Last 20 games I haven’t seen a shot that hasn’t hit the wall.


Just wish Santi had squared that ball for poldi, instead he chose to shoot himself and the whole team pays for his selfishness. I genuinely believe if we had scored that coupled with Ozil and Chambo coming on earlier (55th min) or rather starting the damn match we would have won. (Yes I’m crying over spilt milk but fine margins and all)

Arsene and his selection: He know Ozil is world class and world class players need to be on the pitch…..on the firing lane to prove their worth! not on the bench.

Chamberlain for me was a no brainer ahead of poldi. who has mastered huddinis dissapearance act. I now know why he doesn’t feature as much he wants to.

Arsene needs to do better team selection. We are chasing a freaking title here! (or atleast we were!)

Finally Charlie Adam is a swine!


If you’re struggling let me give you four words as food for thought: Theo Walcott. Aaron Ramsey.

Our guy with pace, a willingness to get behind defenses, who gives us width, a different attacking dimension and has a lethal finish is out. Our other guy who is a proven essential B2B player, a very smart runner, a very smart defender, an astute reader of the game and also a finisher is out.

We simply don’t have replacements for that kind of talent being out.


Unfortunately we’re now in a scrap for 4th and realistically are we going to take points of City and Chelsea this month?

I hope the ‘ specialist in failure’ comments really really hurt Wenger if it means it brings him out of his 4th place is a trophy stupor.

Write off the Champs league, prepare for Spurs properly , go for shut outs against City/Chelsea and throw everything at the FA Cup and maybe we’ll end the season with a 3rd place finish and the cup which right now, would be progress.


Two things strike me the morning after.

The first is that old chestnut of us just never using the resources that we have to actually push on and really go for the title.

We’re the 6th richest club in the world, yet we act like plucky little Arsenal, taking on the big bad boys. It’s bollocks.

The big deal of the summer for me wasn’t Ozil, it was Higuain. That was the player that could and should have joined Arsenal and we fucked it up.

The world and his wife knows that Madrid will be cunts over transfers. And if we’d have got him for £25m it’d have been the steal of the summer.

So when Madrid then demand market value for the player, then pay the fuckin market value. Get the deal done and move on.

That’s not a sideways dig at Giroud – he brings some tremendous stuff to the team. But he’s not a one chance one goal striker and he never will be, and that’s what we lack.

Ah, but pay the money for Higuain and we couldn’t have got Ozil? Wrong.

If we had £30m to try and get Draxler in January (a wonderful talent, but really the player we needed for this season?), then we could have had Higuain and Ozil in the summer.

And nothing will convince me otherwise that the Ozil signing was anything other than lucky circumstance rather than any great strategic plan.

With Bale on the way, If Ancelotti hadn’t fancied Di Maria, rather than Ozil, he’d likely now be in an Arsenal shirt instead.

And as much as I blame the manager for the transfer dealings, onto my second thought, what the fuck is up with some of these players?

Do they really give a fuck or not?

How can talents like Podolski and Jack put in such a piss poor performance as yesterday?

They’re meant to be fighting for the title and they turn up and play like that.

Some of those on that pitch yesterday should be fuckin embarrassed by their performance against a shower of shit like Stoke.

The league has very likely gone this year, which is a real shame.

We had a chance for the first time in a long while, and we haven’t done enough to really go for it.

And that hurts. A lot.


Couldn’t agree more.


You are so right mooro we lost out on Higuain becoase we were haggling for £2m pounds real wanted £25m we offered £23m. All we heard was he was in the bag it was just a matter of sorting out the details…we dilly dallied till Cavani was sold and his price became £33m.

Unless we get a powerful figure at Arsenal who can over ride Wenger and say don’t worry we will pay the extra £2m and take this player arsene because we can afford it…nothing will change

The minute we lost Walcott and we did not try to replace his pace either with a striker or winger in the window I knew we would have days like this..

My frustration with wenger has always been the inability to responds to the needs of the team….get a striker if we need one or get a defender when we need one and stop all the excuses…yes I will take an Ozil all day because he is quality but I tell you with the benefit of hindsight I would have tempted Liverpool with an offer of £55m for suarez instead…

Brian GG

I am honestly starting to think Jack has got one foot on the plane to Brazil and is acting accordingly. Which is rather ironic given that he’s “Mister Arsenal” and all. Its the only thing that can explain some of his completely lacksidasical performances of late and his utter reluctance to go into tackles and challenges. Worrying.

Tony Hall

About the most honest and accurate post I have read on here in ages. We couldn’t spend that bit extra on Higuain but at the 11th hour can find 41+ mil for Ozil …


We lost 2 of our best goal scorers early enough in January. My annoyance is that Wenger didn’t think to replace them. Seems he’s lost what it takes to win a league, the hunger and passion


We were just one striker away from title. But Wenger..

This season is now to be added to the ”What could’ve been” bucket


Very simple really. Giroud is a very limited striker who is far too slow to play up front on his own. He needs teammates linking up and running beyond him in order to be effective. Arsenal get away with their system when their midfield is dominant, as against a woeful Sunderland, but against better organized teams Giroud becomes isolated, and without the pace of Walcott or Ox the team lacks penetration (or even ideas).


We just have a slow routine in our attacking play these days. It wasn’t until the Ox came on it looked any different it’s a bit of a worry with what’s coming up.

Momo (@MuhamLAD)

If we discount the first three games:

Ramsey has 10 goals & 7 assists from 19 starts
Giroud has 11 goals & 8 assists from 29 starts

Not sure if Ramsey is just that good or if Giroud is just that poor, or a little of both


Well considering Giroud is a striker whose job is to score and Ramsey doesn’t even play attacking mid and plays at CM a bit further behind CAM, I think a conclusion can be drawn from that. Take into account the fact that Ramsey is our best tackler and look at his other defensive stats, well….


We need pace, Flamini and Ozil to start.

Ozil needs movement. Our 3 strikers are as mobile as lamp posts.

How about…

Flamini with Rosicky or Arteta

Gnabry Ozil Ox


We need some movement up front. Some pace and width. Poldi may not have done all that up front but he’s not really had a run. When he did last season he banged a few in. I would prefer the ball to drop to him in the box than our three strikers. Gnabry, Ox and Poldi are very direct and want to run onto balls played in front of them. Ozil’s speciality is findiing runners.

If we don’t change we’ll come unstuck againt decent teams again. No runners, tippy tappy and no end product.

If we want to win something we’ve got to go for it a bit more and stop farting around with the ball 40 yards from goal.

My Name Is Difficult To Pronounce
My Name Is Difficult To Pronounce

Podolski alone up top will not work in a million years, as much as I love him.


We were crap yesterday, but we still didn’t deserve to lose. Someone doesn’t want us to succeed. You can call me an idiot, paranoid, a conspiracy theorist, whatever you like. But I’m not. I’ve watched a lot of football over a long long time and I have never seen a team get as routinely fucked in the arse as we have over the last 5 years. Either City or Chelsea are paying the refs, it’s obvious. Maybe one day we’ll find out the truth. Just look at this season alone, City and Chelsea have both had a hell of a lot of decisions go their way, particularly City. And it’s not only us that have been shafted, Liverpool and Spurs have had extremely harsh decisions go against them when they played City. I currently have zero faith in the integrity of British match officials.

m a gunner

in premier league there are probably 5or more games a season were your going to get kicked around the pitch without protection from the ref , it happens every year surely we need to have a squad to cope with this physical side of the game , having the most skilfully gifted players won’t win the league , sometimes you need a more powerful team !


What about Liverpool? They don’t have a genuine enforcer, they just beat teams around with pace which is something we should learn to do.

same same

After last nyt performance there is not a lot of positives to talk about ryt now
This is just a truthful article of arsenal seeming to prove the critics right and again breaking the hearts of all gooners across the world
Some genuine questions that would prove whether we have improved as a team from last year or not?

Have our performances against the small teams improved?

Have our performances against the big teams improved?

Have we performed ahead of our expectations?
NO we are back to our usual best of scrappping for 3rd or 4th place

Did we perform better in the champions league?
NO Again out in the last 16

Have we become world beaters and should be comsidered a top team?
NO our records speak for themselves

Then what was the reason behind our success for the majority of the season?

After ozil signing the team got a huge morale boost and started off brilliantly
Ramsey started playing like the player we all expected him to be
Giroud started the season brilliantly
We have not improved a lot this season regardless of how much we boast about our current ongoing battles in the league

Plus We saw chelsea and man city dropping points in the 1st half of the season and came to the conclusion that arsenal have become world beaters

Against MAN CITY we got a taste of reality
But we kept the faith and thoght it was a blip

The draw against chelsea again raised the questions
But a set of results against poor teams raised the morale of the team and gave the fans much needed confidence in their team

Now here we are

and it hurts doesnt it?

probabluy Out of pl title race
Out of champions league for sure

with a fight to look forward to of surviving in the top 4
But hey thats we are good at


And the mainstream media are just going to entirely forget giroud was intentionally stamped on off the ball on two seperate occasions.
So much for the F.A’s retrospective punishment rule, inept fuckers.

I.P. from South Africa
I.P. from South Africa

How predictable we have become over the many past seasons. It is so difficult to accept and understand that we just do not have any alternatives to our game plan nor tactical nous when we find ourselves in difficult situations. I humbly and respectfully must, however, disagree with my fellow Arsenal supporter Peter on his observations that we have the most creative midfield and that Giroud has been fantastic. We are playing a style of football for which one needs above average gifted players who can perform on a consistent high level even when they are not at their best. Our football style requires high and consistent energy levels. This type of player do not come cheaply and therefore we unfortunately do not have them at present. As an International striker I do not think Giroud in his present form will or can command a consistent place in the French national team. He definitely has got some attributes, but not those required of a top international striker. He requires loads of finesse whilst the ball is at his feet and his decision making needs to improve. Our midfield unfortunately have too many days when they just do not fire and perform at the level required for our style of football. It is so sad to see players and management experience the same situations season after season without having any alternatives or contingency plans in place in order to deal with these recurrent problems. For now I can only but hope that we will somehow come to our senses at Board and Management level. Arsenal as a club will, however, remain in my heart forever.


Let’s be honest guys – don’t u think it’s time to change managers? We’ve seem to hit a wall with him (for quite sometime now if we were being objective).

I don’t wanna use the phrase “specialist in failure” but…..

Mark The Spark

To an extent, yes. But the Moyes situation could be the end result. Be careful what you wish for.
Far better if someone could just overide AW’s scroogeness.

Az Ahmed

Wenger is brilliant but has flaws in certain areas, namely, when it comes to transfers AND adapting tactics according to the situation. The biggest flaw I believe is that he does not take enough risk, which is linked to tactics. Attacking football, throwing caution to the wind is not what I would associate with Wenger in this age. Maybe a change in management is due, but it has to be the likes of Klopp, Loew, Bielsa or even Guardiola.


Sounds to me like you DO want to use the phrase.

Why not save some typing and just link to your hero’s quote?

By the way, Arsenal built a fuckin stadium and had not the resources for a large chunk of those years but still played Champions League every one of them.

4 points out of first. Chin up.

Mark The Spark

Wenger got it wrong yesterday, simple as that. Everyone and their cat knows what sort of game you’re going to get at Stoke away. Arteta/Wilshire combo doesn’t work, Wilshire should have been on the bench and Flamini on the pitch.
Next, Podolski. Has he ever been man of the match? Nah, didn’t think so… The Ox instead of him. Finally Ozil instead of Rosicky is more obvious.
You need players (like the Ox or Gnabry) who will run beyond Girouds flick ons.
For all of AW’s good points, at times his tactical decisions are bewildering.

In Soviet Russia, WENGA sacks YOU
In Soviet Russia, WENGA sacks YOU

What did Arsene tell the players during half time?
How many times gar Arsene changed the course of a game that’s not going well?


All season I’ve heard the posters on here mocking the media for not believing Arsenal had a credible title challenge, yet the worrying signs were there are along. Arsenal was punching above their weight and now are regressing to the mean, the loss of Walcott and Ramsey being particularly felt.

Sometimes it seems the team does not know how to keep it simple and direct, overelaborate buildup and too cowardly going forward, why take a chance when you can pass it backwards?

Anyway, all too disappointing. The team plays like Wenger, too afraid to take chance, dithering, indecisive, and rigid.

Lack of width and pace is killing us, too many fancy midfielders, and a Striker that is badly out of form, Sunderland aside.


Fuck that I say! The media have been waiting for this moment all season and now they see a peak of it they are sucking harder to kill us off. We are title challengers because with thirty points to play for, we are four short of being top! If we cave in now then what the fuck was the point in getting to this position in the first place??
It wasn’t so long ago that it was us 4 points ahead, 2 months ago, who has the right to say we can’t be again in two more months? Or do you just forget how well we have done the microsecond something goes wrong?
Fucks sake.

Angolan Girl Who Loves The Gunner
Angolan Girl Who Loves The Gunner

this is bad but our tittle chances are still on. Very off topic, but another scandal surrounding giroud, did he beg a woman to have a threesome with him and another arsenal player? if true, who then? well, we all know that koss, the boss is HFB best friend so… the rest is history.

But still keep the faith, its not over yet we can still win the tittle!COYG!

Monkey Nuts

Or if we get nothing from our next 3 games we could find ourselves 5th, 3 behind Spurs, 6 behind Liverpool, 10 behind City and 16 behind Chelsea.

Constant injuries to key players all season and not strengthening the forward line is going to pay dear once again. The FA Cup is our only hope for silver wear.

When does Wenger sit down with Gazidis and sign his new contract?


Perto City win the cup.

Soldodo scores from open play.

This has been a dreadful weekend. All I need now is the old school bully to appear on TV with his supermodel wife talking about his 40 billion fortune. Followed by the ugly lass I said no to winning Miss World. Then losing a lottery winning ticket and sharting myself in Sainsbury’s. I run to my car only to find it’s been stolen. I call the cops to help and they arrest me as I pull my pants down in an attempt try to clean my sharting incident behind some bins. My lawyer turns out to be Saul Goodman and my cellmate becomes Charles Bronson. My family disown me and I tunnel out of prison just like that dude in Shawshank. As I rip off my vest and go ‘GWWWAAAAAOOOR” in a puddle, a massive asteroid hits me on the head.

Just win the every game and cheer me up.


You too can recreate Man City’s cup win. Just follow these simple instructions.

1. Get two quid.
2. go to your local store.
3. Buy a loaf of bread.
4. Celebrate. Yipppeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


or you could do it the arsenal way:

invest in some fledgling wheat seeds/wheat germ. sow the seeds into your backyard. nourish and cherish them until they are a bit older and then (a) you harvest and bake your own bread which lacks a certain something (b) someone with more money comes and pays you for some of the wheat and makes better bread.


Dam dAm dAM daM

Tony Hall

A few of the players need a right kick up the arse at the moment and to start justifying their massive paypackets. And somebody needs to get some serious transfer business done as soon as the window opens …

Priorities – WORLD class striker
PACE in the team
Bac and Fab either on new contracts or replacements found
Some steel in midfield as back up for Flam
Centre back in case Thomas leaves
Out and out winger in the mould of little Marc Overmars, he had some pace on him


Speaking of The Guardian, what’s this?

We could’ve forced through a Suarez transfer, yet didn’t? I’m fairly baffled by that. Perhaps I’ve misunderstood something.


It shouldn’t be forgotten when criticising our forward play that 2 of our most influential players have been and remain out..


Yeah I saw that article about the Suarez buy out clause.

Whether it’s true or not, it just goes to show how much of a twat that Henry is.


@Crispy, yes I want that ‘specialist in failure’ jibe to ring ceaselessly in Wenger’s head like a bell the rest of this season and next. Anything that will goad him to make Arsenal highly dreaded and Champions again is acceptable to me.