Report: Stoke 0-0 Arsenal

165

Arsenal: Cech, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Flamini, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ramsey, Campbell, Walcott, Giroud

Subs: Ospina, Chambers, Gabriel, Gibbs, Arteta, Elneny, Iwobi

Arsenal returned to the top of the Premier League as they secured a hard earned 0-0 draw at Stoke.

Jack Butland denied Olivier Giroud in each half and Petr Cech made fine stops from Joselu and Bojan as the goalkeepers came out on top in a frantic game that lacked real quality.

The Gunners first scoreless draw since August takes them level on points with Leicester with Manchester City one point behind.

Pre-game

Despite reporting on Friday that his players had come through the draw at Anfield unscathed, Arsene Wenger was forced to make one change to his starting lineup with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain replacing the injured Mesut Ozil. The German is understood to have picked up a minor foot problem but should be back for next weekend’s game with Chelsea. New boy Mohamed Elneny was included on the bench, however, Alexis Sanchez’s dicky hamstring was again not risked. The Chilean has now been sidelined for 50 days.

First half

After the trauma of conceding inside the first minute last season, Arsenal’s mission for the opening stages this time out was simple; keep it tight and don’t do anything silly.

The usual abuse rained down from the stands for Aaron Ramsey – because having your leg snapped in two is poor form – and it inspired a typically busy start from Stoke who harried and pressed us all over the field.

Arsenal’s response was to sit back and soak up the pressure. The Potters were restricted to one long-range effort from Ibrahim Afellay inside the opening quarter.

When we had the ball we chose to suck the pace out of the game playing considered, but not particularly imaginative, passes around midfield. That was until the 20-minute mark when a fine Joel Campbell through ball split the Stoke defence freeing Giroud to bear down on goal inside the right channel; the Frenchman’s first-time shot was closed down well by Jack Butland.

The missed opportunity inspired a little more adventure from the Gunners with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain firing two efforts at goal. The first, a curler from the edge of the area, forced Butland to tip over, the second, a low left foot drive following a half cleared corner, was accidentally deflected wide by Laurent Koscielny.

That aside, there wasn’t much in the way of attacking action from either side. An ugly half of football fittingly drew to a close with Bojan and Chamberlain squandering possession on the break.

Second half

Alex Oxlade Chamberlain set the tempo for a frantic start to the second half by chasing a lost cause that led to a corner. Ramsey’s delicious set piece was met by Giroud whose crashing header forced Butland to save low to his left.

Not long after referee Craig Pawson waved away two Arsenal penalty claims in the space of two minutes. First Giroud went down in the box under pressure from Philipp Wollscheid, then the German defender tugged down Theo Walcott as he raced onto a through ball.

Stoke battled back and Cech had to make an epic double save as the hour mark approached. First he dived full stretch to his right to deny Joselu’s effort and then he smothered Bojan’s effort from the rebound. The ex-Barcelona man was replaced by Mame Biram Diouf not long after.

Cech was again called into action on 65 minutes pushing away a stinging effort, slightly deflected on its way, from Joselu.

As the match dripped into the final twenty minutes Arsenal started to turn the screw. Hector Bellerin’s probing runs on the right provided much needed width and the introduction of Alex Iwobi, on for the ineffective Theo Walcott, brought more composure in possession on the left.

Clear opportunities were few and far between although Campbell should have done better with a curled effort that flew high and wide.

Having dominated the second half the Gunners came close to losing in the final moments as Aaron Ramsey cleared a header off the line and Cech saved the rebound with his feet.

165 COMMENTS

      • It’s right after the game so my thought process is running on emotions more so, but Walcott and Chamberlain are looking all out of sorts of late. I think Iwobi came on a little too late, as soon as he was on, we started driving right at Stoke.

        We certainly looked like a team missing Santi, Coq, Sanchez and Ozil today.

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          • Agreed, Wilshere, Welbeck and Rosicky will also certainly change the outcome for us also. I left them out more due to the fact that they have not had a say in the season yet, hopefully they can get back in time to have a say in our run in.

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        • I thought the Ox showed a great deal of improvement today. Theo is quite a worry though he is just disappearing not really getting involved at all.

          That said massive improvement on last seasons team performance.

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        • I agree Walcott didn’t not even attempt a single take on the entire time he was on the pitch and left Monreal unbelievable open thats where all their attacks where coming from. I was paying attention to how Campbell would double up with Bellerin when stoke try to attack from their side and Monreal on the other side would be left open with Walcott just strolling back leaving flamini to try and help monreal which leaves our midfield open because Ramsey has joined the attack and can’t get back in time while the OX is also strolling its unbelievable.. i can’t wait till Rosicky Sanchez and Welbeck get’s back between those 3 theres alot of desire creativity work rate and goals to be had. Walcott was shit today even worse than the OX and the OX was also bad but at least he had more than a few shots attempts and got into it at 75min but his whole season so far has just been shit he needs something to save his season. Walcott needs a few games on the bench

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        • Most teams would miss them. The fact is we are still top with a shed load of good players to return. That has to bode well for our title chances.

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    • As part of a university sociology project I attended today’s game and recorded the collective actions of the Stoke City fans.

      I thought I’d share my results with you:

      03:52 Stoke fans boo Ramsey

      4:72 Stoke fans boo Ramsey

      08:12 Stoke fans boo the colour turquoise

      08:57 Stoke fans boo Ramsey

      09:46 Stoke fans boo a passing plane, some of the elders shake their fists at it and spit in the air, those caught in the subsequent shower of viscous saliva remaining completely oblivious, whooping and hollering.

      09:52 Stoke fans boo Ramsey again, some of them gesturing frantically that he could be a plane in disguise.

      ….. It goes on like that, you get the picture.

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    • The idea was to not lose the match.
      And they did that well.
      Considering our horrible history here
      at Britannia and how all other big clubs have also fumbled here.
      I will give them a pass.

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    • I don’t know where Ox fits in this team. He was wasteful again. On a positive, a draw at Stoke given our recent history there is a good result. Thanks Per Cech

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    • Theo has got to do better.The trouble is he does not realise just how bad he has been the last few games by the look on his face when substituted.
      Sad.

      Mike Dean trying to disguise himself with a bobble hat on the touch line no doubt willing Stoke to score made for an interesting side show.

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    • Campbell shouldve started in Ozils role. Better vision better pass accuracy speed to support Giroud as a second striker and a good work rate to go help out defensively.. he plays there for his country sometimes. The OX didnt do enough for me but grew into it after 70min haad gone..Walcott was shit today as well as Ramsey with his terrible passing but redeemed himself with a good work rate and goal line clearance. all in all good point. Other teams dropped points there so no complain

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    • As others have said, I think we’re forgetting that in addition to Ozil we were without Cazorla, Coquelin, Sanchez, Wilshere, Rosicky, Welbeck, etc. We did look “toothless and short of ideas”, but we are not a one man team. However, we ARE a one man team when Ozil is really the the only creative man remaining.

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    • Agreed! We survived Stoke and their army of apes disguised as football players so job done there but let’s smash Chelsea next week!

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  1. A win would have been excellent, but somewhere you have to be realistic, considering the circumstances this is not a bad point. Now when is Alexis back???

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  2. How Stoke got through that game, only the ref knows!

    Even against the usual standard of refereeing we get, that was dreadful.

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    • In fairness the ref has probably witnessed the after game ritual introduced to them by Pulis in his day. The one where people that have displeased them get torn limb from limb (it’s true they have teeth that can crush bone) and their femurs used to fight each other in rites of passage ceremonies. He didn’t want to risk that so to placate them he handed out no cards to them which is understandable.

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  3. perhaps now we can direct the blame at the ref, and missing ozil and alexis, not walcott. not a single yellow? the fuck? pieters and shawcross should have had atleast a yellow each

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    • Still, Walcott was pretty dreadful. I think he should feel embarrassed with his performance if he compares it with Alex Iwobi’s today.

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    • no way – walcott was horrible. absolutely terrible. i can’t remember the last time I’ve been so disappointed in an arsenal player. iwobi came on and we were immediately better. theo and the ox have some serious problems right now. not sure how to fix them, but they are glaring and costing us points.

      pieters and shawcross definitely deserved yellows. also, every single stoke fan.

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      • walcott is an investment, and not sure how to fix them? that much is obvious. Theo and the ox are direct attacking players, they need the passing from ozil and cazorla, them being injured means the balls they need to run onto are just not there, and that means if you choose to play them as the manager you are investing in the hope they can get on the end of something. today that didn’t pay off but them not being effective is not necessarily their fault… nor is it definitely Arsene’s for picking them, theres this whole other team who can set up to minimise them, and if that other team is a bunch of fouling cunts then so much the better to hamper our delicate pace men. Iwobi did better because the game was better suited to him, Theo ox giroud ozil all of them are tools at the managers disposal to try and make a winning plan, you can’t blame the tool if it isn’t right for the job.

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  4. For God’s sake, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Just keep it simple! Can you just pass with good timing and not attract trouble whenever you hold the ball and dribbling around across the Channel and through Calais? Damn it man.

    And to those Stoke fans whistling and booing whenever we hold ball, which like more than half of the game duration, they need to forced to sit handcuffed and and have to hear that bad music nae nae stuff shit. A whole day.

    Shame we couldn’t score and thankfully Cech saved us again.

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  5. What I liked today was that we decided from the get go that we are not going to loose this game. If we win fine but never let the Orcs win, we live to fight another day. #Mature Performance #Still Top

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  6. my goodwill towards Chamberlain has been waning for a while. But that performance was just… astonishing. No Arsenal player should ever put in a performance like that, and it’s only the fact that he’s English that is saving him from the fans at the moment.

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    • Agree completely

      Imagine the bile Ramsey or flamini would get for that! It seems as though the ox is in the arteta mould of being immune to criticism

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  7. I will take the point. We have half the team injured and no real attacking options on the bench.
    On a final note, Nacho is fucking class. Give him a 20 year contract already.

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    • get behind the team! Walcott offers pace and finishing, yes he will go long periods without doing much but it takes a minute to score and he keeps opposition full backs in place, is he god’s gift to football? no, is he why we didnt win? also no. so chill the fuck out. we got a point with an injury ridden team, its not ideal but lets take it and not hate on our own?

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      • Really? And he is so often caught on his heels when players do slip(in this game as well). He has to start pressing better I feel. And use his pace to win bouncing balls and not just try to channel players once they pick up the bouncing balls.

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    • What are you rambling about. It’s the lack of central midfielder creativity that took walcott out of the game, not walcott’s lack of effort. He should have been awarded a penalty when he did get a good ball in the box. What do you expect from a player of his style, when for whatever reason, we played half the game on the air. What ever happened to bring the ball down and playing at your feet? Do we really believe we can beat these guys in the air?

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  8. That team is crying out for some injection. Whether it be from returning players or a signing, just needs something. Most players looking like they’re on their last legs. At least there’s a week until Chelsea, I guess.

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    • And under the circumstances who would you start in their places against Stoke?

      Iwobi for Theo, over the course of 90 minutes would have a hell of a job given the way Stoke play.

      Elneny for Chamberlain, would be a massive risk given that the ink on the contract is only just dry.

      We miss our key creators in Mesut and Santi today. Alexis’ drive has been absent for the last few weeks.

      The fact we are still top puts in a strong position, Chelsea next and we will see where we are then.

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      • Precisely. They only started because there was no other choice. The least they can do is step up when the team needs them the most and stop taking their starting role for granted.

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    • Respectfully disagree with that statement. Stoke are actually good at home these days and it was a pretty even contest (made easier for them by the ref).

      If you want to see examples of them outplaying teams, watch the matches against Man City and Man United.

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      • We were on top more in the first half and they had a spell of domination at the start of the second half before we started pushing harder. So I disagree. As Crash above said, they played both teams in Manchester off the park this season.

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        • what do Arsenal have to do for refs to give us one of these clear penalty calls, match after match we just don’t get them, I think our last penalty was v Aston Villa, when ref with a clear view of a stonewall penalty did not give it, and it was only given when the linesman 50 yards away called it. This shit from refs towards Arsenal has been going on for years.

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        • Bayern have been the only team that has outplayed us this season. Southampton didn’t outplay us, they took their chances well, despite each goal being suspect, (Offside, Foul, Goal from a set piece that should never have been given twice).

          Chelsea beat us 2-0 because we went down to 10 men instead of them who should have gone down to 10 men.

          Today, we had better stats, but the chances were even. I think we had 3 big chances to their 2.

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  9. A bit dissapointing, it was clear that boys have a tough game ahead, pitch looked completely frozen and made it hard to change direction when running – this crippled our driblers, especially Ox. Still we got a point, march on!

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    • There’s no need to sugarcoat the fact that Ox and Walcott have been terrible for the past few games. Arsenal is in the driver’s seat of the title seat and they have to lose their forms now? They just need to step up while Alexis and Ozil are not available and that’s too much to handle for them? They are taking their starting role for granted.

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  10. Perhaps, but we’re Not just missing ozil, we’re missing (from a purely attacking view), him, cazorla and alexis. Its on wonder we’re not our best

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  11. I was happy to see Ox get a chance, but that enthusiasm was gone after the first half. Between ramsey and ox we must have given away at least 10 balls in the middle of the park. Sad part is you could see that Stoke even realized that and pushed most of there midfielders and defenders to the wings, essentially slowing our attack to a crawl. This game was never going to be easy, but I at least expect our central midfielders to be able to pass to a teammate less than 5 yards away.

    I’m just glad we aren’t losing while ozil and sanchez are out, and I’m counting an them making a big impact the next few months. We really never to get out of this funk. COYG

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  12. Campbell best player behind Cech. He’s really becoming an important player for the team. Has everything – vision, creative passing, smart movement, technique, work rate and it seems like he can be a decent finisher as well. On to Chelsea hopefully with Sanchez and Ozil available.

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    • I thought Monreal and Cech were our best players, but Campbell put in a good shift.

      The midfield three were pretty poor – I’m sure our pass completion stats for the game were pretty low.

      Walcott was next to useless. Iwobi was far more intelligent with the ball when he came on (plus he didn’t control the ball like his foot was made out of concrete).

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      • I didn’t consider Monreal as MOTM because he does it every fucking game it’s ridiculous. He is just so good defensively. Walcott is not starting material for a big club like Arsenal, never has been and probably never will be. He’s a great runner and a decent finisher but that’s it. Bad dribbler, not a great linkup player, not a great passer. He’s not complete enough to be one of our starting attackers. Although he’s a great option from the bench to have for any club in the world.

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  13. Not a bad point. All things considered.
    Should have won at Pool though. Let’s just beat Chelsea and everything will be fine.

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  14. Sorry but how did the Ox stay on the pitch for 90 minutes, he was shocking. I know stoke is a hard game but we need to be better across the whole midfield, only flamini was half decent. Also why not make changes with ten mins to go. I’m livid about the terrible decision making today, from the midfield to the manager. Anyway, COYG…

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  15. I know two points from ‘pool and the Orcs ain’t great but then would anyone have accepted three from Anfield and none from here? Not me.

    We’re definitely showing improvement overall.

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  16. terrible. at the beginning of this four game run everyone was talking about taking 9-10 of 12 points. we’ve taken 2 from 6. simply not good enough. and can we stop complaining about the ref. this was a physical game of football. if any of those penalty claims went against us we’d be throwing our arms up in disbelief. if we can’t win tough games away we’re not going to win the title.

    really disappointed with some of the players. kos, per, ox, theo were all poor. given ox’s form lately i would’ve preferred iwobi in for ozil given his display against sunderland. ox is really really poor and theo in a wide role is even worse. theo should only play cf as he has no interest in playing wide and it shows.

    you can feel the title slipping away. hopefully alexis can pull it back for us. definitely need a win against chelsea and southampton now.

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  17. We’re not going to win the league. Simple as that.
    We lack the bottle and determination to do that. 4 points lost in games we should’ve won. Tight games like this is where you expect Giroud to step up, but he didn’t. Theo was shit despite having some nice touches. Ox was poor, Ramsey worked hard but lacked the guile to open up the stock defence. Cech and campbell were our best players.
    We should be at least 6 points ahead of leicester and city, but we keep giving city a chance to catch up.
    Anything less than win next week and we’re definitely not winning the league.
    Iwobi had a good cameo as well.
    Look forward to having Mesut, Alexis back and maybe get a glimpse of Elneny as well.

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    • I have to disagree on your assessment of Giroud. He was constantly being hammered by that gorilla Shawcr*oss. Wollscheid was all over him as well. He had a nice header and maybe should have scored.

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      • Maybe, but i found it irritating that he kept on drifting to the wings when we needed him in the box.
        I was very disappointed with the chance he missed because those are the ones he’d normally put away. He also misplaced alot of passes for my liking

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  18. Tie these games to stay in the race. Win them to get the title. Could have done with a goal somewhere, but I guess it’s satisfying to to lose

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  19. It’s day’s like this where I scratch my head and wonder just how theo has managed to find himself in the same pay bracket as Alexis and Ozil…Campbell again our only real creative spark but he seemed to have his zip kicked out him by some nameless Stoke degenerate. Iwobi again looked like a real live wire when he came on, exciting prospect but it should never be on such young shoulders to make a game winning contribution. I’m going to pray Ozil is nothing serious and that by next week our ranks will be bolstered by him, Alexis and Rosicky. Chelsea game is now a must win for us.

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  20. A point away at Stoke is a decent result, guys. Let’s push on, get Alexis and Özil back, and see Gabriel put Costa on his back.

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    • Hopefully Costa’s “shin injury” is real and he doesn’t play – would remove that narrative from the game and the rest of the players on the pitch can get on with playing a game of football instead of a wrestling match.

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      • To not have to see that fat cunt Costa writhing on the ground over nothing with his trade mark “look here ref, look what he just did to me, LOOK REF” arms outstretched in feigned disbelief would be a blessing.

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  21. Considering that city, manu and chelski all lost there, I must say that was a good point earned. We will do fine against the Chavs at the Emirates as long as Flamini intends to keep his record. Cech Motm

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  22. It’s not a disaster, but it wasn’t pretty. We lacked any real threat, any cutting or incisive play and just seemed at times content with the point.

    Now I’m no Premier League manager (some might say I wasn’t even a Premier League player – the bastards) but it pains me when we get in similar situations and nothing happens for the last 10 minutes of the game. We need players to really grab the game by the collar during these periods and just go for it. I know we don’t want to concede, but you watch some of them hang on for too long, get into pressure positions, and pass it backwards each time. Frustrating stuff. We have the players who have enough ability to surge on and produce something in the final 10 minutes, especially against so-called weaker opposition, but it never seems to happen.

    Walcott was anonymous, the Ox didn’t have a great game. We could have played much better overall.

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  23. Firstly, Walcott doesn’t deserve his 100K for jogging around and shadowing opposition instead of pressuring them to make mistakes. You don’t win back balls by standing there and trying to jog as they attack.

    Secondly the whole team was trying to pick out long and harder balls instead of playing it simple. Why do the players always want to play that cross field ball when a free player is 10 yards away? The misses are agonisingly close. But the number of times bad choices were made, just makes me cringe.

    Lastly, the whole team owes it to kos, monreal and Cech for not losing this game. Wish someone shouted at those players who try the nonsensical passes when it was absolutely unnecessary.

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    • I’ve noticed this happening more and more lately. We are turning over possession far more lately, be it Ramsey reverting back to his Hollywood balls type more often, Walcott effectively drifting out of the game more and more and essentially cutting off half of our attack, or Chamberlain making mistakes in 5 yard passes so reverts to trying to dribble through the entire team.

      I like the enthusiasm to create something, but it’s exposing us more and more so and the defence is having to work on overtime. Kos has also slipped off the pace a bit. I just hope that it’s tired legs, as that can be solved when we get players back and inject some freshness.

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      • Ox and Ramsey seemed to become arteta in this game. Lol. The unnecessary cute little pirouette in midfield when a pass or space was available. Guess we just have to hope for some real hunger and inspiration from those missing today. And for others to use that to influence the game better. However frustrating it was to not get 3 points and kick back at the orcs, glad we didn’t lost or lose anyone to injury. #COYG!!

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  24. No Ozil
    No Sanchez
    No Cazorla
    No Coquelin
    Against the Orcs at Mordor.
    I’d say this is a fair result. Beating the Chavs is a must now.

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  25. I have to ask, what the fuck is it with referees in today’s league? I counted 6 instances of their players just manhandling our players and throwing them to the ground. The referee didn’t spot any of them, nor the linesman? Bullshit.

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  26. Mou hoodoo is gonr but Brittania hoodoo still there. ill take 1 point.
    Ox needs to read Ozil’s Passing Manual repeatedly!

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  27. Think we are the only English team in the league that had English players that do not contribute to the progress of the team I think if everyone is fit all the English lads shouldn’t be playing should be on the bench as for the the OX what a waste of time he needs to go out on loan to a smaller team and learn how to play football as a professional because honestly I have seen Sunday league footballers that are better than him and for Ramsey the papers are saying Barcelona want him for 50 million can we beg them and take half the money so the deal can go through as quick as possible

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  28. I think a point at Stoke is a good one all things considered. Stoke is not a crap team like Villa and are actually very hard to beat at home, all this bogey team stuff aside – Just ask United, City and Chelsea(haha).
    We realistically needed atleast one of Ozil, Cazorla or Sanchez to get the result, and in absence of all of them it is not the worst result.
    Now the challenge is to beat Chelsea. Hope Ozil and Sanchez return for that. I guess we should be happy though, 1 more Match Day over and we are TOP of the League. #COYG

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  29. Lack of replacements in the second half was infuriating…what was Wenger waiting for???? Many of our players had no legs by 65th minute and yet Iwobi is the only replacement (Chambers so late it doesn’t count). Why not bring on Gabriel to give some bite I’m midfield. Oxlade should be sold, totally wasted space. Wenger has ran out of time and ideas, he should resign at year’s end.

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  30. Shudder to think where we would be without our man Petr. Injuries really taking a toll on our team, after coping so well all season we are just keeping our head above water now. If we can stay where we are and start getting our players back we have a chance. At the start of the season we would’ve taken unbeaten away at Stoke & Liverpool

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  31. Ramsey and the Ox can be really good or really really bad, it is so annoying watching them at times. This game was there for the taking. But at the same time Cech was brilliant! Chelsea fans must cringe every time he makes a save for us 😆 We are still top of the table, not by much, but we have to be happy with that. The Liverpool game was far more frustrating than today’s game. We must beat Chelsea now if we want to stay top. Hopefully Ózil and Sanchez will be back. And we get back to winning ways.

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  32. If Cech doesn’t get a 10 out of 10 for ratings I don’t what a player has to do to get it. You can certainly chalk up another point on the extra 13 points or so Terry said he is worth to us.

    Was good to see we competed with them and weren’t run off of the pitch as I was afraid we might be after our recent road performances and how well Stoke had been at home (not to mention missing the players we were). However, never felt like we would win the match, just could not keep any sustained possession as so many misplaced passes all over the field from all players (none more so than Chamberlin).

    Finally, was interesting to see Wenger go with Iwobi at left mid vs bringing in Gibbs as he had been doing so often this season.

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  33. Shite result from a shite game in a shite hole of orcs. This is why I was so annoyed we couldn’t hold on against Liverpool.

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  34. How bad was Walcott??! Really, when our injured players return he will be yesterday’s man. His first touch goes further than I can kick it! Compare it to Iwobi….great first touch….a little like Kanu…..tries to make things happen. So disappointed with Theo.

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  35. Come on, let’s be honest: we’re not a title-winning team. Real champions would have found a way to win both tonight’s game and the one at Anfield. Two points from Stoke, Liverpool and Southampton away is very average.

    Luckily, we finally have a world-class goalkeeper or we would have got another beating. But don’t worry: we’ll get top four with no problem. But City will win the title.

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    • Oh Fatgooner, your resigned pessimism is like the inevitable dickish rainbow after every underwhelming performance. Never change. (Also I don’t care much for rainbows.)

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    • Is that the same City, who like real champions, picked up one point from Stoke, Liverpool and Aston Villa this season?

      Is that the same City, who like real champions, have picked up 1 point from the games against the other teams in the top 4 at this point, Arsenal, Leicester and Tottenham?

      We picked up 7 points from a possible 9 against those same teams. Climb back in your hole.

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    • Yeah fatgooner city has the stuff of the champions beating stoke away and liverpool at home and also beating everotn at home. We don’t we trow it away, silly us, despite having our best team out there and no players injured.

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    • Something doesn’t work with that statement. City will win the title (i.e. they’ll be champions) but champions would have won against Stoke away, but City lost against Stoke away. I’m confused.

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    • Would we have taken a point before kick-off? Clearly not. Is it a concern that we lack creativity without Özil, Sanchez and Cazorla? Of course.

      Would City be happy with a point at Stoke without Agüero and Silva? Probably. Should we be happy in comparable circumstances? I’d say – first, do not lose.

      In that sense, and in the circs, big point.

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  36. Ox running with the ball is a beautiful thing but his complacency when it comes to passing needs to be addressed.

    Some great battling from our back four and Ramsey throughout the game. Missing as many key players and in particular creative players means we are gonna suffer for chances. Let’s hope we have Ozil and Sanchez back next week to absolutely fuck them Chavs up!

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  37. Ramsey seems to be affected by the Stoke crowd. To me, Walcott should play central striker or stay on the bench. Koz seemed tired, making many mistakes passing the ball. Overall, it is not a bad result: a draw without our 2 best players.

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    • walcott will become sub striker for giroud when alexis is back next week I don’t see cambell drop on the bench with the form he is in at the moment, again today a lovely pass to giroud creating great chance, the boy is full of confidence it would break his confidence to put him on the bench.

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  38. Great game from Cech. Brilliant saves. As for Walcot, Ox and Ramsey. The way they easily lose the ball or pass wayward without pressure is shocking.

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    • How about the way Ramsey had a goal line clearance on the 90th minute? Was that shocking? (oh but apparently he doesn’t defend)

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  39. Walcott made a half a dozen offside beating runs but never got a pass… The midfielders always seemed to hesitate. . Either they don’t trust him or they don’t trust themselves to deliver

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    • I would say they did not trust themselves to make the pass, Theo made loads of defense splitting runs, but ball never came, he also should have been given a penalty, but all this is ignored by our fans who love to have a scapegoat.

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      • Makes me laugh every season a youngster comes we always say he is better than Walcott and so far non has been. Our midfield was rubbish, Ramsey looks like he works hard but half the time he is running back to his position or trying to win a ball he lost.

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  40. 1)we got to the top of the table without sanchez, cazorla and francis. Dont forget that. I thought cazorla was dreadful in the month of november. Sanchez looked tired. Those were ‘good’ injuries for us.
    2)Not defending Ox bt he played quite well this weekend. But yeah…cant wait for cazorla to come back

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  41. Not bad considering we are missing half of our starters. Man city, Mann united and chelsea all were battered at the britannia. Ox needs to concentate more, how can he misplace so many passes? Campbell was our only creative spark. Nacho is as always mister consistent. And FINALLY BOW DOWN TO MIGHTY CECH.

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  42. Stoke Shitty away is always a difficult game. Their players are more like rugby players and know how to play against us. With Ozil missing I think a point is a fair one. We can’t expect to win all games with the amount of injuries we have.

    I think Theo and Ox should be dropped and Ozil and Sanchez brought. What the fuck happened to Sanchez?Weeks ago Wenger was saying he’s running with the coach in Chile. We need him back for the Chelsea game which is a must win game.

    COYG.

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  43. A fair point. Today we were without both our star players and we showed togetherness and that quality we missed so much prior to this season: the ability to understand the different moments in a game and adapt accordingly.
    To me, Chamberlain once more proved himself unable to play effectively in central midfield: his distribution and passing skills are below average.
    As we know, we won’t get more players from the transfer window. If we do challenge until the end for the title, then praises to the manager for sticking to his beliefs. If we don’t, we might regret not having been active. If we don’t spend when we have a real chance to compete, then what’s the purpose of saving money, building progressively a squad, being a solid club?

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  44. A difficult week. But I will take the psychological boost of staying another week a the top of the tree. COYG!

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  45. When Walcott has the ball bearing down on a defense you never really feel he has what it takes to either beat a man or produce a piece of magic to split a defense. His only use seems to be against teams who don’t put the onus on defence or when we are winning and the other team leave gaps when chasing the game.

    Chamberlain. What happened to the guy? His development was going so well and now it’s horrible to watch.

    We looked so unbelievably average today. It was a lame performance and if this set of players win the title then fuck me what an achievement.

    A club with more balls would have brought on a marquee signing today like Aubameyang. Instead our ONLY attacking sub was Iwobi. Why can’t we be arsed as a club I don’t know.

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  46. Overall OK result. However, for some reason I think that was one of THE worst performances I have seen in a while. I cannot recall so many mis-placed passes. And not just from one culprit. Ox tried too hard I think, when the easy option was on he tried a harder pass and missed it. He also hid so many times. If he had moved in any direction he would have became free and available for a pass.

    Same sometimes with Ramsey; he tried the spectacular pass when an easy pass was preferable. Other times Ramsey just mis-placed easy passes. There was also one point where Shawcross drove past him. There is no way that Ramsey with that huge engine that he has should be letting Shawcross run past him. Track back son.

    I don’t know whether it was the lack of movement in the mids but even Per and Kos, who normally are really good in possession made some atrocious passes.

    Walcott was frustrating. I get nervous whenever he gets the ball and I hope that he just plays an easy sideways or backwards pass. Whenever he runs with it or tries to make a pass forward we lose the ball.

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  47. Fucking Stoke fans really are a classless shower of inbred cunts. Those troglodytes are living proof not only that man descended from the ape, but that many have started the return trip. Most of them have eyes so close together they can look themselves in the face. Six fingers on each hand, seven toes on each foot, and yet they can only count to 27 if they drop their pants.

    The chants directed at Ramsey and Wenger were disgusting, vile, and sickening. I’ll bet that when those subhuman fuckwads got back to mummy’s house to bang their sisters, they told their incestuous offspring “When you’re old enough to finger each other, I’ll take you to a football match and you too can abuse people that our players injured.”

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  48. I’m really struggling to see how Rosicky is going to make any difference when back in the frame. We desperately miss santi and the coq on days like this.

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