Report: Stoke City 1-0 Arsenal

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Arsenal: Cech, Mustafi, Monreal, Kolasinac, Bellerin, Xhaka, Ramsey, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ozil, Welbeck, Lacazette

Subs: Ospina, Mertesacker, Coquelin, Elneny, Iwobi, Walcott, Giroud

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Stoke debutant Jese Rodriguez scored 90 seconds into the second half to condemn Arsenal to their first defeat of the new campaign.

The Gunners dominated the match for large periods but were poor in and around the box and ultimately paid for their poor defending.

They might have had a penalty in the first half when Bellerin was taken out and Lacazette had a goal harshly ruled out for offside inside the final 20 minutes but it wasn’t to be on a frustrating afternoon in a notoriously difficult fixture.

First half

The first chance fell to the home side as new boy Jese evaded a ridiculous Mustafi lunge before testing Cech at close quarters.

Slick passing between Bellerin and Lacazette was a regular feature of the opening stages as the Gunners looked to create space behind the Stoke defence. On the right, Oxlade-Chamberlain was more direct, choosing to take on defenders at pace with varying degrees of success.

Our first real chance came on 16 minutes when Ramsey raced onto a dinked ball from Lacazette and squeezed a shot at Butland.

The Arsenal pressure kept mounting and two further cute passes over the top created chances for Welbeck, who shot straight at the keeper, and Bellerin who went down under pressure from Zouma. Replays showed it probably should have been a penalty, so a big f*ck you to ref Andre Mariner.

The action swung back and forth. Jese’s break, aided by some pathetic Arsenal tackling, created a chance for Choupo-Moting whose shot was tame. Ramsey’s volley at the back post after a brilliant free-kick by Chamberlain was saved by Butland. Shawcross then squandered a fine opportunity by heading over Cech’s bar.

For all the huff and puff neither side looked particularly decisive in the final third, not helped by torrential rain putting a literal dampener on the action.

Second half

While Arsenal continued their sloppiness after the break, Stoke were more lively and inside 90 seconds they capitalised on a poor pass by Xhaka to produce a goal-scoring attack. New boy Jese darted out of midfield played a one-two with substitute Berahino and fired low on the angle past Cech. (1-0)

With a lead to defend, Stoke sat back and soaked up Arsenal’s possession.Arsenal focused their attention on attacking down the left flank trying to get in behind Diouf and Zouma.

It was easier said than done, however, when they did find space they squandered their chances. Bellerin’s right foot shot forced Butland into a bumbling save, Welbeck’s header came off his shoulder and went over and Ramsey couldn’t get enough purchase on a Mustafi pull-back.

On the break, Stoke looked dangerous. Cech had to tip over a diving header by Berahino and the Gunners were lucky when Choupo-Moting could only hit the side netting.

Kolasinac made way for Giroud on 65 minutes and his first pass of the game fed Welbeck who should have scored. Butland, not for the first time, was quick off his line. The Arsenal pressure kept building. Ozil had Butland scurrying across his goal with two efforts.

On 72 minutes Arsenal finally put the ball in the back of the net and it was a decisive lashed finish by Lacazette. He looked level with his marker but the linesman flagged him off. No goal. Not long after our record-signing was taken off along with Xhaka. The final roll of the dice saw Iwobi and Walcott thrown on in their place.

Andre Mariner’s ineptitude continued to be a talking point as he failed to give a foul on Chamberlain and then left himself open to criticism when Mustafi subsequently went straight through Pieters (in typical Mustafi style) on the edge of the Arsenal box. Play continued despite Mark Hughes going ballistic.

Arsenal completely dominated possession by Stoke’s rear-guard effort was impressively resolute. In the fourth minute of injury time Giroud had a chance to snatch an equaliser but his header from Monreal’s cross skidded wide.

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306 Comments on "Report: Stoke City 1-0 Arsenal"

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Charles

New season, same as the old season.

rugrat

but our manager already said that no team will go unbeaten

goongot

well he made sure arsenal do fulfill his prophecy.

Stuck on repeat...

We always seem so quick to the bads things, but always ever so slow to do the good.

Dan Hunter

Bellerin is one of the most overrated players in the team. Just another Walcott. All pace, No end product

Martin

Would have helped if he was played in his rightful position on the right instead of the left.

marc

yes, i thought he was massively wasted on the left side and the inistance on playing him and Ox messed up the team and its balance. One has to be on bench….

EZD

Do you think he’s playing both Ox and Hector at the moment to persuade Ox he will get playing time and encourage him, to sign? But he may stop it after the window closes?

Like when he played Walcott as a striker when he was wantaway.

DB10\'s Air Miles

He’s a right back, end product is not really his problem. Walcott scored 19 goals last season too.

Lord\'s Left Foot

Wenger was right, we were not going to go undefeated this season. Arsene knows!

La Défense

AOC was utterly incompetent. Kolasinac should fill his position.

Third Plebeian

Can’t believe Bellerin was shunted out left just to accommodate the Ox. Next game: Bellerin on the right, Kolasinac on the left, Ox on the bench, please. Better yet, if Chelsea could find it in their hearts to pay us 35m actual pounds for Ox…

Oh, and Welbzzzzzzzzzz…no thanks.

Fox in the Director\'s Box
Fox in the Director\'s Box

And Costa in exchange.

Geoffreyleathers@gmail.com
Geoffreyleathers@gmail.com

Buy costa…its all gone to shit anyway

DB10\'s Air Miles

I’d rather stop watching than see that cheating cunt Costa I’m Our team. He won’t even return to training for the chavs, why do you want that type of player at the arsenal?

Murf

2 thumbs up

DB10\'s Air Miles

I agree with all but the last part. I have a real soft spot for the versatile Welbz. I think we forget the length of time he’s spent injure in the last couple of years. I’m still willing him to come good.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia
Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Sell Ox and try to buy Lemar. Ox doesn’t have a good football brain. He continues pushing the ball like a headless chicken while a teammate is in a very good position.

Passil

We got players who need 20 chances to put the ball at the back of the net, we was rubbish , how can we not beat stoke city and we want to win the league is a mess….

santori

He was dynamic enough for us but I think Bellerin is better at Rback.

Ox is wasted crossing to Lacazette who will be missing against Stoke. Giroud was the player to start.

Kolasinac should be LWB. Ox can come in to add variation. He gives a lot of forward run and in many ways was more threatening than Bellerin but better question is why do we have to play kolasinac at left side of back 3 or Monreal in Cback?

marc

100% agree…sorry should be 110%

GoonerJust

Monreal and Kolasinac at center back, Bellerin on the left, Wellbeck squandering chanches, silent Ozil, substitution after 60th minutes. Those were the ingredients of total failures. First defeat after 2 games, well we are no where near top 4.

Can’t we just get a new manager before this season gets worse? I know we should’ve done it 1la decade ago, but better late than never.

Cagooner

This is 100% AW. Wrong line up, wrong motivation at half time, wrong tactics, wrong substitutions. Same old Arsenal. Fucking shit.

COYG. But we need change.

Trossinho

It’s so boring already

locksley444

All things bother me, but one thing that bothers me the most is how most of our players never improve much, if at all after coming to Arsenal. Sanchez might have not scored as much anywhere, but he wasn’t a regular at Barca and didn’t hit his peak at Udinese. Look at anyone else. Xhaka, Elneny, Gabriel, AOC(reasonably better since mid last year but there’s a lot more potential), Theo, Wilshere, Gibbs.

We need a tactician that will break things down for players, and make them work on their weaknesses. xhaka= marking, tackling, movement off the ball. Elneny= more high reward passing etc etc etc I can go on. They don’t play with confidence when its 0-0. I’d say that’s because of a lack of confidence in our gameplan. Then they play more more urgency and more risk-taking. Change of formation was a last-ditch attempt and while it helped, it’s too little too late to compete for major honors when the rest of english football is getting managers that are very good tacticians.

Nasri\'s missing chinbone
Nasri\'s missing chinbone

What would you have gone with?

Stuck on repeat...

Entirely agree – FFS it was Stoke (yes a bogey team for us that tend to trip us up…but WE KNOW THIS! It’s no secret). Why on earth can we not beat Stoke?!?!

Sorry AW, but you got it all wrong today…game #2 of the season. Dissapointing doesn’t even come close.

Graemeb

Hindsight there, but what would your starting 11 have been?

Ox looked good when switched to right last week. I agree that Sead is not the best centre back nor Monreal, should it have been Holding and Chambers or BFG?

Sead at rwb looks better than Hector on his wrong foot.

We all like Ozil but know he can’t control a game. Cazorla has been there when we’ve lost at Stoke before so he’s not the answer even if back to his best.

We have the usual failings of possession without threats although I’m not convinced about the offside. We should beat sides like Stoke in the way Manure did Swansea.

AW was not convinced by our defence – but he picked it! We were lucky that Shaqiri went off but still couldn’t capitalise.

First two games suggest that we’re no nearer to breaking our Premiership run of failure but let’s hope yet again that the lessons have been learnt.

Cygan\'s Magical Left Foot
Cygan\'s Magical Left Foot

But we’ve won 11 of our last 12 games at the end of last season. We’ll win the league with three at the back “Arsene knows”.

Arsene IS the problem?

dr Strange

Wenger should get sacked now. Nothing is better and the same mistakes keeps happening regardless of players.

Fox in the Director\'s Box
Fox in the Director\'s Box

He makes money for the Directors… Why would they want to sack him?

Spanish Gooner

He’s not even making that much money any more, he has outspent both Pochettino & Klopp since they both joined

Glocken

No champions league money this year
Too many players on the books who we can’t sell.

Will probably lose Ox, Ozil, Alexis, Jack etc for nothing next year & lose about 150 million in fees.

He’s not making them money anymore, Sky & BT are earning more for the club then Wenger is.

triobaldcott

Common, at least Gabriel’s had a good day on the beach.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia
Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Just to correct you that substitution was at 66th minute, 2/3 or the game. It has to be mathematical not based on what is required by the game being played.

Crash Fistfight

I agree that he should not be the manager, but a decade ago is a bit harsh. We were very unlucky not to win the league in 2007/08 (the last proper title challenge we had).

Dave M

I think he is exaggerating, maybe 9 years…

Crash Fistfight

I’d say 6 (it has been for me, at least). If you can’t beat Birmingham City in a final, it’s got nothing to do with not having as much money as Chelsea and Man City, which was his excuse up to that point.

goongot

if anything bellerin should have been subbed instead of kolasinac..he struggles to put passes and to cut inside as well…Bellerin has been atrocious all year long…for fuck sake that was diof there who was handling wings and kolasinac would have absolutely roasted him.

husni

I’m sure it has nothing to do with the fact the he’s playing out of position….jeez way to direct your discontent poorly

Flashmob

Well said!
What annoys me most nowadays is that he is just unable to win an aeriel duel – even if he is taller than Sagna was.

He seems to be lot more comfortablem recently in his hiper trendy fashion guy image, than on the field…

Fox in the Director\'s Box
Fox in the Director\'s Box

I’d be interested to know Bellerin’s crosses to goals ratio… From what I see, he always seems to cross the ball aimlessly without ever trying to pick anyone out!

Cagooner

Agreed. Will the real Hector please come back.

Cygan\'s Magical Left Foot
Cygan\'s Magical Left Foot

Two more seasons then FA cup win and his apologist here from bolg owner to cheerleaders would say, Arsene deserves 3 more years, get behind the team and don’t be negative.

They want what’s best for Arsene not arsenal, their love for the has been is incurable.

Arsene IS the problem.

6 years and counting.

Glocken

Wenger Out

Crash Fistfight

who had 2nd game of the season in the sweepstake?

Rectum_Spectrum

Probably everyone

Cygan\'s Magical Left Foot
Cygan\'s Magical Left Foot

When he passes Sir Alex’s record. And that’s 5 more years.

gooner

Early days and we look like we are fighting for Fourth.

Until lacazette finds his feet all our goal threat is either on the bench or out injured(Sanchez)

Kwame Ampadu Down

We knew we were fighting for 4th before the season started to be fair….
Sigh….

dr Strange

We’re not fighting for fourth. We won’t have anything to do with the top six this year.

Goonerest Gooner

Go home Cumberbatch, you’ve clearly had enough

Dave M

Pretty sure he has, cracking goal and should have stood!

Crash Fistfight

Don’t you mean ‘injured’?

Sank India

Now a full week of frustration. Which may even extend next week

Nasri\'s missing chinbone
Nasri\'s missing chinbone

The amount of wenger out comments on here is embarrassing. 2nd game in and you lot are all doing the media proud. Why not direct frustration at how shit the referee was today. Is every disappointing result from now on going to be like this?

We’ll finish 10th with this sort of negativity

Glocken

Good God man you are so deluded. The referee isn’t responsible for our strikers unable to hit a barn door. The ref isn’t responsible for playing 5 players out of position. The ref isn’t responsible for our dour sideways passing.

It has nothing to do with the second game of the season, we have been a mess and in decline for years but fans like you who are sheep & blindly follow this manager are damaging our chances of real change.

Nick

Mariner was poor yes so was the linesman who somehow saw that Laccazette had a nose hair in an offside position in real time ! However Wenger picked the team with a defence that had only one recognised central defender despite having other options there he also plate all but Mustafi put of position! His subs came too late as usual and putting Walcott on against a packed defence is worse than doing nothing! Laccazette was starved of service and Welbeck kept getting in his way just to fluff his lines! We have so far only BOUGHT one player despite the assurances from both Wenger and Gazidis we would spend on improving the side ! The parsimony is still there even taking into account the crazy market! As for slagging Wenger off after two games don’t be absurd the disenchantment has grown over the past seven seasons continuing into this one !

DB10\'s Air Miles

I’m actually considering a complete football media blackout. You know, watch the game with the volume down and stop reading anything relating to it. At least that way you can remain balanced and not get bogged down by all the Doomsday arse holes.

Stuck on repeat...

Apparently it’s now 8 years since Arsenal won the first 2 games of the season. Collectively as a club, we can’t say “things are changing” when each & every season they stay exactly the same…Seriously 8 years 🙁

Fuck me already

Can this season end already?oh wait????

Crash Fistfight

Unfortunately Stoke weren’t on their holidays this game.

Third Plebeian

Welcome back, Arsenal!

Anonymarse

Well that was shite. The Stoke fans are a real set of tossers aren’t they.

Fabulous

To be honest I’d be basking in the glory if I were them. Thing is stoke raise their game against all top oppositions at their ground. The time wasting, 10 men behind the ball, pressing solidly and a niggling foul here and there, yet only Arsene can’t figure out how to play against. You don’t see conte, Jose or pochettino getting found out now and then.

Anonymarse

I don’t have a problem with the basking in glory. It’s the booing Ramsey for having his leg broken, whistling to have the ball kicked out when a player is clearly play acting and trying to pressure the ref into making the wrong decisions.

santori

Don’t blame Stoke fans.

Getting a win at home against us is the highlight of their season. They won’t be winning anything better.

rugrat

let’s focus on not killing careers….winning games can come later

Gargoyle

I know a man whose career I’d like to kill in an instant…

Nasri\'s missing chinbone
Nasri\'s missing chinbone

Is it Andre Marriner? He was class today

Don

Here we go again. Another shambolic defensive display today but little to show for it going forward. Wouldn’t you know it that Arsenal hadn’t won their first two games of the season in eight years!
Many of us said from when the teams were announced that Wenger picked it wrong, and boy were we proven right.
Chamberlain, who was hopeless, shouldn’t have been starting, with Bellerin then playing out of position at left wing back, all while the best left back in the Bundesliga last season is forced to play centre half.
Add to that the bizarre decision to leave Welbeck on the pitch and take off Lacazette when we were chasing the game. I like Welbeck as a team player but he’s fucking useless in front of goal.
All in all the same ugly mistakes showing there faces today. And while Lacazette had a goal that probably should’ve stood, there can be absolutely no excuses for that performance today.
Arsenals record at Stoke is embarrassing.
The late win last week did not mask the frailties in this side. Arsene Wenger, yet again and to no surprise, has failed to prepare his team for the beginning of the season.

Matt

Well, we’ve got Wenger as a manager, did you expect better? He has lost it a long long time ago

Sheffield Gooner

Agreed. Obviously you play a left back at left back and a right back at right back, with central defenders in the middle. Is that so fucking hard Arsene?

So fucking frustrating.

santori

I think he wanted to correctly reap the benefit of Ox crossing from the right but then he elects not to have Giroud in the middle.

Rob67

Bullseye 🎯

espen

Ox is seriously horrendous this match. Just play Bellerin back to his right wing back already.

Flashmob

The Ox and Ozil were our two best players today.
Bellerin is good at defending but offensively he is so limited compared to the Ox.
Just a little stat.:

In the last two games Chamberlain had 15 successful dribbles while Bellerin had 1.
(Neymar had 5.6 per game last season)

Don

No they weren’t. Not that anyone had a good game.
Chamberlain can dribble as much as he likes but the ball almost always ends up over the line or given away to opposition. He was useless today and the sooner he is sold the better.

eternalflamini

That’s nice but what he does after those dribbles is the problem. It’s like opening a champagne bottle beautifully and then pouring it down the drain.

Frank Bascombe

Yes but Chamberlain’s ‘successful’ dribbles produce fuck all. It’s all very well quoting stats but it’d be a lot more constructive if you understood the game of football. None of them, keeper apart, came out of today’s game with much credit. All a bit depressing really.

Flashmob

I think they tried. More than the rest. It doesn’t mean they were brilliant or something, but did more than anybody else.

As far as tackles, interceptions, key passes and pass accuracy concern – they lead the team today.

https://www.whoscored.com/Matches/1190190/LiveStatistics/England-Premier-League-2017-2018-Stoke-Arsenal

Dave M

Bellerin cannot do what he needs to do on the left because he can’t go around people or cross strongly enough on his left peg. Not his fault. He is an amazing RB, why play him at LB when there are two exceptional LBs literally on the field?!

Cagooner

Good point. But what’s your excuse for him when he plays on the right. NEVER goes outside his man and puts in a good cross. Agreed Ox gets it wrong often, but he gets it right so many more times that Hector.

triobaldcott

Lacazette coming off drove me up the fucking wall.

Crash Fistfight

Nothing to do with failing to prepare, I’m afraid. The same mistakes happen at different points of the season, depending on when we play particular teams. If we played a load of dross the first 5 games we’d probably win all 5 and loads of people would be creaming their pants saying we’re going to win the league.

It was like when everybody said Mustafi was so great because we hadn’t lost a game whilst he was playing, conveniently overlooking that the only games against anyone any good in that period were Spurs and Man U, who were both playing shit at the time.

dr Strange

What dross? There’s no dross in the leauge anymore. If you don’t come prepared you get bitchslapped on the balls as we got. Simple.

JustBrowsing

Can’t disagree with any of that. The starting back three, when you have Mertersacker on the bench and Chambers and Holding sitting at home is mind boggling. I can understand taking Holding out of the firing line (although I say get straight back in the saddle)
Honestly play people in their fucking positions!!!! Square pegs, round holes AGAIN.
Chamberlain is not a left wing back, nor Bellerin. Kolasinac will never be a centre back..Monreal does a job there but not both together.
Honestly we start with three and end up with a thrown together back four for the second week, it’s comical.
Danny Welbeck, in the greatest respect I don’t think even he knows what he is anymore..certainly not a striker, with his finishing.
Yet again we’re two world class players short, but would it make any difference with some of the tactics and the way the team’s set up.
Fucking bored of the Groundhog Day errors.

Maniac

Absolute shambles in defence. We let one of our better centre-backs leave for a measly fee while we play two full backs in the centre of our defence. Disgraceful.

Crash Fistfight

To be fair, Gabriel couldn’t have played. Mertesacker, Holding and Chambers could’ve though!

santori

Agreed.

If anything Metersecker (like Giroud) is tailored for this sort of contest.

That said of course, the goal came from the ground off of Monreal being too loose on Jesse.

Even Mustafi in the middle with Holding right of back 3 would have been a better solution.

Crash Fistfight

Is it just me that thought Mustafi was shit on the goal as well? Why didn’t he just go to his man?

Dave M

Hard to argue with much of that.

Although defensively it was fine, but another Xhaka give away and then him needlessly overly agressively trying to get the ball back exposed us for the goal (although credit to stoke that was nice passing). Xhaka really needs to eliminate that from his game that is 2 maybe 3 goals in first two games directly from a Xhaka give away…

But our width was pretty average – Bellerin (rant: how can the fucking commentators get Jese’s name right – “hae-say” after 1 week; and still f*ck up Bellerin – “Bey-yer-rin” after 5years – imbeciles) can’t play left back because he cannot go around people on his left foot so you eliminate his pace – DUMB! The ox I thought wasn’t as bad as most say, actually put in some decent balls, but still nothing exceptional.

Referee was a farking disgrace – 3 legit pens (Bellerin, hand-ball, and Welbs get tugged on both sides while trying to shoot in 2nd half) and a beautiful goal scratched wrongly for offside. Add to that buying the Stoke cheating the whole bloody game. Not going to get anything from the refs as per normal.

But really Arsene?! Its just same old, same old. Picking his “favourites” just to get them on the sheet even if it means playing half the squad out of position. For someone built around giving youth a go he seems to have almost abandoned that lately (Chambers, Holding?! WTF?). We are just another good, not great team until we change managers I’m afraid. I’ll always respect him, but there really is very little fresh and different coming from him especially in preparing specifically for each opponent and man management wise. So sad to be this pessimistic at game 2, but can you really see us finishing outside of the 4-6 range? I can’t…

Cagooner

Completely agree on Xacha point. He gave the ball away in bad situations 3 or 4 times in first half before getting punished in second. He’s a good player, but needs to eliminate that to be great.

NEParse

HAHAHAHAHA it just gets funnier year by year, AFC’s a lost cause. Wenger is fooling everyone. We all know Welbeck, Giroud and Walcott can’t play top level football. It is clear as day, they possess low technique and football intelligence. Half of the first team would struggle for a spot in any top teams. Think Giroud wouldn’t leave if he could find a better team ? NONE interested !!

Frank Bascombe

Oh do fuck off.

Boomtime

This reads like a Trump tweet.

goongot

oh my god 😪same old…welbeck is worth keeping only because he is gng to score against manu and jose…to be honest ozil,xhaka,bellerin were fucking horrendous…and wenger pls play players in position for fuck sake.and why send walcott ? might just as play with 10 men.

triobaldcott

No way they should have lost that game today. Welbeck had chance after chance to either pass or shoot, and always took the wrong option.

santori

Talk about Giroud plan B, why is Welbeck starting?

The best combination is Giroud and Lacazette.

Welbeck lacks anticipation and is poor finishing.

Crash Fistfight

Problem is that when they both play, Lacazette gets shunted out wide, instead of playing them both up front with Ozil behind.

eternalflamini

Well we can single out individuals of course but for me the blame is squarely on the boss and that fucking ridiculous line up he selected. Absolutely insane, amateur champman stuff.

Woolwich Shepherd

I literally thought they would be better with 10 after Walcott came in. Giroud brought something to the pitch but Iwobi and Walcott just got got in the way! And what the hell was Mustafi doing trying to lob balls over the top and put in crosses?!

Mootilated

Ah. I was wondering what took the first defeat of the season so long. There it is.

Anonymarse

At least it is out of the way now

Anonymarse

Roll on second defeat

leroy

tough day at the office. some important calls went against us which could have changed the game. i must say though, if there is still an offer of 35m for chamberlain, take it!

eternalflamini

Yes, the ox debate is over. For me at least.

Woolwich Shepherd

Ox £35 m scouting report:
1. Press ahead as fast as possible and charge like a bull down the right.
2. Make sure there are no players around to pass to.
3. Keep touch on ball two lengths ahead on the dribble at full speed.
5. Second defender trap. Toe poke the ball away.
6. Begin counter-attack.
7. Rinse. Repeat.

**Followed by hands on hips, look in the sky, and shout at accursed football God’s.

Donald\'s Trump

Sell em all. Especially Wenger.

Did he pick names out of a hat to pick the team?

We have 3 left backs, play one of them at left back you absolute senile imbecile.

Mississippi Gunner

Andre Marriner you are shit, what’s fucking new

Gooner

Ergh. This is a shit Stoke side, they will be fighting relegation all season. It’s just so easy to run in front of our defenders too beat them too a cross. That Jesé is about Stokes only quality player, and Zouma.

Shouldn’t have taken off Lacazette for Walcott who wasn’t in the box for that Giroud knock down late on. Feel his goal should have stood as well. Wasn’t off side.

All good teams are built on defense look at all the top teams. If we never sort this out we can’t move forward. Frustrating.

Sean

Manager got exactly what he deserved. It’s not pre-season anymore, so make a hard choice between Ox and Bellerin and put out a proper line-up. Oh, and if you’re gonna make substitutions, then perhaps give them some thought rather than throw them on for the sake of it and screw up our fluency for twenty fucking minutes.

Atom

While it was great to beat Leceister- we aren’t exactly off to a great start defensively. We’re conceding so many cheap goals.

Cagooner

Let’s face it, that Leicester win was desperation too.

Arsenalista

I totally agree, we are a shambles defensively. Seriously, how on earth can he not fix the blindingly obvious. We could have messi and ronaldo and we would still get turned over. Our tactics are border line insanity, when big fat walrus sam allerdice tells the world how to beat us and yet we continue to abandon the idea of defending, it is enough to make you kick your cat so hard in the arse that he becomes a slipper. I don’t know. This for another two years at least…yay!

Maniac

Hopeless defensively. Monreal can’t do everything, Mustafi thinking he’s the long ball specialist and the Bunsesliga TOTS left back is now playing centre-back. That in addition to playing Bellerin on the wrong side and AOC as a makeshift wing-back. Not exactly a surprise we conceded such a cheap goal. Koscielny’s return from suspension couldn’t come sooner.

Dave M

Ok we understand the selection problem but seriously face the fact – the defense was absolutely fine today. The goal is 100% on Xhaka. Cheap give away then needlessly press opening a massive hole in front of the defense instead he should have been disciplined after the give-away and held his position.

It was the width using a RB that can’t cross or turn people with his left foot as LB and a RW that is an average crosser at RB that killed our width (although the Ox was ok today, just not brilliant).

While I agree with the selection issues, the defence was actually very good today

Crash Fistfight

So 3 defenders against 2 attackers and it’s because the midfielder lost the ball in the middle of the pitch? Yes, Xhaka made a bad mistake to chase the pass and is at fault, but the defence should still be able to deal with it. Mustafi doesn’t close the man with the ball and Monreal doesn’t go with his man. Then Cech gets beaten from a tight angle.

Dave M

That finish is world class and Jese’s run is world class, the slight hesitation from beradinho then pass from is brilliant as it draws in Monreal stopping him from dropping off and takes him off balance. If we scored that goal everyone would be saying OOOFFFFF!! What a cracking goal.

There were two clear mistakes on the goal. The Xhaka give-away and the Xhaka close down to open a massive hole in the most dangerous place on the pitch. Xhaka needs to be WAY more disciplined if he is playing the DM role otherwise we need le Coq or Elneny in the role to allow Xhaka to push forward or go to the bench.

Woolwich Shepherd

Xhaka was poor. He was too far up field and he didn’t help on the counter attack. Say what you will about Stoke, but Berahino and Jess link up was pretty good football.

Woolwich Shepherd

I wouldn’t go so far as to use the word “good”. I completely agree Xhaka has been crap in possession the past two weeks. I thought he turned the corner last March, but he seems to have reverted.

Dave M

Its not that he is bad in possession, every player gives the ball away (although he has to be a little more careful at times). Its what you do after that. If you give it away and you are the last line before the defence you get back into position and cover the “hole” between mid and defence you don’t running out to make ammends for your error…DISCIPLINE. Something Elneny and LeCoq never get credit for, but what makes them very useful players. Xhaka is far more gifted than either, but he needs to realise the position he is playing requires him to be very positionally astute defensively

Atom

It just seems to me that Wenger is trying to shoehorn Kolosniac, the Ox and Bellerin into the team. I think we need to be playing K at left back as playing him at center back nullifies his attacking ability. That means that Wenger will have to bench either the Ox or Bellerin and it just seems to me that he’s trying to avoid that.

Glocken

Totally agree. Wenger is incapable of making hard choices anymore. He views the players as his kids more than footballers & these decisions are killing us in games.

ZenithReptile

Same shit different season

espen

It was coming but i didnt think it was against the orcs.

Matt

REALLY hope this is Wenger’s last season. +10 years of the same should fed up even the most fervent of supporters. Tried to be positive after Leicester’s win which was actually a poor performance in midfield and defense, but today we didn’t score 3 or 4 goals to save a match….

goongot

wenger out bus has passed unfortunately..it’s travelling in a comet which will comeback again in like 15 months..You can advance book it though.

andre santos

sorry but welbeck just not good enough. squad player at best

Alex

Let the race for fifth begin!

Well done Arsene, you’ve changed nothing. No teeth at all in that game. Predictable as always and Giroud should be on from the start at a game like Stoke away FFS. Hard to blame wantaway players under this “stewardship” of our club

naija gunner

Thought things were gonna be different this season. Should known it was a pipe dream.

Chuffy

Same shit. If everyone thinks this manager has anything new up his sleeve you’re mistaken. 6th is about all well manage.

Donald\'s Trump

Lucky to be top 10.

Man Utd and Everton will deffo be ahead of us this season.

Original Paul

I am having home made chicken kebab to make me feel better.

Anonymarse

fish and chips

ZenithReptile

Pies

Isaiah Rankin

Guinness

Sean

Nice, I need to figure out what to get for dinner then I’m gonna re-watch Twin Peaks before seeing the new season. That’s right, it’s already media black out time guys!

Woolwich Shepherd

Will masturbation help make me feel better?

Anonymarse

Worth a try

Graeb

Try it Wenger style – use wrong hand and see if it works.

Johar

Sorry guys – all my fault. Shouldn’t have watched it.
Defensive starting line-up baffling.

santori

Attacking line up too.

giroud should have started.

Crash Fistfight

I think that’s the same point, in a way. Giroud would’ve helped on set-pieces, not that they scored from one.

Woolwich Shepherd

Lacazette was invisible next to Shawcross. OG could have really opened things up. He should have started. And poor Welbs. Just not up to this level.

Graeb

Suddenly Giroud is being hailed as our saviour when so many were wanting rid of him last season.
Also why does Wenger have to be so churlish with handshakes after defeats? Looks childish.

Frank

if Wenger took defending seriously we could have a decent side. Two LB’s as CB’s again??? Also constantly going down the wings and cutting back is not working, especially with Lacazette

Woolwich Shepherd

Let’s put the guys back where they belong, ok, Arsene? Nice experiment, but the Ox’s ego is less important than winning a game. Put Bellerin on the right. Meanwhile, Monreal is a great left back. Nice left side crosses for OG and link up play with Sanchez have been a consistent part of his game. Sitting at CB is a waste of his talents and obviously out of his comfort zone.

Tony Hall

It’s groundhog day 🙂
On a more serious note every season plays out the same, same excuses, same *we will be better next season* yawn
past caring

JustBrowsing

John Coffey sums up my mood when he said “Awful tired, boss. Dog-tired.”

Donald\'s Trump

Like the drink only not spelled the same. Yesssirrrumboss

Easy tiger

We are just do shit.

rogue gooner

Last season was his last opportunity to walk away with any dignity. 2 games and same mental frailties. So now wenger deserves everything he gets. Both barells. All that matters is that he is goes. Nothing to do with 1 premier league defeat, it’s to do with the continuing decay of our great club.

Foggy Bottom

Arsene needs to go. Simple as that. From his inability to extend Ozil and Sanchez’s contracts to his inability to cast off the deadwood (Jenkinson, Debuchy, Gibbs, etc.) to his outmoded tactics on the field, it is abundantly clear that Wenger is an anachronism and must tender his resignation if he has any self-respect left.

Donald\'s Trump

He won’t. He’s got narcissistic personality disorder.

George Wang

Deja Vu.

Lot’s of possessions, check.

Concede a stupid goal trough stupidly giving the ball away then defending stupidly, Check.

Huff and Puff and then miss a few half chances, check.

Run out of steam and gives up in the end, check.

Struggles early season and then scramble for the 4th place trophy…Check?

Crash Fistfight

Which we won’t get. Then won’t be able to buy anyone cos we didn’t sell players when we had the chance.

Then repeat next season, because the same manager will be in charge.

I don’t get this argument of “he’s done so much for the club, so it’s wrong to want him out” (as per Blogs’ post this week). Would you want Thierry Henry to be playing for us now? No, of course not, because he’s too old and can’t do it any more – same as Arsene. Just because they were great in the past, doesn’t mean they should be involved in the same capacity now.

Public Elneny Number One
Public Elneny Number One

You think we’re going to be in the mix for 4th this season? You’re a more optimistic man than me.

Gunner03-04

…..Wenger signs two more years, check.

REPEAT

Axedsoul

So,we still shouldn’t read too much into preseason right?

aussie gooner

Ozil is untouchable. can do whatever he wants without ever getting dropped.
welbeck is not good enough for arsenal full stop.

Stringer Bell

In the space of two minutes Ozil put a beautiful waited pass to bellerin who hit it straight at keeper and then a put a wonderful cross for welbeck who missed the fucking ball and it came off his shoulder.

Deano

Stringer, Aussie is his number One fan.

Crash Fistfight

I actually agree. Against Leicester he was hopeless. Today, he was involved in most things we did well (it’s not his fault every chance fell to the terrible finishers in the team).

Unfortunately the substitutions were weird and stupid. Why leave both Bellerin and Ox on? Why bring on Theo? Why take out a CM (who granted, didn’t have a great game, but you can’t blame someone for a goal because they lost the ball – it’s practically impossible to go a whole game without losing the ball at least once) so that we played 4-1-5?

Symbei

It wasn’t that he lost the ball. It was that he half-assed his way forward to try and retrieve it and left a gaping hole behind him, which was exploited. The moment he left that hole, I knew we would concede.

Dave M

It was Xhaka that lost the ball for the goal and the goal is on him 100% because he pressed hard after his turn over and they passed around him and into the massive hole he vacated by trying to get the ball straight back (then sadly it was really nice Stoke football for the rest of the goal). But Xhaka needs to be WAY more disciplined at DM. If you turn it over you get back into position and close the “hole” don’t go chasing things down and exposing your defense!!

Crash Fistfight

1 – the whole team needs to be more disciplined. An individual error in the middle of the pitch shouldn’t allow the other team to score so easily.
2 – we had 3 defenders against 2 attackers – they should be able to deal with it. Both defenders were appalling on the goal.
3 – Xhaka is not a defensive midfielder. I thought that is why we went to the back 3, i.e. so that there is an extra defender back. See point 2.

Dave M

Yeah I thought Ozil was probably our best player today. Made sublime turns and passes, created so much, width and end product hurt us offensively, although so did that cu^t Mariner…3 legit pens and 1 spectacular goal all scratched off wrongly

santori

Which is why we should just get Pastore.

He can add something different next to Granit with ability to dribble in congestion. He could replicate Xhaka’s deep passing should the Swiss get injured or have a red. He could push Ozil for a starting spot and if the German doesn’t want to extend, we have a ready replacement WITH equal experience.

We are missing something in midfield which continues to be enigmatic.

Vonnie

He worked harder than most of them out there and he was desperately trying to make things happen. It wasn’t his fault that nobody could put the ball in the back of the net.

Vonnie

Agree Danny is useless in front of goal, he had so many chances and tripped over most of them, again.

Dave M

To his defense though the best chance he had when through on goal he had a defender draped over each arm literally hanging off him and of course Mariner ruled nothing because he is a spineless cu^t…so obviously a penalty, but because he shot the ref won’t make a call…pathetic

AJD

I think this season will be a transitional seasonal. Next season the league will be ours!!

Dude from Portugal

not sure if serious.

Stephen

Robbed by the ref on the goal and penalties. That would’ve been enough to pull out the win.

On another note Welbeck is still terrible. He has no business starting but he has twice now. Then somehow boss leaves him on for the full 90 and takes off lacazette (who had actually scored). Absolutely killed our game by takin Xhaka and Lacazette off and putting theo on. Theo and Welbeck should be league cup options to rest proper players at this point. Wengers faith in mediocre talent has come back to haunt us early this year.

Crash Fistfight

To be fair, at least Welbeck got on the end of passes. Aside from the (technically, correctly) disallowed goal, Lacazette kept on getting into positions where the ball was never going to get to him.

Crash Fistfight

I thought he looked quite sharp in build-up play, and I think he’s a decent player, but (if you can stomach it) watch the game again and see where he is when most chances happen. He was further back than Welbeck most of the time – was he playing as a false 9 or something?

Man Manny

Too early for Wenger out but that was not good. How bad was Xhaka today. We cannot compete with that midfield; Arsene has a week to do something.
How profligate can Welbeck be?
Tough season ahead if nothing is done fast!

Xhaka Demus, no pliers
Xhaka Demus, no pliers

Garbage. Xhaka giving another goal away – this time from his bad decision making. He should never have chased that pass. Ozil should have, even if it was Xhaka’s bad pass in the first place. The space Jesé ran through was the space Xhaka in which should have been. So many poor performances though. They defended very well but we didn’t ask many questions of them, especially in the second half. Very frustrating.

Jean Ralphio

Absolute shit. Welbeck is not good enough and I don’t understand why Lacazette was taken off. We lack creativity. I’m worried for the season

Gooner

You know! you can’t keep on defending Xhaka. You should not. He was bad in last game (2 assists don’t make up for his mistakes) and he gave it away today so many times and so carelessly. He was the only common factor in our last year’s bad phase and he has continued to be bad. And on an another note! Welbeck, a guy with 40 something goals in his entire career isn’t exactly someone who will win you the league. This is not right. Not so early in the season.

santori

We have odd relations in midfield. There is no coplete player like Santi.

Granit isn’t a tackler nor Ramsey (nor Elneny)

Coquelin is but he can only play with someone who is positionally good to cover when he goes in to intercept.

Granit replicates Santi’s deep passing but not his dribbling and ball retention. None of the other mids are dribbling merchants that can offer penetration up the middle through congestion. Thereby the ball predictably can only go wide side to side or over the top.

If Granit (god forbid) takes a knock or a red, we are missing that capability as witnessed when Wenger invariably subs the wrong player off in taking Granit out of the game (thereby negating Ramsey’s attacking threat as well)

Midfield is the problem.

It has been the problem for a while now without Santi.

Until we fix it, we won’t be challenging.

Bummer

Spot on mate

Fabulous

Can’t wait for Liverpool now, all sarcasm intended. Potentially two losses in a row so early in the season, because we didn’t buy adequately (imagine if we’d wrapped up either of Lemar or Draxler rather than counting on Walcott or Welbeck). Where have we heard this before? That’s right, every fucking season!

Crash Fistfight

Can Draxler player centre half? He might be better at it without the (lack of) defensive coaching players receive at Arsenal.

Begeegs

Mate – as long as Wenger is at the helm, it doesn’t matter who he buys.

Welcome to the next level! Going to be a bore-fest this year.

santori

The problem has never been that Wenger (or Dick Law) is poor buying in market.

The problem has always been he never buys enough.

I don’t think Lemar is in our hands.

Draxler will take a bit of moving but there is no harm trying bc we need someone to replicate Alexis “unpredictability” and we know PSG need to sell.

Its hubris to think the likes of Welbeck or Walcott are good enough.

santori

Like a slow train wreck…

Not surprised.

AS I have mentioned, it is rather ridiculous to see Giroud as a “Plan B”

He should have been on from the get go.

Giroud starts ahead of Lacazette for France for a reason.

The moment he came on, we were much sharper and at no detriment to Lacaztte staying on.

IN FACT, Gourd should have played WITH Lacazette.

IF the starting line up up top was questionable, so were a number of subs.

Firstly why keep Welbeck on? He can’t hit the side of a barn door. He also lacks anticipation and tends to be half a step off where he should be gambling in to.

Secondly why take Granit off, He offered us the ability to pick a pass from the top (and on to Giroud). The moment he comes off, Ramsey (who was ghosting in all game) had to drop deeper and his merits going forward were neutralised.

Thirdly Walcott. A poor player which we should sell IMO. Absolutely no impact.

We won’t be winning the league with this team. Still missing pieces particularly in deep midfield where we need someone who can penetrate through the middle.

And the fools on Arsenal FAN TV who say Lacazette is world class. Well he had a legit goal disallowed (good flick by Giroud) but clearly he isn’t world class enough to make a difference against Stoke still.

As I mentioned, Lacazette replaces the goal output of Alexis but not the ‘unpredictability’/take on factor which we are missing at the moment.

Anyway, cue predictable fan melt down. SNAFU.

Fireman Sam

Agree about Theo. Useless today as usual.

Welbz should be kept but only for squad usage (Europa etc)

Thought Monreal was partially at fault for the goal, although Stoke played it well.

Per

What the bloody hell was up with that starting line-up with 5-6 players out of position?

Donald\'s Trump

Total football innit

Thierry Wright

Why oh why does Wenber always tinker with a winning formula…why does he not play Mert/holding and Mustafi ? And he then plays bellerin out of position ??? Trying to fit too many of his favorites in them what’s the point of having depth ? As soon as I saw the team I knew we’d be shit. All great sides are built on a defensive rock…. he needs to decide our wingbacks between bellerin/ox and Monreal/kolasnic simple… As for the shit referee and penalty and as for the linesman how the hell can he call offside ? And welbeck getting pulled back when through as well we got nothing today and as usual I blame wennger for treating prem league games like pre season has someone told him that’s all we have to play for this year ????

Glocken

New season & same old shit. Why should anyone be surprised? Wenger is 67 and will never ever change. This isn’t a football club, it’s a vanity project for a well past it manager who cannot accept that football has moved on and it isn’t the game that he imagines.

He can’t get players to sign new deals
He gives average dross over the odds contracts
He buys a 52 million pound striker and we still can’t score with the same old sideways passing.
He can’t organise a defence.

Nothing ever changes at this club, our players & staff are pampered weaklings who lack any real desire to win.

We are absolute mess and fans will still sign ‘one Arsene Wenger’. It’s crazy.

We had the chance to say thanks for the memories and goodbye but we couldn’t do it, sentimentality gets in the way again & we are now stuck in the same old situation.

For god sake get rid of Arsene Wenger, please please give us something different accept this complete shit every fucking season.

Brent

I can’t believe you have to write about this for another season. Stay strong, Blogs.

Diarra

We have Mertesacker, Holding, Mustafi, Chambers available as CB’s, two left backs available and one right back.

We choose to play two left backs as CB, one central midfielder/winger as RWB and a right back as LWB.

Only at Arsenal.

santori

We have Giroud as plan A.

But we relegate him to plan B and expect him to dig us out of a hole. Instead we keep Welbeck on who can’t hit the target at point blank.

Vonnie

Exactly.

Diarra

Yeah we could actually play both Giroud and Lacazette from the start. Lacazette seems to be decent in tracking back too

Dave M

I complained about this before the game, but just reading it again here its so frustrating I’m actually laughing to myself out loud about its stupidity. Its a joke being played on us right?!

Diarra

Holding and Chambers are not the most experienced but are easily good enough to start in a back 3 over fullbacks any day of the week.

Zelig

So all the promises of change turned out to be b*llsh*t. Wenger’s unwillingness to compete in the transfer market continues to cost us. Every man & his dog can see we need a top class DM & CB apart from Wenger or the board.

He refuses to spend £100m on DM & CB but is willing for the club to lose £100m when Alexis, Ozil & Ox sign for our rivals next year for free. Where is the logic in that?

Ozil looks like he is just running down his contract. Mustafi & Xhaki were awful too. We need serious change because we are going backwards as a club.

Anonymarse

For some reason I can see the comments awaiting moderation. Not for the first time.

dr Strange

A team full of talent with a manager that hasn’t got a clue anymore. I’m bored as fuck after two fucking games and I’m not bored because we play boring games but because I’ve seen it all before.

We can even forget top six this year and Özil, Sanchez and will be gone on a free. Didn’t Wenger used to go on and on about how he had to leave the club in the best position possible…

Two more years of this shit.

I sad it after the first two games last year and I say it again.

Sack Wenger now!

Crash Fistfight

Yep, I said he was being irresponsible and looking out for himself a couple of days ago and got down-voted to hell, but it’s true though, isn’t it?

Glocken

Totally agree, if I could upvote this a million times I would.

Man Manny

Keeping faith with average players and expecting them to deliver championship winning performances week in week out in this league is sheer madness.

Brutal honesty

Arsenal have NO CHANCE winning the league. We don’t have the players, we don’t have the squad. We don’t have the mentality. If we had mourinho I reckon we could win the league. We have a 100bhp car trying to do a 0-60 in 4.0 not very likely to happen. We finished 5th last year this year might be the same. Arsenal are one of the buggest frauds. Pay the most money and receive the least amount of happiness in the premier league. I am so annoyed to Be an Arsenal fan. Rant NOT over.

Diarra

Mourinho can’t do sh*t without first spending 300 million.

This squad is good enough but Wenger may have lost the plot judging by today’s starting 11.

Per

Anybody else got irritated when seeing Walcott lightly jogg onto the field? We are shite and the answer is (still) Walcott? Seriously?

santori

Waste of time.

I said last season we should be selling him.

Welbeck and Walcott are not good enough to be relied upon.

We can’t afford to wait on Alexis and his abdomen now.

We need to replace him because we are bleeding points with United flying.

Have we not learnt that we have no leeway to shed points on a slow start?

Replace Alexis now. It is the height of hubris to think Welbeck and Walcott can add something. They are secondary potential.

We need to bring in a primary threat like a Draxler who can add unpredictability to our game.

Deano

Glad to have them out of the way. Mind numbingly boring game year in year out. Again we go and drop points there.

Had a few chances and I love Danny’s work ethic, but we needed a finish today. Should have started the big men against that rabble. Big Per and Giroud should start in these games.

Should have had a spot kick, shock horror not given. Chaka again mis-placed a five yard pass and again we paid the price, this time no one could pull it back. Ramsey played well, Chamberlain and Bellerin ok, and the rest seemed to be suffering from the Stoke flu.

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