Bellerin: We knew we had to win


Hector Bellerin returned to the starting XI at Stoke yesterday, and played a big part in our 4-1 win.

The Spanish full back got an assist for Olivier Giroud’s opening goal, crossing to provide the French international with a tap-in after he’d been sent free by Francis Coquelin.

It set the Gunners on their way to a third win in seven days, and Bellerin spoke afterwards about how hard they worked to make it happen.

“We knew that we were playing for our lives really, so any result other than a win wasn’t good for us,” he said.

“We knew that at the start of the game, so we knew we had to win no matter what. I think the team did really well.

“We had loads of chances, it was important to get them in and I think the team did really well.”

The win puts some pressure on Liverpool to not drop points at West Ham today, and the 22 year old said it showed there is still some spirit in the side.

“We have a lot of heart,” he said, a lot of character and, even though in some games it may not look like we’ve shown it, the team really wants to be there and we’ve shown that here.”

Read today’s Arseblog: Stoke 1-4 Arsenal: Holding shines as Gunners batter toothless Potters

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35 Comments on "Bellerin: We knew we had to win"

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COYG… 3 GOOD POINTS… West Ham beat Liverpool for me…

Third Plebeian

West Ham didn’t show up, so barring the extremely unlikely scenario of Boro beating Liverpool on the last day, we, my friends, will be watching Arsenal on Thursday nights next season.

This little run we’ve been on has been great, but, just like our plucky pride-rescue performances in CL ties with Bayern in recent years, ultimately not good enough.


To put any faith in WHU was hopeless. As it turned out that first game of the season when we shit out to the scousers was such a big loss.
Still great to see we can win tough gigs like Stoke.

Heavenly Chapecoense

Other scenario is City getting beaten like 3-0 and we win 3-0.


City need to drop points in both their last two games as they’re 4 points ahead of us – just not gonna happen


Hopefully this can be something positive for the club. I don’t care about winning the Europa League, so rest players in that tournament just as we do for the league cup, and give a chance to youngsters and fringe players. We have the money, and it’s not like we were signing absolutely world class players when we were in the champions league.

I’m gutted as everyone else is, but maybe now we can actually focus our attention on winning the league and rest our key players during pointless Europa league ties. I honestly love watching league cup games because I get a chance to see players like niles and the Jeff. Our issue in developing youngsters has been the stage between u23 football and senior football because they just don’t get enough chances to play for the first team (for obvious reasons). Look at the difference you see in academy players and players that played in the lower leagues (like Holding and dele alli).

I would have loved to see niles, holding, Jeff, willock and akpom more this season, but we couldn’t offer them anything other than league cup. Hopefully this can be a tournament that can benefit our youngsters. I’m not saying play a side of only youngsters. But I thought he got the balance between experience and youth right in the league cup this season and I’d like to see a bit more of that.

Arsenal fan

I don’t really mind where we play, as Long as we play good Football!

No more of that side to side, slow buildup nonsense.

More of what we have been doing recently please.


Tbh I feel the side to side slow build up was due to the passing ability of our midfielders, or rather the lack of. And to a degree our stagnant forwards.

Without anyone being able to find Ozil fast, he can’t link up between midfield and attack fast enough, allowing the opponents to bring men back behind the ball. And when he does receive it finally, our forwards stay pretty still on the spot without making any runs. Almost like they’re hiding from Ozil.

At least this new formation allows us to play Ramsey and mask his defiency, which is his positional sense (his harrying and tackling is top notch btw, matched by his engine). This allows us another midfield to provide the receiver role in the final third. Tho I’d really love for us to get an upgrade on Coq and Walcott. Then I suspect we’re all set to play this new formation well and good.


Keep it going for the last three games and we have a chance of a trophy and Europe.

We need to learn how to keep it going through the whole season.


Yeah, we’ll get it right next season!


We’re just 2 players away ?


“so any result other than a win wasn’t good for us,” When is it?


Not only did we win but after securing the points, watching Holding taking out that c*nt Arnautovic was my best moment.


Holding did good again. Wenger bought well at 2m which is 45m less than media endorsed Stones.

BUT it is important also not to get over carried away with him.

He is a far better talent than Elneny or Jenko but the same sort of over praise for these sort of favorite (can do no wrong) players is myopic at best.

Holding was hardly the stand out player for me at Stoke.

I thought in fact Coquelin (and Granit) have shown tremendous improvement in midfield and have found some fluency (to some extent Ramsey) and this will be critical for our team.

Holding has a learning curve still and made two critical errors one leading up to their goal/handball and the other presented their useless striker Biram with a chance from two yards out which he conspired to miss somehow.

The other player I thought did decent for us was Bellerin who provided two of the assist. Again he will regain form and I think it is essential we find a way to fit him in with the Ox possibly on the other flank as an inverted left wing back or alternating on the right.

Finally Giroud.

All the talk about Welbeck being more mobile but the big chap times his runs into the box better and is more efficient.

Again as I have been mentioning repeatedly, there is no/SHOULD NOT BE a Plan B.

It depends on who we face and how they set up and frankly who has been more efficient in front of goal.

All that pace and mobility is frankly useless if you miss simple chances or do not make the right runs into the box.

Dan Hunter

Downvote before I read…

Naija Gunner

It’s been a while but you guys did well yesterday, COYG


You guys? Are you or are you not a “Gunner”:D

Merlin\'s Panini

No, he’s RVP.

Heavenly Chapecoense

Players must feel they need to win every single game before getting on the pitch. That’s how you win titles not you lose two or three games and think there are still 25 games to go before end of season or believe other things than trophies define success.


We have a trophy still worthy of winning.

The FA cup will either go to Chelski in which case they get the double or we can make history again and win it for the most number of times (Wenger will be the most successful manager in the cup)

If you ask me if I’d prefer say FA cup and CL OR no cups and Second best trophy (ala Spurts), I think I’d plumb for the former.


Doesn’t he get an assist for alexis’ goal too?



He got two assists.

But you won’t hear 7amkickoff mention that because he is selective with what he wants to show.

Bellerin (at 13) since last season has the third highest number of assists for the club after Ozil and Alexis.


Sadly, still looking like this run will be too little too late in the league, but please keep it going into the Cup Final.


Sorry to crash the party but this late in the season I can’t get excited for a win if the opponents for top 4 don’t also drop points. In the end all we will remember is that we will play Thursday night football.


It’s important that we play well because we’re Arsenal fans and a win against a cunty team like Stoke should always put a smile on your face… or are you not a gooner??? Also this gives us hope of actually beating Chelsea in the final.

Bould\'s Eyeliner

Team that’s already won the league, coasts a bit, versus a team that steadily builds itself on four straight, convincing victories. That’s the positive way to look at it. And as usual, you could look at it however you want. Here’s to a great cup final and an Arsenal victory–COYG!

My name is Jeff

Can’t trust West Ham to do anything right.


May be a case of too little too late.

Wet Hams are getting hammered which leaves already relegated nothing to play for Boro all that’s left against Liverpool.

Schitty don’t look likely to drop the ball against Wet Brums or Hornets either.

Thereby we need to prepare for likelihood of Thursday night.

I think we should be keeping Alexis. Ozil can stay or leave IMO.

Who we need to buy is Konoplyanka from Sevilla. He’s still a bit unsettled. He is an excellent playmaker type with superb ball skills that can also deploy left side (left footed) and play deeper in a Santi role maybe. It will be a step up for him to come to Arsenal and he won’t necessarily demand CL.

Then maybe (IF Ozil leaves and we should sell Theo) get someone like Isco if should he still be peripheral at Madrid. OR spend big ala United and get Draxler (if Ozil should go to say PSG maybe work out a swap deal…long shot of course but you never know, he hasn’t featured as much this season at PSG)

I would also add a bit more steel in midfield. It’s coming together now for Coquelin, Granit and Ramsey there but we could add a bit more strength still to maintain a solid base for more invention further forward (hence the likes of Draxler, Isco and konoplyanka)

The likes of either Fabinho or Tiemmo Bakoyoko maybe from Monaco to also provide a bit of height defensively. Bakoyoko looks and interesting player with his long stride and close control, a budget Pogba. Again won’t necessarily be on top teams main agenda and will not require CL ala Mahrez for instance.

I think defensively, our only short fall is at Lback but Gibbs may improve (has shown some signs) and Monreal is good for another season. Bramall should go on loan and be assessed in a season down.

As I mentioned, Konoplyanka(27yrs) , Bakoyoko we can get even with only Europa. Then we have to shed a bunch of players – Walcott, Jack, Campbell, Elneny, Jenko, Debuchy. Ospina will likely want to leave, Metersecker step down. I’d see if we can hold Perez but he may go on loan if frozen out.

If we can get 20m for Theo, I’d sell him.

Jack is an injury liability, possibly no more than 5m tops for back up in some mid table or newly minted team in the PL.

Campbell possibly 4-5m on the continent, he has been decent but hasn’t set the world on fire let alone the continent but could be useful.

Elneny I suspect will be hard to move on so he may be kept content to stay on bench for us or go on loan.

Jenko if we get 4-5m we should sell, again likely some mid table team who have sold on their Rback to a better team.

Debuchy we need to just get off the wage bill. He shows no ambition to fight at Arsenal and is over the hill. Back to France or to Italy maybe as back up.

Ospina we may fetch a decent price with maybe 10-15m maybe.

That could possibly garner 43 to 45m for us if we are lucky.

Konoplyanka I think we can get for 27m. Isco depending on competition maybe 25-33m. We are looking at 45-55m for the pair maybe.

Bakoyoko or Fabinho we may get for an additional 15m

If Wenger stays for a transitional last season, I hope he spends big on one player to carry us forward for his eventual successor. Draxler may be the sort of player to bring in up top to add a different style to Giroud/Welbeck (Giroud likely to move on in a season too)

Its a tricky summer for us as there are as I always mention 7 teams at very least in Europe and england who can spend more than us. The likes of Inter or Ac may also get injection from Chinese funds.

Without the lure of CL, it makes it all the more difficult.

We have to be very savvy. The good news is even with one of our pair of Ozil or Alexis gone, we do not need major surgery. The new system has brought some tangible improvements as is but we need to add more creation and more technical players.

I should think much of the work should have already started behind the scenes to move quickly for some of these players we can get without need for CL incentive.

If we somehow sneak into CL all the better but we need to prepare for worse case scenario now.


That’s one long ass comment which has an equally long ass downvotes


Can we get this guy to manage Sp*rs please or at least have him as an advisor to Moaniho?

Dan D

Too little too late, barring a Liverpool collapse next Sunday, providing of course we win our remaining two games.

On the one hand not qualifying for the UCL is a gutter and will affect our transfer success this summer, and of course our negotiations with the half a squad who have a year left come the summer.

On the other hand it is probably the only thing thag will make our spineless board sit up and take notice.

And of course I want to finish as high as possible but have resigned myself to Europa Lge football next season. Hey, we’ve not won it before and could even act as a stepping stone to UCL glory (I know we won the Fairs Cup 1970 but don’t think that was the precursor to the UEFA Cup / Europa Lge).

And being brutally honest, does a side capable of losing 1-2 at home to Watford, 0-3 at Palace, 1-3 at WBA and surrender in the NLD deserve to be dining at Europe’s top table? You reap what you sow and all that.

But let’s see what happens next week, great we are playing well now but 2 months too late for me.

Encouraging signs for the FA Cup Final though. And whatever anyone tries to tell you that’s still a decent trophy to win. Not where we should be setting our sights of course but a trophy nonetheless.


For years i was thinking that maybe CL is just too big for us, we never past round-16 for the last 5 years(more or less) so it’s a good chance to see how well we are when we play a tier-2 team in Europe. The downside is if we fully commit to Europa we’ll face the time management issue and fatigue/injury problem to players hence we need a good team-B to compete which is also one of our weakness, we don’t have a good team-B although our squad’s depth looks decent. Next year will be massive, i’d love to see how our club will handle such a situation, i hope they can’t start it by changing the manager and coaching system.

Q Mantis

Not getting CL footie could mean a proper good go at the PL title next season a chance to rest and rotate the main players and leave Thursday nights for other players to get game time and match fitness.
It’s a change for us that could have a positive out come, also with the less games maybe we get less injuries which would be nice.


You still have to play on synthetic surfaces and and travel so what happens when the whole B team gets injured?

Merlin\'s Panini

Seems like we’re pretty much stuck in fifth.
Next season will be even more difficult.
I have a feeling Sp*rs will revert to type next season though while they’re playing at Wembley. They couldn’t handle it in the CL.

If we’re to have any chance next season we need to retain this formation, though I do worry it’s just a temporary solution and we’ll end up playing the old one again.