Tag Archives: Stoke

Predictable Arsenal predictably lose to Stoke

I think I will stick to cricket. As England beat West Indies by and innings and a few hundred runs, a load of us were still in Stoke.

What a nightmare of a trip it was.

Working backwards, the bus fiasco was basically the cherry on the top. Half filled busses back to the station further angered and already annoyed set of Arsenal fans. Old Bills incompetence not helping things as fans stood soaked in the rain waiting for the busses to return to take us to the station. Having already missed the train home that many booked, frustration grew to anger as one bus driver refused to move.

And Stoke stank. Whoever kept farting in the away end. You need to get yourself checked out. You stank out the place more than Arsenal.

And onto Arsenal. It was just same old, same old. Stoke, our bogey team, did the normal or booing Aaron Ramsey and beating Arsenal.

Yes we can point to offside goals and penalties not given, but ultimately Arsenal only have themselves to blame.

Not enough players bought this summer. A lack of creativity up top. A lack of creativity in the middle. And a defence which consisted of a right back at left wing back, two left backs at centre back, and a winger at right wing back.

There is round pegs in square holes and then there is the team Arsene Wenger put out yesterday. We got away with it against Leicester. Yesterday we got what we deserved.

He needs to shoulder all the blame for that performance.

It is him who has not signed the players. Him who picked the formation and designed the tactics. And it is him who has stayed on for 2 contracts too long.

Yes, since the 2014 FA Cup, we have added another 2 to the tally, but he really should have stood down after that victory over Hull City.

It feels like I am being greedy, selfish, ungrateful, by saying 3 FA Cups in 4 years is not enough. It actually is enough. But it is the lack of progression. The lack of anything changing. Which frustrates me so much.

We have another 18 months of this sort of performance. Minimum. But muggings me will be there next season, at Stoke, waiting for my bus back to the station after seeing us lose once again.

Last night a mate of mine text something what really sums it all up;

“I don’t even get that angry anymore that’s what worries me the most.

These type of defeats aren’t a shock.”

I don’t even have the cricket to look forward to today. Cheers West Indies.


Stoke Away and the Ramblings of an Arsenal Traveller

The head is cleared, the alcohol now out of my system, the disappointment has subsided. Up until now, I really have not had the energy to write anything and I have struggled for inspiration recently.

This lack of inspiration is not just due to the defeat to Stoke on Saturday, but my general apathy towards football at the moment. The game in my heart is slowly dying.

I can handle the poor performances on the pitch – usually – that is part of football, and something you have to accept. But the poor performances on top of the cost of ticket prices, on top of the cost of away travel, on top of awkward kick off times, and more recently, on top of not being able to get a beer at half time, I am starting to wonder why I do it.

With my general apathy to the game currently, when we do get a result like yesterday, it really does knock me for six. I have no problems with a defeat, and even of a shocking performance, but this season, more than any, poor performances have grated me.

As a fan traveling up and down the country, you put a lot in. A lot of hours traveling, a lot of money, your sell your soul to the club. You basically live and work just to spend your weekend in a crap northern town, losing your whole weekend to traveling and hangovers.

You learn to take the rough with the smooth. For every 6-0 away to Chelsea, you have a 5-2 at the same ground. For every 5-1 at Anfield, you have 1989. For every League Cup loss to Birmingham, you have victories against Hull. It is a tough existence. A rollercoaster.

Luckily we support The Arsenal, a successful side, so we do have more up’s then downs. We can quite easily go 4/5 months with seeing a defeat on the road. This however also makes losses hurt more. You are used to winning, not used to loosing.

Support Burnley? You know before leaving the home that you are likely to lose. You have not built your hopes up. It is a case of limiting the damage. Lose by the odd goal, you are happy. Score a goal but lose, not bad. Take the lead? You are ecstatic. Grab a draw? It’s party time. Win? It is the best day of your year. And win away to a big side, hell, it is better than when your kids are born.

Whereas at Arsenal, even a draw on the road is disappointing. Had we snatched the equalizer on Saturday, it would not have changed much. We should not be drawing at Stoke. They are games a fan supporting a club such as Arsenal expect to win. The failure hurts double.

But Stoke away, a defeat should have been predictable.
23 Oct 1996
Stoke City v Arsenal

01 Nov 2008
Stoke City v Arsenal

24 Jan 2010
Stoke City v Arsenal

27 Feb 2010
Stoke City v Arsenal

08 May 2011
Stoke City v Arsenal

28 Apr 2012
Stoke City v Arsenal

26 Aug 2012
Stoke City v Arsenal

01 Mar 2014
Stoke City v Arsenal

06 Dec 2014
Stoke City v Arsenal

Arsene Wenger has won once from nine attempts in Stoke . It truly is a shocking record. It makes me wonder why I traveled up to the game with so much hope. It clearly is silly. They are clearly a bogey team to us.

Why so few wins? Who knows. Sometimes you just become someones bunny, a term iconised by Shane Warne who’s bunny was Darryl Cullinan. In 7 tests, Warne took the South African batsmen’s wicket 12 times. It was unprecedented.

Stoke at the weekend were actually a double bunny. In head to head between Wenger and Mark Hughes, Wenger has lost 6 and drawn 2 . He has never beaten a Mark Hughes away side.

What is odd is when you then look at the home record, it is the exact opposite.

From 8 games at the Emirates (or Highbury) Arsene Wenger has won all 8. I doubt if 2 asides in the Premier League have such contrasting home and away records.

It can be tough being an away fan. But what is for certain, next time we travel to Stoke, I will be like a Burnley fan. I will expect defeat. I will expect nothing from the game. I will go home happy if we get a draw!


10 Reasons why we will beat Swansea + Starting XI

1.. Sagna, he finally got a rest mid-week and he deserved it as he’s been quietly but professionally been getting on with his job this season no matter where he’s been asked to play.

2.. Mertesacker, proving that if you don’t move fast you can play all day and all night. The fella is turning into a robot, always reliable, always in the right place and not scared to give it a hoof when needed.

3.. Ramsey, another week another set of booing opposition fans to shut up. I will never understand why the Stoke fans boo Ramsey, idiots but it’s only normal for Swansea fans to boo an ex-Cardiff player. He did pick up a knock but looks likely it wont stop him playing and hopefully keeping up his amazing scoring record this season.

4.. Jack Wilshere, firstly congratulations on the birth of his daughter this week. Not having the best of times right now on the pitch, Wenger is asking him to cover the left side of the pitch and that’s not normal for him. Neither is having Ozil taking up positions he likes to get into. He is a clever lad, he will work it out but may take time and of course he needs to add goals to his games.

5.. Swansea are having an average start to the season, they have already lost to that lot from Middlesex and Man Utd. Their best prem result so far is a draw at Liverpool. Scoring only 7 and letting in 7, 6 of which were at home.

6.. Ozil, everyone must be impressed with his start. It’s never easy when a player hasn’t had a pre-season and hardly any training with a new team but I guess when you are world class you should be able to play with anyone. 3 assists against Stoke made a great home debut and I fully expect him to have a field day today playing against a Swansea team who like to play the game the right way.

7.. Gnarby, I felt so sorry for him when he missed his penalty against West Brom. Out of our emerging youth players he is the one whose likely to play a good few games right now due to our horrific injury problems in the attacking wide positions. He is an exciting prospect and it’s now up to him to show some old fashioned balls and take his chance and stake his claim before players come back from injury (obv this will not include Diaby).

8.. La La La Lalallaaa…Giroud, 4 goals in 5 prem games this season and again someone who earned a rest mid-week. Right now we would be doomed without him and he must be the 1st player subbed once we are in a match winning position.

9.. 11 straight away wins now and I don’t care what anyone says when you play a cup game and you win, you have won. It doesn’t matter if it was in 90mins, extra time or on pens, you have won. So let’s put an end to that bloody nonsense.

10.. It’s been 17 years since Mr Wenger walked into our club and history will record him as a man of two half’s. The first being the most amazing free flowing football with fresh ideas which not only changed how The Arsenal is run but also world football and he will go down as one of the greatest managers ever. The second half hasn’t been so good, people have caught up, taken over and he failed to progress. He now has the record for the longest trophy free run of any manager of The Arsenal.

Likely Starting XI – Chesney, Sagna, Per, Kos, Gibbs, Ramsey, Jack, Flamini, Ozil, Gnarby, Giroud