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Stoke vs. Arsenal

Britannia Stadium



Stoke v. Arsenal

A devastated Arsenal travels north to Stoke City for this weekends Barclay's Premier League match. After what can only be described as a humiliating and disgraceful meltdown in the last two minutes midweek versus Tottenham Hotspur, the squad must pick up the pieces and put them back together quickly, because any dropped points against Stoke will spell even more trouble for Arsenal's rapidly diminishing title hopes for this season.

Vital Quotes:

Wenger talked about the squad's reaction to the result against Spurs. "We were all very disappointed," he told "The mood in the dressing room was of disbelief and frustration. But the players are united, passionate and want to win.

"They are in this together, they want to be winners together. We have a long way to go and we are all determined to show that we can fight for this title together. We know the truth on the inside and that is not what has been projected on the outside. We know what we have to do."

Captain William Gallas also spoke about the result midweek. "We know we should have taken all three points on Wednesday night but it did not happen," he said. "I know it doesn't feel like it but we got a draw. It was the minimum we deserved.

"But we cannot dwell on one game. We have to stay focussed on what is ahead of us and not what is behind. We are a tight- knit unit working together with belief and desire to challenge for trophies. We can do it.

"That starts tomorrow at Stoke. Unfortunately a scan has revealed that I have pulled my hamstring so sadly I won't be involved but the boys are determined to come back with three points.'

Tony Pulis will be looking to add to Arsenal's misery. 'Arsenal are fantastic at keeping the ball and there are going to be times in the game when we will just have to stay organised and tight.

'But we've created chances in every game we've played and when we've got the ball, we will be playing to our strengths.

'Everybody seems to be focusing on Rory Delap's throw-ins, but we've also played a lot of good football and created a lot of opportunities from open play.'

Stoke Team News:

Stoke will most likely start with the same eleven that won 1-0 on Wednesday against Sunderland. Liam Lawrence will be out even longer for Pulis, as he had surgery on a torn ankle ligament and will be gone for another month.

Player to watch: Rory Delap

With Stoke's record signing Dave Kitson likely to start on the bench again, I will go with the obvious pick for man to watch for Stoke City. Delap's throw-ins will possibly cause Arsenal's defense many problems, as set pieces and long balls have been a dilemma for a while now.

Arsenal Team News:

There might be a few changes in the lineup for Arsenal on Saturday, but this will be down to Arsene continuing his rotation policy during this busy time. Wenger hinted he may rotate but with points being worth gold right now I'm not sure he will. Though, both Eboue and skipper William Gallas will not be involved because of injuries to their knee and hamstring respectively.

Possible Starting XI: Almunia, Sagna, Toure, Silvestre, Clichy, Walcott, Denilson, Fabregas, Nasri, van Persie, Adebayor

Player to watch: Kolo Toure

To be blunt, the defense in the past few weeks, and even the entire beginning of the season, has been nothing short of shambolic. Gallas is removed from action because of an injury, and Kolo Toure will step in to try and sure up this defense. To have any chance in rising back up to the top of the table, we must fix our defensive frailties.

Ref Watch: Rob Styles

The always controversial Rob Styles will be the head official for this game. This season he has botched two penalty calls already, and how he still manages top flight games is beyond me. He has refereed 6 Premier League games this season, handing out 21 yellow cards and 2 reds. That's 3.83 cards per game.

Match Prediction:

I don't think I can give accurate predictions anymore. I have no idea what Arsenal team will show up for any particular game, and even if they do show up, will they be able to keep up the concentration for an entire game? I'll go with 2-1 to the Arsenal

Next Fixtures:

5/11-- Fenerbache(H)-- Champions League

8/11-- Manchester United(H)-- Premier League

11/11-- Wigan(H)-- Carling Cup

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The Journalist

Writer: Brice Coffer Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday October 31 2008

Time: 11:18PM

Your Comments

I dont often make predictions mainly because of the word in the middle which often happens when you do; however I do honestly think that today's game and the one against Manu we will win and the crowd on here will once again be bubbling with praise for the team. It really hurts when we don't perform to the best of our ability, I don't mind us losing but to lose when we give up is just not the Arsenal I know or have loved for the past 60 years. Enough said 'Go you Gunners'
We can always boo Rob Styles. Everytime he blows thee whistle.."booooo!" just to make the game more interesting.. lets see how he reacts.
Alwaysgunner, I'm glad some fans can stay positive, hopefully you can make up for the people feeling down like me.
@alwaysgunner i know exactly what you mean i prefer when our luck runs out or we encounter bad refereeing...e.g. CL last season but to lose the way we did the other day is very hard to rather finish second because we are second best but to finish second because we didnt give it our all is just moronic
you will absolutely tater these......probably by about 4 goals at least.....
Time to put steel into the game especially in defence.
Tiny T
Stoke will be very defensive and very physical. They have the height advantage and good in set pieces. They have all the attributes of be our bogey opponent. I hope we can bounce back but looking at those games against unfancied teams so far, I am not too confident.
Excuse me, but which game did we LOSE this week? It was a draw. We moved up a place and they stayed rooted to 20th place. Get some perspective Gooners. We're in a title race here with 20 games left. Poor old Spuds are in a RELEGATION race; leave the fretting to them. Next up Stoke, Turks and ManU. Come on Arsenal!!!!
Do you know how many games thier are in a season JLH4?? Easy to make typos eh??? You need to get the spurs game out of your system quickly or we will start believing you are still really gutted;-)
the time to feel negative is when it is mathetmatically impossible to win the league not ten games into the competition
fran merida
Of course were gutted at not beating spurs, should we be celebrating a draw? Time to move on, 3 points today and any slip up by Liverpool and we are back in the same position or possibly better than we were on wednesday at 8.00pm.
It will be interesting to see how The Arsenal reaction after the midweek collapse to spuds. A pity that Billy would not playing this afternoon?!
Team for Stoke announced:- Almunia, Sagna, Toure, Silvestre, Clichy, Denilson, Fabregas, Song Billong, Diaby, Adebayor, Bendtner. Subs: Fabianski, Nasri, Van Persie, Vela, Walcott, Ramsey, Djourou
Thanks Itsup4grabsnow. Apart from defence, we've got a good bench. I like the fact that in a physical game, Arsene starts the big guys like Ade, Nik and Diaby. With Diaby, I also wonder where he plays - just behind strikers or out wide? Please please guys be careful and come through it unscathed!
Is this this being streamed online anywhere? Does anyone know which link?
ALMUNIA should have come for that ball.
Youngest in Charge
So eff-ing predictable wasn't it?!?!?!? :( And hey, the Vital rules say we can't post streaming links here.
im prettyy sure ye will get one back
Apologies, didn't realise about the Vital rules. As for the game, this is hard to take.
julieloveshenry4ever if you believe arsenal have a chance of winnin the league ur in dream land.
Oh right. I wanted to ask why not Eboue, and now Sagna's injured, just what we need right now.
Oh man this is awful, i can suffer the poor results of the last few years, but now over the course of this season, the sexy football seems to be gone aswell.
WTF do they not have ball boys at stoke?
Youngest in Charge
Oh wow, van persie's hair looks lovely today.
Are stoke being over physical today or is it quite fair?
Had we started this game with RVP, Nas and TW14 we would not be in this position. A poor team choice from Wenger. We have to take EVERY match seriously for the rest of the season or we may as well forget about the league.
2-0? its almost laughable. I think the team changes were done to cope against their physical side
oh dear oh dear problems with team in bottom half of table agin....gees i thought ye wud of done us a favour to day ...ffs
well they beat us with 10 men? hmmmm
I can't believe it!
I don't think they've been that physical, we've just been rubbish.
safe to say, were well *****ed ? van persie is rather childish, but cant blame him either, sorensen was being a bit of a d i c k
realilty check guys
Why do you hang around our board 123 spurs. Your life must be pretty empty to be commenting all afternoon on another teams messageboard. And to rub it in Van persie is sent off
Unfortunately i can believe it.
oh paul it aint so nice when banter turns on you......neways....waitin for comeback kings to start at 5.30....wanna link for it
season over????
2-0 down and then Van goes and does that. He should be ashamed of himself.
get out 123spuds.. you have far more pressing matters then what we are doing!
There's a real risk we'll finish outside the top 4 this season. Where's the fightback like we saw when we went 1-0 down to Bolton??
exactly what i was say to ur fans on our both ways
We wanted a centre half in the summer. We didn't get one. We wanted a ball winning midfielder. We didn't get one. These results are proof we were right and Wenger is wrong. He must be blind or just stubborn. Unfortunately, he is STUBBORN AS A MULE and will not be pressurised into spending money. This has become an obsession for him not to spend money and the chickens are coming home to roost
Absolutely pathetic. I'd be prepared to bench each and every one of them for the United game and send out the Carling Cup squad. If we aren't even going to challenge for the three points it would be better to let the real kids who still have some fight left get a shot and some experience.
And the worrying thing is we haven't created anything.
You cant have a go at 123Spurs. We are gloating on his site left right and centre when things go wrong for them. As he says, works both ways
what works is you being gone.. and staying gone! You do realise that NO team with spurs current tally of points at this time of the season has avoided relegation.. Comeback kings??? to where 15th?? Be gone!
So basically you lower yourself to a few other fans standards. Well done
How can Robin do that to Sorenson, and to us?!??! I feel very awful for the travelling fans. ARGHHHHHHHH
nope just 4-4 was great crack...coys
This is a Championship side we're playing FFS!
hey guess what, i just figured out, arsenal are like vagina, no matter which is getting screwed, the process can still be enjoyable
We've been playing like a championship side, so what's theproblem?
Despite what people say we are not out the championship. But it does mean we have to win ALL our games home and away against Man U, Chels and Liverpool. Or at least not lose any one them and only draw one or two. Or this form, it would be a miracle
and walcott has injured his shoulder. What a good day
Learn to spell "revenge" next time before you use it in a sentence.. you prize tit!
Smith I've actually been wondering about the same thing too. I feel the CC team would have shown more fight. But Arsene's lineup didn't help either. I've been watching it on a crap you-know-what cos my dad's watching MU on our TV. I won't use the you-know-what anymore, I promise!!
Zak, we know we're mathematically still in the chase. But the performances are getting worse, don't you think?! Oh just great, they've now injured Theo. What a day.
Believe it or not this post isn't meant at a dig at Sp*rs fans. ---- 08/09 Arsenal remind me of Sp*rs. Tons of quality. On paper we should be bullying people around and yet we are losing that shouldn't even be a challenge. The failures this season are down to arrogance, mental weakness, and ridiculous management decisions. Please tell me this isn't a sickness moving across North London?
unwell, bet every supported feels like that now unwell
What Robin did was stupid. The reason he did it though is because he is so frustrated. How did he not start today? More and more I'm starting to think Wenger is losing the plot and losing his players.
You have used that one before 123spud... great job on finding new material. While I am not happy with my teams current performances at least I am not small minded enough to be happy with a draw when im proping up the prem table. I would always prefer to be a has-been then a never-was!
yes clichy on my dream team .....get in
or smith simply not good enough, or as good as ye think ye are...........time to buy wenger
Lou, I have no idea whether the overall performances are getting worse. After Hull, we beat Fener 5-2 and Everton3-1. We even scored 4 against Spurs. Our attack is not a problem. But what is happening is that our defending (including protection from our midfield) is getting worse and you can't win games on a regular basis with this defence. It is killing us. Gallas scores goals but is a liability. Kolo and Clichy have lost their confidence. And Song does not know what to do when he comes on. Silvestre and Alumina suffer by association. Wenger has neglected our defence in his transfers and the rest is history.
Yeah GK I can imagine Robin's frustrations. But he's one of the more senior players in the team and I felt completely let down when I saw what he did!! >_<
Oh dear. RVP, Theo... and the title say bye bye, all in one fell swoop. Gotta laugh!
Yid Singer
Lou are you actually surprised? I'm not, hes always been a hot headed player. When he came off after his best game for Arsenal, his team was winning 4-2, and then today he doesn't even start! FFS Wenger we all learned against Sunderland, you have to fecking attack these teams.
Time to find out who the real supporters are. The title slips away early in the year and off run the glory hunters. I'll still be here week and week out but I'd sure like to see some changes on the squad list.
if we think about it, has Wenger ever been good at creating a good defence?? He inherited the famous 4 and all our success came from that. Since then he bought the likes of Cygan, Stepanovs, Wright and Senderos. Defence to Wenger is an afterthought. We are crying out for a modern day Tony Adams, a stopper. And a defence who remembers it's job is to defend.
Time to revisit and re-set our expectations because the chances of winning anything this season are faint. I know there's a tendency feel too positive when results are good and too negative when results are bad, but Wenger has made an enormous error. I mean, why not just go out there and buy 3 top-quality players with experience to add to this young team. If he did that, noone could touch us. We're far too brittle as a team. Can you imagine the team of Vieira, Bergkamp, Henry and Pires not coming back after going 1-0 to Stoke?! If Ray Parlour was out there, he'd be flying in with grit, determination and tackles. Aaaaaaarrrrrrgggggggggghhhhh!!!
Your falling apart in there i really think Wenger is losing the room
I know GK, yeah RvP's hot-headed and all that. But he did show more maturity after his long lay-off last year. In fact he looked quite wise with stupid ref decisions and all that, keeping his calm most of the time since he came back from injury. I know, I felt for him too, he should have started after playing well against Spurs. But that's not an excuse for doing this at all! I'm not entirely surprised but so very disappointed bcos we still had time to chase the game and he did this to the team. No matter how cr@p we were, he had a job to do as a sub! That's just unprofessional and very very stupid!
I'll still be here smithy don't worry, but I am fricking LIVID with the players and the manager. And GK i agree with you, we need to attack them. You would have thought Wenger would be 'once bitten twice shy' but evidently he has some sort of immunity as we seem to get 'bitten' regularly and we don't learn from it!!!
I gotta say I'm shocked at your team this season. As far as I was concerned you only really needed to replace Flamini in the summer and you'd be set to compete at the top for the long haul, with last season's impressive run serving as a benchmark. Still, Stoke aren't all that easy now are they? Well, at the very least could you do us (Liverpool) a favour and beat Manure next week, and in return we'll try and do one over your nearest at dearest this evening :)
OK, our season is over now.
We are not beating anyone of note this season. I don't care how many times Wenger bleats on about mental strength its clear that all you have to do to get past us is rough up our powder-puff midfield and punt a long ball into our panicky defence. As someone has already noted Wenger has neglected the defence. How do you ship 4 goals at home and not come to the conclusion that something is wrong back there? Goodness, even Fenebache would have scored a hatful if their attack had been half decent. Time for Wenger to have a good hard look at the team and make some long overdue decisions.
Wyn Mills
Smith I'll also be around no matter what. I feel like I'm stuck with a guy I fell for, and although he's looking a bit different and acting a bit funny now, I've got no choice but to stay cos I'm still in love with him. I need help! lol
Why are people so surprised at the result ? This team does not have the mental strength to cope with adversity. I thought we would have learned from last season, but we have regressed and Wenger has to take all the blame.
Maybe its a blessing in disguise. Now wenger might actually spend some of the cash we inject in to the club on areas we need strengthening. The most frustrating thing is he indetified at the end of last season/begining of this season we need a defensive midfielder and a CB to deal with long balls. Whether he left it to late to save a few pounds or he thought he saw more potential in some of our current player who knows. But as stubborn as he is, even he must see gaping holes in our team that need filling. Lets get the cheque book out in January, Aim for top 4 and a good cup run and make sure the same mistakes dont happen at the begining of next season
hahaha.. You gooners deserve it. So much for stylish footy..
WHAT'S going on!!!!!!! I can't imagine what RvP is doing, to get a Red Card, now he will not be available for the Manure game! Thanks RvP, thanks alot! How many more points are we going to throw away this season. Arsene Please, Please sort it out!!!!!!!!
Falling apart ???
I feel sick. We all knew what was coming with Stoke and the Delap throws and yet we did nothing. It shows how easily our pretty football can be countered. Wenger can always blame the players immaturity but hold on... what do you expect with young players? He built this side and has to take responsibility for its inexperience. He's become an idealist who refuses to see the truth that's facing him.
ArabianKnight - Looks like it, doesnt it ? Do you have any other invaluable insights to offer this site ?
We need a quality CB and some commitment and quickly. atrocious.
i know this may sound like a crazy fantasy, but what if wenger purposely threw the game away, in hopes that the team would come out blazing guns because now, we are more inclined to prove ppl wrong? maybe yes, maybe not. Bt on the other hand, we cant say van persie this, wenger that....ok maybe we can, but i would be frustrated too if i was van persie, but i dont think it was the fact that he was dropped,, i reckon it was more the fact that when he came on, he actually tried, while his teammates did not, and sorensen was being a yid. but like paul_ownz says, maybe this is a slap in the face for wenger, like, time to wake up from "fantasy phylosophyland" maybe he will sign a quality CB, and a Holding player, or maybe someone versatile, afterall, its not like we do not have the money.
i just hope we somehow remain close to the leaders till january, and then bring back Patrick Vieira. he is the only name that comes to my mind who can discipline this group, and probably the only one who can share the responsibility with Gallas. dun play him every game, let him play the more important ones, but just be there with the squad. and this should be the last chance saloon for Van Persie. i love the lad, he is my fav player, but this isn't on. he did a similar thing vs southampton a few seasons ago and today was totally needless. we've got some serious problems for the game against united now. just hope that ade, bak & theo are fit for it. i'm a bit more confident about getting a result against fenerbache, but we're in deep *****..
I hate to say this, but we simply must splash out a bit of cash in January. I have always been totally against the whole principle, as I believe that in the past it was just wingy fans wanting to spend money for the sake of it, but this time we actually need players. This is the first time that we simply aren't good enough. Everyone saying that we are 'falling apart' are mistaken, we still have talent, and that will see us through, but we need more than just 'seeing it through'. The fact is that Arsene is blinding himself to the fact that we clearly aren'y champions material. For me, all will be forgiven if he rectifies the situation in January. Time will tell.
but anyway i still believe in our players & that we can really win the title. think of it like this, it surely cannot get any worse than this. the team will be ready for fenerbache & united. i'm feeling a bit sorry for the lads, cuz surely they are a lot better than this. all we need is a win on wednesday & then beat united to get the lost confidence back..
GTID, it IS a crazy fantasy :p. Rob, Splashing the cash isnt going to work. Such a reaction will be a bit knee jerk. Now is not the time to be analysing the solution, coz we are all upset. Perhaps, this squad just needs 3 players to come in (not high value players, but the Wenger types, costing about 6-8 M each). In the meantime, I'm just hoping for indications from the players that they really care about wearing the Arsenal jersey, coz I cannot see any kind of pride at the moment !
luckys, it can get worse than this. We can lose our games against ManU, Chelsea & Pool which means we will scrap for 4th spot with Villa. I'm hoping that wont happen, but there is nothing to indicate anything to the contrary at the moment.
prits, this arsenal team has never done things the easy way. i remember back in 2001, there was a similar feeling after we lost 4-2 to charlton. we were drawing many games & had already lost two league games. & since that game, the team stepped it up & just lost one more game, & so i've got hopes from the current batch to go on a similar run which that title winning squad had back in 2001-02. only question mark do they have the same mental strength to bounce back from such huge disappointments. i'm sure they do, i hope & pray they will prove it..
look on the bright least no team can go unbeaten this year,and we started 6 points of the leaders...and we are still six points off the leaders......
fran merida
welcome back lucky 10, what happened to you wednesday nit>>>>>>>u were cery quite not showin ur little face .....cyber warrior u mug
win the league lucky 10, u have got to be jokin, all banter aside, any genunine fan from any club will see ye do not have a chance of winnin the title, if im wrong ill be back an hold my hands up, ffs
luckys, this team has already shown that they do not have the mental strength to engage in battle of any kind, or bounce back consistently from disappointment. That team in 2002 was much much different to the current one, so is the Premiership. I admire your optimism though.
this is why i hate spurs people why are you here? go rant your win somewhere else. on the other hand, i think the team needs a litlle R&R, do some re-bonding work, and they need to instill and understand what it means to put on the mighty red and white, and if we can muster up a win against united, i can honestly see that as a pivotal point to our seemingly lacklustre season, besides, not succeeding in the league doesnt mean we cant do well in europe, look at liverpool and milan ( except for last year ) they dont usually do well in the league, well at least liverpool anyways, and do considerably well in europe...COME ON YOU GUNNERS!!!
but anyway i still believe in our players & that we can really climb up the table. think of it like this, it surely cannot get any worse than this. the team will be ready for man city an zargrab. i'm feeling a bit sorry for the lads, cuz surely they are a lot better than this. all we need is a win on thursdauy & then beat city to get the lost confidence back..but we are improving dramticallly
sorry ***** take from lucky 10, seriously
wt do yu expect me to come and say after wednesday nite 123spud, that well played, yu deserved it lol. and i know how quickly things can change in football. we're only in the first week of november, still 27 games to go. we put a small run of 5 consecutive league wins & the table will look a lot different. just look at how chelsea came back into contention last season after such a dreadful start. we're only six points behind the leaders after suffering 3 defeats in 11 games, & with 27 games to go, it's really not that bad. it's only a confidence thing at the moment. i just hope our injuries aren't serious & if we win the next two games, things will be a lot different. so lets just wait & see what happens..
im not doing it to genunine arse fans here, just givin back what they do on our sites (ie wednesday day) simple as so not intended for the real arse fans.......just the other ones....and they no who they are
ok fair enough truce lucky 10.
Prits, i agree completely that 'splashing the cash' is not the solution, but the fact is that we need to sign a quality CB. I don't mean he neccesarily has to be a 15 million plus signing, but perhaps in the Sagna price range. To be honest I really don't care, but right now the philosophy is simple, we need a leader at the back.
We playing for 4th this season, no question. For me, Denilson and Cesc don't work together as well as a more holding midfielder playing alongside Cesc would.
i had a feeling today was going to be difficult after wednesday, but you know what NOTHING HAS CHANGED ! we are still 6pts of the top thanks to Spurs beating liverpool !!! so for all you spuds coming here, THANKS ALOT !
im here to back you up 123spurs , just come to gloat like all you pikeys do on our site , you lost to stoke ha ha ha ha and we beat liverpool and you wont manage that , come on you spurs , arsenal to finish 6th in the league suck it you pikeys!!!!!!!! where you at now london gooner?????????????
craighrvy, i don't know if you really support spurs because if you do you should remember that you lost to stoke too. I know that it wasn't such a surprise but that only proves that, quite rightly, you expect more of Arsenal than you do of your own little team.
well said rob
Come on, gooners. You'v got to beat Liverpool to the 3rd spot!!!
I do not agree that Gallas is a bad leader as many perceived. His style of leadership is akin Roy Keane. He used to be very vocal and could bulldoze a player when they made a mistake. Keane used to do that and kept those prima donnas of MU in check and that had won them a lot of titles. Unfortunately, our prima donnas here are untouchable. When he vented his anger against the team for their lapse in concentration against Birmingham he was criticised severely. This season, he chose to keep his mouth shut and look what happened? He shouted at players because he has won a lot more than them, he has more experienced than them and more importantly he is the only one who has the winning mentality that the whole team lacked. He has been advocating that we must learn to play ugly to win since his arrival but no one cares. All these made him an oddball in the team but not necessarily that he is wrong
we lost to stoke with 10 men for 70 mim, an yer supposed to be a cl team..oh my oh my, arsenal always had problems beatin team in bottom half, were only 6 points off 7th as yer about 6 points off not bad
123spurs, mate. You are an expert at taunting! :)
its a hard pill to swollow when the shoe is the shoe is on the other foot isnt it boys? dnt have a go at us spurs lads enjoying it when u did it to us! but rivalries aside surely wenger's gotta buy u lot a new defence and asign a captain who can actually be a captain!
shocking result...
It's a little much to say you're out of the title race. Way too early. What's needed surely is a top central defender and a general revision of how you defend. Losing to Stoke--and on Delap's throws no less--is simply terrible. Not that I mind, really, but even I will admit Arsenal are better than that.
Wyn Mills

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