Tag Archives: stoke vs arsenal

Stoke City Vs Arsenal: The Final Countdown

So, having dropped five of the last six league points it’s fair to say that the margin for error has all but disappeared for us in today’s match against Stoke. As always a trip to play this lot away is anticipated about as eagerly as a vasectomy due partly to the fact that it will be a hard game and partly because Stoke are complete and utter twats.

We’re looking at arguably the most pivotal of the three remaining rounds of fixtures for us in the league this weekend. On paper, this would appear to be our toughest remaining game and failing to win would take finishing third out of our hands as Newcastle would have the opportunity to overtake us, Tottenham would have the chance to match our points tally and even Chelsea could potentially close to within a single point (though I don’t think all three things could happen because I’m reasonably sure Newcastle are playing Chelsea soon). Since beating Stoke is so thoroughly enjoyable, I’d suggest winning today’s match to make sure that doesn’t happen.

We’ve looked a little out of steam in the last couple of games which I suppose is natural when you have a squad of 25 players for a season and the manager can’t rely on a significant number of them with the result that roughly the same 15 players have featured in every match. It’s very possible that legs are heavy and minds are tired but the team needs to find the way to one last push to get the necessary points to make sure we end up in third place.

And really, it has to be third now. After Chelsea’s qualification for the Champions League final, finishing fourth would simply be too great a risk as Chelsea lifting the Champions League, in addition to being nauseatingly horrifying would also take our place in the competition away for next season and I fancy that prospect about as much as Ann Widdecombe. So third is officially the new fourth. We might view it as a just reward for our efforts this season, but the fact is the fight isn’t over yet and we can’t imagine for a second that it is.

Arsene Wenger says we’ll be ready for what Stoke throw (literally) at us today. At the end of the day, one thing Stoke are not is subtle, we know what to expect from them and in fairness it’s something this Arsenal team has learned to deal with over the years. The manager says,

“I believe that Stoke is always a difficult opponent for us and everybody. Every big team who goes to Stoke knows they get a game. 

“From our side we are in a position where we want to win our remaining games. That is the only chance to master our future. We have our future in our own hands but only if we win the three games. 

“That starts with Stoke so we are completely focused on cancelling their strong points but as well we want to score goals because that is what you need to win the games.

“They have played many games as well. They played in the Europa League and in the FA Cup so they have played many games this season. So that will not be an excuse from our side.”

This time of season always throws up a few odd results because fatigue and weariness sets in but as the manager says, it’s not just a long season for us but for our opponents as well. We’re not the only ones who have to shrug off past exertions to perform today, Stoke have had a tough season themselves, probably one they don’t reflect on too fondly when it comes to their league campaign which does appear to have suffered for their involvement in European football.

Thomas Vermaelen says the team is ready for the “battle” at Stoke today. Quite rightly he points out that if our players aren’t put off and play in the way that they like to then we’ll cause them a few problems as well. The Verminator says,

“If there is a battle, sometimes you have to fight back. But the main thing is to play our own game, with quick passing. That is the way to score. 

“Of course we must fight for every ball but the main thing is to keep to our own game and score a lot of goals.”

A lot of goals. I like that. If anything’s going to give us a chance of winning today it’s scoring a lot of goals. Big goals, little goals, thin ones, fat ones, give me goals of all shapes and sizes. Knocking loads in will beat Stoke, I dare you to challenge Vermaelen’s logic.

So, it’s one of those games today where the importance is clear but the match doesn’t bear too much more analysing. We know what they’re about, we know what we’re about. Let’s get on with it, and let’s do them. I hope.

Ok, that’s all for today. Take it easy and I’m back soon.

Knuckle-Draggers

I do not like Stoke City, as a football club they must be up there as one of the biggest packs of shocking cunts ever assembled. They come from city of Stoke, a place so utterly dire that Newham Council recently considered sending some of it’s most down and out citizens to live there ahead of the Olympics, presumably to get them out of sight of the world and so they can be with their own kind.

It must be quite difficult to maintain Stoke in any meaningful way, I assume that the pavements are constantly being worn out by people dragging their knuckles along them and then of course there’s the unsanitary problem of everyone dribbling all over the place. I remember being amazed once at seeing the opinion of a Stoke fan on the internet, but not because it was well thought out or reasonably presented because of course it wasn’t, it was like looking at the computerised ranting of a caveman angry at discovering that his wife had left him for a sabre-tooth tiger, the sort of occurrence one imagines would have been commonplace in pre-historic Stoke. No I was amazed because it meant at least one person in Stoke had managed to work out how to switch on and use a computer, surely the greatest accomplishment in the history of Stoke. Unless of course it was a weirdo pretending to be a Stoke fan, but let’s face it you’d have to be seriously weird to do that.

I don’t come from a particularly nice place, indeed it too is full of cavemen, morons and complete cunts. But then I don’t claim to have any pride in coming from Dover, I just do my best not to mention it and try to avoid going there whenever possible. The amusing thing about Stoke’s fans is that they seem proud of where they come from, and frankly there’s just no helping people like that. Still, at least they have a sewer that they can all communally live in and be proud of without having to bother the outside world with their relentless stupidity.

Since Stoke’s promotion to the Premier League Arsenal’s relationship with them has been somewhat strained it has to be said. We must give them their due, they have beaten us on at least two occasions I can think of (or three including a cup victory over what was essentially our reserves), and deservedly so as we inexplicably failed on both occasions to find an answer to their clogging tactics despite knowing exactly what they were going to do. At home we’ve more than had the measure of them, however it’s our encounters with them in their converted rubbish dump of a stadium that have caused most of the “controversy”. 

Of course there was the incident with Ryan Shawcross breaking Aaron Ramsey’s leg, but strangely the actual incident is not something I really hold against Stoke (I hold it against Shawcross, the clumsy clogging twat) due to the fact that we largely got our retribution on the day when we went up the other end, scored two goals and made those cunts watch us celebrating in their own stadium. The aftermath however, when Stoke seemed to revel in the limelight that was shone on them by the injury to Ramsey and the way they’ve taken any opportunity since for a public row with Arsenal because they just love being in the news for any reason, is plenty of cause for considering them tossers of the first order.

I really don’t mind physical football, I believe that there is no “right” way to play the game, the right tactics are the ones which get the most out of the group of players that you have and in Stoke’s case that means long balls and tough tackles. Fine, no issue there, and I have to say I disagree with our manager when he tries to suggest teams shouldn’t take that approach. For years, teams have taken the approach that to beat Arsenal you have to kick the shit out of them and it’s something we’ve gotten better at dealing with over the last five or six years. We simply have to be ready for what we know we’re going to face.

Victory over Stoke, home or away is always very pleasant. They’re like the proverbial junk yard dog snapping at our heels and every now and then we turn around and give them a good satisfying kick in the chops that keeps them firmly in their place. They’ve had a pretty poor season this year, which fuels hope that one happy day in the future we may see them relegated, and if so, may we be the ones to do it.

So, that’ll be all for today and if there is a moral to today’s blog it is this:

Stoke are cunts.