Decent Performance Against The Orcs; Another Nil-Nil

Posted: August 26, 2012 in Arsenal, Arsenal Reviews
Tags: , , , , ,

The Urûk-Hai are revered in Stoke as an übermensch

The story from the media will be “without Robin Van Persie will we ever score again?”  Clearly the answer is “no,” since Robin van Persie was the only striker Arsenal has ever had.  In fact, looking through the club’s records book, the Dutchman strangely is the only person to have ever scored a goal for Arsenal.  Truly remarkable.

It must be so easy to be a sports journalist.  Whatever the team does, just concentrate on the opposite.  Give up a late goal?  You have defensive frailties that amount to a crisis.  Don’t score a goal in consecutive matches?  Clearly you have attacking issues which amount to, yes, you guessed it.  But you”ll have to wait for it. Wait for it….. a crisis. Or at the very least, a problem.

To the actual match, yes, we still look like we’re lacking in the attacking third, mainly due to a lack of cohesion & understanding between the attacking players.  It’s still pretty obvious, unless of course you’re a media lapdog or one of the people who care about their often moronic views, that guys like Olivier Giroud, Lukas Podolski & Santi Cazorla are still learning each other’s games.

Defensively, we looked pretty well-organized again, and it’s clear that overall team defense & understanding was drilled into the side over the summer.  Mikel Arteta, for all the cries to sign a “proper” or “orthodox” defensive midfielder, has done the deep-lying, holding midfield role very well in the opening two games.

The defensive work showed very well today against The Orcs from Stoke (Stoke’s fans are truly pathetic, more on that later) as Stoke rarely threatened, albeit from the odd possession on the counter, and Arsenal did a yeoman’s job in marking & defending set pieces, Stoke’s main threat.

You can see from WhoScored.com’s match report that, like Sunderland, we dominated the match statistically.  Considering how much trouble those orcish cunts have given us in our travels to Stoke/Mordor, I think we can draw a lot of positives from the match even if it does feel a bit more like two points dropped than a point gained.

And for all attacking issues in the first two matches of the season, we’re certainly look to shoot from outside of the box more these days, which is a good thing, even if the best chance of the match probably came from Giroud’s audacious & fairly outlandish driven lob on the right from some 40 yards out.

It’s not time to panic by any means & the Gunners that are already doing so are the type that want to panic even when we win a match 2-1.  In short, they’re irrational.  Those kind of “fans” are only happy in 4-nil or 5-nil wins.  The attack will take some time to get in gear because rebuilding a side is not as easy as a plug & play FIFA video game.  Obviously, we need to start scoring & our lack of attacking prowess so far can quickly become an issue once the wear & tear of a Premier League season & being in several competitions begins as players tire & pick up injuries.  But I have faith in Arsène Wenger to be able to craft an attacking side with the likes of the players we have, because after all, we were once “nothing but a mid-table team without Thierry Henry.”  We’ll score goals again without Robin van Persie.  Dumbasses.

So, on to Liverpool at Anfield next Sunday & hopefully some goals as Liverpool will come out & play not pack bodies behind the ball like our opening two opponents.  Hopefully their defense will be in a giving mood like they were today.

Ok, about the Stoke “fans.”  Truly it’s pathetic that they seem to care more about what happens off the pitch then on it.  Yes, they “get behind their team.”  But then again, criminals back their crime boss too, don’t they?  Booing injuries & constantly trying to wind people up to the extent that they do it, is pub league stuff.  It’s beneath amateurish.  Seriously, these “people” lustily continue to boo Aaron Ramsey, & chant “wanker” at a player who did nothing but commit the heinous crime of getting his leg broken by a Stoke defender who has multiple leg breaks on his rap sheet, I mean, playing history.  I’m convinced these “fans” feverishly masturbate over pictures of Aaron Ramsey’s broken legs every time they’re to face Arsenal now.  They somewhat cheered a hatchet-job tackle on Thomas Vermaelen outside of the box following a half-cleared corner.  I’m not sure there is a word strong enough to epitomize the level of cuntishness that Stoke “fans” display. The sooner Stoke plays poorly & gets relegated from the EPL, the better.  And if you don’t like it Potter “fans” you can go rape a puppy for all I care.  Mainly because it’s what you probably already do at after-match parties anyway & not because I wish that upon any puppies.  Say, “hello,” to Satan & Sauron for me, you cunts.

Match highlights.

Arsenal Starting Lineup
Mannone

Jenkinson — Mertesaecker — Vermaelen (c) — Gibbs

Diaby — Arteta

Cazorla

Gervinho — Giroud — Podolski

Bench:   Martínez, Djourou, André Santos, Coquelin, Ramsey, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Walcott

Player Ratings
Vito Mannone (7)-  The 3rd choice ‘keeper, did a decent job & claimed several high balls on long balls into the box & set pieces pretty well.  Can’t really fault him for anything today except maybe kicking the ball out when he maybe could’ve given better balls.

Carl Jenkinson (6.5)- Jenkinson didn’t have to do too much again as Stoke chose to sit back at home but was on the end of a couple of arguably slightly harsh foul decisions.  Crossing needs to get better though.

Kieran Gibbs (7)- Gibbs did well and stood up to some direct & physical play.  Luckily wasn’t called for a penalty when former Gunner, but complete prick, Jermaine Pennant threw himself to the ground looking for a penalty.

Per Mertesacker (7)-  The big German did well & dealt with aerial threats well.  Was composed on the ball & marked well throughout.

Thomas Vermaelen (7)- Vermaelen had a bit of a quiet game by his standards but that’s because he did his job well.  No slip ups, defended well & helped negate Stoke’s long ball threat.  Was also on the end of a hatch-job tackle by Stoke “player,” Andy Wilkinson.

Mikel Arteta (8)- Once again played the “deep” midfielder & was the Man of the Match today.  Arteta broke up Stoke attacks well, nicking the ball on several occasions & tracked back well & defended well all afternoon.

Abou Diaby (6.5)- I’ll go a little soft on Diaby because his lack of regular playing time over the past two seasons but his final ball today was pretty much wrong all afternoon.  He is popping up in good positions & arguably had a good shooting chance late on which he passed up opting to try & play Giroud (or was it Podolski?) in.

Santi Cazorla (7)- Cazorla was once again bright & passed well.  I definitely like how he floats around in the final third, popping up all over.  Is not afraid to shoot & led Arsenal with 6 shots today.  Forwards need to learn his game quickly though as we often look a bit  nonplussed with what Cazorla is going to do with his final ball.

Gervinho (5)- Oh, Gervinho.  Where to start?  Oh, right, you’re complete lack of a final product once again.  He’s Glenn Helder with a giant forehead.  Can dribble excellently, but shits the bed with his final ball decision all too often.  With Th Ox healthy, I’d drop the Ivorian from the starting lineup for Liverpool.

Olivier Giroud (6)- Was slagged off by certain corners for his performance today but personally I don’t think he was that bad & on a few occasions needed passes given to him when he was well placed.  Nearly scored on a completely audacious 40-yard lob from the right side.

Lukas Podolski (6)- The German striker was direct & did well & arguably should’ve had a penalty when he had a shot blocked by a Stoke defender’s head/hand.  Was direct with the ball but like the other forwards, looked a bit perplexed & lacked cohesion in the attacking third.

Substitutes
Theo Walcott (6)-  came on for his pace & attacked Stoke with his direct dribbling but couldn’t produce anything of note.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (6.5)- The Ox needs to start now that he’s healthy.  Another direct player but was also good in defense in his short time on the pitch.

Aaron Ramsey (6)- Nearly scored with a shot a few yards wide which would’ve been the highest form of poetic justice against the Orcs & was wide open in the middle when Giroud tried his lob.

So, two points from two games sees us in 12th place betwixt the two teams we drew with so far.  As previously mentioned, we face Liverpool next week who just drew with Mansour City so I’m sure it’ll be a week of Scousers who will crow about their massive Carling Cup win, the number of times they’ve won the European Cup/Champions’ League & defaulting to the “Arsenal haven’t won a trophy since 1544” argument & not wanting to talk about their club’s debt or that they haven’t won a league title since before there was a Premier League.

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