Five things I learned from the Stoke game

WTTGT Writer: Vivek Arulnathan

Arsenal moved to seventh in the table with a deserving 3-1 victory over Stoke City in a weekend that produced some shocking results. Liverpool drew against Norwich which strengthened my belief that they are overrated and Man City ran riot at Old Trafford in a show of absolute brilliance from David Silva. Nevertheless, let me focus on our victory that once again saw Robin Van Persie hit the headlines with a brace after coming off the bench. There were other notable performances and incidents as well which caught the eye and here is what I learned from the game.

Ryan Shawcross is not welcome at Arsenal

It is generally reserved for Arsenal players who move on to rival teams, but the treatment meted out to Shawcross was no surprise. His every touch was booed by the Arsenal fans and he deserves it for that horrible tackle on Ramsey. Ramsey’s performances this season have shown that he would have been even better if not for that injury and would have certainly given Wilshire some much needed rest last season. I want to see more of that when Nasri visits the Emirates!

Chamakh is not suited to the Arsenal style

I’ll sound idiotic saying this but Chamakh is a good striker. He just doesn’t fits in our style of football. He is a good passer and can hold up the ball for those around him to make use of the space. He would be perfect for clubs playing a more direct style like Liverpool or Newcastle with his physical presence and predatory skills. Wenger needs to realize this and give Park Chu Young the opportunity whenever Van Persie is rested.

Koscielny is a class-act

He has his fair share of critics, but you can’t deny that this guy has grown leaps and bounds since he moved to the Emirates. His numerous interceptions have been vital and his reading of the game is amongst the best in the league. He is slowly bringing in the consistency to his game as well. As I pointed out in my earlier post, he has kept his game simple this season and his no nonsense approach is slowly endearing to the Arsenal fans.

Van Persie is an inspiring leader

Arsenal were looking drab until he came on. Just his presence was enough incentive for this Arsenal team as they became livelier and more focussed in Van Persie’s presence. The young squad is looking up to their talismanic captain and he hasn’t let them down. He is leading by example both on and off the pitch and everyone at Arsenal is grateful to the Dutchman for driving the club forward in times of adversity.

Gervinho improves as Walcott fails again

Gervinho finally justified his 12m price tag with a fantastic performance as he played a part in all three Arsenal goals. His final ball looked more threatening and it shows that he is clearly working on it. On the other hand Walcott’s pace seems to have deserted him and he looked all at sea, drifting in and out of the game. I know he is still 22 but with Arshavin producing encouraging displays and Chamberlain in red hot form, Walcott needs to realise that his place is not guaranteed in the line up. He has to step it up or risk losing his place to teammates.


I feel Arsenal have turned a corner though Chelsea will be a huge test for us. A good display against the Blues will help the team grow in confidence irrespective of what the result is.




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One Response to Five things I learned from the Stoke game

  1. WC October 24, 2011 at 3:04 pm #

    Some good sense on Maurone. Everyone jumps on his back that he is a flop but he's a different player than what Arsenal are used to and he sjhows that Arsenal are a one style team. If we had the ability to play more directly, then Maurone would be bagging goals. He was bought to be out Plan B when we cannot break down stubborn defenses but unfortunately we cannot cross to maximize his ability. We prefer to play our regular game for a player who wasn't meant for our regular game. If Chamakh had more time with a player like Cesc he would flourish because Cesc can make pinpoint accurate crosses and balls over the top which is where Chamakh is most deadly. He had Gourcuff making some exceptional air passes to him at Bordeaux but we have little to no players in our team who can make the same kinds of crosses on a consistent basis. Arshavin prefers to run at defenders, Walcott prefers to pass to the guy sitting in row Z, Gervinho passes better on the ground because that's what he did at Lille with Sow – it was left to Hazard to make the accurate air passes and crosses.

    Find better crossers and Chamakh could easily be a double digit scorer every season. Not a top scorer but 10-15 a year in games wherethat one set piece or big man goal is necessary.

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