Stoke 2 – 1 Arsenal
Posted by hiphopmama on November 2, 2008
- 1-0 Ricardo Fuller, 11′
- 2-0 Seyi George Olofinjana, 73′
- 2-1 Gael Clichy, 90′
Is this really how it’s gonna go down? Arsenal alternately tearing ’em down and stinking it up, with more of the latter of late? I don’t get it. I love Arsene Wenger and his style of play and philosophy and haircut…but I’m starting to think the EPL isn’t the place for it. I know he’s had incredible success and I absolutely love him, but if he can’t get these guys to lock down when necessary it’s all for nothing. Then again, with his track record, it also might just come down to the players, although you could still say that this is his team and he has hand-picked these guys. I know I missed watching the whole Unbeatables season thing, but every year I’ve watched since then has been the same thing: almost, so close, but not quite. Not that I have a clue what the solution is. Going in a different direction would be tantamount to heresy, and I wouldn’t really want to see it, at least not right now. I would have thought last year would be the “transitional” year with Henry’s departure, but everyone seemed to settle in quite nicely and be poised for a good run this season. And it’s not just lack of experience. The midfield is a little shaky there, to be sure, but the biggest problems have come from positions of considerable age and renown (El Capitan, anyone?).
Stupid Rory Delap and his damn long throws were our undoing today, creating both goals for Stoke and making Arsenal look as clueless as always defending (quasi-) set pieces – the first to Ricardo Fuller at the back post in the 11th, and the second by Olofinjana off the pass from Ryan Shawcross. Clichy scored a deflected goal at the very end but to no avail.
Wenger was true to his word in changing the line-up after the midweek Tottenham debacle. Toure was back in the starting eleven and back in the role of captain, while Van Persie, Walcott, and Nasri got the axe in favor of Song, Diaby, and Bendtner. He eventually relented enough to bring on both Van Persie and Walcott, but all he got in return was a Van Persie red card and a Walcott injury.
It’s so bad that even the Liverpool loss to Spurs doesn’t dampen it. Well, maybe just a little.