Stoke 2 – 1 Arsenal: The worst game ever, Van Persie ses red just to make things worse… [updated]

Almunia Sagna – Toure – Silvestre – Clichy Denilson – Song – Cesc – Diaby Adebayor – Bendtner Four central midfielders deployed across the middle, it was without doubt a very defensive set up. Something hasn’t really clicked somewhere, because we don’t need to stifle our own creation, we need to use our ability to the max and just be organised with the long throw. Walcott, Nasri and Van Persie are basically our most creative players, and they were all left out of the starting line up. With league wins a rare commodity it was strange to see us go up there looking for a draw. If a draw is what we were looking for. Anyway, our defending was damn right dreadful once again and our attacking instincts, mainly because of the chosen line up but also relatively lacklustre with our passing game having deserted us. Some of the commentators have set up as a 4-1-3-2 but it doesn’t really matter, no Walcott, no Nasri and no Van Persie means no attack really. We did start well, with Cesc shooting early on but it was classic Arsenal which saw us go one-nil down. Stoke’s first real attack of the game resulted in a goal. A long throw from Rory Delap saw Toure miss the ball and Fuller guide the ball into the back of the net. We’re going through an awful run of form at the moment and it was no surprise that we went behind. The rest of the first half did see us have chances, but a lot of sideways, backwards passing and a serious lack on penetration. The first half ended 1-0 to Stoke and it looks like we’re on our way to yet another defeat. On the second half, Walcott, Van Persie and Carlos Vela all came on for Sagna, Denilson and Adebayor. But Stoke were the more dangerous and Seyi Olofinjana scored the second from the same source, another Rory Delap throw in. Just to make things worse, Van Persie receives a red card for a “punch” and with 10 minutes to go, we’re down to 10 men. Update: Clichy managed to get one back in stoppage game, the game ended 2-1. Well, that’s just great. Season is officially over. See you next year.]]>

  • AJ

    Bunch of over paid idiots, they say they will leave if the club doesn’t win anything, well they’re the ones who are letting everyone else down. And yes, season over, no premier league for us, I wish Wenger would swallow his pride in his youngsters and just buy some players for once.

  • zaheer

    sigh.. it was 2-1 but it was still a loss.. Van Persie’s actions did not help the situation.. This defeat by far hurts the most.. I cant help but thinking that this could be end of our title race… Things arent looking good.. United next week… things are fucked

  • Pissed off

    < ![CDATA[Wenger and his fellow share holders ar cold blooded bastards who care less about the fans and more about there pockets. Officially over is an understatement, if we continue with this guy he will lead us to our early graves. What we fans need now is to ignore from Matches lets see how these bunch of idiots will then make their money. Wenger has refused to change with recent times and for me is obsolate and has exhausted his ideas.He cud as well look for a club in france to coach. To hell with all this punk assed so called rubbish team and management.]]>

  • Pissed off

    Arsenal are really gone for life.

  • Sam

    I’m afraid we would have lost today even if the opposition was Derby County!

  • Tom G

    I am completely flabbergasted. But we just have to keep faith. It’s all we can do. Think of the good things Wenger has given us. He has my undying support.

  • connor


  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[i'd like to hear wat those fans have to say who, after our draw to tottenham (which seemed like a defeat and hurt like a defeat because we threw it away) have to say. they said 'what crisis ?!' is there any need to explain 'what crisis' to you you morons we are arsenal. we were a top 2 side. slowly over the past 3 years we'v become a top 4 side. and now it looks like we'r not gona finish in the top 4 either. other teams have bought players in and strengthened their team. whereas we'r selling all our best players and bringing kids to the first 11 and relying on them because the experienced players are always injured or cuz we need to have 'belief, faith and patience' or for some other idiotic reason. i'd say its a f* crisis alright. we'r a complete joke. our team's a complete joke. and you can only blame the players on some occasions simply because most of them are not good enough to be at a top 4 club. and who's responsibility is it to ensure that we have the right players ? wenger's. and he's pretty much f* our season up. like he did for th previous 3 years. last season can only be described as lucky. we showed our true state when it got tough in feb. we'v got gallas and silvestre as 2 of our first choice centrebacks, coming from other top 4 clubs that recognized they were past their prime. then we'v got no proper central midfielder or defensive midfielder in the entire freaking team. thats a crisis for any sane supporter. would liv che or manu ever be that irresponsible or unprepared ? never. we'v only got one proper winger in nasri. eboue isnt a winger. in fact he's not worthy of being at a top 4 club anyway. walcott's not a winger and he's still got loads to learn. no other top 4 club would take the risk to field walcott as their first choice winger because they have players that are better and more complete. he's basically only got pace and finishing at the moment. then there are 2 players that arnt wingers at all but they keep being fielded on the left wing. diaby and rosicky. theres song who's too slow n not talented enough to be at a top 4 club. denilson's weak defensively. we have no proper central midfielder other than cesc, and even his game's being affected by the kids around him. adebayor wastes an insane number of opportunities and refuses to learn the offside rule. plus he's not clever and quick enough to outsmart anybody. like robbie keane for example. bendtner's only there to provide some sort of physical presence up front either wen ade has to go to the african cup of nations or if he gets injured or against lesser, more physical teams. almunia is a great shot-stopper but he hasnt learnt when to come out and wen to stay back to deal with the high ball. thats not something that cant be learnt or something that takes ages to learn. but the fact that he hasnt learnt it yet maybe indicates that theres no proper goalkeeping coach. theres clearly no proper defensive coach thats for sure. and wenger doesnt seem to realize the urgency to address these issues. he always tells us to be patient. i think he's just trying to justify being lazy (to him lazy means being patient). by saying we need to believe and be patient and have faith. he clearly doesnt have the intense passion and desire to win the premiership. fergie's won the premiership twice in a row. done the double and yet he wants to go and get berba. thats desire. under mourinho chelsea hadnt lost a game at home in nearly 2.5 years other than also winning twice in a row the premiership. thats desire. i love wenger and i love the invincibles and the proper arsenal. but today's arsenal is a joke. i think it'll take us finishing out of the top 4 for him to realize that he's making crucial and fatal mistakes by letting all the experienced players leave and not getting proper replacements. by relying on youngsters to win him a 38 game long premiership as well as win the champions league against top european clubs.]]>

  • Pissed off

    < ![CDATA[Obama is sreaming for change and u think his a Joke? Wenger is messing around bcause of less pressure on him. What will happen if he is pressured to perform. Fair enough he has done well but the situation is precarious, he caused the problem that is taking him decades to solve. The man is obviously confused and has lost purpose for this club.]]>

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[so as strange as it mite sound to some of you. i hope we finish out of the top 4. if that helps wenger realize that he needs to make amends for his failed experiment. he needs to come out of his la-la land. he needs to stop dreaming his fantasy and get practical. i'm going to stop hoping we have any chance to win the premiership this season. and because i know we'r not winning it, i dont mind us finishing out of the top 4. on a more technical level. the way we play, the opponents dont need to defend out of their skins to shut our attack. we do it for them. by taking 8 players to their half and thereby ensuring that they have 11 players behind the ball, we'r basically shooting ourselves in the foot. by that time theres too many bodies to open them up, make space and create a goal. and teams like chelsea, manu, aston villa, mancity, and others play with heavy emphasis on counter attack. we'r leaving ourselves open to counter attack. we'r not a very tall side so corners setpieces and freakish throws will always upset us. and we'r not strong enough physically so the one on one's will unsettle us. thats too many defensive problems for a top 4 club. why dont we just play in the centre. make runs from the center instead of in their 18 yard box. outfox their midfielders and create space between their midfield and defence rather than the whole 8 of them on the edge of their own box where theres no space. stretch them at the centre of the pitch to create space b/w the midf and def. clearly that means the players are not intelligent enough. but doesnt that also mean that wenger's not explaining this to them. even if he is. it isnt being done on a consistent basis. why is it that manut and chelsea and liverpool dont have all the problems we'r having. where the opposition can get away by having 10 players defend. we'r just not good enough. and then we have ade to waste 10 chances per game. we'r not good enough defensively and we'r not as good as we should be offensively. too many problems.]]>

  • devday

    I’m not someone who likes to critise Arsene, especially considering his track record, but in every game we’ve lost or drawn, you’ve really got to consider his line ups. At the beginning of the game when I saw the line up, I immediately turned around and said, “we’ve lost this one”. If Arsene just sticks to 4-4-2, play Nasri, Cesc, Denilson and Walcott, we will mostly always win. We may concede one, but we will always score a few. But if he doesn’t play them and insists on tampering with the formation, he’s really digging his own hole.

  • Pissed off

    < ![CDATA[Zohaib U sound like one who has the finesse to be a great coach. Thank u men, but were do we go from here. Talking doesnt seem to solve the problem, the fans should make this there responsibility by ignoring match days am sure this will be a starting point, lets see if Wenger will come out from his dream land.]]>

  • Pissed off

    < ![CDATA[Tottes Just saved our ass a bit. Liverpool los shud give us hope. What hope though? a forlon one which Wenger will always not take advantage of. Hope to see us outside the top 4.]]>

  • Debs

    guys come on! No matter what happens I know we’re all gunners through and through, so although we’ve got the right to moan cos that was definitely a shitty performance, all we can do right now is offer our support to the guys cos trust me, I know they know today wasn’t the performance needed from them, but the solution to our problems is definitely not for Wenger to leave. That’ll just be catastrophic. All we can do is hope that we get out of this rot as soon as possible. Gunner for life, and I’m sure you all feel the same!

  • willsscott

    < ![CDATA[I don't want to be too over critical...but we were awful today. We were totally outplayed by a side who still play championship standard football, and to be honest, Stoke deserved to win. I'm glad Clichy has finally scored for us but I would much rather he'd not slipped up against Spurs to be honest. The problem is simple, we don't have a strong enough squad. Wenger has trusted his young players, ie, Denilson, Walcott, Bendtner and they are just not ready. Look at who has left the club in the summer and then their replacements, and i cant tell you, we'd have been better off with the squad from last year: Hleb replaced by Nasri Flamini replaced by Denilson Gilberto replaced by Bishoff Nasri is the only one out of them who is an adequate replacement, Flamini was incredible for us last year, he ran his heart out from the kick off to the final whistle and I believe he was our best player. He's been replaced by Denilson, who don't get me wrong, will be a very good player, but in a few years time. I would personally liked to have given Matty a new contract, and seen Denilson go out on loan to someone such as Villa or Pompy, where he would play at a decent level week in week out, just as Traore is. We would then have Diaby to call upon as back up, as well as Song. Our loan players haven't been covered either. I would love to know what Wenger would do if Clichy got a serious injury and Gallas was out injured. The obvious selection would be Silvestre and to have Djourou and Toure at centre back together, however no-one in the squad is a 'natural' Left Back, Gibbs is most defiantly not up to standard! I don't believe Senderos will return to Arsenal in June, however I don't think he will stay at Milan either, I can see him going to a French or Spanish club. Traore should return a better player but I can only see him staying if he is promised some first team football, just s Bendtner has been this year. Maybe we will see Traore on the left of Midfield a little more, who knows?! Now that our league season is effectively over, (lets not forget we have Man Utd on Sat, and we are without RvP, Ade, Walcott, Rosicky, Eduardo, Gallas and possibly Eboue!) I would like Wenger to experiment a little more with Djourou and Toure together. Gallas is a good player, but not the player he was 2 years ago. He may have bags of experience, but he is not a leader. When Spurs scored the 3rd, he showed no leadership qualities what so ever, all he did was after the game, reluctantly clap the fans support and trudge off in a grump. Cesc, Almunia and Clichy seemed to be the only ones with any real drive. Even if Clichy may have cost us the game. Wenger says he is using a rotation policy, however the back four stay the same unless their is an injury. Todays midfield was made up of 4 central players, with Denilson on the right, and Diaby on the left. What, may I ask was wrong with playing one of RvP, Nasri, Walcott, Vela, or even Wilshire on the wings? Rotation policies are good but only when they're used properly! Walcott, RvP and Nasri have been our most threatening players this year and none started...when has Rafa ever left out Torres, Gerrard and Riera for example, or Fergie left out Ronaldo, Tevez, Rooney and Berba....The answer...Never, and if they have been left out, they have been replaced with a suitable player, ie Ronaldo with Nani, Torres with Keane etc. I have no problem with trying to make a player versatile but do it when you are 9 points clear or in Europe when you have qualified with 2 games to play, not in a must win game! I hate criticising Wenger because he is a World Class manager, he is just so stubborn sometimes and it frustrates me so much. I'm no doubt sure that this year won't be hopeless, we will probably have a good run in both domestic cup competitions, (so long as we avoid Hull!) and do reasonably well in the Champions league, probably until we get drawn against another English side. I am very excited about the Carling Cup, even if it is the biggest consolation prize you can get. In a few years time, Walcott, Vela, Ramsey, Wilshire etc will all be fantastic players, and I'm sure will all be starting for Arsenal as long as we can keep them. Against Wigan, I'd like to see the following line up: GK: Fabianski DF (R-L): G. Hoyte Song Djourou Gibbs/Silvestre MF (R-L): Wilshire Ramsey Bishoff Merida ST: Vela Bendtner With a bench of Mannone, Coquelin, Murphy, Randall, Lansbury, Gallas and if he is near fit...Eduardo!! Wigan are a good side, but of the players there, all could walk into the Wigan side I believe, maybe with the exception of Valencia and Zaki at the moment. If we play a side similar to this or the one against Sheff U, and we turn Wigan over, i think Wenger might realise something. That the young players we have, mixed with some of our experienced ones (who actually give one about the club!) can win games, both in style and convincingly. He goes on about youth, but never seems to give some of the most promising ones a chance, ie. Vela, Ramsey, Wilshire, Djourou. We have a fantastic team, Wenger just needs to pick the right players and we will do well. Lets hope we can respond by hammering Fenerbache and maybe, just maybe, coming up with something special against Untied. I know we can, the players know we can and so does Wenger, we just need to do it right. We will finish in the Top 4, however to do any better, we need to sort things out. Arsenal through and through, right to the end.]]>

  • Arif aka RF

    < ![CDATA[Our comments purely reflects the frustration of our last 2 games . No doubt a v. bad performance .. which is unacceptable being an Arsenal fan. A situation which left me staggered. A very disappointing moment fa all ov us demanding to react in a negative way. I've seen ppl who are fed up wit AW and are shoutin and postin comments to sack AW. What makes you think sacking wenger will bring a world of good? Its gonna make the situation even worse.(now m not hea to defend Mr. Wenger or write an article wheather he shud be sack or not ) All I want to say is that The odds are against us, but there shud be no givin up, I say you got to fight for wat you love, coz "It's Not Over Till its Over" Oh Yea ! Some 1 said we are Out of da Race ??? It ain't ova fa me Mathematically !!! GUNNERS 4EVA !!! >>RESPECT]]>

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[i dont kno if sacking wenger will be the answer. who'll we get as a worthy replacement ? i cant name anybody. there are big names available. mancini, lippi, and others. i havnt followed them as well as i have wenger so maybe i'm biased but i'm not sure i'll love arsenal as much if wenger goes. something will just change. maybe who comes in will want to sign some big name players. that'll be great. i'll prolly want to see our games then but theres some sort of bond b/w the fans and arsenal. some of then anyway. and to see that break isnt ideal. so i guess i want wenger to stay even though he's got us in a fix. i guess the major complain is why we dont have a balance of experience and youth. and i'm not someone who can answer that but my guess is arsenal prolly didnt have enough money at the right time to sign the big names. and once wenger started relying on the kids he sed himself that now that he'd given them the chance, how could he take that away and replace them after they'd become somewhat first-teamers. in any case, now what needs to be done is, learn from the past but not dwell on it so that we dont screw up our future. wenger just needs to be man enough. he needs to change a few things about his approach. for example. he'll never speak the entire truth in press conferences, and he'll always make excuses and he should realize that people know about that now and they dont like it. one can understand that sometimes he needs to protect his players and togetherness of the squad because theyr kids and they shudnt have to deal with the pressure of newspapers and negative media. which is why sometimes its necessary to not be so honest. but then isnt there another way. fergie's never one to shy away from the truth. he'll be man enough to admit his team werent good enough on the day. even yesterday. they scored 4 goals and gave away 3. they won it against hull but he wasnt happy. thats what fans want to see of their managers. the truth. there needs to be some kind of connection with wenger and his fans and he's not one to be so open and accomodating but he should realize wats happening in fan circles and what the mood is like, if he truly cares for the well-being and stability of the club. he needs to stop being stubborn. be brave and admit his mistakes. he needs to slightly modify his policy of 'the media is cunning and is against us so we wont disclose anything to them'. all he needs to do is say ' the players let me down today ' at times when we'v played rubbish and thrown games away or not created enough. thats subtle enough to not let the media damage the togetherness of the club and effective enough for the players to react positively in their next game. isnt it ? i just hope he can make whatever changes that need to be made regardless of how a few not-so-good players feel. maybe he needs to buy 2 players in the transfer market. a CB and a CM/DM. and we need to get a proper defensive coach. in fact we should have got one of Keown or Adams and it looks like theyr both gona be at pompey.]]>

  • jat85

    < ![CDATA[one season forward, two seasons back. can someone tell me what progress has been made in the last 4 years? the average age of our team against sp*rs was just short of 25. you cannot call them 'kids' anymore. they are mature experienced players all of them now. this just isn't good enough. on another year i would have said sp*rs saved us yesterday, as technically we lost no ground on the top of the prem. the reality is, we're utterly f*cked and need to hope we win a domestic trophy this season or AW will be in for it BIG time come May.]]>

  • JDD


  • JDD



    < ![CDATA[You know the worst thing about Saturday? Idiots claiming the manager should be sacked. Mistakes or not, that's irresponsible and ridiculous talk. Arsenal were really bad. Dreadful in fact. Worst I've seen them play, because against Fulham and Hull we at least looked dangerous. The team is obviously in a bit of a rut. The thing is before the match on MOTD they showed Liverpool - i didn't know the scores and seeing Spu*s beat Liverpool really made me happy. Not because Liverpool lost, but they lost despite clearly being the better team - suddenly made me thing Wednesday wasn't that bad after all, at least we got a point right? And then they showed the Arsenal match and my day died. What was RVP thinking? Thankfully Adebayor is out for a game, but Walcott looks like he's out for a while. Watched the extended highlights on Sky and from the moment he touched the pitch Walcott was pulled all over the place - some really dreadful challenges were flying in - most of which didn't make it into the BBC coverage - I am surprised Arsene Wenger did not mention it in his interviews - even my Man U supporting chum agreed (and he hates Walcott because he's scared!) that Stoke were out to injure him. Anyway - what happens next? We're still in the top four (just) and we've still got a goal difference that shits on Liverpool. We're in both cups and the champions league. If we concentrate on making it through the Winter and buy a few players maybe it will give the Arsenal the mental boost they need? I'd like to see Ramsey on actually - whenever he plays he plays with passion - if Arsenal qualify for the next round of the CL on Wednesday by beating Fernebache I'd like to see Arsene play Ramsey and Wilshire in the remaining games. Give them the highest reward possible as it shouldn't affect our season in any meanigful way and it will give them a personal boost as well as letting some of the other players know he is serious about bringing them in.]]>


    < ![CDATA[Oh and can I just mention Sp*rs and Man City, two clubs who spent in excess of £40m this summer - one of them is in the bottom three, the other just got beaten 2-0 by Bolton. Robhinio was not the answer to winning the league and I think Arsenal fans should be cautious before expecting Wenger to sign a league winner in January. They don't exist - and I think half of Arsenals problem is half the teams attitude. If he buys wisely now and beds them in, perhaps we can win a cup and challenge for the league next year, this year we could realistically finish 2nd but I can't see anyone knocking down Chelsea.]]>

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[you sound certain ade's out for only one game. i didnt find any info on the arsenal site or anywhere else. how do you know for sure ? btw does van persie miss champs league as well or 3 english competitions in a row ?]]>

  • Pissed off

    < ![CDATA[Kieren ur being blindly passionate 4 nothing. U dont ve 2 see things dat way. Arsene hasnt won anything for a while;Tottenham are no were near our level in de league and so does Man city. So cut the crap and find sth reasonable 2 say.]]>

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[i think we'll all agree that we need a proper centreback. but more importantly we need a proper centremidfielder. and i guess we all thought it was wat we were lacking in the summers and then wenger didnt make the required signings. he should have paid 3 mil pounds extra for alonso because we needed him. its not like he was going to have to overpay for every player after overpaying for one. but now its pretty clear that wenger's transfer policy this summer has backfired. we need 2 proper players in the jan transfer window. a CB and a CM/DM. but i suppose we all know thats not very likely either. wenger's policy is to be the most stubborn manager ever. to be blinded by so called principles and take unnecessary risks for the well being and stability of the club. and we'r going to see more of the same inconsistency on the pitch. eduardo's gona come back from injury and rosicky's gona come back from injury towards the end of teh year and they'll have a few good games and we'll get a bit of a good run and come jan again wenger's gona decide that 'hey now we're good enough so i wont buy' just like last year and the years before. and again he wont address the problems. he thinks he can let the defensive mistakes happen as long as they keep scoring goals. i'm starting to think he's getting too old. the way arsenal play, the opposition has enough time to get 10 players behind the ball in their own half, and which idiot thinks we'r going to outscore the opposition with the minimum space that we get that way. most teams play on the counterattack. we'r going to be hammered defensively if we continue to do what we'r doing. last season we had flamini on a flyer. we still had gilberto. we didnt get punished. but this season we'r totally in for a thrashing. like we'v already got against fulham, hull, sunderland, tottenham, and stoke. disgraceful.]]>

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[btw has anyone read this ? it'll obviously not be on the arsenal site !,19528,11095_4443702,00.html]]>


    < ![CDATA[Zohaib - I just assumed from the fact that nothing actually looked to be wrong with Adebayor apart from embarrasment that he would be out for a game or two at the most. Nothing concrete, where Walcot looked to have dislocated something in his arm. Pissed Off - rather ironically you're begining to get on my wick. I said I was upset, dusgusted and surprised by our selection, and that we won't when the league this year? How is that blindly passionate? Stop trying to fight me and respect the fact that I'm not a brainless idiot like you.]]>


    < ![CDATA[

    the way arsenal play, the opposition has enough time to get 10 players behind the ball in their own half, and which idiot thinks we’r going to outscore the opposition with the minimum space that we get that way. most teams play on the counterattack. we’r going to be hammered defensively if we continue to do what we’r doing. last season we had flamini on a flyer. we still had gilberto. we didnt get punished. but this season we’r totally in for a thrashing. like we’v already got against fulham, hull, sunderland, tottenham, and stoke.Agree with this almost 100%. The way Arsenal play only works to maximum affect against teams who try to play us. Good examples – Fernebahce and Sp*rs. However Sp*rs turned the table by ruthlessly punishing us and taking their oppurtunities. Look at Madrid of the early 00’s. They played amazing football but every team that played them (including Arsenal) knew they could score at least one or two. The game plan then was to sit back defend and then take your chance. Fulham/Stoke are perfect examples. Took their chances and nullified our attacking threat.

    The flipside to that is that Arsenal just didn’t even look like they wanted to threaten in a million Saturdays until Stoke scored their second.]]>

  • Abdinho

    I’ll not lie to you, I am a gunner through and through.But u gotta admit that we are in deeeeep Shite!!! I really dont understand Wenger,I mean I applaud his conviction that signing young players and training them well is gr8, but is it 2 hard for him to just buy atleast two experienced world class players?? We lost Viera(a great captain),Henry, probably the best striker Arsenal had seen in years, couldnt he replace those with players of their callibre. Besides that, he may be a great coach but what he can do only ends in the training grounds, we need a leader in the pitch, since Viera left, there has been nobody to hold the team together, arsenal lacks leadership in the field. 2moro we face a Man united that has all the players it needs while our team lacks a gr8 number of important players coz of injury and one of them due to his rash actions (van persie)..I hope beyond all hope that we atleast draw and not lose to Man U, although after their match with Hull i can see a light at the end of the tunnel, however small it is.