It is very hard to find any positives for Arsenal after seeing us taken to the cleaners by Stoke City, a team we should beat but just cannot seem to manage it at the Britannia stadium. The fact that their fans love to taunt Arsene Wenger, Aaron Ramsey and now every other Gunner just makes handing them a victory feel even worse.
But there are some positives to be taken from yesterday’s game and our French midfielder Mathieu Flamini identified one of them in his comments after the match, as reported by Arsenal.com. While the 30-year old was devastated by the team’s limp first half display and apologised profusely to the Arsenal fans for it, he rightly pointed out that the Gunners were much better in the second half.
The spirit and fight that the Arsenal players showed to almost comeback is certainly encouraging and should help us to avoid any more of those heavy defeats that were so painful for us last season.
Flamini said, “[We can’t defend like that], we have no excuses. We came here and wanted to come back with the three points, especially when we were coming back from a good run of games, but today we did not start the game well at all.
“We conceded a goal after  seconds and after that we had an opportunity to come back into the game but we couldn’t score. We are very upset with ourselves and very sorry for our fans, who travelled here.
“It is a difficult day for us, the only positive thing today is the character we showed, because we didn’t give up, we pushed it until the last minute. Unfortunately we didn’t manage to get the draw.
“It’s not easy to come here and today Stoke played a great game, they have been very strong physically and they defended well.
“Our mistake was to concede a goal stupidly and too early in the game, after it’s difficult when you’re 3-0 down. Like I said, the positive thing was that we didn’t give up but once again we’re really sorry to the fans who travelled here today.”
The comeback was not the only positive from the game though, because I have found two more. Firstly and the way things have been going it is quite important, no more Arsenal players were added to the injury list. With the way Stoke play, especially against us, that could easily have happened and that was the last thing we needed.
The other positive is that Wenger acknowledged that he simply did not have the defenders to cope with Stoke and if he needed any reminding, this game will surely have confirmed to the manager that he needs to do some transfer business in the January window.
If he does go and sign a top quality centre back and a defensive midfielder, will that painful defeat by Stoke have been worth it?