When we saw our last six matches we all knew that Arsenal could not have had a harder set of fixtures. After getting whacked by Sp*rs, we then had to face a Man United managed by a Mourinho who Wenger had never beaten in a League match before.
Then we had to go to another bogey team in Southampton, where we hadn’t won in the League since 2003, and now we travel to Stoke, where we haven’t won a game for the last six visits stretching back to 2010. We somehow managed to win the first two, but is this Stoke game going to be one too many? Arsene Wenger is obviously wary, knowing we simply have to win to keep our hopes of the Top Four alive.
“Traditionally there is a fierce rivalry and they had always a very direct game against us,” Wenger said. “Overall, I must say as well that they have had good teams. Stoke are now regular participants in the Premier League for years, and that means that anybody who goes there is in trouble.
“We have to show character again. We know we have to play to win the games, so let’s keep the focus on the way we want to play and on our team spirit.
“You can see that the team is together, fights and is ready for it and we have to recover now physically and see how everybody is for Saturday and see do I need to make some changes. Does Koscielny come back or not? How bad is Chamberlain? Because if he’s not bad it would be quite welcome because he is fresh.”
Saying that the Ox is fresh sounds a bit strange considering that Le Prof has already given the opinion that his hamstring injury was caused by fatigue!
But there is current form in our favour, with Stoke’s only win in the last 9 games was against relegation candidates Hull City, and they have nothing left to play for. Hopefully they will have their heads already on the beach when Arsenal arrive!