Arsenal v Stoke – Chalk v Cheese!

Whenever it’s a match between Arsenal and Stoke, there would be questions of all type. On the eve of their weekend clash, Arsene Wenger had to come out and declare that there is no bad blood between the two clubs.

It is but natural for anyone to think that the two sets of players will be at each other’s’ throats. The history between the two clubs in recent years is something that gives rise to such a thought.

Wenger said: “They have always had good teams and overall when we go to Stoke they are always specially motivated against us. There is history a little bit because of what happened and overall it was always very difficult for us.

“For me there was never bad blood, it was just a game that was always very difficult for us to play. But I always focus on playing football and trying to get my team to play as well as we can.”

The Gunners host Mark Hughes’ side which will be their 12th meeting since that horrendous incident involving Aaron Ramsey. During a Premier League encounter in February 2010, Ramsey’s leg was broken by a horrendous challenge by Ryan Shawcross. Although Shawcross was sent off that day, there was obvious frustration and anger within Arsenal supporters. The tackle looked horrifying on television and one can only imagine the effect on Ramsey. The centre-back was booed every time after that by fans, in a visible display of frustration for that incident.

Stoke have strengthened this summer trying to give shape to their ambitions of flying high in the League. Though their start is not in line with their ambitions, many analysts believe Stoke could be the surprise package of the season. The team that will take on Arsenal this afternoon will not feature Shawcross, though. The hard tackling defender will be missed by the Arsenal supporters, ironically. But, the proclaimed ‘bad blood’ is not just because of that incident.

Arsenal and Stoke are considered to be the two sides of playing football – in short, they are exact opposites of aesthetic football. While Arsenal always puts good football ahead of anything else (including trophies) Stoke believes in getting points by hook or crook.

Wenger had to come out and diffuse reports that there could be ‘bad blood’. He is right when he says that Stoke would always be motivated against Arsenal. Whether it has anything to do with what happened to Ramsey or not is something that can never be properly established. One thing is clear. Whenever Arsenal and Stoke clash, it is like watching two different philosophies; like watching two different motives; like watching a ballet and a boxing match at the same time! This weekend will be no different.


Tags Shawcross Stoke Wenger


  1. Sam, need a striker says:

    I am expecting a boring game with too much inefficient and side passes …

    1. chun says:

      To fear it is one thing, but to expect it! ugh. lame

      1. josh37 says:

        What!? It’s a completely reasonable assumption.. With passers of the ball like Ozil and Cazorla pulling the strings in attack they always look for the safe option!! No vision, no class. It winds me up our midfield, it really does!!

        1. josh37 says:

          Didn’t think I’d need to point it out that that was sarcasm and both of them are in the top-5 in minutes per chance creation… But alas, seems I do.

  2. davidnz says:

    Stoke are useless so
    expect a hat full of
    Arsenal goals.
    This game is ideal to rotate in
    some of the 2nd tier players
    Arteta + Flamini should start,
    Debuchy + Gibbs needs game time
    Chambers as well.
    Debuchy Chambers Gabriel Gibbs
    Flamini Arteta
    Chamberlain Ramsey Adelaide

    1. josh37 says:

      What? No… Just, no. Far out, I swear you must play way to much Fifa.
      We’ve been pretty far from our best form, particularly in attack. To get on a run you need consistency, and that’s near on impossible if you make 8 changes from our last match, right after the international break!! Clueless…

  3. josh37 says:

    The Ramsey moment was by far the worst moment I’ve experienced as an Arsenal fan… Horrible.
    But I personally, don’t see Stoke as a main rival of ours. They’ve always been a tough opponent for us as their tactics have seemed more to do with disrupting opponents game-plans than formulating one of their own, which was particularly effective against a passing, possession team. Though, I think that gameplan’s a lot less relevant now and we’ll hopefully see a good game.

  4. Theophilus says:

    a win will do us a lot of good.
    by de way why don’t we call back akpom?on what basis is a player called from a loan?

    1. almostawinner says:

      we should definitely get akpom back. i’d love to see him tried out ; lets say against some smaller teams.

      1. josh37 says:

        Barring an injury, that move really doesn’t make sense.
        Cup matches really aren’t enough, it’s great to see players in the u21’s given a go, but it gets to the stage where you need competitive first-team action on a weekly basis against men not boys. Chuba is currently getting this and if he was to come back and play against ‘some smaller teams’ he’d be gaining similar experience, just less of it.
        If Giroud and Theo fall to injury, it’s obviously a different story…

    2. josh37 says:

      Why? He’s getting much needed first-team experience and we have two better options in a season we should be challenging for the title?

  5. goonergaz2000 says:

    I’m looking forward to the game today the first Saturday 3 o clock kick off this season.stoke have a couple out with suspension and a couple off injuries.I feel optimistic with a 3-0 win good day gooners

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