FIVE talking points from Arsenal’s win over Stoke City


It is three straight win for Arsenal starting from the Bournemouth win to the victory over Stoke City, who could do nothing as Arsenal demonstrated their title credentials with a temporary leap to the top of the league.

Goals from Theo Walcott, Mesut Ozil and substitute Alex Iwobi was all Arsenal needed to come from one goal down to beat Stoke City 3-1 at the Emirates. Stoke might have taken the lead early in the game but the Gunners didn’t panic and it was Arsenal’s day as they kept pace with Chelsea in the title race.

Here are my five talking points from the convincing win over Stoke.


The Nigerian attacker might have had an inconsistent run in the first team this season with Chamberlain seeming to be on the recovery following a superb showing against West Ham United. The midfield player had a mixed game against Basel as he lost the ball on occasions and was not convincing in helping out in defensive duties.

He got a goal of his own with a tap in across the face of goal, with Ozil to thank, as the German playmaker picked out Iwobi’s inviting run into the box. Iwobi came on for Chamberlain after the the Ox made an assist earlier on in the game. With 2 goals in space of 4 days it is still to be seen if Iwobi has won his confidence and place back in the team in the long run.


Arsenal three front line attackers of Sanchez, Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain was magnificent in the game pulling the strings against a Stoke City side led by Charlie Adam. With the movement of the aforementioned trio going forward Arsenal were unpredictable with the ball and Stoke City could not deal with Arsenal’s pace when Walcott got on to the end of a cross for Arsenal’s equalizer.

Whenever the likes of Alexis (Sanchez), Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain leads the line in tandem with the creative talent of Mesut Ozil in midfield Arsenal’s attacking foray’s are difficult to deal with, and it was evident as Stoke struggled to contain Arsenal as they made their quality count in the game.


With Arsenal tied 1-1 at half time following a goal from Charlie Adam in the 26th minutes via a penalty and Theo Walcott’s precise finish towards the end of the first period Arsenal came into the second half to seize control of the game and was fortunate to take the lead through their bright star Mesut Ozil who received a looping pass from Oxlade-Chamberlain in midfield to nod over the onrushing Stoke City goalie, who was well off his line, as Ozil gave Arsenal the lead with smiles all around the Emirates Stadium.

It was a reminder of the former Arsenal superstar Robin Van Persie’s goal against Spain at the last World Cup in Brazil, were the Dutch side beat Spain 5-1 with Van Persie and Arjen Robben the architect of the La Roja defeat on the occasion. Daley Blind swung in a cross from the left back which Van Persie met with a looping header to beat Iker Casillas in goal and Ozil rdid exactly the same thing to give Arsenal a well-deserved 2-1 lead.


Just as Arsenal are linked with the signing of Julian Draxler and other potential targets it does not still hide where Arsenal needs reinforcement the most. With Mustafi not partnering Koscielny against FC Basel despite the impressive 1-4 away win Arsenal’s defence looked feeble and unstable at some points under pressure.

The arrival of Shkodran Mustafi from Spanish side Valencia in the summer after much debate and speculation was a welcome development to the Arsenal Football Club as the Gunners aimed to tighten the holes at the back. With injury becoming Arsenal’s major barrier to the title more than the opposing teams it is left to see how the side’s defence will fare in Mustafi’s absence.

Long term or not Mustafi will be missed, as it was evident while the center back and his partner (Koscielny) was missing in our only defeat at home to Liverpool. With Koscielny important to the team and with a tendency for injury there is a need for Arsenal to strengthen the defence in the January transfer, as Chelsea’s key to the top of the table is their ability to keep clean sheets in games which Arsenal cannot really boast of lately as they have not kept a clean sheet even in their last four games, although we still keep winning.


The Spanish full back made an impressive come back to action with a lively performance against Stoke. This is certainly a good news for Arsenal who have had to use Gabriel as a makeshift right-back with Debuchy injured and Jenkinson lacking in confidence. Every cloud has a silver lining, so they say, and when Arsenal’s new signing Mustafi was injured in the game and had to make way for the youthful Bellerin perhaps it was a blessing in disguise. Some people even thought the Spaniard was Man Of The Match!

Bellerin entered into the fray in the 25th minute and asserted himself well with decent link up with Theo Walcott which caused problems on the right. In the run of play the incisive full back made an audacious run from the right after being put through by Alexis Sanchez to provide a cross for Walcott’s goal and Arsenal’s equalizer coming at the perfect time for the Gunners.

Welcome back, brilliant Bellerin, Arsenal is good to go in the title race!

Obiweluozo Martins


  1. G-Rude says:

    Iwobi is not back for good, in fact he is good for rotation especially when we have two games in three days (like now) but it is good for his confidence to score again. He needed it.

    We do NOT need another defencder! We have Holding and Gabriel already waiting to replace Mustafi. Do you want to destroy their chances of getting a game? They are not that bad.

    And it is GREAT to have Bellerin back YeeHaaa!

  2. Tatek Girma says:

    Well said with enough justification except for the need of a defender in the coming transfer widow to replace the injured Mustafi. I don’t think it is necessary to add a defender for the sake of replacing the injured Mustafi as reports are telling us regarding his recover time to be maximum of three or four weeks and Gabriel & Holding are ready to fill the void.

  3. Juhi McLovin says:

    We don’t need a defender! If anything, we need a cover/replacement for Santi/Özil.

    I mean we don’t have a natural CAM for Özil (Ramsey, Iwobi?) and Santi is due back in February and at 31 right after a surgery on a CHRONIC injury, there’s no guarantee he will be the same or stay fit..

    I read that Draxler is available. If so then he’s not worth over £10 mils the way he’s played this season. 0 goals, 0 assists and got frozen out by Wolfsburg.

  4. Trudeau says:

    Arsenal have failed to keep clean sheets with Mustafi and Koscielny at the heart of the defence. So would this new defender play instead of one of them? Doesn’t make sense to me – and there aren’t many sides that can boast of three reserve CB of the quality of Gabriel, Holding and BFG.

    I agree with the above comment, the only case I can see for bringing someone in is to cover for Santi and I’m doubtful we would find someone available at the level that would make much of a difference.

  5. tissiam says:

    like almost everybody else i don’t think we need a new defender in january also i expect iwoby to be in and out of the team this season not because he is not good enough coz he is but the most difficult thing for young players is consistency alex will have his ups &downs,wenger will play him depending on his form!!

  6. Pablo Picaso says:

    I am pleased with the Ox’s development this season, his putting more work on the field, contributing to our goals and more importantly STAYING fit! Does this have to do with the fact that he is playing for a contract extension? I guess only he and his representatives can answer that but we are loving the new Ox.

    Wenger should continue rotating Ox and Iwobi as he is currently doing, we need to keep them both fresh and ready to step in minus us dropping the level, remember Iwobi will go for AFCON too so no need to burn out the Ox and I hope by then Welbeck will be back in the team.

    Quick recovery to Mutafi and hope the boys will go all guns blazing tomorrow against a good Everton team.

    1. Reuben Joel says:

      Nigeria is not in the next AFCON. So Iwobi is ours all season.

    2. Jansen says:

      @pablo – Out of respect to the Ox I don’t think he is staying fit because he is playing for a contract.

      I think Ox, more than some of our other players, has a fragile self-believe or ego. When his confidence is gone he has a hard time pulling himself together. At the moment his confidence is in good shape and he is getting minutes regularly.

      TBH – I am happy with his development but I am not yet sold on his importance to the squad. If we needed to sacrifice his salary in order to sign Ozil or Sanchez, I would sell the Ox. Let’s hope it does not get to that. But he does rank behind Sanchez, Ozil and Santi in terms of importance in contract renewal IMO.

  7. Jansen says:

    I don’t think we need another central defender. The flip side of injury is that it brings an opportunity for other squad players to improve.

    If we carry a player on our roster he should be able to play, even if he is not an equal replacement for the injured player.

    I think Holding is our future and can benefit with “forced” minutes in the absence of Mustafi. Same goes for Gabriel. Sure at this point neither Gabriel nor Holding are of the same caliber as Mustafi but they can and should do a job. It will be hard to buy a central defender of equal caliber to Mustafi or Kos and expect him to be happy to sit on the bench.

    I am still hopeful Holding will be a good one for the future, “good ones” always take their chance when given. Just be patient with him and expect a few mistakes here and there but this will be well worth it for the future.

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