Giroud dropped for Arsenal v Stoke – Official teams and preview

Even though Olivier Giroud is out of form and lacking in confidence after his slow start to the season with Arsenal and the France national team, whose friendly fans helpfully booed the big striker this week, I did not expect Arsene Wenger to drop him for the clash with Stoke City today, but that is what the Frenchman has done.

Theo Walcott comes in and will probably occupy the centre forward position, although I would not mind seeing Alexis Sanchez given another chance to show what he can do there. THere is not likely to be a lot of space in behind as Stoke will surely try to stifle the game and defend deep.

THe only other change is Gabriel replavcing Mertesacker who does not even make the bench so must be struggling for fitness or with illness. But I think that could make our back line stronger and could be the shape of things to come for Arsenal in the future.

This is a big game for the likes of Ozil, Cazorla and Ramsey as it could be a difficult and patient job to break down a stubborn and determined Stoke side. And early goal would, of course, be ideal and if we get one this could be a goal fest. Any win wil do though, so Come On You Gunners and get the job done.

Tags Gabriel Walcott


  1. mark says:

    I like Paulista starting and giving Walcott a go up front. Good for Giroud motivation and hopefully good for the team / result.

    I still think Walcott is a winger but hey, I support the team.

    1. muffdiver says:

      hopefully one day we can have someone proven like…

      stephen naismith?!! WHAT THE HELLLLL

      1. muffdiver says:

        one goal from his weaker left foot, his right and one header.

        thats a full house lads

        taxi for jose

    2. joeboy says:

      Id rathet ramsey not being on the wing….. He offers F all more then what the ox does! I just dont get it

  2. juhislihis says:


  3. Lethal Prince 9 says:

    Twig, you can have your nice walk….

  4. Jim A says:

    Get Theo on the right. He has worked too hard to have an injury being sandwiched between two CB’s.

  5. lupe says:

    It’s only a matter of time before ramsey gets injured again, he plays every minute of every game, wenger is not managing him well as he is injury prone too. He needs to sit on the bench some times, he is one of the few player in epl to have played every minute this season. I will like chamberlain to be given like a 5 game run on the right wing as i was really excited to see his progress after preseason. Hoping for a 2-0 win.

  6. Greg says:

    Steven naismith completes his hattrick against chelsea 3-1

  7. SoOpa AeoN says:

    NAISMITH……….. Hatrick!……… Against CheLshit!……………… EPIC!

  8. Greg says:

    Mourinho should really consider switching from yokohama to goodyear!

  9. SoOpa AeoN says:

    Naismith……………. Hatrick Against Chelshit!…………….. Something Giroud has never done even against a relegation team!

    1. Tidan2 says:

      I think you actually love Giroud deep down.

    2. still found a way to diss your club’s player, you sir are a c**t.

    3. SoOpa AeoN says:

      yea i Love him(Giroud) thats why i challenge him to do better…….or get replaced………. Think i’m more of the Latter

  10. muffdiver says:

    been very impressed with john stones…
    an evertons play in general.

    1. SoOpa AeoN says:

      yea @ muff…………Stones……..Lil wonder why Moaniho was willing to fork out well over 30something miL for him………. Thank God! The transfer fell through

  11. Seetsuma says:

    Chelsea lost for the third time in five matches, sms have given up 2+ goals every March this season, yet Arsenal are the specialists in failure. Piss off Mourinho, I can’t wait for you to get fired, again.

    1. muffdiver says:

      next week we play them

      lets see who the failures are

  12. SoOpa AeoN says:

    MAN OF THE MATCH: Naismith and Stones

  13. SoOpa AeoN says:

    Theme of the match: “Nai-body does it better” …….. L()L

  14. Dianto says:

    stoke will destroy arsenal…

    1. i know. i have never had this little confidence in arsenal. A win would be a welcome shock. We are so slow in our play.

  15. Gigi2 says:

    So…chelsea was active in the transfer window….so…..the just lost to Everton. …so…..3-1…so…
    Wenger out!!!!!!

  16. Fatboy Gooney says:

    I like this line up ?
    Whatever Naismith can do, Walcott can do better ?
    I got a good feeling we will smash the potters!
    7 or 8 nil … now then, where did I leave my crack pipe ?

    1. juhislihis says:

      Don’t do crack m’kay, crack is bad m’kay.

  17. keller says:

    It’s even more important for us to win now because of Chelsea result to start building up points against our rivals.

    Must winger use Ramsey, santi, Ozil and coq in the same match.

    He need balls to bench one of the first three.

    1. YingYang69 says:

      I would prefer to use Oxlade myself, but I can see why in theory a better passer with a better scoring history could prove more useful trying to break a ten man defense. However ..Oxlades dribbling capabilities should not be underestimated in trying to ware down rigid backlines.

      If we are winning I have no qualms with it but if we are finding breaking the deadlock a stubborn thing well then it makes even more sense to get our best dribblers out there.

  18. Robertthegooner says:

    Naismith is World Class
    Wenger MUST get him
    He will gladly leave Everton for us

  19. Well go look at Walcotts twitter account. He tweeted praise for Sanchez then tweeted this about himself ….

    “Alexis played well as a #9 for Chile and Theo looked great in his best position as a wide right forward. #afc

    So at last Walcott admits he is no striker and that the wing is his best postion.

    Bob …. Please note this.

    If Walcott is playing as a striker, I expect a performance which will be less than what Giroud, Wellbeck and Sanchez would produce. I therefore think Sanchez should be up front. He can play with his back to goal unlike Walcott, will not keep turning into centre-halves and will have 3x more chance of scoring a goal and 5x more chance of giving an assist.

    Has Walcott ever made an assist as a striker? Has he even passed the ball to another player before it is snatched away from him while playing as a striker?

    Please don’t have Walcott up front.

  20. nygooner says:

    LOL theo

  21. muffdiver says:

    double lol theo


  22. Demwan Jones says:

    What a joke walcott as striker, he’s already missed two sitters

  23. juhislihis says:

    Jesus Christ our finishing is bad

    1. muffdiver says:

      when u say our u mean theo lol

      1. juhislihis says:

        To be honest, Sanchez has missed as many chances as Walcott..

  24. AussieGOONER says:

    wolcott the mofo is shit how are we not 5-0up??
    fk walcott

  25. clem says:

    Theo has no footballing brains!!!!

  26. juhislihis says:

    Not getting a striker might cost us dearly

  27. Demwan Jones says:

    And ramsey at RW, what sort of useless point is wenger trying to prove

  28. perf says:

    Walcott gives footballers a bad name

  29. Robertthegooner says:

    Walcott is Shitty up front
    Put Cavani up front….oh wait, I forgot we didn’t get him
    Put Giroud up front

  30. ras911 says:

    Let the Theo Walcott name calling and bashing begin!

  31. muffdiver says:

    there already chanting for giroud lol

    enough butland- your good- we get it

  32. Lethal Prince 9 says:

    What a strike by Kosscielny?

  33. Greg says:

    Sergio aguero just limped off in man city vs palace game injured!

  34. juhislihis says:

    Anyone see a pattern here? Miss tons of chances, slowly the game will even up, maybe even concede a set piece.. COME ON, BURY THE BALL ALREADY!

    1. juhislihis says:

      THANK YOU!!

  35. NIKK says:


  36. ras911 says:

    no more walcott name calling uh? WALCOTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT

  37. Charlie Nick says:


  38. Lethal Prince 9 says:

    And Walcott is back….

    1. Lethal Prince 9 says:

      Ozil’s second assist!!!

      1. muffdiver says:

        insane pass.

        mesut gets man love

  39. Demwan Jones says:

    Finally he scores, after missing loads of chances

  40. win_withstyle says:

    Le coq is just amazing.

  41. juhislihis says:




    1. Lethal Prince 9 says:

      And people still doubt Coquelin!!

  42. Greg says:

    Theo!!!!!!!!! Thats what we wanted from you! 1-0 gunners!!!!

  43. muffdiver says:

    le coq with a monster tackle
    ozil with a ridiculous assist
    theo with the finish

    lol goal indeed

  44. nygooner says:

    ozil my boy

  45. Leader says:

    Believe in our players…..forget striker transfer saga…….support………………

    1. Charlie Nick says:

      NO chance of that on here

  46. Another own goal for arsenal

  47. Bolly from Borehamwood says:

    11 in 11 now for Theo, but haters gonna hate!

  48. Amazing assist Mr. Ozil.

  49. Bigvalbowski says:

    Missed 2 sitters, still sucks!! There I said it

    1. Charlie Nick says:

      Not like you to be negative….

  50. juhislihis says:

    Not happy. Well happy about the goal but we should be 3-4 nil up. We are like 8 goals behind City’s GD, we need to be more clinical. I heard we are the worst team in the league, after Liverpool, in finishing. This needs to change.

  51. medvet says:

    long ball to walcott…..

    1. medvet says:

      the correct arsenal way??

  52. mark says:

    Bloody brilliant top class goal by Theo. Started with a top class tackle, followed by a world class assist and finish.

    Credit where it’s due. Yes, attempts were missed beforehand, but practice makes perfect and breeds confidence.

  53. Bigvalbowski says:


  54. Segy Turner says:

    this is far from over. My God

  55. GoonerTRON says:

    Walcott been making great runs all game, need more long balls to take advantage of his incredible pace.

    Maybe hang back a bit with Walcott upfront, to give him running space.

    1. vince says:

      BS. sorry but there have been ewnough chances. hope it doesnt haunt us later

  56. Johannesburgunner says:

    It’s either Cazorla and Ramsey, Cazorla and Ozil, pr Ozil and Ramsey. We cannot have all three and leave a proper winger in Oxlade out of the team. Wenger needs to understand this. One goal from Stoke, even a freakish one, and we will regretting those missed chances.

  57. Segy Turner says:

    walcott is kiddin me right now. isnt he?

  58. AussieGOONER says:

    walcott 12 chances 1 goal , giroud with speed lol
    we need a top top striker to win the league .

  59. Charlie Nick says:

    Great movement from Theo, dire finish…same as Mesut a few mins ago

  60. Lethal Prince 9 says:

    Gabriel giving Stoke their own medicine….

    1. juhislihis says:

      Arnautovic, what a pu*sy.

      Watching us miss those chances is agony..

      We have made Butland look like the England #1

  61. Lethal Prince 9 says:

    Walcott off … Giroud on
    Bring on the crosses now!!!

  62. medvet says:

    the donkey strikes again…..

  63. vince says:


  64. vince says:

    this is psychological

  65. muffdiver says:


    i refuse to comment

  66. juhislihis says:

    Giroud misses 1vs1 chance from 8 yards.. I can’t.. I just..

  67. ras911 says:


  68. Lethal Prince 9 says:

    Santiiiiiiiiii…… so close!

  69. Demwan Jones says:

    Henry at 38 will convert those chances these our so called strikers are missing

  70. medvet says:

    sanchez?? and not ramsey?? PLOP…

  71. Demwan Jones says:

    The donkey scores after missing a sitter

    1. ras911 says:

      Even after he scores people complain lol

  72. ras911 says:

    AND GIROUD CONVERTS!!!!!!!!!!!!! Shhhh haters just shhh and enjoy the win

  73. From a 6 – 0 to a 2 – 0 ……. I’ll take it COYG

  74. Lethal Prince 9 says:

    Some good news….. City hasn’t scored either

  75. Johannesburgunner says:

    Giroud will make a good streaker.

  76. GoonerTRON says:

    Theo uses his pace, Giroud uses his head.

    What striker crisis?

  77. Lethal Prince 9 says:

    I gotta admit Butland is great….

  78. GoonerTRON says:

    Butt Land is having a pretty great game.

  79. GoonerTRON says:

    Why does everyone leave the Emirates early? Stay to the end and cheer the win…

    1. Charlie Nick says:

      That’s cause you’ve never been…tube is a nightmare mate

      1. GoonerTRON says:

        That makes sense.

    2. Adienl says:

      Because they have important work to attend to?

  80. GoonerTRON says:


  81. Jimbeam says:

    City freaking scored!!

    1. GoonerTRON says:


  82. Demwan Jones says:

    Iheanacho scores, happy as a nigerian

  83. Lethal Prince 9 says:

    All the hardwork for Crystal Palace couldn’t earn them nothing

    1. Lethal Prince 9 says:


  84. Charlie Nick says:

    Sh1t….last minute goal…we would have only been 3 pts behind

  85. Mozart7 says:

    Man I love Arsenal lol Le Coq is freakin awesome!!!

  86. The good news is that both OG ( Giroud and Own Goal) are tied as ARSENAL top scorers

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