Is Arsenal boss wasting his time playing down Stoke rivalry?

While Ryan Shawcross has been trying to get the intense rivalry between Arsenal and Stoke City into the forefront of all our minds and get the home fans whipped up into a frenzy before the Gunners arrive at the Britannia stadium tomorrow, Arsene Wenger has been doing the opposite.

In his pre-match press conference reported by, the manager had his diplomatic head on and tried his best to play down the situation. Wenger has been a big part of the rivalry as well, being regularly targeted and taunted by the Potters fans, but he seems to want to ignore the provocation and draw a line under it. And with the Ramsey situation being the start of it all, Arsenal do have more reason to hold a grudge.

The Frenchman said, “It’s always a tough and very committed place to go but we prepare ourselves to be at the level of our commitment and dictate the way we want to play. The most important thing is to not forget how we play our game.

“They have a little bit of a different style. Against us it’s always a very committed game anyway.

“It’s a football game, it’s not a hate game. You want to focus on playing football.

“I think we have four draws and two losses against them [in the last seven], and not enough wins, so we have a good opportunity to add one.

“I believe it’s a tough place for everybody. They don’t lose many games at home, they are a stable team in the Premier League and they have a good record against many big teams.”

It is an admirable idea from Wenger, as we do not want games descending into chaos. If he was like Jose Mourinho he might get the Arsenal players prepared for battle and that could see us lose key men for disciplinary as well as injury reasons. But I don’t think that he can do anything to affect the approach of Stoke or the home crowd.

So I hope that behind closed doors, Wenger will be preparing his team for a tough test and making sure that we know what to expect and are ready to stand our ground, as long as we do not step over the line. Do you think that the boss is wasting his time trying to discharge the tension between the two clubs?

Tags Ramsey Shawcross Wenger


    1. You forgot the referee is Anthony Taylor. Has he issued a red card this season?

      Just checked


    1. it hurt me to see the cover page of that Newspaper with drogba on it and the Headline reading “INVINCIBLES”…. WTF! Its barely even 14 games and they are already calling emselves invincibles…… If this ain’t a challenge borne out of greed and insolence, what is? ……. BRING EM DOWN!

  1. Both Giroud & Wellbeck should start, Girould to ” hold up ” Shawcross & Welbeck to score !

      1. As an arsenal fan, shouldn’t u wish Arsenal strikers score ? Or u prefer Welbeck to ” hold up ” Shawcross ” & Giroud score ? Either way is fine with me as long as our strikers score .

        1. If I have a choice , I would prefer Welbeck, or Ox, or Ramsey etc to score so Arsenal would not be a one-man team .

      2. @muda, Of course we can rely on Welback to score. Have you not been watching him? Did his fantastic header not win the game for us at WBA A a few days ago? And against Southampton, a brilliant save denied him another goal. He has played well enough and i am glad we have him rather than Bendtner and Vela combined.

      3. Why are people slating Welbeck?
        a lot of the balls he had in the last couple of games were very poorly weighted, either too fast or too slow leaving the big guy with a lot of work to do.

        He has been catching even some of our players out with his runs, so once they get used to his speed he will get more chances.
        He scored that wonder header and almost did it again against WBA.
        If anything I would like him to shoot more or try a Henry esq chip when he breaks free.
        When Thierry comes back to coach I think big Danny will improve no end.

  2. Banter is all very well, but Stoke should be fined for some of the clearly very offensive comments their fans come out with. Although you can pity their Orc like mentality and their intelligence level having not graduated past that of pond spawn, calling AW the French Jimmy Savile last year is as offensive as racism, and it is difficult to think of anything more offensive and in poorer taste. Their players have warned the referee to have the red card handy, and I hope we punish their stupidity by soundly beating them.

  3. Don’t count on a helping hand from the referee. I am more concerned about his performance rather than Stoke. The red card will more likely be dished out to one of our own.

  4. Agreed… we should be going into the game as if a battle field. Thats what che do and stoke do it also but dirtier. It will be a good test for our team all the same… just wish we had a full squad.

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