Should Arsenal fans fret about lacklustre display against Stoke?

The simple answer to the question posed in the title is no, as long as the 11 Arsenal players who run out onto the pitch at the Emirates stadium on Sunday do not perform in the same way as our team did against Stoke City yesterday. To be honest, even if they do and get the same result I will not give a monkeys, because a 3-0 win over CSKA Moscow would surely be enough to put the tie to bed before the Gunners go to Moscow.

If we play with the same lack of intensity and cutting edge on Thursday as we showed yesterday, however, then Arsenal would need a huge slice of luck to get any sort of win. That being said, I reckon that we will see a different, and much improved, showing from the side on Thursday.

I am sure that Arsene Wenger wanted his players to be sharp yesterday, but they and we are all aware that the Europa League game this week is far more important than a Premier League clash with a Stoke City side that is mired in the relegation zone and playing pretty poorly.

The result was really what mattered this weekend and we got it, without playing well. Arsenal will know that we must play better against CSKA and I am fairly confident that we will. Are you?



  1. ThirdManJW says:

    Well it’s not as if it’s anything new. Arsenal rarely turn up in the first half of games, which results in us just about getting away with it against the lesser teams, but getting found out pretty much any time we come up against quality opponents.

    We can ‘get away’ with it again against CSKA because they’re not quality opposition, but we need to sort ourselves out if we end playing Atletico Madrid at some point.

  2. tas says:

    its a good thing that we have a really fit squad and turn over teams mostly in the last 20 mnt’s after boring them to death with our non stop backwards passing

  3. Sam-afc says:

    Our passing yesterday was woeful at times. We’ve probably got the quickest striker in the league and the first time we gave him a real goal scoring chance was late 70 minutes in. A pass which cut open the defence from Özil. For all the possession we had we wasn’t doing much with it. But I’ll take a lacklustre 3-0 win against those horrible lot stoke

    1. GB says:

      Great comments Sam, never seen such bad passing and when Auba moved out wide after Laca came on, everything opened up and Ozil and Rambo all of a sudden had space to pass through and forward. Xhaka looked good when he came on because of all the dross that had happened before then. I thought Elneny played quite well and was trying to pass forward but when he did all the player on front of him did was to pass it back to him. Afraid to say for all his huff and puff, Jack was a waste of space.

  4. gotanidea says:

    I am not concerned, because I think the players wanted to save their energy and avoid injuries as their ulterior motives

    But real world class players would usually outclass the lower quality players, even if they do not play with their 100% effort. Yesterday it showed that most Arsenal players are simply not up to that level yet, especially the hyped players that often got robbed and produced many bad first touches

    The CSKA Moscow match would be a good show for Arsenal’s next manager, to assess which players he should sell or release in the next season

  5. Nay Sayer says:

    CSKA is basically Championship level. Top of it, perhaps, but still worse than Stoke. Unless we win by at least 3 goals at home, we probably don’t deserve to win the cup.

    I still feel we can only win against Atletico if:
    1. It’s just one game – has to be the final.
    2. If we play with 3 at the back, otherwise Costa + Griezmann will swallow us then spit us out
    3. It’s Cech in goal (although Ospina might be better at penalties, he again couldn’t reach a ball that ended up hitting the post yesterday. High balls in the box and we’re toast with the Columbian.

    1. gotanidea says:

      I don’t think Golovin, Ahmed Musa and Vitinho are Championship level players

      Agree with your thinking about Atletico, if we can meet them before getting trashed by other team

      But three central defenders at the back plus two wingbacks could be good against Atletico, because that type of formation could prevent Atletico’s wingers from supplying crosses to Costa/ Griezmann

    2. Goonerboy says:

      And this is the kind of attitude that kills us…how can you say CSK is a Championship team seeing ad they made the Q/finals?

      As for yesterday’s game, it was indeed a boring first half but no need to complain as the game does not have any significance.

      But some people here cant do without useless compaints, if we had blown Stoke away, they will look for a way to rubbish the team…

      That said, Liverpool and Spurs have really tried all these years outside the top4.
      Especially when the race for the top is quickly over as it is for us now. I personally dont look forward to the EPL games anymore. I’d even prefer a relegation fight just to make it interesting for me.
      Who knows, maybe the players have this feeling too and with the world cup around the corner, they wont wanna miss out you know.
      But i hope they will step up their performance on Thursday.

  6. Bur says:

    This display isn’t a one of. Yesterday’s performance has been the same as 60% of our previous games and that is why we are in such a state. And its coming from the top. If we play like this on Thursday evening I would cancell the flights to Russia.

  7. Lupe says:

    No we shouldn’t. Because we should be used to it now, we won thats all that matters against stoke. We have been playing like that all season expect for the odd games. Against cska moscow though, they better not play like that. I am used to these performances and most fans are getting tired. Apathy is the emotions of the arsenal fans now.

  8. Chiza says:

    get Julian Nagelsmann..he is the answer to our coaching problems!!!!

  9. Midkemma says:

    Is Welbroke going to play?
    If so then yes, I am worried, very worried.
    I think he is a great athlete and he will have the random great game but he is a big liability if he isn’t having a great game… Which is too often.

    I really liked seeing Auba on the left after Welbroke came off with Laca upfront, gutted Auba can’t play for us in the UEL this season.

    I hope to see a 433 formation with the front 3 being Mkhi, Ozil and Laca. If so then I have faith in our attack and if we can defend as a team….. Okay, now I’m worried again XD lol!

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