Better! Much better. Superb. by Konstantin Mitov
I have to say that after Crystal Palace and the way fans turned on the players, they started to actually do something. Why don’t they do it every game? We went to Stoke, a place where our record is poor and we destroyed them.
The ref helped them on their goal, when there was a clear foul on Bellerin, before Crouch scored a la Maradona with his hand, but the one ref that really hates us – Mike Dean was blind to the situation. And when were under severe pressure, Alexis scored injured to shut up those Stoke fans, before we finished them off with a fourth.
Nacho Monreal was superb in LWB position. Just compare his influence to Gibbs and you’re laughing really. I was surprised we dropped Welbeck, because he offers so much more to our game than Giroud, who did score 2 goals and I must say Coquelin was excellent too, and Ramsey came on and was good. And Holding, dear Lord this young man Holding is so good. Hell, even Ozil who I’ve been really critical of lately was ok today, he was some times even pressing! That 1-2 with Alexis was magic!
In all fairness, this isn’t the best of the Potters squad we’ve seen but god I hate Stoke. You know if we didn’t have to beg that West Ham trip up Liverpool, I’d be over the moon with the fact we beat Mourinho and Southampton and Stoke away in a row! Usually we’d take 0 – 3 points out of a possible 9 in these fixtures. Of course though, with Arsenal, there is always a catch! We are doing it when it no longer depends on us.
The new formation and the pressing forces teams into mistakes. And against bad teams like Stoke, this should kill them with the quality we have and it did. Now, back to reality, we’re still likely to finish 5th, and the lack of champions league football will hurt us. If you don’t believe me, ask how many years Liverpool are trying to stabilize back in the top 4 and it ain’t easy once you are out.
And to make things worse, our two best players of late, Alexis and Oxlade-Chamberlain went both off injured and if we miss the top 4 and the FA cup and I still think we’ll fail to get both, it’ll be a huge damage to our club.
Tomorrows game at West Ham defines if we’ll have it in our hands or we’ll pay the price of our mediocrity for so many years. In all honesty, they did help us back with Lasagna gate and I’m desperate for another shoulder up from them after they killed Spurs title hopes. Lastly though, we wouldn’t have been in this situation if the desire and fight we showed today, spanned across the entire season.
If you look at it one way, the top 4 is better for the future, while the FA cup is better for the history, cause historically trophies count, but in terms of adding better players, and keeping current ones, we really need 4th more than the FA cup. Finally, there was a little banner that flew over the game and I have to agree with it. For the better future of this football club, we need change. Scrap battles for 4th isn’t my definition of success, neither is the FA cup.
We need to destroy a dictatorship to replace it with a strategy that would bring back the glory days at this football club. And of course for tomorrow, Go Irons!