Stoke City Message Board
Top 3 finish would be great and arguably and sadly the best progress we can now hope for. The FA cup would be a nice consolation price.
I would take top 3 over FA cup and 4th. I think a top 3 would help in the summer recruitment since it guarantees CL football and top players nowadays tend to want that guarantee. I hate waiting till the after CL pre-qualifying to see if we sign top players.
Having said that 5th at this point is as likely as 3rd or 2nd IMO. At least no more pointless CL football to tire our squad.
On paper we are still in it against Monaco tonight. With the squad we have compared to Monaco we should have more than the 5% chance we are given.
Having said this, Monaco has performed better then their squad would imply IMO and we tend to under perform in the big games. We saw 2 pleasant surprises this season, one against City and one against Man U.
I think Paulista playing would help but as it stands I predict a draw tonight. I expect to fall pray again to the Monaco counter attack, a weakness we have had for years and I fear we will start rushing and play panic football way too early.
Clearly an early Arsenal goal could spice this game up but chances are higher IMO that a first half Monaco goal would kill an already dead tie of completely.
The silver lining is that being eliminated from the next round of CL football will save us 2 games our squad doesn't need and will allow us to focus on the PL 2 and 3 places (hopefully) and the FA cup.
With Man U, Liverpool and probably City all out of Europe at least it would level the fixture burden a little amongst those teams fighting for the top 4 places.
Direct qualification for next years CL would be a big bonus IMO and better than making it one more round in the CL.
Dear ghosts any thoughts?
Mancrapper Ushyted DUMPED out of the FA Cup despite trying their best attempts to dive and cheat their way through the match, and Danny Welbeck scoring the winner...MAGIC!!!
Once again David de Gea kept the scoreline respectable, Mancrapper Ushyted were lucky to lose 1-2.
Where's that old tranny Butch these days? - LMFAO!!!! No FA Cup for Ugly van Gallstones, Mancrapper Ushyted and their SHYTE fanbase.
I don't think we would be where we are without him in the PL. He shows us what we have been missing. The question is though (to me) should we still try to sign Schneiderlin or a player like him? I think so.
Thanks for the reply John. Although I envy you for being able to go the games, I understand the mixed feelings you might have about paying for some of the performances in these big games.
From television it looked similar to what you summarized. Although I think Ozil appeared a bit unlucky with his team mates in as far as some of his passes being squandered.
Your summary could have easily been of an other Arsenal game though and that is the worry for me.
IMO the best game we played as a collective, maybe not the prettiest, was against City. We seemed to press early, move up and down the pitch as a collective, not leaving big spaces between our lines for the opponents to take advantage of and maintained focus pretty much through out the game. It almost felt a little like Barca and Bayern play as a collective and press high on the pitch. But then we never seem to play like that again despite having shown we are capable of it.
By now you know I don't think highly of Giroud and I hope we will add some depth at his position this summer, now that it seems likely Wenger won't spend on a top DM thanks to the impressive debut season of Coqleulin.
As weak as it sounds, I think the ref for the return leg of the Monaco game is going to be the determining factor. Will he allow Monaco to foul us out of our rhythm or will he hand out some early yellows to give us a chance?
I was at the game and what I saw was:
1. The final ball. It just wasn't there. It just never worked for us.
2. Giroud was well off his game. He has apologised for this, and must make amends in the next game, or run the risk of being labelled forever a big game failure.
3. Mertesacker was also off his game. He ventured too far out and lost too many challenges.
4. Ozil was ineffective. He kept passing sideways or backwards and kept the ball too long. This slowed our game and allowed Monaco to get back in position.
In the end we just went mad and left our defences wide open for the third.
I've got a few more games to go to before the end of the season, but if we don't beat Liverpool, I may just give 'A' Games a miss. I've seen us draw against Spurs and lose against Utd and Monaco this season so far. £66 a ticket for that isn't worth it.
I hope the £40 per ticket I've paid for the West Ham game delivers good value.
I guess the reason this board is so empty is partly because there is nothing new to say about Arsenal that has not been said for the last 7 or 8 years.
It can happen you have a poor game, although it happens far too often to a team with out talent, but with a few leaders on the pitch last night does not happen. To me we lacked leaders more than anything, Leaders would have stopped this running around like a headless chicken and taken a 2-0 or 2-1 defeat.
We have too many players who go missing in the big games and to me Giroud has always been one of them. He is ok against smaller teams but he has very little technique and control.
I thought Ozil was not as bad as the press made him out and many of his passes got wasted by his team mates, but he will never be defensively what Sanchez is. He is a liability for a team with weak defending.
A few seasons ago we never thought we would be talking about Wilshire this way. About his potential etc. We expected that by now the talking would be about his actual game rather than his potential.
He should no longer get a free ride and for the moment, even if he is fit, I don't see his place in the starting 11.
The other problem Arsenal have, IMO, is that we have too many players that have similar attributes. Good technique, easily ran of the ball, small physique, not particularly pacy, preferring to play in the middle of the park.
IMO, we can only really play with a maximum of 2 such players at a time. If you consider 4 defenders and 1 DM that leaves room (ideally) for 2 small technical players, a striker and two quick wide players.
In fact I don't even think there is space for Ozil in our starting 11.
At the moment I would argue for Sanchez-Giroud-Walcott up front and Bellerin - Mert - Cos - Monreal or Gibbs in the back with Coquelin as DM.
This leaves 2 places for centrally functioning midfielders and to me on current form Cazorla is a shoe in leaving Ramsey, Wilshire, Rosicky, Ozil, Ox. When all fit my second choice would be Ox since he has pace which you need in today's game IMO.
bad result for us but the way we played we didn't deserve more IMO.
Since this board seems dead, I will spare myself the typing of what we could have tried to do to improve the second half after a poor first half.
I still think 4th is out of reach for us.
Wilshere has been injured since, what, October? Until he has a good stretch of games but no improvement I maintain he has bags of potential. Until his latest injury, his form had been decent, though inconsistent. He looked like he had improved on last year. He's also only just turned 23, so he's got plenty of time to sort himself out. I don't think you can really write off a footballer's career until at least late 20s and even then some players make extraordinary leaps in the space of just a few months. But with his profile from an early age, I accept Wilshere really is running out of time to keep himself fit, show some form and actually develop as a player.
I will agree several things with anyone:
1) he's clearly a stupid little khunt, though that's basically par for a PL footballer
2) if he keeps getting injured potential, etc is entirely meaningless. RVP managed multiple seasons with injury after injury, but I don't think we have the patience for that with Wilshere.
3) he shouldn't be walking into the England team just because he's Wilshere, a press darling and has "potential". He does actually have to do something.
But I've seen nothing to discourage my belief that (a) he is highly talented and has all the right attributes to be the best English midfielder over the next decade (I actually think Wilshere and Henderson could be a formidable partnership and (b) his skills are almost unique amongst English footballers where we have an overflow of physical grafters, which makes him a footballer of the future rather than of the past.
All that being said, his attitude stinks and his rate of development over the last few years is extremely disappointing.
To be honest Jack, I have been busy at work and the board has become, lets say, scarce of any meaningful or fun debates and discussions.
A few things have happened which I was delighted with.
Hector Bellerin is developing really well. He has had some great games and will provide Wenger with a real headache when Jenkinson comes back, because he's doing very well too.
Coquelin had a brilliant game against City, which was in itself a great result.
I'm keeping everything crossed that Paulista will be as brilliant for us as he has been for Villareal this season.
He looks like the perfect remedy for those games where Mertesacker is just too slow.
I am up at the Emirates for the Villa game on Sunday and have already got my tickets for the Monaco game too. Looking forward to the run in now.
Bali/Indonesia - a place where they happily execute foreigners via a firing squad for drug smuggling yet turn a blind eye to stuff like kiddy fiddling.
Yeah, sounds like paradise, if you're an old nonce.
You'd better be careful what you do over there, you old woofter
Perhaps they were probably just Mancrapper Ushyted fans pretending to be Arsenal fans.
I'm sure Le Poof and that soft old fairy from Cairns had a couple of ID's where they tried to pose as Arsenal supporters so that they could stir the shyte in these forums. The pair of them would spout more shyte about clubs like Arsenal and Chelsea than they ever could over Mancrapper Ushyted.
Both have gone, driven away and history now, so loads of LMFAO over that one!
I must say that in Arsenal's most productive period of outstanding form and performances of individuals, the silence on this board is baffling; to say nothing of the once loud protestations about the team and Arsene Wenger when everything they did brought some kind bleat. Now with the acclaim from the media ringing in our ears, it seems that Govinda and all have been struck dumb. Probably with astonishment that all their dire warnings of doom at the Emirates, have come to nothing. Meanwhile I'll just enjoy a chuckle at the prophets of doom. As for you John I cant believe you of all people have nothing to say!!??