The Armchair Gooner

An Arsenal blog bringing you news, opinion and humour on a daily basis. Well, I'll try at the very least…

Feculent Orcs (h): Team news, thoughts and predicted starting XI

The years had not been kind to Ryan Shawcross

Morning folks.

Before I get into the nitty-gritty of previewing the Stoke game, there are a few  of things I’d like to make you aware of. Nothing important – more a case of me unabashedly promoting my efforts elsewhere. Efforts, that I should mention, come with a warning of substantial amounts of naughty language.

I’m referring to my recent dalliances with podcasting. I’ve completed another full show with the guys at A Bergkamp Wonderland, and brief preview of what’s to come with my good friends at the excellent Goonerspere. Add to that the recent 3BTA Vcast, and you can see I’ve been productive.

Listen here and leave a comment with your thoughts (STOKES!).

Right, onwards and upwards.

Today, we face Stoke City. Like many of you, I abhor Stoke City.  They’ve somehow managed to replace one incredibly negative manager with another so I imagine we’re not going to see them come out and play football.

I wonder what has become of Tony Pulis? He could be managing elsewhere for all I know . I don’t especially care. The Premiership is well rid of him as far as I am concerned. If life truly serves people what they deserve, he is currently in a seedy part of town attempting to clean a hideously pebble-dashed lavatory without protective garments whilst angry, drug-addled creatures of the night attempt to force their way into the cubicle to bugger him senseless.

It’s the least he deserves.

The team news has produced one little nugget of the good variety; Mikel Arteta should return to the squad. He’s highly unlikely to feature from the start, but a short cameo appearance might be possible. Other than that, I’d say we’re looking at the same team that beat Marseille taking to the field. No sign of the long-term absentees regaining fitness. Abou Diaby has imploded.

Versus Stoke City.

Anticipation will be at uncharted heights today for Mesut Ozil’s home debut. Even typing the letters of his name causes a wry grin to appear on my face. The guy is genuinely a world-class player, and I can’t wait to see him dancing around The Emirates’ turf, dispatching through balls effortlessly and diving into his bag of tricks.

We should win today. We should. I’m always slightly worried by those words. As an Arsenal fan, I know only too well what horrors can occur in games we ‘should’ win. Hopefully today won’t be one of those occasions, and we will be able to bask in the glory of comprehensive victory. Stoke are certain to do their best to ensure as little football as possible is played, but our ability should win the day. There’s that word again – ‘should’…

All eyes will be on Aaron Ramsey becuase of the cretin in the opposition. Aaron has been exceptional in recent weeks and rightly gained many words of praise. What better way to keep the momentum going than a thunderous shot into the top corner after nutmegging Shawcross.

Oh, how I’d love that to happen.

I’m going to predict a 3-1 win today. The comments await you below, and you can share some of your own ideas regarding the line-up, plus thoughts on the final outcome of the game.  Don’t be shy.

As always; thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards.

Category: Match previews
  • Veer says:

    I hope the 3 goals will come from Giroud, Ramsey and Ozil, although a Shawcross own goal would be cool too. Me and my friends are having this massive party if Arsenal go top of the table!

    September 22, 2013 at 8:43 am
  • galteegunner says:

    A lot of talk this season that Stoke are trying to play football under the new manager. I hope that this confuses them and when we put them under pressure they will be caught between how they used to play and the new system. But like all arsenal fans, I can never be fully confident until we get a comfortable lead.

    September 22, 2013 at 9:06 am
  • mav361 says:

    Gunna be tight one today but ur right James our superior talent should see us though
    gunna go 1-0 with Theo sliding one under the advancing Neanderthal Stoke Stopper from a delicious threaded though ball by Mesut Ozil ………………….. O the joy of it !!

    September 22, 2013 at 9:09 am
  • Jimbolagos AFc expert says:

    Will be 7-1 0zil 4. Wilshere 2 verm 1

    I know

    Jimbo Nigeria AFc expert

    September 22, 2013 at 9:13 am
  • anewar mohammed says:

    ARS 4- 1 STO GIROUD,WALCKOT2 OZIL

    September 22, 2013 at 9:38 am
  • Damo says:

    It’s 9pm in New Zealand and I am trying to sleep so I can get up in 3 hours and watch Rambo and co deal to the Orc Army. Too bloody excited. Debut for our man Ozil and all that Jazz. Should be a cracker of a game. I reckon Theo and Giroud will get on the scorecard today.
    C’mon lads. Top of the table beckons

    September 22, 2013 at 10:01 am
    • Veer says:

      haha you’re a real fan dude, I like it!

      September 22, 2013 at 12:56 pm
  • Alan Haslop says:

    Pulis, the Orc king has landed a pundit job with Al Jazeera sports, alongside the battered Richard Keys and the annoying dribble of Andy Grey. Pulis forms the axis of ‘expertise’ with Robbie Savage. I swear it’s like watching a single file queue for a parole board hearing. Shoot me now. Living in Dubai I have no choice, I’ve never appreciated the mute button so much!

    September 22, 2013 at 7:23 pm
  • mav361 says:

    Good shout on the 3-1 James did you put any money on it ?

    I won won £380 a couple of weeks ago on the 3-1 at Fulham with the handsome French guy first goal scorer ……..

    September 22, 2013 at 7:50 pm

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