The Armchair Gooner

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

Starting XI against Pulis and his cretinous bunch.

Stoke-on-Trent: tranquil, beautiful, inspiring…

Morning, folks.

Today, I consider it to be a real test of our mettle. We all know there’s little or no love lost between our boys are the followers of Pulis’ hackers. Ever since they took such offence at one of our players daring to have his leg broken on their turf, relations between the two clubs haven’t been exactly all happiness and charity.

Away at Stoke is usually one of those fixtures I look forward to about as much as I would being brutally entered by a barbaric brute of a man who’s just come off a 23 hour stint of being annoyed by Jim Davidson. In short; it’s the kind of thing I approach with dread. This is mainly because I expect Arsenal to overcome Stoke’s basic means of playing the game with a swift tempo and technique. Instead, we invariably get humiliated by long throws and have lumps kicked out of our players.

Add to that the despicable manner in which their fans treat Aaron Ramsey, and you have the makings of a thoroughly loathsome day. As I usually find myself saying around about this time; I have faith this time won’t be a repeat; this time we’re going to emerge the victors – a victory for football over, well, rugby.

On the team front, Koscielny is set to miss out again, but we give a warm welcome back to Oxlade-Chamberlian, and a fairly lukewarm one to Fabianski. I expect The Ox to feature, and I can imagine we’ll send out a side looking like this – with Giroud starting as the frontman to give our attack a bit of strength:

EDIT: Sagna is out, Jenkinson will start – my mistake!

┬áThat’s how I think we’ll line-up.

If we can take the game to Stoke, keep possesion and not allow ourselves to be daunted  by the bombardment from the air our penalty area is going to get, then I think we can take 3 points. God knows, accomplishing such a thing would certainly be a good step toward restoring a little faith.

The comments are below, what do you think the team should be? Predictions? Let’s be having them. thanks for reading, you beautiful bastard.

I shall be back tomorrow with a game review.

Category: Match previews
  • hisjay says:

    Sagna is out, and ox can’t protect jekinson, we should use walcot on d right, but giroud should play upfront

    August 26, 2012 at 8:10 am
  • edd edd and eddie says:

    Unless we got a new guy also named sagna then I can’t see the one recovering from a broken leg playing somehow, call it a hunch! The OX won’t start not enough training since he got injured I recon podolski on the left gervinho on the right giroud in between them, cazorla just behind him arteta and diaby holding midfield, back 4 jenkinson (please don’t mess up), vermalean, mertesaker, gibbs. Arsenal 3-0 winners!

    August 26, 2012 at 8:21 am
  • adeel khan says:

    Game might be a bit top physical for the ox so I think theo will start because he’s more experienced against this tough stoke side.

    Podolski should start aswell as he gives strength and speed. So both flanks will have speed which will worry the stoke defence.

    August 26, 2012 at 8:33 am
  • teddy says:

    scenzny,jenkinson,mertesacker,vermaelen,gibbs,arteta,walcot,diabi,girourd,podolski

    August 26, 2012 at 8:37 am
  • ondgooner says:

    Giroud upfront, Podolski on the left, Gervinho on the right and Cazorla from the middle. These positions however are not set in stone and there should therefore be plenty of room for manouvareability and interchangeable play. Arteta and somebody should play behiind these 4. The back four picks itself today due to injuries and police problems! Ox, Theo, Coquelin etc should start from the bench. By the way the Stoke players are no cretins. We must desist from using such abusive language on fellow folks. Remember they play hard to win and as such doing it the way they know best to get a draw or even a win. But here is hoping that we come out with a 3-1 or 3-0 win! Giroud and Cazorla to open their accounts.

    August 26, 2012 at 9:04 am
  • dapo says:

    Sagna is out

    August 26, 2012 at 9:05 am
  • derek says:

    no that is not how ARSENAL will be playing aganist stoke. first of all sagna will not be featuring due to injury and podolski will be playing on the left flank and walcott will be on the right. and im sure that stoke will give us a hard time. but pretty confident arsenal will leave with the 3 points.

    August 26, 2012 at 9:11 am
  • Agerl Meshack says:

    i will take theo to start from the right.podolski will give us the strenght we need on the left.olivier in the middle.please the back line don’t mess up

    August 26, 2012 at 9:38 am
  • Dave B says:

    Isn’t Fabianski replacing the injured Chesney?

    August 26, 2012 at 10:21 am
  • ahaiwe says:

    Pls give bentner a second chance to play 4 arsenal

    August 26, 2012 at 10:53 am

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