FA Premiership, April 28th: Stoke City Vs Arsenal.
You may have noticed – or not – that my posting was sorely lacking yesterday. It’s always been my desire to keep The Armchair Gooner fresh with articles on a daily basis. Unfortunately, that isn’t always possible. Because of that, they’ll be the odd occasion where I feel compelled to offer up an apology, and assure the two of you that read regularly that I’m doing my best to ensure such things only happen rarely. So, I’m sorry!
Right, onto to Stoke. Like me, I’m certain they’re not your ‘second’ team. I read an interesting stat, recently. During the entirety of the current league campaign, Stoke have attempted all of five through-balls. FIVE….
That beggars belief, and perfectly sums up their approach to the game. I’m far from the type that discounts the methods opponents employ, as everyone has the right to play to their strengths. However, their strong-arm, lets-bombard-the-penalty-area-with-long-throws-and-then-kick-the-shit-out-of-the-other-team-claiming-it’s-simply-committted-play-and-out-players-are-not-like-that tactics I find abhorrent. Plus, their manager is a world-class shit.
Playing them on their own turf isn’t a test of footballing ability, it’s a test of character and resolve. We’ll need to be able to give back what we’ll recieve in spades.
There are a few absentees. Theo and Mikel won’t feature again this season, and Diaby has suffered another predictably curious illness that’ll prevent him from featuring at all. Hardly surprising. Whether the relatively-lighweight, Yossi Benayoun features is an interesting choice. Having missed the Chelsea game, he’ll possess the freshest legs, and his ball retention is excellent. I’ve a few doubts about this being the ideal fixture for him.
My choice would be:
Szczsney; Sagna, Gibbs, Koscielny, Vermaelen; Song, Rosicky, Ramsey, Gervinho, Oxlade-Chamberlain; van Persie.
Today is a real test. We have the chasing pack breathing down our necks, and 3rd place is even more essential given Chelsea’s antics. A performance is needed, I’ve very faith the team will be up for it, and I think we’ll win.
Ballsy, perhaps. But I’ve a confident feeling about this one. I’m going to go for 3-1 to Arsenal, with a certain talismanic Dutchman finding his scoring boots again.
Let me know your views on the team and the result in the comments. Thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards. Take a moment to follow me on Twitter @_ArmchairGooner