Gervinho(27), Van Persie (73, 82)
3 - 1
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Stoke City Rc
Some will have you believe that Stoke has our number. Since coming into the premier league they’ve beaten us 3 times whilst losing 7 times, some bogey team. The idea that the physical approach of Stoke poses a problem for us is a nice idea but nothing is further from the truth.
The truth is we’ve always been able to handle hose type of teams, it’s simply a fallacy that the physical, long balls, crossing style beats Arsenal. No, what beats Arsenal apart from The Arsenal is smart football. Pressing our midfield into making mistakes, and quick counterattacks. Not Rugby.
Others will have you believe that Arsenal is a one man team, or as an esteemed hack put it:
“Arsenal is one Robin van Persie injury away from mid-table mediocrity”
You see, Van Persie wins the ball, dribbles, to the byline, cuts it back to himself, and finishes it. He may be good, but he’s not that good. I’d venture to say that without Gervinho we would not have won yesterday. It seems that as things didn’t go as the narrative demanded, the media had to come up with something else. — Anything apart from what is actually happening.
Slowly the confidence is returning.
Having watch the match in it’s entirety this morning, the body language, movement and attitude of players seems to point to more belief in themselves. At the very least it looks better that it was a few weeks ago. One of our biggest problems at the start of the season was the inability to make incisive passes. Through balls was a rarity, players making runs in behind the defence almost ever happened, creativity was in a trough.
Ramsey in particular is finding his mojo. That pass for the opening goal would never have happened on month ago. Whether it’s getting the goal against Marsielles, playing well for his country during the international break, or simply just a the result of a few wins, his confidence is noticeably better and the creative and incisive passing is coming back.
Gervinho Showing what he can offer.
I think some of us were worried as Gervinho haven’t been the all action goal scoring hero we might have hoped for. Although that was never what he was going to be, — Yet — there was the expectation that he would shoulder some of the goal-scoring burden currently being carried by Van Persie.
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While all eyes may be on van Persie at the moment, Gervinho did score the opening goal and was the one who assisted the 2 RvP goals. While 2 premier league goals so far may look a low return for the Ivorian, factor in the 4 assists in his 6 premier league games and you’ll see that he is quietly getting the job done.
Koscienly is first choice.
I have always been a huge fan of Laurent. He has made a few faux pas in his Arsenal career, but I’ve never doubted his quality. What has hindered him more than ever is a lack of a consistent partner at centre back. From Vermaelen to Miquel, injuries and suspensions, koscielny has never been afforded the luxury of developing an understanding with his partner at the back.
I have not checked the stats, but I would not at all be surprised if this six game run with Mertesacker is the longest Koscielny has gone playing with the same partner at the back. What are seeing is a confident player who is hitting some great form, and there are not many in the Premier League who is better then him.
The assumption is that Vermaelen will partner Mertesacker in the long run, however as far as I am concerned it will be Koscielny in the driver seat with others fighting for a game.
Bring on Bolton in the Carling Cup, I would expect heavy rotation and an Arsenal win… Forward