Arsenal Survive Aerial Onslaught at Stoke: Match Report, Player Ratings + Wenger’s New Man

van Persie levelling matters at Stoke (picture from Arsenal.com)

van Persie levelling matters at Stoke (picture from Arsenal.com)

A draw obviously isn’t the best result especially in our quest to seal third spot but coming away from the Britannia with a one-all draw is a very good result for Arsenal.

The result is more appreciated based on the fact that both Manchester clubs got only a point there as did Chelsea, while Liverpool left the Britannia with nothing… oh yea, ditto the Tiny Tots.

Then the result is most appreciated when you add Wigan Athletic’s astounding 4-0 drubbing of Newcastle United, a result that means we will have a four point lead over the chasing pack when the rest of the weekend’s fixtures are over.

Over to our performance then. Having lost three of our last four visits here, going behind to Peter Crouch’s header after nine minutes made it seem it’d be deja vu.

More so as the goal had come against the run of play, with Begovic already put to test off a shot from Yossi Benayoun and the PFA & FWA Player of the Year’s header few minutes before Crouch’s goal.

Robin van Persie would finally register a goal from open play after going about 11 hours without one, getting on the end of a Tomas Rosicky cross to equalise.

Benayoun is commended here for winning the ball off Shotton and initiating the move that resulted in the captain’s 130th goal in his Arsenal career.

Unfotunately, the rest of our afternoon was laden with misses as Gervinho, Thomas Vermaelen and Aaron Ramsey fired shots wide while van Persie had a soft header saved comfortably.

Most importantly, Bacary Sagna made a clearance late in the game as the towers that be at Stoke went aerial on us in search of an undeserved winner late on.

With that, the players get the following in ratings:

Szczesny7

Sagna8

Koscielny7

Vermaelen7

Gibbs7

Ramsey7

Song7.5

Rosicky8

Benayoun7.5

Gervinho6

van Persie7.5

Diaby continues his return to actually being a footballer with another decent appearance from the bench for Ramsey. We stay hopeful for his feet’s lasting ‘fitness’ this time around.

We could have had a penalty in the closing quarter hour of the match after Whelan ‘bullied’ the very industrious Benayoun in the box. Arsène Wenger revealed after the match that he’d been told by the assistant referee that the incident hadn’t been seen.

Onto another sensory device and Tony Pulis’ hearing left him unaware of the senseless booing of Ramsey who impressed on the day. He did criticise Gooners in the stadium for booing Ryan Shawcross… a rare case of SHS here; Selective Hearing Syndrome.

Wenger’s New Man
Le Professeur has hinted that his next assistant on the bench will be one with a history at the club, a welcome hint I might add, mind had started infatuating with the idea of Pep… nevermind.

With Pat Rice set to retire at season’s end, a host of names have propped including Tony Adams, Martin Keown and academy boss Steve Bould though the latter only recently ruled himself out, sort of.

Personally, I would much love to have the Dutch master Dennis Bergkamp as Rice’s replacement next season as I see him as an ideal successor to Wenger, who would prefer to have someone that will keep the ‘philosophy’ going at the club.

Share your thoughts below about the result at Stoke and on who you see being Wenger’s new sidekick from next season.

About punkenstein

Don't keep your talent from the world, that's selfish. Only pressure yourself to be better at it, quality over quantity/frequency. Toyotas, Kias and the likes are popular because basically everyone can afford one. Maybachs, Bugattis and the likes are reverred because... oh well, you aspire to afford one. Why the cool stories? That's how you should treasure your works.

Posted on April 29, 2012, in News and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I do not see why you could give Ramsey 7. He is such an average player. he go do well at Bolton Wanderers, not Arsenal.

  2. 100 % correct Geoff as so many previously fickle Arsenal fans are slowly waking up to,Ram
    sey isn,t a Premier League player and will never make the grade at Arsenal,so time to sell him
    to Bolton ,now rather than later ?

  3. A draw (sic ) at Stoke is only a perceived point well deserved if Arsenal can somehow pick itself up and take maximium points ( six ) from the remaining two games of this season,can
    Arsene pick the right team vs Norwich and WBA and cement the automatic third place CL qua
    lifier,Newcastle losing heavily to Wigan is a good result but Arsenal can still be overtaken on
    the last weekend of the season if the chasing teams win their remaining matches no matter
    how difficult they might appear,we shall see ?

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