Arsenal v Stoke Review: Strikers Silence Critics?

It was a game that we should be winning comfortably if we are to challenge for the title and that was exactly what we did. 

A lot of talk amongst the media and fans has been about our striker situation with both Giroud and Walcott not being good enough for many people. But they both managed to score goals in either half to at least keep everyone quiet for another week. But they both should have scored more and that is the problem we have. 

Walcott who started the game missed a great chance after Sanchez’s header hit the post and then missed another which was a header from a great cross by Bellerin. Perhaps Giroud would have scored these – who knows? 

Walcott did, however, finally score with his 3rd attempt which was started by a great tackle by Coquelin who had a great match and who passed to Ozil (who was man of the match) and delivered a brilliant over the top ball for the running Walcott who controlled it well and finished like a true striker. 

The goal was almost Henry-esque and if he can continue to do this more consistently then he will have a great season and really be considered as a striker. 

So 1-0 at half time but it should have been a lot more as Walcott should have got a hat rick and Sanchez hit the post twice. Stoke barely had the ball or any chances. 

The second half was similar to the first as Stoke just couldn’t get the ball off us and we created chance after chance which has been nice to see so far this season. We have created the most out of any team but it is just the finishing that has let us down hence why people say we need a world class striker. 

Wenger usually takes more time to make substitutions than he should in my opinion but when he eventually did it paid off. Much criticized Giroud, who was booed by his national team fans in the midweek, came on for goalscorer Walcott and he knew he had a point to prove. 

He nearly got a goal straight away as the ball surprisingly came to him but he missed when he really should have scored. But fair play to him as he kept going and got his reward in the end when he managed to head in a free kick. It was great to see him score and he must have been very relieved as Walcott probably was when he scored. 

Giroud also had a chance right at the end but he seemed to get pulled back but nothing was given by the referee. So 2-0 was the final score which I did predict before the game and it was very comfortable. It should have been 4 or 5 but you can’t really complain if you win. 

Our defence also played very well with Gabriel really showing his quality and I think he should start with Koscielny instead of Mertesacker as a result. Wenger also kept Ramsey on the right wing which worked well but I still think the Ox should start instead.

So both strikers have two points to prove. 

First of all they both want to impress Wenger and show he was right to keep faith in them and not buy another striker. But was this through choice or did Wenger not buy because no one was available for the right price? 

Second, they are in competition with each other, with both trying to justify their place in the starting line up at the expense of the other. For me, I think that Wenger should keep on swapping Giroud and Walcott as they are both similar in quality and so far this season neither has proved himself over the other. Also, they offer different qualities in that Walcott is faster and more mobile whilst Giroud is stronger and better in the air. 

But it was our first home win of the season and also the first time we have scored at home for a while. We are now near the top of the table after five games and are five points behind leaders Man City who have had a perfect start so far. 

Next up is struggling Chelsea who have surprised everyone in how badly they have started being in 17th place as a result. It is obviously very early days still but they are already 11 points off Man City so are they out of the title race? I unfortunately don’t think they are but they really need to start picking up some points and hope City slip up a bit. 

This is why the game next week is so big as we could really make it hard for them if we manage to beat them. I think this is definitely our best chance in a while to do it but it will be a very hard game and they will obviously want to win it a lot. 

I would love to see Mourinho’s face if we do and I know Wenger would too!


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