Arsenal vs Stoke City Preview: Will Somebody Please Step Up


All of the noise surrounding Arsenal this season has really made this season disappointing. Yet it seems like every week there is another news story regarding Arsenal and it is not enjoyable to read as a fan!

The latest in all of this is everything surrounding Wojciech Szczesny, from his smoking problem to his father calling Per Mertersacker a rhino. All of this is just pathetic and if a team has problems like this popping up in January then there is something seriously wrong.

Arsenal needs somebody to please step up and be a leader. Somebody needs to be a man and guide this team in the right direction.

As far as this weekend’s game is concerned, Arsenal’s lack of leadership and everything it takes to be a winner is just going to make an already tough game tougher. Stoke is no push over, and their hard nose, blue collar type of football will definitely be a challenge.

Prediction: Arsenal 1 – 1 Stoke City

1) Players are slowly coming back

News is that Ozil and Ramsey will be fit for this game. History states that they will be rushed back, get injured again and then be out for the season.

Let us all hope history is wrong and the Arsenal training staff have got this right. Nothing has really gone Arsenal’s way so far this season, but to have Ramsey back and hopefully lead by example is a small step forward. To have Ozil back and make a few plays to inspire everyone to play better will be delightful.

It is about the small steps and having these two back is a step in the right direction for the team. But I doubt they will have too much of an impact on the game as a whole, so that is why I don’t think Arsenal will be winning this game.

Jun 26, 2014; Recife, BRAZIL; Germany midfielder Mesut Ozul (8) against USA during the 2014 World Cup at Arena Pernambuco. Germany defeated USA 1-0. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

2) Defensive issues everywhere

I really hate to be negative when I write about Arsenal. I love this club and not a day goes by where I don’t read everything there is to read about them. Yet it is hard to like this defense and the attitude this defense is showing.

When the starting goalkeeper is not on the same page as everyone else, that is a bad sign. But when the starting goalkeeper’s dad, who no one cared about till this past week, comes out dissing the one consistent person on the defense, then there is something really wrong.

It is hard to argue against comparing Mertesacker to a rhino, but that is not the job of the father of  Szczesny. The defense is already bad to begin the New Year and if anything I feel like it is now worse. I don’t know how that is possible, but I’m sure we will soon see it and we will cry and cringe as Stoke scores that late goal to come away with a point.

3) Stories over Football

Winning makes everything better, that is the truth about everything. When there are more  stories and rumors than articles about the team being focused and practicing, that is a problem.

For the past few weeks, all I have seen is update after update of what is wrong with Arsenal. It is very sad and if it is distracting me then I am sure it is worse for the players. Good showings don’t just happen so I hate to admit it but let’s not expect anything amazing from this team this weekend. Let us just look at it one step at a time and hope that everyone is getting healthier.

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