Arsenal 3-1 Stoke: Lapse not critical as new signings gel
Monday, 24th Oct 2011 21:23
Wenger was very quick to acknowledge the lapse in concentration that allowed Stoke to work a training ground set-piece almost unchallenged but he still seems incapable of solving the problem.
We have still conceded more goals from set-pieces than any other club in the league and yet when asked if the team practised set-pieces routines in training, the manager said that we didn’t have time. Yet, Tony Pulis said that their goal was something they had been working on in training. Even if it just an hour a week with a white board surely it would be worth at least going through some organisational details.
There were more positives than negatives yesterday though and our new signings are beginning to find a consistent level of performance with Gervinho now adding the final product to his incisive running.
We took the lead after Aaron Ramsey brilliantly loft wedged a through ball into Gervinho who chest controlled the ball away from goal, creating an angle, before clattering the ball home with his left foot. We were dominating the match but, as against Sunderland last week, an equaliser was found before the interval via a set-piece.
A long ball was lofted towards the goal line about fifteen yards to the right of the goal, the ball was headed back across goal to the far post where a Stoke player won another header to give Peter Crouch an open goal which he couldn’t miss. After the Stoke goal we were knocked out of our rhythm but as against Sunderland, we rallied at half-time and dominated the second half.
We struggled to create any clear opportunities until the introduction of Robin van Persie as our leading goal scorer not only brought his own outstanding qualities to the match but brought the best out of his teammates. Gervinho suddenly had a more accomplished teammate to link with and he promptly set up van Persie for two goals by hitting the by-line and cutting the ball back. His extra yard of pace means he is a much bigger threat than Arshavin.
Our momentum continues to build and we have now 1-6 of our last seven games. Old Trafford seems a long time ago and we at least look capable of mounting a challenge for fourth place.
Photo: Action Images
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