Stoke City 3-2 Arsenal: The Hits Keep On Coming

You get bullet points, because we all have better things to do.

  • I didn't catch the Southampton match because I couldn't get the NBC streaming service to work on my ancient work computer. But, from the looks of it, had both Morgan Schneiderlin and Toby Alderweireld not gotten injured, we probably don't win that match.
  • If nothing else, today's match vindicated some of Arsene's previous decisions, like not playing Callum Chambers in central defense, not playing Hector Bellerin at all, the fact that Wojciech Szczesny is emphatically our number one goalkeeper, etc.
  • Before I say anything else, Stoke played pretty well and probably deserved a point at minimum, and maybe all three. No sour grapes here.
  • That said, this referee was among the worst I've ever seen. Seriously, what a worthless, cheating bastard. I would love to hear the explanation for Callum Chambers' second yellow card, especially in relation to the fact that Charlie Adam - that odious little troll - didn't walk for his extended sleeperhold on Alexis Sanchez. Seriously, Rowdy Roddy Piper would have been proud of that one. Beyond that, he let Stoke get away with egregious time-wasting, not least of which was Asmir Begovic holding on to the ball after Santi Cazorla's penalty - a yellow any way you slice it.
  • No, seriously. I don't say this sort of thing lightly, but I give it a 20-25% chance that a Malaysian betting syndicate was chuffed to bits with Anthony Taylor's performance.
  • Emiliano/Damian/Whatever Martinez was dreadful. Abysmal. All three goals were at least potentially saveable, and his flopping like a fish for the first goal was embarrassing. I don't blame him, though - he should be nowhere near the first team of a club like us. If you're down to your number three keeper, shit like this is going to happen. But, can we stop throwing shade at Szczesny now? He has been the least of our problems this season, and this is what it looks like when you don't have even basic competence in the position. If the Pole were in goal today, we probably win this game.
  •  Insert lament about lack of defensive / defensive midfielder cover here.

Honestly? This is not a top-four team, barring major surgery in January. At this point, if you offered me one of the UEFA Cup places I'd bite your hand off for it.

The Modern Gooner Player Ratings:

Martinez 3, Gibbs 5 (Campbell N/A), Chambers 4, Mertesacker 5, Bellerin 5 (Welbeck 6), Flamini 5, Ramsey 7, Cazorla 6, Sanchez 6, Oxlade-Chamberlain 6, Giroud 5 (Podolski 6)

Man of the Match: I dunno...none of ours, for sure. Bojan Krkic, I guess.