I've been reflecting upon Monday's night's great disappointment and I would imagine that many of you have been doing the same. It wasn't great but it wasn't awful, it was somewhere in between. Defensively we did ok and Mr Szczesny did far better than ok, overall Manchester United created very little of note. The frustrating thing was out lack of attacking threat, we gave the ball away far too cheaply time and time again, I know Manure pressed us well, but this was not the sole reason, we were just sloppy and slack going forward. None of our attacking players played well.
The balance of the side didn't appear right, it's hard to put an exact finger on the problem spot. Overall though we just didn't have enough of a cutting edge, both in terms of brute power and in terms of raw pace. It was generally just a bit easy for Manchester United to keep us shut out. Andrei Arshavin had a poor game after a couple of excellent performances in the league, Chamakh didn't do much, Rosicky didn't add enough either. Our full backs were kept deep by Manu's pressing and we didn't have enough width as a result. This was rather predictable, in retrospect in would have been wise to have started with more width, playing Theo on the right and dropping Nasri to the central midfield role.
Onto Stoke Rugby Football Club. They really are a bunch of neadtherthal cloggers both on and off the pitch, remembering their large scum-infested hooligan element. Pulis is one of those bitter twisted men who can never let anything drop, his inner burning hatred of anything non-English and non-leg crunching is never relaxed. Recent comments in the media portraying Shawcross as a victim are pathetic, it should be remember that this average clogger broke Aaron Ramsey's leg with a bad tackle. Shawcross has not yet apologised for this and he has never admitted that it was a bad tackle. The media and Pulis are both accomplices in this regard, the dishonest and manipulative stories that portray poor Shawcross as the victim continue while Ramsey works his way back to fitness, it is lucky for the brute Shawcross that he has not wrecked this young lad's career. Shawcross deserves no sympathy, he has repeatedly shown himself to be a weak and violent individual, he is most certainly no victim, unless one sees his whole existence as a nasty accident.
Pulis' lame comments on the number of cards Arsenal have picked up are misguided and stupid. Remember this is the same loser who wrote a letter to the FA to complain when another manager likened his team's playing tactics to a Rugby Club, it seems Pulis feels he is allowed to comment on everyone else but no one can criticise him. As shown at Old Trafford on Monday the card tally is a very poor indicator of a team's dirtiness, we picked up several very soft yellows, while the worst offences were ignored by the cowardly Webb. We see this routinely at the Emirates, Arsenal get a massively disproportionate number of yellow cards per foul compared to the opposition. Also look at our red cards this season, most of them have been very very soft and for two yellow cards, we have not had a player sent off for anything violent this season. Shut it Pulis you despicable tool.
I hope we can come up with a strong performance against Stoke. It would be good to see Szczesny, Djourou, Walcott and RVP start. Finally to the CL, we have drawn Barca, fate told us that was coming! It's a great test for us and I am sure they were will be a tougher proposition than we were last season, our new defensive unit is far more formidable that the Silvestre-inclusive unit of last season. If you want to win the biggest cups then you have to beat the best teams and that is precisely what we shall have to do. I am not quite yet sure of the dates, I am keen to travel to Barca and have a fifty fifty chance of making it depending on the date of the away fixture. Come on you Gunners!