Well, that’s exactly what we didn’t want, after last season’s win at the Bet365 stadium you would have thought that we’d have broken the curse that is Stoke away. However that was not the case, although our new signing Alexandre Lacazette managed to rattle one into the back of the net, it was ruled offside by less than an inch. Other than that chance we didn’t really threaten Stoke’s goal, Danny Welbeck had a few chances but like normal his finishing was abysmal.
There were strange decisions by Wenger all round this weekend, firstly in defence with the decision to play Alex Oxlade Chamberlain at left-wing back and Hector Bellerin in the other wing back position, both of which weren’t their preferred positions. This left us with Nacho Monreal and Sead Kolasinac, both of which are natural left backs at centre-back.
Why Wenger didn’t start Per Mertesacker, who played sublimely in the F.A cup final at the end of last season, in the centre-back role instead of one of the left backs amazes me. It was odd to also drop Rob Holding out of the squad altogether as well. He did have a bad game in the 4-3 win against Leicester in the first fixture of the season, but he’s still young and he should be allowed to have one bad game, which in the end didn’t cost us the three points.
Calum Chambers was completely left out the squad altogether, whether that means his Arsenal career is coming to the end is yet to be seen. He had a good season at Middlesborough last season and with Gabriel signing for Valencia it would have seemed that Chambers would be the obvious backup if there were changes to the back three.
It became obvious towards the end of the match that we were missing Alexis Sanchez, who should be back for our next fixture against Liverpool. As there was no one in an Arsenal shirt that brought the game to the potters, in a game that we’d expect the likes of Ozil to step up, we instead saw him pulling out of every 50/50 he faced.
After the game against Leicester I thought there was positives that we could take and move onto the next game, but now I’m not too sure it’ll be the fairytale season we were hoping for. Anyway if we can’t beat Stoke away from home than I’m sure Anfield this weekend will be a lot of fun, the game which I’ll preview later in the week.