Arsenal suffer a 1-0 defeat at the hands of the new enemy, we have some post match reaction from four fantastic follows on Twitter. Sorry that you are not answering fun questions but thank you for taking the time out to give us your views. Here they are....
Disappointing result to say the least. Where in your opinion did it go wrong for us?
@GoonerChris1886 - We know what to expect when playing against Stoke, they made poor challenges and got away with quite a bit but that doesn't take away that it was a poor performance from start to finish. There was a real lack of urgency until Stoke scored and to be honest the Sunderland game and first half hour vs Bayern aside we've been poor for weeks now. Stoke defended well and Arsenal just didn't have the answers to create enough clear chances and when the big chance did come at the end it highlighted the failure to bring in another striker, not just in January but the Summer too.
@GoonerKal - I think it went wrong at the very beginning with the team Wenger had selected. We've shown a lot of promise when we break with pace, sadly Theo's injury has had a detrimental effect on our style of play, so very surprised that we didn't see Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain/Serge Gnabry start. We looked far too narrow at times and as I stated on twitter, languid.
@MoHoopsN5 - Sharpness of passing & movement were really lacking in the final third today. It's easy to criticise the line up in hindsight but that 11 could & should have been enough. We have huge games coming up & games like today are where our squad chips in.
Also we were very unlucky with the pen decisions & potential red cards that didn't go our way too. That game had 0-0 all over it.
We struggled to create clear cut chances throughout the 90 minutes, why do you think this was?
@GoonerChris1886 - The two players that give the team pace with Walcott out injured both started on the bench. The overall performance was poor but there is a serious lack of pace going forward at the moment.
@GoonerKal - Our passing and movement was a far cry from the quality we saw against Sunderland, last week. We weren't direct enough. We almost looked frightened by Stoke.
@MoHoopsN5 - Well, only 5 teams have a better home record than Stoke for a reason, MU & CFC were turned over there & i did expect a very tough outing, which we got. They kept a relatively high line which we couldn't exploit, & denied us the clichéd 'space between the lines'. So they do deserve credit, however to not even fashion one big until injury time (I think) has to go down as our fault more than theirs.
Which Arsenal player stood out for you positively?
@GoonerChris1886 - The OX made a decent impact when he came on and showed again what we were lacking throughout the game. Perhaps he should have started, or at least come on much earlier.
@GoonerKal - I'd have to agree with my followers and say Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was the stand out player, simply for giving us a smidgen of hope in the last fifteen minutes. Before that (and the penalty), we looked dead cert on a 0-0.
@MoHoopsN5 - Well it's clearly a defensive player, a toss up between any of the back 4 I feel, as stoke barely had a single decent chance, according to my memory anyway. I'll go with Per.
Which Arsenal player had a less than impressive afternoon?
@GoonerChris1886 - Giroud, after a mini break came back last week and put in a fantastic performance but he wasn't able to follow it up today. He was poor and offered next to nothing throughout the 90 minutes.
@GoonerKal - I'm becoming increasingly frustrated with Jack Wilshere & Lukas Podolski. Not sure whether their performances are as a result of the players round them, even so, I'd expect them to step up in a game of this nature.
@MoHoopsN5 - For me Giroud, Podolski, Rosicky & Wilshere were all very poor today. On Giroud, I'm not his biggest fan & he was quite honestly awful today. However I'm a bit wary of over-criticism as I feel he's become an easy lightening rod amongst fans, while others get a MUCH easier ride. Many will of course forget he got 2 gls & an assist in just our last game. Also he was kicked by those orcs a number of times & got zero protection from the ref.
Wilshere has such wild fluctuations in his performances it's starting to worry me. He went from one of his sloppiest performances of the season vs MU to one of his best vs Bayern. Maybe has to deal better with persistent fouling & lack of ref protection too.
Podolski has his limitations, but also his weapons too, a bit like Theo, we need to utilise those more. Simple as that really.
Finally, what do you think of our title chances at this stage?
@GoonerChris1886 - The title does look to be slipping but it only takes a result or two in our favour to swing the race back our way. We would need to go away to Chelsea and not lose and probably beat City and hope that other results go our way. Impossible? No but it would need Arsenal to find a way of performing in games that we seem to come up short in continuously in recent years. If Arsenal want to win the league then it's going to take a near perfect record from now to May.
The FA Cup is our most likely chance of a trophy this season.
@GoonerKal - It's starting to look highly unlikely. Arsenal football club (players & coaching staff) need to take a long hard look at themselves to instill some consistency in to our performances and seek an alternative plan of attack if the original plan isn't working. Teams around us are being clinical and it's hurting us.
@MoHoopsN5 - This doesn't help at all, but I feel we have some big games coming up & we still have the chance to claw back the deficit. We're still right in it. I believe if anyone finishes above us, it'll be the champions.