So what will this year bring for Arsenal? Will it be yet another year of stasis – the ground hog season which includes stylish victories against the minnows and cuffing form the big boys? We sincerely hope not. But things need to change. If Arsene Wenger can’t accept that Arsenal need more steel in their side then perhaps it’s time for the Frenchman to stand aside.
The worst thing about the stasis is that Arsene Wenger seems to fall into the trap of thinking that the team is progressing every time they win a few winnable games. But then the big defeat comes and he once more resembles a mad man being carted away by the authorities.
Anyway, his team faces a plucky and surprisingly technical Stoke side this weekend (Sunday 11th Jan Kick Off 1330 Local Time).
The fact that it’s at The Emirates means that Arsenal should win. But no team can get complacent about facing a Stoke side who look to be really enjoying their football.
Arsenal have 11 players crocked right now but The Ox, Welbeck, Sanogo, Ozil and Aaron Ramsey may all be fit enough to feature at some stage this weekend. Olivier Giroud is also back after suspension. Arsene Wenger said of his midfield after the Hull game:
“Mathieu Flamini could be back, Aaron Ramsey has a little chance. Nobody else,”