FA Cup Photos: Stoke 3-1 Arsenal – Ricardo Fuller ruins Sol Campbell’s day

Ollie Irish

25th, January 2010


By Ollie Irish

Whisper it, but now that Arsenal have more than a sniff of the Premier League title, I don’t think Arsene Wenger will be too dismayed to be out of the FA Cup. He won’t be dancing a jig either, but his selection of a less-than-full-strength starting XI for this match showed clearly where his priorities lie: with the Prem and the Champions League.

That’s not to denigrate Stoke, who played a fine match, especially in the second half. Ricardo Fuller had easily his best game of the season – he was a real handful for Arsenal’s defence, which included Sol Campbell making his second Gunners debut. Sol did okay but you wonder if Wenger will trust him with more than a substitute’s role in the heavyweight league competitions – I guess not, as on this evidence, the veteran centre-back would struggle to cope with quicker forwards than Fuller.

Photos from the Britannia Stadium:


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Arsenal's Sol Campbell warms up prior to kick-off

Photos: PA

Posted in Arsenal, FA Cup, Featured, Photos, Stoke City

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  1. Chringle says:

    I thought Sol played really well, what he lacked in pace he more than made for with instinct and positioning. He was man of the match for me until the 50-60 minute mark when he started to fade quite badly.

    Wenger really should have taken him off with about half an hour to go, as Fuller – then Tuncay – were giving him the run around in the closing stages.

  2. Tom Jones says:

    Great for The Potters to exorcise the Arsenal FA Cup hoodo of the early Seventies.
    We were by far the better team.
    Bring on Moneybags City!

  3. Goonerbeall says:

    OK, we lost to a team which wanted it more than us and therefore played better which describe how they deserved a win than us. But look closer and wish we do something about people we entrust to man our goal. Almunia’s concentration leave him vulnerable to flapping and conceding silly goals but Fabianski is a donkey that will never become a horse. Mannone should deputise to someone like Akinifeev or we will continue to lag behind.

  4. Mrs RvP says:

    Goonerbeall: you need to wind your neck in or support another team. We lost because we had 9 injuries you plonker. Dont you understand anything, he didnt have much choice in putting out the team he did……boy you idiots really annoy me at times

  5. Jonboy says:

    Arsenal were lucky not to concede more (that clear penalty, plus several other chances). Arsenal are still coming undone at Stoke because:

    a) they still panic at the long throws. Arsenal are pretty much the only team in the league not to have worked them out by now, and you can’t blame Stoke for taking advantage of the fact that every time Delap chucks in the ball, the Arsenal defence run around like headless chickens.
    b) they’re not tough enough. The Arsenal side is full of talented players who play pretty football but are afraid of getting stuck in. It’s not a case of playing dirty, but of actually having a physical presence; of meeting them with strength and determination. That’s why other big teams – most notably Man Utd – haven’t struggled at all against Stoke: they match them physically THEN outclass them with ball skills. (On a side note, that’s why Sir Alex has had no complaints about Stoke’s style of play – because his team can deal with it. Wenger’s constant complaints about physicality and referees and the state of the pitch only serve to detract from the real issue, which is that the current Arsenal side doesn’t have the balls to cope with a team like Stoke.)

    Stoke played well yesterday. The second goal in particular was outstanding, and whilst there were several very good individual performances (especially Fuller and Etherington), it was an excellent team performance too.

    By comparison, Arsenal looked lacklustre. It’s time for Arsenal to accept that at least one of the following is true:
    1) Wenger was disrespecting the FA Cup by playing a weakened team
    2) Wenger was disrespecting Stoke by playing a weakened team
    3) The Arsenal squad players just aren’t as good as people have been making out

  6. Alan B'Stard M P says:

    Wenger should have played his strongest side for the cup game. Our best chance for a trophy. AW is a moron

  7. Alan B'Stard M P says:

    Wenger should have played his strongest side for the cup game. Our best chance for a trophy. AW is a moron

    Wenger is direspecting the FA cup and the opposition

  8. Alita Gick says:

    this expense the to web site?

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