Stoke City vs Arsenal-The Bould Effect
Result: Arsenal 0 – Stoke 0
Ref: Lee Mason
I could of happily copied last weeks match report against Sunderland and I bet a lot of you, (with a few name changes and Pulis hatred added in), wouldn’t know the difference.
That’s because as you know, the performance and result were exactly the same. Another solid spirited dominate approach to the game that lacked the cutting edge in the final third. Simple, right? Wrong…It may sound simple but I think we can underestimate that. I can’t remember watching two games where we really were marvellous defensively. I want to talk about our defence, we all know what we need up top. With a bit of time Giroud, Podolski and Cazorla will be banging them in every week, and no, I object, that’s not ludicrousness optimism, it’s a fact. Form is temporary, class is permanent.
Let’s focus more then, on the Bould effect. I can’t see how it is a coincidence that Bould has stepped up and taken charge of all things defensive and more this summer and our current unbeaten record. Let’s be honest for us, 2 games without conceding is odd.
The performance against Stoke was a real eye opener for me, a real spanner in the works in my Arsenal way, brain. I began to think let’s walk-away with a 0-1. What’s more scary is that the team looked so solid that I thought if we scored once we would win. I couldn’t see them scoring, I could never see myself saying that after a trip to the Britannia! If one team in the league troubles us the most, in recent times, it’s Stoke. They’re style is, as Simon rightly put, agricultural, most of the 11 belong on a farm in Yorkshire somewhere, fixing combine harvesters and lifting hay bails, not playing our beautiful game. So how can our ‘boys’ as Evra infamously stated, dominate and boss the ‘men’ of the Premier League?
I can tell you how, ‘The Bould Effect’ …That’s how! Steve Bould has come into the team and stripped it back, taken the reigns, and dominated the coaching like never before under Arsene Wenger. He has the team playing solidly, tightly, for the first time in years I saw the whole back four raise their arms aloft at once…It almost brought a tear to my eye!
Again I came away from another goalless draw with feelings of optimism and pride. We bullied Stoke at the Britannia, we can take on anyone after that.
The goals will come, what excites me more is the clear change of ethos and style, we looking determined and strong defensively for the first time in years.
I’ll leave you with this fitting Arsene Wenger quote-
“Goals win you games, defensive wins you Championships.”