It’s an unavoidable, inescapable apprehension that is now hiding under Wenger’s overcoat or perhaps on the wrinkles of his face: how will Arsenal survive this season? The team’s best have left their spots behind and put on new jerseys. The tally table shows the gunners at a dismal level of 12th position. But there is more pity than shock at the current standing of the team. Arsenal is just not that team anymore.
Home games have always meant higher adrenaline rushes and greater motivation but even that wasn’t enough to get Arsenal to score a goal. Not a single. It would have been the only way to prove that the team would sustain even after the departure of Van Persie. But at this point Arsenal needs to score to sustain its own name rather than proving to the world of its capability.
The game ended with a 0-0 draw against Stoke. It was not all struggle for Arsenal as they managed to dominate the game but it failed to show on the scoreboard. It was an aggravating game, more for Arsenal as they try to move the team forward without their favorite forward. They had the greater possession the entire game but the ball never quite made it inside the goalposts. It was clear: Robin van Persie was missed.
Arsene Wenger had made a couple of changes in the team. The first was putting Theo Walcott to the bench and the second was replacing injured Wojciech Szczesny with Vito Mannone. Nevertheless the game was as it is. Wenger, on the other hand, has more homework to do in deciding his attack lineup.
There were a few who kept the momentum, and possibly the interest of the spectators, going. Cazorla was quick on his feet the entire game. Then there was Santi Cazorla, the latest signing, who tried all his efforts to push and play. But just like the goalless draw against Sunderland last week, this too ended in the same.
But as it reached half time and halftime became full-time, both the sides settled for a no-goal play. It was just not a game to cheer for. Not for the entire time at least.