By Chris Toronyi
The Stoke game has become more about the circus around the game, rather than the simple game of football itself. The build-up all week consisted of discussion around the fans, their manager as well as Ramsey's return to the pitch where he received an injury from which he is still trying to recover. All this instead of the positive result we wanted. We needed.
I wish I could have watched the game live, but I had football practice at 6:30 on Sunday morning (the game kicked off at 5:30am.) Each water break consisted of me frantically checking the score on my phone and of course the emotional roller-coaster that is Twitter. Gotta say the commentary on Twitter didn't disappoint at all. It provided a highly emotional and super charged commentary of every play or chant. What did disappoint on Sunday were the result and what I felt was the utterly cowardly behavior of the home crowd.
Later in the day I finally had a chance to watch the game. My viewing was a bit emotional given the baggage I had picked up on the Twitter. We all know we had chances to win the game, we moved forward as we did against Sunderland last week, but the one comfort is knowing that both of these opponents came to play defense first and defense second. Offense was never a secondary priority in their game plans, but again the execution by the opponent delivered. That hurt to write it, but it's the truth.
But we had chances, the chemistry seemed a little better. More team oriented.
But look, we're a team that's in the discovery phase, we're not in a full-on relationship. We're what you call "dating." We're still trying to understand how we react in certain situations, how we like to receive the ball and most importantly understanding what each player doesn't like. It's all about putting teammates in familiar positions and allowing them to succeed and deliver positive results. There were glimpses of brilliance, but there were also moments where we looked a bit off. It's expected given the maturity of the relationship.
I will again say that our three new signings look very good, especially our new midfield general Santi. He's such a treat to watch both on and off the ball. He's in complete control of this balance and touch throughout the game. We're all very blessed to have him wearing red and purple.
The goals will come, the full points will come too. We need to be patient with this new group of talented individuals. I'm not trying to be preachy, just logical and rational. Hate may be easy but it's just illogical. Just look at booing of Ramsey.
And please don't forget to listen to The Arsenal America Podcast this week with John Cross of the Mirror and Tim Stillman from Arseblog.
Thanks for reading. Thanks for listening.
'Stateside Gooner' Chris Toronyi is a longtime Arsenal supporter and the host of The Arsenal America podcast, available every Thursday evening at ArsenalAmerica.com. You can read more of Chris' thoughts on Twitter.
The views expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect those of Arsenal Football Club or Arsenal Broadband Ltd.
Aug. 21: Game on!
Aug. 10: Arsenal Ambition
July 26: The right silverware
July 6: Anti-anti-football
June 28: New additions
June 20: Failing chemistry
June 13: Summer school
May 8: Not the time to get ill
May 2: End of season variables
April 24: Making a point
April 18: Different kinds of tired
April 12: Emotionally spent
March 29: No doubt
March 23: An amazing run
March 13: Mad Men, mad season
March 6: Rush of emotion
February 29: Pride and joy
February 14: An evolving Arsenal
February 22: Anger is beautiful
February 14: An evolving Arsenal
February 8: A welcome display
February 1: The value of value
January 31: FA Cup magic
January 24: We have to be supportive
January 19: This is a massive game