Frank Stubbs: Deserved… or not?

12/13: Arsenal 1-0 Stoke City - Lukas Podolski

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Deserved… or not?

Midweek without a game has been a total rarity in recent weeks and, even though we haven't been involved as a club, a lot of our squad have found themselves playing another match. As always, we hope our players have been wrapped in cotton wool, but there is no doubt it is nice to hear the plaudits that have followed some of the performances.

Saturday afternoon served up the battle we all expected and fortunately we came through with not only a performance, but also the three points we thoroughly deserved. With time running out however, the countless chances that came our way coupled with the blocks and saves performed by Stoke made it look more and more like it could be a day of total frustration.

That all-important winning goal did come eventually of course, even if it was laced with a degree of good fortune and controversy in some quarters. For all the attention it brought, I personally have no problem with the officials talking in the heat of the moment as long as the correct decision is made in the end. With Poldi's strike clearly deflecting in off a Stoke defender, the right conclusion was drawn and we'll take the three points from a tough day at the office.

What a performance does 'deserve' can be up for debate at times. The post-match interviews suggested our visitors' felt they had done enough to come away with something from the game. Certainly they defended admirably and in great numbers but with Chezz having very little to do throughout, it seems kind of strange to me.

Don't get me wrong, in a cup tie when an unfancied side defends for their lives and comes away with a result, we all find ourselves saying they deserved something from the game due to their incredible effort, bravery and desire.

When it comes to Premier League matches however, it is a level playing field from the first minute. If one team constantly attacks and dosen’t win the game as a result of good defending, great goalkeeping, missed chances and sheer bad luck, does that not mean they didn't get

what they deserved? I will praise our visitors for their dogged determination and blanket defending but for me we got exactly what we should from Saturday, three precious points.

The long trip to the north-east comes next as we take on Sunderland. Twice we went there last year and the results could not have been more opposite. Only a top performance will give us a chance of coming away with a win.

For my travelling party a night out locally will follow, let's hope its accompanied by those feelings only brought on by a victory!

Come on you mighty Gunners.



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