Frank Stubbs: Not always pretty

Per Mertesacker was on target against Stoke last season

Sunday's result matched the one in our previous league match at Sunderland. The goals on the other hand could not have been more different. 'They all count' however, is a footballing cliché we hear all the time. Whatever way it was achieved I'll take those enormously important three points and move on.

Public transport in this country can be a bit messy on Sundays, mainly due to fewer services, particularly early morning, and also planned engineering work. Throw in cancellations and road closures due to a local triathlon and my personal journey to the home of football took some planning on this occasion!

Achieve our goal we did though and the full English breakfast and pre-match refreshment had us ready for the visit of Stoke.

I think it is safe to say the majority of our games contain some quite awesome football to watch, even if the result doesn't go our way. My memory also seems full of games against the likes of Stoke and Bolton where we have not come away with the result we wanted. With a change of Stoke manager and perhaps a little fatigue after our Champions League efforts, Sunday's game was very difficult to predict, despite any historic trends.

We had the perfect start of course and given his current form it just had to be Rambo looking the sharpest and most accurate in the box. A thoroughly satisfying opener for all.

Despite our early domination, Mark Hughes' team demonstrated a side to their game we haven't really seen by, enough evidence of how a change in management can change what we all come to expect.

An equaliser wasn't ideal as we all know but the BFG's towering header from another set-piece saw us go in with that all-important half-time lead.

As the game wore on it was apparent that our fatigue required us to dig in and get a result. Saying that we were dangerous every time we went forward. Another free-kick and goal from Bac, almost a carbon copy of our second goal and we were pretty much home and dry.

Good solid defending, marshalled by the quite superb Flammers, and three massive points were in the bag. Not particularly pretty, in fact a little scruffy at times, but to come out of that type of game with a win is deeply satisfying.

Leagues of the Premier and Champions variety have taken up our time so far but next we turn to the Capital One Cup and our trip to West Brom.

Another one to look forward to as other members of our squad get their chance to shine. Our quite magnificent away support will see well over 5,000 Gooners present too. I have no doubt we will make some serious noise!

Come on you mighty Gooners!



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