Stoke City-Arsenal: Ugly Goals Earn the Points

illya mclellan@illya mclellan @illbehaviorNZSenior Analyst INovember 2, 2008

With the surprise result of the round being Stoke City's ungainly win over the highly fancied Arsenal, it has to be said that the goals that were scored in this match by the winning side were not the prettiest you would ever see.

Long throw-ins? There is nothing wrong with a long throw to gain an advantage in the area from the chaos that might ensue.

However, I cannot understand why the teams facing the possibility of these throw-ins do not have a more cohesive defensive plan for combating this simple tactic.

Should it not be just the same as preparing for a corner? I cannot see the reason a team of Arsenal's apparent skill can be undone in such a way.

The header from Ricardo Fuller was well taken but really it was what can be termed as an ugly goal.

It is of course a skill to be able to throw a ball that far, there are all sorts of variables when taking a throw that have to be taken into account.

The second goal by the home side, scored by Seyi Olofinjana, was probably the worst looking of the two by a long way. On watching the highlight there was only one thing to say—ugly.

As they say though, a goal is a goal and when the 'keeper has to turn around a pick the ball up out of his net it is not very often that he is doing it to take a goal kick.

Give me a passing move and a cross into the box to a head any day over this type of goal though. There is a lot to be said for a genuine move created by a team from their own half that sweeps down the field in search of an opportunity to score.

Stoke City by all accounts did play enough football to enjoy a famous victory. When the final whistle is gone and the points are tallied it is the team with the most goals that wins the match.

Arsenal should realistically still have gained the points in this fixture. What were they doing?

To blame Arsene Wenger for the mental weakness of his team in a situation like this is wrong. They are paid enough and treated well enough to not really have a viable excuse for a loss in a situation like this.

Stoke got the early goal and Arsenal got scared. They remembered conceding goals against Spurs and suddenly they were panicky. Where was the supposed genius of Fabregas to save them? Strangely not anywhere.

It could be said that though Arsenal lost because they conceded two goals from Rory Delap's long throws, but it was more that they let it get to them that decided the final result.

They should still have had the presence of mind to win this fixture. I am surprised they did not, even with ten players.