The Britannia Stadium is a true house of horrors for Arsenal in recent seasons and that continued somewhat on Sunday during its 0-0 draw with Stoke City.
While Arsenal fans will be feeling frustrated by the lack of goals to start this campaign, there is plenty to be positive about. First and foremost is the quality of Arsenal's defense so far. Steve Bould's appointment has definitely been a positive influence on the defensive work and the pairing of Per Mertesacker and Thomas Vermaelen looks solid. The back line has looked surprisingly organized so far, and considering Stoke's ability to convert from set plays, the Gunners held them at bay admirably.
Getting a draw in such a hostile environment should be an accomplishment for Arsenal. Now that the game is over, head coach Arsene Wenger and company should feel relieved they don't have to visit again until next season. With Potter fans chanting things such as "break his leg, break his leg," referring Aaron Ramsey's horrific injury there a couple seasons ago, it's quite obvious Arsenal wasn't welcome at all.
Lukas Podolski was little better than invisible last week against Sunderland but was much more involved agaisnt Stoke City. His best chance at a goal came in the eighth minute when he fired from the left side of the goal at about seven yards. But at the last minute a defender dived in and deflected the ball, even though he appeared to touch the ball with his arm. Even though he was subbed out again for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, his performance was much better so Gunner fans should be happy about that.
Another one of the new boys, Olivier Giroud, had many chances, including a shot from about 40 yards in the 89th minute which just sailed over the crossbar. Scoring a goal seems difficult for Giroud at the moment, but once the first one comes, many more will follow. The first is always the most difficult.
Despite the promising play, Arsenal is suffering from the lack of an experienced superstar in front of the goal, and that's where Robin van Persie is missed. The final third is where Arsenal is struggling and that's because there are no experienced Premier League forwards to drive the ball home. But that'll be fixed in time, so no need to panic just yet.
Arsenal will travel to Anfield next Sunday to take on Liverpool. Hopefully then the Gunners will be able to secure its first victory of this young season.