Earlier this year, I got into something of slanging match with a Stoke fan.

The subject in question was whether Charlie Adam is a thug or not. I call it a slanging match, but to honest it was pretty one-sided: I tweeted him four pictures showing stills of Adam in action, caught at the moment of impact mid shocking tackle, and his response was that Adam can’t be a thus because not all those pictures were taken while he played for Stoke. Seriously.

He’s “got history”

Now, I hate to point out the obvious, but the fact that he has made these shocking tackles for other clubs as well as Stoke doesn’t make him any less of a thug – in fact, it probably makes him more of one, since it shows a consistency of filth which is agnostic of club.

Let’s put it this way, if you manage to stir the Guardian into writing this stinging piece entitled “Charlie Adam’s Hall of Shame” then you can’t really have a leg to stand on, just like some of your victims.

All of this is to say that Charlie Adam is a fairly disgusting footballer who has little regard for the health and safety of fellow professionals, and has the cheek to claim innocence on each occasion, blasting the FA for not overturning his bans, and complaining that there is “no point appealing“.

The irony is, he will be missing this weekend’s game because of one of these moments of thuggery.

Unable to help himself

A couple of seasons ago, it was a match against us which saw him pick up a three game ban for stamping on Olivier Giroud, but this time around he will be unable to endanger any of our men since he picked up a straight red card against West Brom last time out, despite his team already being reduced to ten men.

The real conundrum, though, is who will replace him as chief thug. Adam himself picked up the baton from “victim” Ryan Shawcross of leg-breaking fame, after the Stoke skipper underwent back surgery which is keeping him out of the first two months of the season, although there is an argument to say that the pair were sharing “rough them up” duties already.

There’s no doubting that a Stoke side lacking Adam and Shawcross is a less concerning prospect from an injury perspective, but it may actually make a stronger footballing side. The trouble is that despite the recent influx of technical players, Stokelona are still likely to come off second best in a footballing contest with Arsenal, and so someone is likely to channel their “inner Adam” or discover their “hidden Shawcross” in an attempt to upset the outcome.

But who will it be?

The most likely candidate seems to be Marko Arnautovic. He’s already earned his stripes for shoulder charging Debuchy in the back while off the pitch, causing his to crash into the advertising hoarding at the Emirates last season and dislocate his shoulder. A meaningless apology did little to fix the issue.

Another popular contender is Jonathan “spit at me and you’d be eating through a straw” Walters but in truth the only Stoke player I’m prepared to give any benefit of the doubt towards is Glenn Whelan, after the midfielder showed humanity the like of which his teammates have presumably never understood as Aaron Ramsey lay stricken on the Britannia turf back in 2010, something which the player himself acknowledged.

Ultimately, the hope is that with five Champions League winners in their squad, Stoke will finally come to the Emirates and attempt to kick the ball rather than our players.
Seeing is believing though.

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Helen is a season ticket holder with a desperate addiction to both chocolate and the Arsenal. It's really just a question of which kills her first! Since making the (near) fatal mistake of setting up home with a Tottenham season ticket holder, life has become much more complicated. She finds solace by writing for Daily Cannon and cleansing herself of all traces of Spurs on Twitter @nellypop13.