15 May 2016

Who gives a toss about St. Totteringham's Day?

Okay, I'll admit it—it's all but impossible to resist the glee and the joy that came from Sunday's results, in which we not only smashed Aston Villa 4-0 again but also witnessed, absolutely gob-smacked, as Tottenham out-Tottenhammed themselves by losing to ten-man Toon 5-1. Three of those goals came after Newcastle lost Mitrović to a red-card in the 67th minute. I've been saying for weeks that Tottenham couldn't handle the pressure of being chased, but even I could not have foreseen this meltdown. While I'm sure that we've all tucked into a tidy celebratory dinner of lasagna chased down by a few Newcastle Brown Ales, I hope I'm not ruining the party by suggesting we have bigger fish to fry.

14 May 2016

Aston Villa Preview: could Arsenal still top Tottenham?

So it comes down to this. On one hand, we've secured a top-four position with one match to play. On the other, there's still a glimmer of a chance that we could pip Tottenham to finish not third, but second. It would take a win for us and a loss for them, but stranger things have happened. Resist the urge to resurrect memories of 2013, when it was us facing Newcastle and Tottenham hoping for help. With roles reversed somewhat, do we dare to dream? Far better that we take care of our own business without worrying about results elsewhere. Much.

11 May 2016

A £30m Granit Xhaka move to Arsenal all but set in stone...

With Arsenal's top-four position assured, it appears that Arsène Wenger has already turned his attention to the transfer window, with stories of a £30m transfer of Borussia Mönchengladbach defensive midfielder Granit Xhaka all but done. Said to be a taller, flintier, more-durable version of Jack Wilshere—think perhaps Bastian Schweinsteiger or Xabi Alonso, but younger and, you know, mobile—Xhaka is said to be keen on a move to the Prem. With just a point from our match against Aston Villa needed to qualify for the Champions League outright, could we see the confirmation of Xhaka to Arsenal within the week?

09 May 2016

Čech, please: Has Petr Čech proved his worth to Arsenal?

When we signed Petr Čech this summer, it seemed like a master-stroke. Here we were nicking one of our most hated nemeses' classiest players, rescuing him from the Machivaellian Mourinho, achieving some semblance of justice after the Fàbregas fiasco, and adding to our points-haul a tidy 10 to 15 points, at least according to John Terry. However, in a season in which we've struggled mightily just to finish exactly where we always seem to finish—in a season in which Liverpool, Chelsea, and Man U have circled the drain by degrees—the best we can do is to finish on 71 points, four points less than last season. That this could see us finish second says a bit about the season. What does it say about the signing of Čech?