19 August 2017

Stoke 1-0 Arsenal: Vote for Player Ratings and MOTM!

A typically frustrating visit to Stoke came complete with rain, multiple blown calls against Arsenal, and a defensive breakdown that gave Stoke all the opening it needed. Jese's goal just after halftime allowed Mark Hughes's side to park the bus and dare us to get through. Jack Butland turned in an inspired performance, and we just couldn't find a way past. When Lacazette scored, his goal was waved off because several molecules of his heel—at least three, I don't want to understate how far off he was—were offside. It was a gutsy call by Marriner, I'm sure. He had an afternoon full of them. Well, the less said the better on this day. Let's get down to the poll to rate the lads' efforts...

15 August 2017

Arsenal to sell Oxlade-Chamberlain to Chelsea...for £35m?

Happy birthday, Alex, first off. The lad turns 24 today, and so it seems fitting that he gets what he
wants, which is, apparently, to join Chelsea. On its face, such a sale might make sense. In 200 appearances over six years, after all, he's scored just 20 goals despite being an attacking player for almost all of those appearances. His brief stint in the middle—where he most wants to play—was uneven and unconvincing. He's inconsistent. Error-prone. Injury-prone. Can't find a regular spot. At best, it seems, he's merely a good player to have in the squad. If Chelsea want him, Chelsea can have him, no?

11 August 2017

Arsenal 4-3 Leicester: Vote for Player Ratings/MOTM!

Talk about a sloppy, stirring start to the Prem season! Seven goals scored, and furious flurry from the Arsenal to claw back from a late 2-3 deficit to obliterate Leicester's hopes of a famous away-win. Lacazette opened inside of three minutes only to see Okazaki level, then Vardy put Leicester ahead. This is after just 29 minutes. Welbeck found another equalizer in stoppage time before the half, but Vardy struck again. That one looked to be the winner as Leicester withdrew almost everyone to defend the box. However, late goals from Ramsey and then Giroud came within two minutes to make it 4-3. It was a mess, but our lads refused to give up. Well, enough blather. Get down to the poll and rate their efforts!

Mahrez prepares his Arsenal audition as Arsène looks on...

And so it begins. From winning the FA Cup to winning the Community Shield defeating Chelsea each time we now embark on a Prem campaign with a bit of momentum, if not confidence. To open against Leicester only exacerbates the nerves, and, when you look at the 2017/18 Premier League betting odds, you'll notice that Arsenal aren't considered challengers. Most punters pick us to finish fifth, no higher. Yes, it's been nice to add Lacazette and Kolašinac, but there's been more talk around Mahrez joining Arsenal than about the actual opening of the season. So it goes. Will this be Mahrez's audition? There is still time enough in the transfer-window to consummate. For now, though, the more-pressing matter is to start the campaign properly. With that in mind, nothing less than a proper battering of the Foxes will do.

23 July 2017

An Ox in the transfer-shoppe: why Arsenal should quit Oxin' around...

Editor's Note: This week's guest-post comes from Emory Stern, who first took notice of Arsenal because of the Dutch-duo of Overmars and Bergkamp. He comes to us as an aficionado of beautiful, attacking football—in other words, he is a Gooner. In this post, he weighs in on the speculation regarding Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's future with the club. Have at it, Emory!

No team has the type of players who divide (and frustrate) fan and pundit opinion quite like Arsenal players.  One of the players who fits this bill perfectly is Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. The Ox was signed in 2011 and was full of promise. Initially deployed as a winger who can play either side, Arsène Wenger revealed that he saw Ox's future in the centre of the midfield and viewed him as a “Steven Gerrard” type of centre midfielder.  Fast forward to the conclusion of the 2017 season.  Ox was deployed in the FA Cup final victory versus Chelsea as the left wing back in our new-look, three centre-back system.  As a right footed player, he obviously did not look the natural fit there; however, he did the job and did it quite well, well enough to tantalise us with his future prospects.

16 July 2017

Time to sell Theo. Sorry. Just facin' facts...

With Alexandre Lacazette in, it's time to ask who's out, and the answer comes almost as fast as the player once ran: Theo Walcott. It may sound harsh and unsentimental, but the Theo Walcott Experiment has fizzled. Amid rumours of Everton offering £30m for the soon-to-be 29 year old, we should sell before whatever it is they're smoking over there wears off. In this market, the one in which Kyle Walker was sold at £50m and Romelu Lukaku at £75m, £30m might seem like a pittance. Theo did, after all, score 10 Prem goals (19 total) despite limited minutes. However, it's increasingly clear that we'll ever get a better offer, so it's time to move him on. Let's make it a classic "it's not you; it's me", at least to start.