17 November 2017

Pick Your Poison: Harry Kane? Mike Dean? (A Tottenham Preview...)

For the first time in living memory, in what is surely one of the signs of the Apocalypse, we finished below Tottenham. There was no St. Totteringham's Day. London, it seemed, would be white. Somehow, however, the sun still rose. Pigs did not acquire any aerial abilities. Hell, sources, say, did not freeze over. Certain realities, it is true, must be acknowledged. We cannot blithely (arrogantly?) assert our superiority. Truth be told, Tottenham look like the better squad at the moment, and we go invite our new overlords on Saturday if not with open arms then at least with eyes wide open.

05 November 2017

Man City 3-1 Arsenal—Vote for Player Ratings and MOTM!

Arsenal played far better than the scoreline suggests, as Man City needed a penalty (which was a bit harsh but the right call) to get to 2-0. After Lacazette came on and scored in the second half, the game looked like it would be up for grabs as Arsenal looked energized and determined. However, City found a third despite both players involved being offside. Ah, well. In the end, this looked like one most of us would have written off as a loss. So be it. We played tolerably well and will feel hard done by the referee. In the end, though, we lacked the quality and concentration we needed against a side of this quality. Be gentle as you get down to the poll.

02 November 2017

Arsenal 0-0 Red Star—Vote for Player Ratings/MOTM!

To be honest, Red Star gave as good as they got, coming uncomfortably close several times only to be denied by Matt Macey, who turned in a fine performance. Going forward, we rarely if ever threatened, with Wilshere coming closest only to see his tame flick cleared off the line. Still, in a match from which we only needed a point, and against an opponent all too happy to play for a draw, I can think of worse ways to spend my time. Faint praise? Perhaps. We're through to the Europa League group-stage, thanks in part to FC Köln's 5-2 demolition of BATE Borisov. Fine and dandy. We may still have a bit of work to do before we can win Group H, but that's another question for another day. Let's get down to the poll to rate the lads...

30 October 2017

Resurrection of the Welsh Jesus—Rambo II: this time, it's personal.

Almost lost amidst all of the other sturm und drang of the early season—whether it's the hullabaloo over Alexis's potential move to Man City, Özil's flirtations with Mourinho and Man U, Cazorla's Sisyphean struggle with injury—has been the quiet but occasionally emphatic resurgence—nay, resurrection—of a player almost forgotten. It's more than a bit ironic, perhaps paradoxical that a player once all too prone to trying to draw too much attention to himself has found his resurrection instead by putting his nose to the grindstone and just work. Gone, for the most part, is the pointless flair, the "cute for the sake of cute" flicks and backheels and rabonas. Gone, it seems, is the pompadour. In their places has been almost-pure hustle, grit, and determination. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you...Aaron Ramsey II.

28 October 2017

Arsenal 2-1 Swansea—vote for player-ratings/MOTM!

Arsenal dominated most of the first half only to see Swansea's Clucas score on a counter, and it looked like Swansea's defensive set-up would be enough to keep the clean sheet. However, we came storming out of halftime with two goals, as Kolašinac scored during a scramble and then assisted Ramsey moments later. There was a ten-to-fifteen minute stretch there during which it looked like Arsenal would blow the game wide-open. In the end, though, things settled down into a comfortable rhythm, more or less, or Swansea never really rose to the occasion after that. It's three points in the bag against a club we've struggled to beat in the past, and it's enough to see us climb into the top four, if only temporarily. Good enough for now. Let's get down to the poll to rate the lads!

27 October 2017

Arsenal vs. Swansea: cakewalk or banana-peel?

Swansea. They've been a bit of a banana-peel over the years, one of those squads that we really should do better against than we have since they were promoted in 2011. However, they've frequently given just as good as (if not better than) they've gotten, even going so far as to win at the Emirates in two of their last three visits. As such, we'd do well to look past their recent form and focus on our own, which, Everton not withstanding, has hardly inspired confidence.