25 November 2014

Rivals' Rundown, Week 12—where does Arsenal stand in the Prem?

This weekend saw things seem to go almost entirely off the rails, with only a Crystal Palace win over Liverpool to keep Gooners from complete despair. Aside from our own depressing loss to Man U, it seems everyone else got a positive result. The picture gets muddier as we might have to wonder whether Newcastle, who have now won at White Hart Lane and the Etihad (league cup, that one, but still…) while rolling to six straight wins. I’m going to hold off for now if only to While it’s still true that no one bar Chelsea is playing well, it seems that only we and Liverpool are fading while key rivals get their footing. If we don’t get our own act together and sort the issues that continue to plague us, well, the WOBs will win the argument. Whether it proves Pyrrhic is another debate for another day. For now, let’s take a look at how things turned out this weekend.

24 November 2014

Michael Brown, Darren Wilson, and the perils of supporting Gunners...

I have to confess up front that I am close to tears at the moment, and it has nothing whatsoever to do with our loss to Man U, our frustrations at our faltering form, or my concerns over rumors regarding Wilshere's ligaments. I have spent most of my adult life teaching in Chicago, Illinois, mostly in its roughest and toughest neighborhoods, and the events in Ferguson, Missouri—an unarmed black teenager was shot by a police officer—cut awfully close to the bone. I have worked closely with young black and brown men who have had similar brushes with the law. To date, I have not seen any of them suffer a fate similar to Michael Brown's. There have been some close calls. Arrests. Hospitalizations. Jail sentences. But no deaths. So far. When Officer Darren Wilson shot Michael Brown, my mind raced back to the hundreds of students who share a background similar to Brown's. With Monday's announcement that there be no trial, my heart broke. Among the many other reactions I have each and every time there is a similar incident, one of the more-trivial issues I have to confront is what it means to support a club known as the Gunners.

Fourth form maths: What'll it take for us to finish fourth?

Amid the dross and rubble left behind after Saturday's debacle, we've now slumped to our worst start in some 32 years. 17 points from 12 matches means that we've only managed to collect a meagre 47.2% of the points available. Over the course of a 38-match season, that would leave us with 53.8 points—good perhaps for a mid-table finish, which would almost certainly end our streak of Champions League appearances, among other outcomes. Would it spell the end of Arsène's time as manager? Perhaps. We're already talking about this as the worst start in more than three decades and our worst start under Arsène. However, rather than poring over the details of the past, let's take a look at what the future holds and what get a sense of what's possible.

23 November 2014

Three things Arsenal MUST do to salvage its season!!!

With only 26 fixtures left, the final run-in is already here and there is simply no time to waste, no margin for error, not when a mere 78 points are still available. Having played to this point like a Championship side just happy to have been promoted, a yawning, unbridgeable chasm separates us from Champions League play—two points. Two. If that figure doesn't set your faces to stun, well, have a seat and put your hair in curlers for this one: We're eight points off the pace set by Man City, who sit second with 25 points. Never before in the history of anything ever has any side closed such a gap. Heck, that eight-point gap might as well lay down and take a nap, becoming the symbol for infinity along the way. Before that can happen, though, here's a SHOCKING recipe for how Arsenal can save its season for complete and utter annihilation.