22 November 2014

Now that's a result that changes nothing whatosever.

And do we lurch from one calamity to the next, with this latest one apparently another nail in the coffin of Arsène's tenure. Turning around, it doesn't seem like there are too many more nails left.
We're off to our worst start in three decades, far and away our worst start under Arsène. We've one only four matches while losing three and, if Liverpool and Tottenham manage to pull off some thumping victories on Sunday, winning by seven or eight goals respectively, we could end the weekend as low as tenth place. In the process, of course, we have lost to a hated rival that is itself mired in its own season of mediocrity, a result that seems to symbolize everything that is going wrong at Arsenal. We can't score. We can't defend. We can't win the big matches. We pass and pass and pass and pass. Key players get injured. All of the symbols and portents seem to be aligning against us.

Gunners 1-2 Man U: Gaper's block, with video...

A freakishly unlucky own-goal from Kieran Gibbs, assisted by a helpful shove from Marouane Fellaini, undid an otherwise dominant performance from the Gunners, who failed to adequately test David "fractured finger" de Gea, shooting directly to him time and time again instead of a few feet to his left or right. By the time Rooney found himself through on goal against Damian "but I helped us beat Reading" Martinez, the outcome was all but assured, and only a 95th minute goal from Olivier Giroud salvaged a 1-2 scoreline. Long periods of dominance, highlighted by moments of sublimity, come to naught in the video below. Keep the antacids at the ready...

21 November 2014

Can Arsenal do its part to restore the lustre to this rivalry?

Going into the start of the season, this fixture stood out as a finish line of sorts, a marker against which we could measure our progress after roughly one-third of the season gone. The latter half of this still stands although for reasons a bit different from what we anticipated: instead of vying with Man U for supremacy atop the Prem, we each need a win from this match just to keep alive our hopes of finishing somewhere in the top five.  Both clubs have been decimated by injuries, but unlike Man U, it's starting to look like we're on the mend. Giroud is available, and even if Walcott has suffered a setback, it looks like Alexis and Welbeck will come through late fitness tests. Despite a few disappointing results at our end, it's starting to feel like we're about to find some form after staggering and sleepwalking through the first third of the season.

20 November 2014

Will Welbeck find vindication against "Vanchester?"

From early in his childhood, he supported the club. He dreamed of playing for it, adorned his room in that famous shade of red and trained with some of its legends. And then, it went sour. He was played out of position. Slated for failing to live up to his potential. Derided for disappearing in the big games. Meanwhile, other, bigger names had come along to displace him, shouldering him from his preferred central position, out to the wing, but he did what he could, tracking back, creating chances, doing more of the donkey-work that the prima donnas wouldn't deign to touch with a ten-foot pole. When the final indignity came in the form a of £20m loan-deal for Falcao, the writing was on the wall: we don't want you anymore. In short order, Danny Welbeck was sold on, deemed superfluous to needs, making room for the fancier if more fragile van Persie and Falcao. Saturday offers him a chance to show his childhood club just what it's missing out on—will Welbeck seize the chance?