27 February 2015

Let's all laugh at Spurs and Scousers and—oh. Um...

So we were terrible on Wednesday. Despite getting one of the best-available draws in years, we botched it, delivering one of our worst performances in memory. However, we can always count on Tottenham to help us put things in perspective, to remind us that we could always have things just a bit worse. For us, it seems that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel: we're not Tottenham. For was woefully as we played on Wednesday, we can still wake up knowing that we're not rooting for a cock on a ball, or in the case of Liverpool, some random waterfowl choking on seaweed. Yes, we lost in atrocious fashion at home, but reports of our death are greatly exaggerated. There is after all still the second leg to be played. At the wrong end of London, and even further north to Liverpool, their European misadventures have come to an untimely end, with each club dumped from the Europa League. Let's all laugh, indeed.

26 February 2015

Arsenal 1-3 Monaco: Will this sequel be any better?

Be careful what you ask for, they say, for you just might get it. After several years in a row of drawing against dominant, top-shelf sides, it seemed we had finally drawn a side we could easily see off: AS Monaco, they of the four goals scored in the group-stage, a club that asked a 34-year old Dimitar Berbatov to lead its offense after loaning out Radamel Falcao, an offense so woefully inept that it has scored the fewest goals in Ligue 1 and only outscored three other clubs in that Champions League group-stage. Against this offense, we somehow found a way to repeat our own performances in this competition over the last three seasons, losing the first leg in embarrassing fashion and forcing ourselves to mount a heroic comeback in the second. Bold proclamation time: we're going to pull it off.

24 February 2015

Arsenal-AS Monaco tactical preview

In six matches, just one goal conceded in the Champions League group-stage—five clean-sheets. A stretch of nine Ligue 1 matches without conceding a goal, and a league-leading 19 goals conceded while keeping 13 clean-sheets in 25 matches. Truly, it seems like Arsenal are going to struggle to get past AS Monaco, a side that rarely, if ever, gives up a goal. And yet, for all of their stalwart-ness on defense, we're overlooking a deficiency at the other end—Monaco scored only four goals in the Champions League group-stage (only two clubs scored fewer, and they finished bottom of their groups) and have managed just 26 goals in those 25 Ligue 1 matches. This might be the most-stubborn defense we've faced in a while, but it's also the most-stupefied offense we'll see in some time.

23 February 2015

Rivals' Roundup #26: Where does Arsenal stand in the Prem?

Sorry to have missed last week’s roundup. The midweek fixtures, combined with a wicked cold, made things too complicated at my end. Good news, I’m more or less clear-headed; even better, it’s a great  damned good weekend to come back to. We won, of course, but Chelsea drew at home, Man U lost, Tottenham drew at home, and Southampton lost at home. All told, it’s hard to imagine a better weekend—well, okay, losses for Chelsea and Tottenham would have improved it, but let’s not get greedy. On to the roundup!