04 April 2015

Arsenal 4-1 Scousers: Vote for Player Ratings/MotM!

A bright five minutes saw Simon Mignolet make two or three vital saves, after which it started to look like Liverpool would end up getting the first goal. Then, Arsenal erupted for three goals in eight minutes—Bellerín cutting into the box to curl home, Özil from a set-piece curling around the wall, and Alexis with a stunning strike right through Liverpool's heart—and we'd all but erased those 20 minutes at the Kop. Jordan Henderson squeezed a penalty past Ospina and it started to feel if not look like a comeback was brewing. In the 84th minute, though, Emre Can picked up a second yellow for scything Welbeck from behind, and ten-man Liverpool couldn't find any more finger-holds. Giroud nailed the coffin shut with a laser-beam to make it 4-1 (our 16th goal in stoppage-time this season). It was a brilliant result that elevates us, however briefly, to second place.

Bask in that while it lasts; before you go, rate our players' efforts in the poll below.

Arsenal-Liverpool Preview: Are we really fully fit? Diaby, too?

Okay, okay, so Arsène hasn't quite ruled anyone out, but, in what might just be one of the signs of the Apocalypse, we’ll square off on Saturday against a Liverpool squad that will be missing more players than we will. I’m not sure that this is legal. Aside from where the two clubs stand on the table, all of the talk will have to be about how Rodgers will set up without Skrtel and Gerrard (both suspended), Ibe, Jones, and Flanagan; and without Sturridge, Sterling, or Lallana, who may or may not be suffering from interlullitis but could experience miraculous recoveries by Saturday.

03 April 2015

Oi, Scousers! Get yer knickers in a twist over this...

Dear Scousers,
I come in peace, or more likely, you've arrived here suspicious at best. Lay down your arms and trust me when I mean what I say. I'm not here to wind you up—much—and any attempts at that are meant as playful banter, nothing more, nothing less. As you and I both know, we have a bit a of a brouhaha on our hands, one that means a great to both our clubs. Should you win, the fight for a top-four spot gets tighter than Dick's hatband. If we win,we get to brag about climbing to second. Let's both leave a draw out of this as I think we both agree it would help neither of us. What's it going to be, then?

01 April 2015

Raheem Sterling's channeling a van Persie-esque "little boy"...

Stop me if you've heard this one before: talismanic striker grows frustrated at his club's trophy-drought and flagging Prem fortunes and openly courts other clubs, denying financial motives and emphasizing a desire to win silverware. If the first name that came to mind was Robin van Persie, congratulations! You're a Gooner to the bone. If the first name that came to mind was Raheem Sterling, well, erm, congratulations again. It seems that Sterling, who called it "quite flattering" to be linked to Arsenal, has taken a page from van Persie's book. It's not about the money, even if it is; it's about the silverware. Should we at Arsenal actually open our arms, hearts, and pocketbook to the man?

Geordie On The Wing: A life cut tragically short...

You'd be hard-pressed to find a footballer who played with as passion or dedication as George Armstrong, who made 621 appearances over 17 years for Arsenal before going to coach the Reserves for ten more. Tragically, Armstrong suffered a brain haemorrhage at age 56. If there's any consolation, he was doing what he loved best, where he loved it and was loved most—playing football at London Colney. You won't find a more-fitting and stirring testimonial to him than Dave Seager's Geordie Armstong On The Wing. The pathos, emotion, and admiration that arises from those pages its not to be missed. Recently, I had the pleasure of learning more directly from Seager, and I invite you to read on below.

CONSPIRACY! Forces unite against Arsenal's chance at glory...

A dramatic, exclusive exposé has been unearthed, and it threatens the very fiber of our being. It pervades almost every level of international football. Put simply, forces have arrayed themselves against the Arsenal, and it will take every ounce of bottle (let's hope it's a pint) we have to overcome it. Imagined injuries. Flight delays. Incompetent managers and referees. It's all there, and it's all threatening to undermine Arsenal's campaign at its most crucial juncture. Mad, am I? We'll see who's mad. Let's peer through the looking-glass, shall we?

30 March 2015

Remembering Rocky: David Rocastle, 1967-2001

There are few events or players that will get supporters of Arsenal and Tottenham to agree, least of all when the player in question helped to deliver glory to Arsenal at Tottenham's expense, but on 31 March 2001, the day of his death, 38,000 fans had gathered for what would be a fierce North London Derby. A minute of silence would surely prompt a small number of Spurs fans to shout something, would it not? However, despite Tottenham manager David Pleat's recommendation to the referee, there would be no need to cut the observance short, as Gooner and Spur alike offered their silent respect, broken only by muffled sobs here and there. It's not often that a player can unite such otherwise bitterly-opposed factions, but such was Rocastle's quality on and off the pitch that he did just that.

Gunners' Travels: Interlulliputian Adventures

We're coming to the end of another interlull, so far relatively unscathed, with little-bit niggles to Welbeck and Ramsey among the worst of our worries, but with accolades galore for Gunners left and right. By all accounts, it's been a tolerably-tolerable interlull, with no serious injuries to hobble us and with a bit of momentum for all involved. Goals have been scored, goals have been denied; most importantly, injuries have been avoided. Last I checked, that's the whole point of an interlull, isn't it? This one did carry with it the impetus of Euro 2016 qualifiying, but 'round these parts, our first priority is in seeing the lads come home hale and hearty. With that in mind, let's see how they've done so far...