Nineteen appearances. Eleven victories. No other club can boast of such a record. If we win on Saturday, we’ll stand alone atop all other clubs in England in the oldest football competition in the world. Between us and history stands Aston Villa, against whom we’ve administered some embarrassing hidings but against whom we’ve also suffered some humbling defeats. Although we’ve drubbed the Villans in recent outings, we still have a score to settle—in my mind, at least.
30 May 2015
29 May 2015
Despite the yoke of a transfer ban until 2016, Barcelona have been sniffing around like a stray dog in heat, apparently unsated by last summer's signing of Luis Suárez (and Neymar the summer before...) and the fact that they've already decimated La Liga to the tune of a +89 goal difference. Yes, Real are nipping at their heels, having finished just two points behind. We'll find out on Saturday if Barça will finish the season with yet another Champions League title. Their reported interest in Aaron Ramsey, though appears for now to have been quashed the Welsh Jesus.
Come Saturday, the lucky few among the Gooner diaspora will make their way towards Wembley and take their seats. Some 25,000 strong will represent the rest of us by virtue of their dedication and passion for the club—but what of the hundreds of thousands of us who shout and scream our support from miles and time zones away? Without further ado, I introduce you to Rich Balabuszko, a Chicago Gooner, who has set out on a 49-mile walking in order to arrive at The Globe, Chicago's best pub for watching Arsenal action, in time to see our lads take on the Villans. Please read on—Rich's march is raising money for the Starlight Children's Foundation, and we have a chance at making a meaningful difference in the lives of chronically ill children around the world.
27 May 2015
Yes, yes, I know. There is an FA Cup final to prepare for. However, even as Arsène denies that he is "not in transfer mode", we all know full-well that the wheeling and dealing behind closed doors and in smoky rooms proceeds in earnest. One of the hottest stories involves a French striker with whom we've been heavily linked in the past and who might be leaving a club that has been selling aggressively in the last few windows—Higuaín, Özil, Di María, Morata. Alonso, to name a few—Karim Benzema. With Carlo Ancelotti having been sacked on Monday, Real Madrid might be tempted to sell. However, is Benzema worth it? A £35m transfer-fee is likely the starting point for negotiations. Let's kick the tires and see what's what.
26 May 2015
No rest for the wicked. After having destroyed West Brom (in the first half, anyway), we have a short turn-around before facing Aston Villa in the FA Cup final. It will mark our 19th such appearance—one more than Man U—and also offers a chance to win a record-setting 12th—also one more than Man U. However, we don't have to mention that filthy lot any more because they'll all be at home watching us and the Villans. Speaking of watching, give this video from FATV a gander. If it doesn't get you you in the mood, you're doing it wrong!
25 May 2015
It was a throw-away line, a bit of vanity, that I tossed in as an afterthought. In hindsight, though, I should have seen it coming. My predictions, after all, had been off-base in recent weeks. I kept calling for wins and we staggered to draws, even a loss. I started to doubt my ability to see into, nay, control the future. 3-1 over Swansea? 1-2 over Man U? What was I thinking? And then...and then...in a moment of inspiration, as I sought to regain control of the future, I reached very far back into the past—24 May 2009, to be more precise—to point out that the last Prem we played on this auspicious day was against none other than Tony Pulis's Stoke, a match we won by the even-more auspicious scoreline of 4-1. There's no other conclusion to be drawn: I control this club's future!