15 August 2015

We've gone from Chamakh to Özil, but what do we have to show for it?

This is it. Just one game in, and Arsenal’s 2015-16 campaign already hangs by a thread. Every single one of our dreams of building on last season’s promises lies shattered into a billion tiny pieces—every. Single. One.

Okay, so I exaggerate a bit. Still, after how we opened against West Ham, there’s bound to be some trepidation about the trip to Selhurst Park. Let’s soothe those jangled nerves, shall we?

13 August 2015

Rambo to Real? Why not?

Or, to put it less dramatically, is there room in this squad for Ramsey? After an convincing string of appearances on the wing to close the 2014-15 campaign, Ramsey returned to his "resurrection" role of 2013-14, that of the box-to-box midfielder in the 2015-16 preseason. As with everything else, it was peas and carrots as we waltzed to a treble (of sorts). And then, along came West Ham. Like everything else, Ramsey crashed down to earth. Unlike almost everything else, he had resumed that resurrection-role, as the box-to-box marauder...only he made a meal of it, time and again. If the likes of Real Madrid or Barça come skulking around, waving some £60m under our noses, perhaps we should take them up on it?

11 August 2015

Özil's overture to Karim Benzema...

MUNICH, Germany—Real Madrid had just finished a disappointing second to Bayern Munich in the Audi Cup when Karim Benzema, upon leaving the locker room, espied an old ally. It was a joyous if accidental reunion for two former teammates as Benzema, the current madridista, crossed paths with Mesut Özil, late of Real Madrid and lately of Arsenal. The French striker, never one to shy away from scoring opportunities, be it in front of Spanish defenses of dubious dependability or on top of French courtesans of curious callowness, approached Özil with a similarly single-minded intent...

10 August 2015

Don't blame Arsène or Čech. This one was my fault, lads.

Our 2015-16 campaign, the one that's been touted as the best since the Invincibles, has gotten off to a shocking start. After a preseason full of vim, vigor, and victory, we barely showed up to offer West Ham any resistance as they waltzed to an 0-2 win in our own stadium. It would be all too easy to blame Arsène, Čech, or anyone else who was on the pitch on Sunday, but the cold, hard reality is that it's my fault. I dropped the ball. For the first time in ages, I didn't wear my lucky shirt. Forget tactics, formations, set-piece defending, and all the rest. One fan's failure opened the floodgates.

09 August 2015

Arsenal 0-2 West Ham: Vote for Player Ratings/MotM

The season has gotten off to a shambolic start as sloppy mistakes allowed West Ham to score two goals, the first when Kouyaté found a seam in our infamous set-piece zonal marking to head one home just before halftime, and the second when Oxlade-Chamberlain conceded possession just outside the area and Zarate's shot confounded Čech. At the other end, we generated plenty of chances but never really tested Adrián in the end. Too many tame shots and waste chances. Let's remind ourselves that it's just one match. Not much comfort that, to be honest, but enough to help a few of us climb down off the ledge. Give the lads what they deserve in the poll below...

Finally, a match of record! Can Arsenal carry the preseason momentum into the Prem?

Finally, at long last, after nearly 8o days of waiting, the Prem season is nearly upon us. Having already won a treble of sorts—we might forgive ourselves a bit of overconfidence going up against West Ham, a squad that we hammered to 1-2 and 3-0 a season ago. Then again, the Hammers have already played six matches of record already. Their quest for Europa League competition may have died in Romania on Thursday, but they’re already battle-tested and revamped for the Prem season.