22 August 2015

Open letter to Liverpool (Scousers, Liverputians, Mugsmashers, what have you...)

Hey, Liverputians! Your season is off to a smashing start, what with those swaggering wins over Stoke and Bournemouth sending you top of the table already. It's a sterling opportunity, I'm sure, for you to rise to historic levels of greatness not seen since the early 1990s. To let the opportunity slip would bite, I'm sure. It's early days, of course, what with just two results under our belts, but it's not too early to make a meal out of our meeting on Monday. Let's face facts, though, shall we? We're both once-great clubs perhaps more obsessed with history than we are satisfied with the present. With that in mind, we each have an early opportunity to send a signal of intent regarding our ambitions in the Prem. Let's get to it, shall we?

20 August 2015

(Ben)Zema's Paradox: £48m brings us one step closer...

For the last few days, we've heard news that Real Madrid have accepted a £48m bid for Karim Benzema, bringing us on tantalising step closer to signing the galáctico. However, as we all know all too well, we've been down this road before with Khedira, Draxler, and Higuaín. All we need is news that skybet has slashed the odds on Benzema to Arsenal. Oh. Wait. Or maybe a picture of Benzema on a plane. Oh. We've had that, too. Each of these and innumerable others are but part of a paradox that we may never resolve. This time through, call it Zema's Paradox.

18 August 2015

Ramsey reveals where I got it wrong...

After the Crystal Palace result, I, like many other keyboard-warriors gave considerable stick to Aaron Ramsey for his apparent inability or refusal to stay wide-right despite starting as the nominal right-wing in our 4-2-3-1. I even included a photo with snarkly caption mocking him for popping up on the left, further to the left at times, in fact, than either Özil or Alexis. Surely, this reflects Ramsey's new, me-first' attitude, spawned of his glorious 2013-14 campaign when he scored more goals than he'd scored his previous eight professional seasons. Gone, apparently, was the team-first attitude and sacrifice for which he'd become known. In its place, ostensibly had arisen a shoot-first, dodge-questions later gunslinger who would just as soon shoot from forty yards as pass to an open teammate twice as close to goal. According to Aaron, I have it all wrong. Wouldn't be the first time...

17 August 2015

Crystal Palace post-mortem: Where did it almost go wrong?

It wasn't supposed to be this way. It was supposed to be a thing of beauty, not this, this abomination. Once we had grafted the keeper Čech onto the attack that was Arsenal, the reasoning went, we would at long last slake our thirst for glory. Two matches in, it's looking like it's all but gone off the rails already. After the abomination that was the opener against West Ham, some among us (chiefly me) had expected a rabid response, woe betiding any and all who found themselves in the path of the gathering storm. For a short while on Sunday (emphasis on short), it looked like our lads would arrive at Selhurst Park and lay waste to the Eagles. That didn't quite come to pass, so what gives?

16 August 2015

Crystal Palace 1-2 Arsenal: Vote for Player Ratings/MotM

A first half that was both scintillating and frustrating in equal parts saw Olivier Giroud score a brilliant goal only for Crystal palace to equalise ten minutes later, very much against the run of play. Arsenal looked dominant to that point but spurned far too many chances to put Palace away. An own-goal ten minutes into the second half ended the scoring as Arsenal settled into a more-defensive mindset while Palace tried in vain to earn the draw. It wasn't quite as convincing a fight as we might have hoped after the opening-season loss, but it's three points earned away, and that's always a good thing. Get down to the poll to rate our players!