26 September 2015

Foxes 2-5 Gooners: Video Highlights

Although James Vardy opened the scoring, Arsenal steamrolled the foxes after Walcott equalised minutes later. Alexis finally found his scoring boots, getting a hat trick as Arsenal sliced Leicester wide open. The Foxes wouldn't give up, though, bringing relentless pressure late in the second half as Petr Čech turned them away and again until Vardy finally did score a second. However, it was all over but the screaming and shouting...until Giroud, having subbed on for Walcott, added the fifth goal in stoppage-time. Check out the highlight-reel below:

Leicester 2-5 Arsenal: Vote for Player-Ratings/MotM

An early goal from the impressive James Vardy gave Arsenal an unwelcome shock just 13 minutes in, but from there, it was all Arsenal as we strained Leicester's defense to the breaking point. Were it not for some poor choices, poor finishing, and getting in each other's way in the box, we might have found a few more goals. As it goes, though, we seized the match by the scruff. Walcott equalised five minutes after Vardy's goal, Alexis found the go-ahead and bagged a brace shortly after halftime. He would get his hat-trick in the 83rd with a brilliant shot. Credit Leicester for fighting back, creating numerous chances before Vardy scored his second in the waning minutes. Giroud finally found his goal in extra-time to account for the final score (and equalling the number of Prem goals we've scored all season). For as much as conceding twice was irritating, it was a relief to see us carve a team open a bit more than we have to date and to see Alexis finally break the seal. Let's give the lads what they deserve in the poll below.

25 September 2015

Leicester-Arsenal Preview: Can the Gunners overcome unbeaten Foxes?

They're undefeated. They've scored more goals than most anyone else in the Prem to date. They beat West Ham, who beat us. The maths, in fact, look bleak. Arsenal 0-2 West Ham; West Ham 1-2 Leicester. Add in another 2-1 victory over West Ham in the League Cup, and the inescapable conclusion is that our visit to King Power on Saturday will end at 4-1 to the Foxes, if not worse. Now that that's settled, let's get down to the nitty-gritty details...

24 September 2015

Arsenal owes its very identity to Islam—or Arabic, at least...

As Eid al-Adha comes to a close, Gooners everywhere should pause for a moment to contemplate the connection that the club has to the occasion. At first glance, it might be easy, even comforting, to dismiss or deride any such connection. What, after all, does a football club from London have to do with a Muslim holiday? As one with an eye to history, I can't resist Arsenal's connection to Islam vis-à-vis Arabic is undeniable, and it's on the occasion of Eid al-Adha that I'd like to explore that connection.

23 September 2015

Apparently, Flamini didn't get the memo...

Well, that didn't go according to plan. We were supposed to let Tottenham have this one, the better to let them squabble with lower-tier clubs Bournemouth, Middlesbrough, or Liverpool. Instead, we're through to the round of 16, no thanks to Flamini's antics. Leave it to him to go rogue on an evening when, despite the intensity of a North London Derby at White Hart Lane, letting the baby have its bottle could have been the order of the day. I should have known something was up when I started the XI Arsène named. Nary an Academy player to be seen, with only Iwobi and Macey on the bench. Was Arsène trying to win this one? That's when I noticed who'd be in the defensive midfield. That's when it started to make sense. Briefly.

Tottenham 1-2 Arsenal: Vote for Player Ratings/MotM

Mathieu Flamini bagged a brace, one a fox-in-the-box rebound from an Oxlade-Chamberlain shot that Vorm couldn't handle and the other a cracking volley when Ox's pass was deflected, and Arsenal booked a place in the League Cup's fourth round while reminding North London what color it is. Along the way, Flamini may have resolved our goal-scoring dilemma, having now scored two goals in just 90' of play. Giroud, by contrast has needed some 430 minutes to score his two goals. Okay, so I jest, but for a side such as ours that has struggled to score, Flamini's contributions are welcomed. Any win over Tottnham is a welcome-one, even if we didn't name any Academy players to the XI. It's perhaps a sign of our uneven play that Arsène went with so many first-teamers, but I'll take it. Get to the poll below and give our lads what they deserve!

22 September 2015

Avenging Angel Gabriel's ban rescinded by FA

To the satisfaction of Gooners, Gabriel's three-match suspension for violent conduct has been withdrawn in the FA's own words "with immediate effect." He is still "subject to a separate FA charge of improper conduct in relation to Saturday's game and has until 6pm on Thursday [24 September 2015] to reply.
Amazingly, this confirms what many of us suspected knew, namely, that Mike Dean doesn't know his head from his arse (although the latter may be more require a bit more waxing, sugaring, or plucking).  What a week. Arsène gets away with criticising a referee, calling Mike Dean "weak", the FA overrules a ref while simultaneously getting something right, and we get a red-card rescinded. About the only element missing here is retrospective action on Diego Costa's thuggery and Mike Dean's imcompetenc-cum-bias.

The FA has charged Costa with "an alleged act of violent conduct," and he has until 6pm Tuesday (today) to reply. A panel of three former elite referees ould then decide whether to book Costa, which would lead to a retroactive three-match ban. While none of this would change the outcome of Saturday's match, we at Arsenal can at least start to feel like there's some degree of justice, however delayed, in these proceedings.

21 September 2015

Ahh, let the babies have their bottles and toddle off...

After Saturday's travesty in which various crimes against humanity went unpunished, having a chance to smash our rivals right in the mouth could be just what the doctor ordered. However, even if we've drawn Tottenham in the third round of the League Cup, it's hard to feel like we'll actually get much satisfaction from it, or that the satisfaction is worth the effort. The Spuds just don't seem to inspire the same quixotic competition as in previous seasons. Watching them wriggle and squirm offers some amusement, but it wears pretty quickly. Far better to treat it like we'd treat any early round fixture: send out a mix of first-teamers and Academy players and let the chips fall where they may. Should we win, we shrug our shoulders and move on. Should we lose, we let the scum celebrate, shrug our shoudlers, and move on anyway.

20 September 2015

Plucky 12-man Chelsea squeeze past nine-man Arsenal

STAMFORD BRIDGE—In a stirring display of tenacity, grit, and acumen, an undermatched and historically underfunded rag-tag collective of misfits bravely overcame all odds, drawing on every single ounce of moxie at its disposal in order to narrowly eke out a win that will be talked of through the ages. Despite never catching a single break in this match or in any other prior, and despite having to watch each and every halfpenny for decades. Chelsea's dozen screwed their courage to the sticking spot and road Lady Luck's coat-tails to victory over Arsenal's nine. Never before and perhaps never again will we see one side overcome such short odds to achieve victory.