03 October 2015

Arsenal-Man U Preview: Look to the Alexis-Theo duo to devastate the Devils...

I'm going to go out on a limb here to suggest that the pervasive mood of gloom and doom is just a bit excessive. Yes, I know full-well what's going on. No, I haven't taken leave of my senses. In recent weeks, we've suffered injustice at Stamford Bridge but bounced Tottenham from the League Cup and trounced Leicester—but this is all bookended and overshadowed by back-to-back losses in the Champions League group-stage. Add in a clash against Manchester United, refereed by Anthony Taylor, and the only ingredient from a disastrous recipe is Old Trafford.

01 October 2015

Could Flamini upend Man U just as he did Tottenham?

Jonathan Roberts returns with a provocative look at whether we can and should turn to Flamini against Man U, needing as we do fresh legs and fighting spirit after Tuesday's demoralising loss. Welcome back, Jonathan; what's on your mind?

The battle for a place in Arsenal’s central midfield is fierce. Coquelin, Cazorla, Arteta and Ramsey are stellar names most managers would yearn for. And, if you put aside the consistent injuries, there’s Jack Wilshere also vying for a start in the centre of the park. The last post I wrote was all about how Arsenal needed to sign a new sign a new defensive midfielder. To everyone’s dismay it didn’t happen. After two dismal Champions league performances, the obvious has become somewhat more obvious to everyone—everyone except Arsène, that is.

30 September 2015

Arsenal's campaign to win the Europa League receives fresh boost...

Well, we've done it again. Despite knowing that a win was vital after losing in Croatia two weeks ago, we gifted a win to Olympiacos even after fielding an XI that was, essentially, full-strength. Only Gibbs and Ospina might count as back-benchers, and even they have enjoyed their own halcyon days. We're now winless after two matches, the first time that's happened in club-history, and we face the very-real prospect of failing to advance to the knockout phase for the first time in 15 years. The path to that knockout phase is now a perilous one and depends on factors not entirely under our own control. Maybe it's time we start preparing to win the Europa League—assuming, of course, we can finish third in the group...

29 September 2015

Arsenal 2-3 Olympiacos: Vote for Player Ratings/ MotM

Arsenal's quest to advance to the Champions League knockout stage suffered an embarrassing
setback when we couldn't overcome our own miscues and sloppy play, practically gifting a victory to Olympiacos. Ospina may very well serve as a convenient scapegoat, guilty as he was of conceding a soft own goal, but the entire squad struggled, and the result shows. Barely one minute after equalizing for a second time, Arsenal conceded a third goal and then couldn't fight through Olympiacos's stubborn thicket. The result leaves us at the bottom of Group F and in dire need of something just short of a miracle in our remaining four matches. Let our lads have it with both barrels; this one was a stinker...

Ramsey set to rampage against Olympiacos...

First, learned that we had lost Coquelin to an injury (and yes, he's back in training). Then it was Flamini, fresh off his heroics against Spurs, coming up lame against Leicester. His replacement, Arteta, finished the match only to come up lame. Just like that, we have no proper defensive midfielders any more, and even Cazorla is looking a bit leggy, not to mention longer in the tooth. To whom do we turn to plug the gap? We face a must-win situation already in the group-stage, and with a testy clash against Man U five days later, can we risk sending on Coquelin? Nah. Not when we have Rambo, chomping at the bit to play through the middle after weeks in exile on the wing.

28 September 2015

Arsenal have found their striker in this £7.4m signing...

It would be a bit churlish of me to complain after a a week in which we scored seven goals in two matchs, ousting Tottenham in the process, but it does seem like we should preface all that follows with a few caveats. One: Tottenham did field an XI that was less than full strength. Even if we did the same, our XI was still full of first-teamers with no Academy players to be seen unless you scanned the bench. Two: Leicester live and die by the sword. Their matches are turning into free-for-alls. They lead the league on goals scored (15) and are second in goals conceded (14). Still, there's some relief if not insight to be found going forward as we prepare for Olympiacos on Tuesday and Man U on Saturday.