27 October 2021

Arsenal 2-0 Leeds: Post-Match Ratings Summary and MOTM

It looks like Arteta's squad selection worked out really well, with most of the rotated-in players earning high marks for their efforts. Goals from Chambers and Nketiah, strong keeping from Leno, and solid effort from Holding were all trumped by Maitland-Niles's outstanding all-around effort. It's worth noting that Bielsa selected a squad that was just about as strong as it could be, given his injury crisis. They did start strong but couldn't match our effort, tactics, and chemistry. We'll have to wait until Saturday's draw to find out who we'll face in the quarterfinal. Until then, let's savor the result!

26 October 2021

Arsenal 2-0 Leeds: Vote for Player Ratings & MOTM!

After a dicey first half in a which a stronger-than-expected Leeds side looked to take an early lead, our lads found their way through to the League Cup quarterfinal courtesy of a bundled goal from Calum Chambers, who scored from his first touch just 23 seconds after being subbed on; and from Eddie Nketiah, who chipped the Leeds keeper, chased it down, and scuffed home. It wasn't always pretty, but the only stat that counts is the number of shots that find their way to the back of the net. We'll have to wait 'til Saturday's draw to learn who we'll face in the quarterfinal; for now, let's rate 'em and see where the chips fall...

25 October 2021

League Cup Preview: Time to Lay Waste to Leeds...

Fresh off a fine display against Aston Villa on Friday, we turn around to host Leeds on Tuesday. For as much as we may have mocked the League Cup, it's one of two pieces of silverware available to us, and so we really should throw ourselves into the effort. Without Continental commitments to sap our strength, and with only three matches between us and this trophy, well, why shouldn't we get after this one? Defeat Leeds, and we're in the quarterfinal. Though there are some heavy hitters still out there-- Liverpool, Man City, and Chelsea-- it's unlikely that any of them will be fielding full-strength sides just yet. None of that matters if we don't secure passage, so let's have a look at Leeds, shall we?

Return of Rivals' Roundup: Extended, Directors' Cut

Howdy, y'all -

It's been a few years since I've done these, but they seemed reasonably popular. In brief, life for me was a bit of a shambles, and these posts were a vital outlet. Life came together, and I got busy and productive in my career. I'm back, which is different from saying it's all gone to pieces again. Best of both worlds, perhaps. At any rate, I can't promise that this will be a weekly thing or that it won't be shite. I'm more than a little bit rusty. Having successfully lowered expectations, let's begin!

19 October 2021

So, Arsenal sit 12th. Time to panic?

So, we're one-fifth of the way through the Prem season, and Arsenal now sit 12th, behind the likes of Brighton, Everton, West Ham, Brentford, and Wolves. Nicking a draw at home after surging to an early lead against the likes of a Palace side shorn of Zaha will feel like two points dropped rather than one earned—and let's not dredge up the tiresome "should Arsenal have appointed Vieira over Arteta" debate yet again; the jury's going to be out on that for some time—instead, let's look at the fact that we're underperforming. That's both the good news and the bad news. This is perhaps what it feels like to get a flywheel moving: slow, undetectable progress at first, followed (it is hoped) by a sudden, strong surge forward.

18 October 2021

At long last, Vieira returns to Arsenal!

It's true, and not for the first time. Some are saying that he may soon be here to stay. Not me, though. That's a bit of madness, but it's understandable, such is Vieira's legendary status, Arsenal's difficulty in finding his "heir", and the fact that we find ourselves mired midtable, just three points clear of Monday's visitors. Of course, on Vieira's first return to Arsenal, his erstwhile friend, colleague, and compatriot Robert Pirès greeted him with a somewhat impertinent tackle that left Vieira frustrated as Pirès launched a counter that saw Henry feed Fabregas for the opening goal in a 2-0 win, taking us one step closer to that 2006 Champions League final. Ever since Vieira left, we've hungered for someone to fill the role from which he dominated and domineered. Ever since Wenger left, many have wondered if Vieira could return as Arsenal's manager. Come Monday, we have have more (or less) to wonder about.