30 October 2021

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

Gabriel headed a dart past Smeichel from a Saka corner early on, and Emile Smith-Rowe pounced on a ball in the box to make it 0-2 before the 20th minute. From there, Arsenal had to defend tenaciously with Ramsdale coming up with save after vital save. Leicester had 65% possession but nothing to show for it. After several wins against overmatched opponents, we can point to this result and clean sheet as a more-encouraging sign of our mettle and ambition.

Click the link below to open a Google Form to cast your ballot. For a bit of calibration, consider a six to mean "put in a decent shift without really impressing or damaging either way", ten to mean "did every single thing right and possibly shortened the Insulate Britain protests", and zero to mean "scored several own-goals after which he tore off his shirt to reveal a 'Tot 'num 4 EVA' halter top".

Once we have a chance to process the results, I'll post a graphic to show how our lads fared. Remember: this is a deeply and thoroughly scientific and sociological process that far exceeds most peer-reviewed journals, so, for the love of all that is holy, don't throw a spanner in the works by voting all 10s across the board. At a bare minimum, thrown in the occasional six or seven to create the appearance of objectivity.

Here is the link to the poll!

29 October 2021

Just what is the best result for Arsenal come Saturday?

I ask not about Leiceser. I'm pretty sure we're hoping for a confident victory to make it seven in a row undefeated in the Prem and nine overall, including those two League Cup victories. Yes, there are growing signs of progress, even of optimism, but I'm here to suggest that the fixture with the most potential impact on our campaign doesn't even involve us at all. Nope, it's all about Tottenham vs. Manchester United. And I'm not referring points or position. While dropped points for one or both would help us in the short term, the real impact is further-reaching. The real question we need an answer to is this: what result will keep Solskjær and Santo at the ol' wheel? After all, for their rivals, i.e. us, each manager is the gift that keeps on giving, and we just don't want to kill the goose that laid the golden egg...yet (I know how we all love mixed metaphors).

28 October 2021

18 years ago today, Cesc Fàbregas made his Arsenal debut!

When Cesc Fàbregas made his Arsenal debut, there were clear signs of the effervescent, scintillating talent he had and the amazing player he would soon become. Aged just 16 years, 177 days, he became the youngest player to ever start for Arsenal, doing so in a League Cup tie against Rotherham United (which we won on penalties, 9-8, after finishing in a 1-1 draw. As the years went on, Fàbregas would go on to thrill and amaze Gooners with his passing, play, and leadership. It seemed inevitable that he would go on to become an Arsenal legend and that he, with a squad being built around him, he would lead us to Prem titles and possibly even Champions League glory. So why do I despise him so?

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!