19 January 2022

Rivals' Roundup, Matchday 23? A New Hope Awakens or is Dawning or...

Some clubs have played as few as 17 matches. Others, 23. Twixt the two are, well, predictably, clubs that have played—wait for it—18, 19, 20, 21, or 22 matches. And that, dear readers, is why your correspondent gets paid the big bucks. Hard-hitting, no holds barred investigative journalism. I highly doubt that you'll find this kind of fact-finding at El Metro, The Sun, or any number of birdcage-liner sites. At any rate, let's get down to the proverbial brass tacks. There's all sorts of goings-on to sort through.

13 January 2022

Liverpool 0-0 Arsenal: Vote for Player Ratings & MOTM!

Gotta love the club at a time like this. Going into Anfield, the traveling fans were louder than the legendary Kop. Even after Xhaka did what Xhaka does—get a straight red for a foolish tackle, this time for kicking Jota in the chest just outside the area in the 24th minute—we looked resolute and determined, even better in spurts than our supposedly superior hosts. As one wage on Twitter put it, Xhaka's red was yet another false positive for Liverpool. I suspect that many of us including me assumed we'd lose this one, all the more so after losing Smith-Rowe, Tomiyasu, and Ødegaard. Going down to ten men just sealed the inevitable. However, we dug down and put on a fine performance and are very much alive for the second leg a week from today. Let's give the lads what they deserve!

Click here to open the poll. A results-graphic will be available tomorrow, but you can see running totals after you've voted.

10 January 2022

A painful, painful lesson in schadenfreude...

It was all going so swimmingly well. All too well, it turns out. For about ten minutes or so, both Liverpool and Tottenham trailed their diminutive League One visitors as we prepared to visit Championship side Nottingham Forest. The glee, the schadenfreude, the lip-smacking, and more were all there for the taking as we savored the idea of hated rivals crashing out ignominiously against lesser foes while we prepared to advance. Alas, it was not to be as first Shrewsbury wilted in short order, ultimately succumbing to a 4-1 thrashing, and then Morecambe crumbled, agonisingly close to full time in a 3-1 scoreline that flattered Tottenham to no end. Then, to make matters worse, we'll all be eating a healthy serving of humble pie as we went down in flames—again—to Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup third round.  I don't know what's worse: that Tottenham advance or that we crash out. 

07 January 2022

You Don't Want to Miss @Catsenal1's Analysis of #AFCMCFC

In the aftermath of our stirring, infuriating, inspiring defeat to Man City at the weekend, I present to you some rather unique and insightful analysis from Catsenal, a Korean YouTuber. His tactical analysis is spot-on, and his presentation offers some delightfully 1990s style 8-bit video graphics. Yes, the voiceover is in Korean, but the subtitles are in excellent English, and the insights are illuminating. You really do owe it to yourself to watch this video and to follow him on Twitter here. Once you've done that, come back and watch how well he breaks down our performance against the Prem's evil overlords.

03 January 2022

Rivals' Roundup #19(?): Fixtures Flying Fast and Furious

Between our last roundup and today, something like 93 matches were played and a similar number were postponed in what was, of course, a completely consistent and transparent process that in no way favored any club over any other, which is nothing less than we've come to expect from the FA. One upshot is that one club—Burnley—has played only 17 matches, while two clubs—Man City and Chelsea—have played 21. Surely, this explains each club's position on the table. It stands to reason, after all, that playing more matches earns a club more points. Much as I would love a deeper analysis into each club's over the busy holiday season, we all know that's not why any of us are here today. Instead, let's get to why we're really here: juvenile sarcasm, Simpsons references, and highly biased assessment of clubs.

01 January 2022

Arsenal 1-2 Man City: Vote for Player Ratings & MOTM!

In an impressive display, Stuart Atwell won the match for Man City, waving off a possible penalty when Ederson clipped Martin Ødegaard in the box, issuing a somewhat dodgy when when Bernardo Silva flopped after contact from Xhaka in the box, sent Gabriel off with two yellow cards inside of two minutes, and essentially earned himself MOTM honours in what was an otherwise scintillating match. Look, I expected to lose this match, but brilliant play saw us take the lead through a well-worked goal from Bukayo Saka, and we looked to be have the upper hand, maybe even flirting with controlling the outcome for long stretches. In the end, our performance says a lot more about us than the result, and I come away both incensed but also inspired. If we continue to play like this, we'll seize a Champions League spot, no question about it. Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, though, let's give the lads what they deserver (I recommend perfect 10s all around, not that I want to sway you unduly).

Here's the poll. Have at it!