13 March 2022

[Title based on obligatory pun on Partey scoring a goal] oh, and a Player Ratings Poll!

This feels...weird. Not that we defeated Leicester. That's basically de rigueur these days. No, what I'm referring to is how we won. Thomas Partey scored AND we were awarded a penalty for a handball in the box. It's almost as if...I can't quite put my finger on it, but it's almost as if things are kind of, sort of, almost thinking about considering the possibility of going in a direction that to some degree might resemble a facsimile of being ours? Whatever it is is strange enough that I don't know how to describe it or even put my finger on it. I mentioned to the wife that it felt like it was on the tip of my tongue, but she said it looks more like a canker sore. So it goes. 

The good news is that the result, by whatever process we followed to get it, elevates us once more to fourth, a point above Man U and three above West Ham having played three fewer than either one. The clean sheet, kept largely due to Ramsdale's brilliant save and a few last-ditch clearances, and the two goals scored pad our goal difference just a touch, and that could become a very significant factor in the race for fourth. Those dreaming of catching Chelsea may have had a bit of cold water thrown on them as the lucky sods found a late goal to overcome Newcastle. There's a joke in there about dirty oil money failing, but I'm not clever enough to find it. 

Thomas's goal came courtesy of a fine corner sent in by Martinelli, and it seems that Thomas's wastefulness in front of goal is simply a matter of being too far away from it when he shoots. His headed goal came from about four yards out. As if to confirm my very scientific hypothesis, Thomas took a shot later on from about 16 yards out that hit the crossbar. I come to the irresistible conclusion then that he should only ever shoot from about six yards out, from which distance it is scientifically impossible to send a ball over the bar. If someone can just get Arteta to read this, I'm sure we'll be talking up Thomas as a Golden Boot candidate by week's end.

The other goal when Çağlar Söyüncü, who almost has enough accented vowels in his name to play for the Arsenal, cruelly denied Thomas a brace by handling his header just enough to allow Luke Thomas to clear. However—and make sure you're sitting down and have the smelling salts handy—Anthony Taylor awarded us the penalty after—wait for it—consulting VAR! It's like opposite day. I just can't wrap my mind around it. Whatever has discombobulated the space-time continuum, let it last just a few more days. Between now and then, here is the post-match player ratings & MOTM poll for those of you who care to rate the lads.

Before you go, join the conversation in the comments section below.