23 July 2017

An Ox in the transfer-shoppe: why Arsenal should quit Oxin' around...

Editor's Note: This week's guest-post comes from Emory Stern, who first took notice of Arsenal because of the Dutch-duo of Overmars and Bergkamp. He comes to us as an aficionado of beautiful, attacking football—in other words, he is a Gooner. In this post, he weighs in on the speculation regarding Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's future with the club. Have at it, Emory!

No team has the type of players who divide (and frustrate) fan and pundit opinion quite like Arsenal players.  One of the players who fits this bill perfectly is Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. The Ox was signed in 2011 and was full of promise. Initially deployed as a winger who can play either side, Arsène Wenger revealed that he saw Ox's future in the centre of the midfield and viewed him as a “Steven Gerrard” type of centre midfielder.  Fast forward to the conclusion of the 2017 season.  Ox was deployed in the FA Cup final victory versus Chelsea as the left wing back in our new-look, three centre-back system.  As a right footed player, he obviously did not look the natural fit there; however, he did the job and did it quite well, well enough to tantalise us with his future prospects.

16 July 2017

Time to sell Theo. Sorry. Just facin' facts...

With Alexandre Lacazette in, it's time to ask who's out, and the answer comes almost as fast as the player once ran: Theo Walcott. It may sound harsh and unsentimental, but the Theo Walcott Experiment has fizzled. Amid rumours of Everton offering £30m for the soon-to-be 29 year old, we should sell before whatever it is they're smoking over there wears off. In this market, the one in which Kyle Walker was sold at £50m and Romelu Lukaku at £75m, £30m might seem like a pittance. Theo did, after all, score 10 Prem goals (19 total) despite limited minutes. However, it's increasingly clear that we'll ever get a better offer, so it's time to move him on. Let's make it a classic "it's not you; it's me", at least to start.

27 May 2017

Arsenal 2-1 Chelsea: Vote for Player Ratings/MotM!

Arsenal dominated Chelsea for long stretches of the FA Cup final but went into halftime ruing wasteful finishing, unhelpful woodwork, inspired goal-keeping and not a few goal-line clearances. It looked as if a 1-0 lead, controversially awarded despite a potentially-offside Ramsey trying to get out of the way of Alexis, would disappear in the secdon half as Conte made adjustments. However, that inspired, determined showing carried over into the second half. Despite Diego Costa's equaliser, Arsenal went ahead moments later as Ramsey nodded home. Victor Moses was sent off on a second yellow for simulation, and Arsenal rode out the storm to make it three FA Cups won in four years and a record 17th time. And we did it against Chelsea. Fantastic! We'll have a closer look at it all in another post; for now, get into the poll and give our lads what they deserve!

Injuries mount. Anthony Taylor to preside. What could go wrong?

Cazorla's still out. That's nothing new. Gabriel joins him, also injured. Koscielny's banned. Also sidelined? Maybe Mustafi and Gibbs. At this rate, we'll have no one left to play in the defense regardless of whether we play a 4-2-3-1 or a 3-4-3. Pity that Chambers is cup-tied. At Chelsea's end, of course, they're hale and healthy and have all but coasted across the finish line the Prem. Sure, there have been some hiccups here and there, but does anyone seriously doubt that they'll do the double, adding the FA Cup to that Prem title?

22 May 2017

Do we want Man U to win the Europa League?

Europa League. Thursday nights. Matches in Turkey, Ukraine, Russia, and other hinterlands. We're consigned to it for the 2017-18 campaign, but what do we make of it? There are some who say we should just throw in the towel, treat it like an extended League Cup, and play a weakened side just to get it over with. Who are we at Arsenal to go grubbing around for some second-rate, tin-cup silverware? Then again, maybe there's some silver-lining to be found if we are in fact willing to dig deep enough to find it...

21 May 2017

Arsenal 3-1 Everton: Vote for Player Ratings/MotM!

A brave ten-man Arsenal overcame a spirited Everton side to win 3-1, but it won't be enough to scratch into the top four as Liverpool defeated Middlesbrough 3-0. We've seen numerous streaks end, then: finishing in the top four, qualifing for Champions League, and finishing above Tottenham. All good things, of course, must come to an end. Back to the match: goals from Bellerin, Alexis, and Ramsey were enough to at least end the Prem season on a high note, with only Lukaku's penalty to deny us the clean sheet. We'll go into the FA Cup final on a solid run, five straight on the bounce, with a chance at claiming silverware. First, though, get down to the poll to give the lads what they deserve!