24 November 2017

FC Köln 1-0 Arsenal—Vote for Player Ratings/MOTM!

A bit of a dead-rubber match as we had already booked passage to the knockout stage of the Europa League, but it might have been nice to have earned at least a point here so that we could count ourselves among the eight seeded teams and thereby avoid facing any of the clubs that finish third in the Champions League. Despite dominating most of the proceedings, we just couldn't break down the hosts, who knew that a win could see them climb to as high as second in Group H. However, Debuchy was guilty of letting a few of his molecules get too close to Sehrou Guirassy, who dove faster and deeper than Jacques Cousteau ever did. The Russian referee quickly proved that Russians can interfere in outcomes other than French or American elections—although he did show that he can be finicky about where the ball is placed for a penalty—and that was that. Elsewhere, BATE Borisov drew with Red Star, allowing us to win the group anyway. It may not be sexy, but it's enough to warrant a quick review of the lads' performance. Let's get to the poll!

18 November 2017

Arsenal 2-0 Tottenham—Vote for Player-Ratings and MOTM!

Arsenal bossed Tottenham all around the pitch, scoring two goals in short order to put the game away. First, it was Mustafi floating a header from an Özil set-piece over the flat-footed Lloris. So inch-perfect was the header that it glanced neatly in off the post. Just five minutes later, Alexis got his first Prem goal, blasting home from point-blank range from a fizzed-in Lacazette cross. From there, it was all Tottenham could do to try to find a goal without conceding yet another. Wasteful shooting crashed up against stalwart defending and fine keeping from Čech. It was a fantastic result that showed who's the best club in London, at least for today. It's enough to see us climb to within a point of that other club and perhaps enough to launch us on a run. Well, let's get down to the poll to rate the lads!

17 November 2017

Pick Your Poison: Harry Kane? Mike Dean? (A Tottenham Preview...)

For the first time in living memory, in what is surely one of the signs of the Apocalypse, we finished below Tottenham. There was no St. Totteringham's Day. London, it seemed, would be white. Somehow, however, the sun still rose. Pigs did not acquire any aerial abilities. Hell, sources, say, did not freeze over. Certain realities, it is true, must be acknowledged. We cannot blithely (arrogantly?) assert our superiority. Truth be told, Tottenham look like the better squad at the moment, and we go invite our new overlords on Saturday if not with open arms then at least with eyes wide open.

05 November 2017

Man City 3-1 Arsenal—Vote for Player Ratings and MOTM!

Arsenal played far better than the scoreline suggests, as Man City needed a penalty (which was a bit harsh but the right call) to get to 2-0. After Lacazette came on and scored in the second half, the game looked like it would be up for grabs as Arsenal looked energized and determined. However, City found a third despite both players involved being offside. Ah, well. In the end, this looked like one most of us would have written off as a loss. So be it. We played tolerably well and will feel hard done by the referee. In the end, though, we lacked the quality and concentration we needed against a side of this quality. Be gentle as you get down to the poll.

02 November 2017

Arsenal 0-0 Red Star—Vote for Player Ratings/MOTM!

To be honest, Red Star gave as good as they got, coming uncomfortably close several times only to be denied by Matt Macey, who turned in a fine performance. Going forward, we rarely if ever threatened, with Wilshere coming closest only to see his tame flick cleared off the line. Still, in a match from which we only needed a point, and against an opponent all too happy to play for a draw, I can think of worse ways to spend my time. Faint praise? Perhaps. We're through to the Europa League group-stage, thanks in part to FC Köln's 5-2 demolition of BATE Borisov. Fine and dandy. We may still have a bit of work to do before we can win Group H, but that's another question for another day. Let's get down to the poll to rate the lads...

30 October 2017

Resurrection of the Welsh Jesus—Rambo II: this time, it's personal.

Almost lost amidst all of the other sturm und drang of the early season—whether it's the hullabaloo over Alexis's potential move to Man City, Özil's flirtations with Mourinho and Man U, Cazorla's Sisyphean struggle with injury—has been the quiet but occasionally emphatic resurgence—nay, resurrection—of a player almost forgotten. It's more than a bit ironic, perhaps paradoxical that a player once all too prone to trying to draw too much attention to himself has found his resurrection instead by putting his nose to the grindstone and just work. Gone, for the most part, is the pointless flair, the "cute for the sake of cute" flicks and backheels and rabonas. Gone, it seems, is the pompadour. In their places has been almost-pure hustle, grit, and determination. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you...Aaron Ramsey II.