It's Sophie's Choice. It's Solomonic. It's having our cake and eating it, too. For years, as the debate over Arsène's tenure and legacy have waxed and waned, we've pondered what it might mean for the club's fortunes to see the manager of the last 20 years—the only manager many fans have ever known—step down. Would we fall out of the top four? Would we see an end to the twenty-year streak of celebrating St. Totteringham's Day or of qualifying for Champions League play? After all, we've watched it unfold over at Old Trafford even as they've spent bucketloads on transfers and cycled through managers. Wouldn't it be better for Arsène to stay on long enough to win one more trophy and hand the reigns over to someone who can build from momentum? After the debacle at the Hawthorns, however, we might just have our compromise solution...
20 March 2017
05 March 2017
So. It's come to this, at long last. I'm done with Arsène. I've stood by him through some of the leaner times, defended him with by-now battered canards such as "consistency matters" and "Champions League qualification is an achievement", parried his critics by pointing out that he financed a stadium. I've finally reached my limit. I accept what many others have long ago decided: it's time for Arsène to go. It's not even about the result at Anfield. Or the Allianz Arena or Stamford Bridge. Losses at any one of those is understandable, and losses at three might even be acceptable. However, it's how we've lost that's shaken me.
03 March 2017
For those still suffering from the Bayern battering, it might come as some consolation to learn that Liverpool found a way to lose to Leicester, becoming in the process just the sixth such squad to do so. Enough with the alliteration. Such is the state (sorry) of our own squad that the tea-leaves suggest that Liverpool's loss only primes the pump for us to get clobbered at the Kop. Again, apologies. On a more optimistic level, there are few squads more frail at the moment than Liverpool's; it is therefore all the more essential that we turn the screws on their season and, at the risk of mixing our metaphors, drive home one more nail in the coffin of their campaign.
23 February 2017
Oh, to be a Gooner. Am I right? Tottenham have not only been dumped from Champions League play, they've now out-Tottenhammed themselves out of the Europa League, courtesy of a 2-3 aggregate loss to Gent, occupiers of the eighth spot on the highly esteemed Belgian First Division. What's more, Chelsea, shorn of any European entanglements whatsoever, square off against Man U in the FA Cup's fifth round. On top of that, Man City face a dicey FA Cup replay against Huddersfield and an even dicier second leg in UCL play after winning 5-3 over Monaco. In short, our Prem rivals are on the ropes, are they not?
13 February 2017
There's still time. Saturday's result over Hull, though there may have been a certain "hand of God" element to it, resurrected some small sliver of hope that we could still be in the title-chase. Fast forward to Sunday at Turf Moor, and Burnley—blessed, blessed Burnley—managed to earn a draw against Chelsea. While one one hand this does make our home-loss to Watford feel all the more wasteful, it still has to revive that sliver of hope. After all, Chelsea has had to be damn-near perfect to go ten points clear, and we've been very wobbly of late. They can't keep play to perfection every week—but it's up to us to put the pressure on them.
11 February 2017
Handballs or the lack thereof) were the order of the day as Arsenal wasted numerous chances against Hull's packed-in defense. Finally, in the 33rd minute, Alexis scored a ball-to-hand after a flurry on Hull's line. That would be about it as far as clear-cut chances until stoppage time when Hull's keeper had come off his line, full-Fabiański, leading to a scramble in which Lucas's header forced Hull defender Clucas to extend his arm to attempt the goal-line clearance. Clattenburg issued the red, and Alexis slotted the penalty to make it 2-0. It wasn't ever pretty, but it's a result, and we'll take it. Enjoy the highlights below!