01 November 2014

Gunners 3-0 Burnley: Alexis is a one-man wrecking crew [video]

After a long, frustrating 70 minutes in which we utterly dominated an overmatched Burnley—who predictably sat back to absorb pressure and look for quick counters and who were certainly content to play for the draw—Alexis sliced them open with a header from close range from a cross in from Chambers, who opened his Arsenal account just over two minutes later. Alexis added a stoppage-time goal, his 10th goal for Arsenal and our eighth stoppage-time goal of the season, to make the final scoreline 3-0. That may flatter us a bit, but we—by which I might mean Alexis—worked hard for it. Burnley didn't get a shot on target until late on, and we had many chances snuffed out by Heaton, who made save after key save. Despite his efforts, we come away with a fine win, highlighted by the return of Theo Walcott who didn't have much to do in his ten-minute cameo. Check out the highlights below...

30 October 2014

"Striker returns from injury with wonder-goal against Burnley"

We're all waiting anxiously for the return of Theo Walcott to make his first first-team appearance since tearing his ACL back in January 2014. While we're waiting, it might be worth a quick look back at an earlier return from an admittedly more-gruesome injury. I refer of course to Eduardo "Dudu" da Silva, who returned from that broken leg to score a wonderful goal against Burnley in the FA Cup, turning Alex Song's cross into the net off his ankle:

For those seeking further symbolism, this was also a match that saw Theo Walcott return to action after injuring his shoulder and missing four months of action. Interesting parallels, to be sure, but let's hope that's as far it goes, seeing as how Eduardo never quite regained the form he showed before having his leg snapped so brutally.

I'll offer you Mark Twain's thoughts on the subject: "history doesn't repeat itself, but it often rhymes".

29 October 2014

Walcott set to make his return against Burnley...

Let's make one thing clear from the get-go: Burnley are on one hand precisely the kind of banana-peel you'd expect Arsenal to slip on. They're winless to date, and they've scored the fewest goals while conceding the most in the Prem. Their away-record is even worse. At home, they've at least earned a couple of draws. Away from Turf Moor, they're winless and toothless, having scored but one while conceding 12 in four matches. It seems almost unfair, therefore, to unleash against them one of our most fearsome players, one who might be working his way back from injury but who is chomping at the bit: Theo Walcott.

28 October 2014

Can Chelsea match the Invincibles?

We may only be nine matches into the season, and there are still 29 more fixtures left, but Chelsea's form to date already has tongues wagging and Gooners worrying that another Invincibles season is in the making. After all, they're undefeated, having won at Goodison Park, drawn at the Etihad and Old Trafford, and—sigh—defeated us at Stamford Bridge. In short order, they've escaped many of their toughest fixtures already, at least if we consider hostile territory and high stakes. The way things have gone so far, trips to Anfield and White Hart Lane, even to the Emirates, don't look all that daunting. not to a squad that has smashed home 24 goals while conceding just nine en route to claiming 23 of 27 points on offer. For those inclined to worry, Chelsea now sport a record identical to the Invincibles' to this point: 7W, 2D, 0L, but with a superior goal differential of +23 to the Invincibles' +11. All signs seem to point, therefore, to Chelsea shouldering us aside as kings of the Prem. What other conclusion is there other than to admit that Chelsea will join us (and Preston) in achieving invincibility?

26 October 2014

Rivals' Rundown, Week 9: Where do we stand in the Prem?

All in all, it’s been a good weekend to be a Gooner (most of them are). We won, of course, which is always a good start. Elsewhere, Man U found a way to draw with Chelsea at Old Trafford, Man City lost away to West Ham, Liverpool drew with Hull at Anfield, and Tottenham lost to Newcastle at White Hart Lane. The only downsides come from the fact that Southampton and Everton both won. Still, Lady Luck smiled on us this weekend, both in our result and in those of most of our rivals, and there’s enough in it to suggest that we’re still in the thick of it despite our indifferent form. In fact, bar Chelsea’s stellar start, we might even take some hope from the proceedings. To the rundown!