11 November 2014

AKBs, WOBs: by all means, let us both go for the jugular.

Well, we're at each other worse than a pair of starving, rabid pit-bulls after a measly scrap of meat, as if winning an abstract argument amongst ourselves off the pitch will amount to anything on it. If the "Wenger Out" crowd manage to shout down the "Arsène knows best" crowd or vice-versa, will Arsène himself notice? Will the board? Instead of insulting each other, the players, the manager, or the board, all of which will amount to less than zero in the long run, perhaps we could sheathe our swords an cleave closely to our cleavers. Abraham Lincoln once declared, "a house divided against itself cannot stand." Now, our divisions may be legion, and they are unlikely to spill over onto the pitch itself, but if we are to be the 12th man on the pitch, we have to get this house in order and soon, or, if you'll pardon the mixed metaphor, this ship will sink and fast. With that in mind, please read on...

10 November 2014

Rivals' Rundown, week 11: Can we still laugh at Spurs?

Any weekend that ends with an Arsenal loss is going to be a wasted weekend, all the more so when we have to wait two weeks for the next match. The interlull arrives just in time for most everyone including Arsenal to wring hands and gnash teeth.  Aside from Chelsea, everyone with European commitments struggled, and that might be the story of the week. Only Chelsea impress, and everyone else on this
list seems to be suffering from any of a number of different dilemmas. For as good as they’ve been, everyone else has been thoroughly average. It was all I could do to summarize the usual eight. Am I going to have to make room for West Ham (4th), Swansea (5th), and Newcastle (8th)? When will the table sort itself enough for us to know who the top five or six squads are? Nine teams are within four points of third place. For as much as we might mock Tottenham or Liverpool, only three points separate us. On the other hand, only four points separate us from Man City. May you live in interesting times…

09 November 2014

Swans 2-1 Gunners: this is infuriating [w/ video highlights]

A boring, dreary first half picked up steam in the second, but with the way it ended, I think most of us would have preferred the boredom over the bollocks that we had to suffer. After a brilliant counter attack launched by the Ox, Welbeck ran in behind the defense to collect the through-back and cut back to pass to the middle for Alexis—who else?—,to slot it home, and it looked like we could escape with victory despite our sloppy, careless, play to that point. However, the sloppiness was exacerbated by heavier rains and the fact that we had no answer for Montero, who tore Chambers a new one each time he got the ball. Sigurddson's well-struck free-kick eluded Szczesny, but it was Montero who really ruined things for us, crossing in for Gomis to head home. Swansea had not scored from a set-piece or a header to this point; they managed to do both inside of five minutes today. It's a loss that will pose some tough, tough questions, some soul-searching, and perhaps some knife-sharpening. We'll have two weeks to digest this one before hosting Man U. If you have the stomach for it, here are the highlights:

Szczęsny and Fabiański conspire ahead of the match...

SWANSEA, South Wales—it was a rainy, dreary day in this coastal town, the kind of day that ached of rheumatism and rickets with a yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window panes and lingers upon the pools that stand in drains. It was the kind of day that saw the horizon fade into nothingness, where one could not determine where the sea ended and the sky began; all was but a greying mist. It was againts this tableau that two Poles, one perhaps grizzled and the other callow, met in a streetside cafe to strategize and conpsire. Small teacups of wódka were repeatedly drained and discreetly refilled throughout the late evening and, as the sun set, the conversation took on a sotto voce tenor.