27 December 2014

Enough of Giroud. Why were Onuoha and Ferdinand stil on the pitch (and other gripes)?

Let's get a few things out of the way right off the bat. One, Giroud, took the bait. He fell for it hook, line, and sinker. Two, the fact that we were still looking to put QPR away 52 minutes into a match is a far-bigger issue than the decisions Atkinson was making. Three, if we're looking to the referee to help us see off QPR, well, we have bigger issues than how much contact Giroud's forehead made with Onuoha. This was one we really should have settled by halftime but have no one to blame, really, but ourselves. Having gotten that out of the way, let's get to the self-righteous umbrage-taking, shall we?

26 December 2014

Giroud and Poldi (and Cazorla), together again...

Do you remember the beautiful partnership that once flourished between Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski, the one that delivered some stunning goals? At times, it was Giroud chipping or flicking to that Hammer of Mjölnir; at others, it Podolski fizzing in a cross for Giroud to tap in or head home. Whatever the case, that partnership has faded as Poldi has fallen out of favor. Whether it was too many kebabs or too many selfies, we haven't seen much of Poldi on the pitch, and rumours are swirling around a potential move away from the Emirates in January. More on that another day. For now, he's a Gunner (and rarely has a player's penultimate skill matched his club's name so well), and we need him, if only to rest Alexis  against QPR.

23 December 2014

Does the draw at Anfield close the door on Arsenal's dreams?

Everton, Newcastle, you’re dropped. Maybe you can scratch and claw your ways back in. West Ham, you’re in, not by default but by dint of your own efforts. If only for the sake of my fingers, my eyesight, and my marriage, we do start to see a somewhat-clearer picture with fewer clubs in contention, although they may resurrect their fortunes. For now, though, this was a tough weekend all around for Gooners, as it seems that almost everyone got the result they wanted (except Man U). We might console ourselves with the notion that only we played a key rival, but that would be cold comfort indeed.  The Prem looks to be a two-horse race, and one can only hope that Mourinho’s l’il pony has enough heart to stay in first. Off we go…

21 December 2014

Ten minutes of stoppage time?

As it turns out, we can't complain or point fingers. Skrtel had a bloody head wound, and it seems only fitting that the man beaten by Debuchy for one headed goal should find himself free and clear to head home the second in the stoppage earned through his own injury. Call it karma or poetic justice; one thing we'll have to agree on calling it was shoddy, shoddy defending.

Liverpool tactical preview: Welbeck to shine

And so we return to the scene of one of our worst drubbings in recent memory. The 5-1 loss at Anfield last spring stands as a symbolic turning point, as it seemed to send us into a tailspin. Prior to that infamous result, we had won six of seven Prem matches; afterwards, we would only win two of the next eight. Yes, we followed that shellacking with a nifty 2-1 win to advance in the FA Cup, but the loss stands out as perhaps the moment when we lost the plot in the Prem. That was the loss that knocked us from our perch once and for all, and we fell from first to fourth, never to recover. As we gird our loins for a return to Anfield, I look to Danny Welbeck to lead the charge.