09 May 2015

With Saints and Spurs sinking, we have some Swans to see off...

For the second week in a row, we wait until to do battle. With the Prem title in Chelsea’s hands, we turn our attention to finishing second, which would be our best finish since 2004-05 when we again finished behind Chelsea. Repeating that season, in which we also won the FA Cup, would position us as legitimate challengers to the Chelsea-Man City hegemony of the last few seasons. First, though, we have to fight our way past Swansea.

06 May 2015

And then there were two: Arsenal and Man City, sittin' in a tree...

In an outcome that surprises no one, Chelsea have won the Prem in a process that excites just as many. While it’s true that there’s little left to fight for other than table-scraps, recent results seem to have cleared the decks for a two-squad squabble—Man U’s apparent collapse, combined with Chelsea’s coronation, suggest that Arsenal and Man City will duke it out for second place. This is not to say that Man U have passed the point of no return, but they’re definitely on the outside looking in, hoping and praying for results elsewhere to break their way. While Arsenal and Man City seem all but assured of Champions League qualification, it will be intriguing to see which of them sees a second place finish as a prize worth fighting for. Enough throat-clearing. Let’s get down to it.

05 May 2015

Post-Hull Podcast: Ramsey on the right, Cazorla in the hole, Totteringham, and more...

I know what you're thinking: "how much longer will I have to wait to hear Jon's velvety, dulcet voice?" Well, wait no longer. I'm proud to bring your attention to my appearance on the Arsenal Review USA podcast, where we discuss the Hull result and get ready for Swansea. It's a brave new world for me here, and I hope you'll give it a listen (skip ahead to the thirteen-minute mark if you'd like to cut to the chase and get to my appearance).

It was an interesting experience, having to formulate thoughts on the fly rather than hiding behind the keyboard, and I hope, if nothing else, I avoided any major gaffes and got through it sounding more or less like I know what I'm talking about. Given how ew this little foray is, I'd appreciate your feedback, whether on what I said or how I sounded saying it. Let me have it in the comments-section below. Thanks!

04 May 2015

How's that, then, Chelsea? You boring, banal barnacles...

Arsenal overran Hull on Monday night, scoring three first half-goals and then conceding a second half header to ruin a clean-sheet, serving notice to anyone who still cares that, yes, it is still possible for a top-of-the-table squad to comfortably play an attacking, entertaining style  and win comfortably against a squad fighting to stave off relegation. Yes, Chelsea managed to find its way past a stubborn Crystal Palace side, but, as always, method does matter, and Chelsea's method does beg certain questions when it needed a dodgy penalty to win at home in order to secure the Prem title. Elsewhere, Arsenal steamrolled a squad in desperate need of a point if not three, serving notice yet again that how one wins does matter even if there are no points for style.

Hull 1-3 Arsenal: Vote for Player-Ratings/MotM

Arsenal broke Hull's will through two deflected goals in the first half and went into halftime with an 0-3 margin that brimmed with verve and confidence and style, the third goal a masterful through-ball from Ramsey that threaded past several Hull defenders as Alexis sluiced through them and beat Harper with a calm side-step before tapping in. Hull found a goal from a beautiful header from Quinn to deny Ospina the clean sheet, but it was still good enough to see us climb back up to second place, level on points with Man City and of course secure this year's St. Totteringham's Day. Good times. Give the lads what they deserve in the poll below!

If Pacquiao is Arsenal, Mayweather is Chelsea. In other words, a boring, boring match.

So it seems that one of the most-anticipated boxing matches in recent memory was, essentially, a draw. There was no knockout. There wasn't even a knock-down. Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao went toe-to-toe in one of the most-hyped events in boxing history (which is saying something), and the result was about as boring as the process that produced that result—twelve tepid rounds that came down to the judges' decision, ending in a barren, boring coronation that can't quite resist a comparison to the Chelsea-Arsenal rivalry of recent years. I can't remember feeling as indifferent to a result as I am to this one. With Mayweather, as with Chelsea, the ends justify the means...

03 May 2015

Hull Preview: Walcott on the wing, Walcott does that thing...

It’s been a long weekend indeed that sees us waiting until Monday to square off against Hull. By then, we’ll have exhausted the exhilaration that is Man U losing a third straight—this last one at home—all but excluding them for the discussion. In the meantime, of course, Chelsea have won the Prem (finally...) while Man City beat Tottenham to offer us a chance at St. Totteringham's Day while keeping the chase for second place tight. None of this, however, should tempt us to look past Hull, who hit as hard as they’ve been hit as they seek to stave off relegation.