31 October 2015

Can you put one past Fabiański? £10, Football Manager, or an Arsenal jersey if you can!

We face an old friend in Łukasz Fabiański today, and this gives my UK readers a chance to earn a few quid, Football Manager 2016, or even an Arsenal jersey if our lads can bag a few goals. Here's where you come in. In the comments-section, simply indicate which of the six cells below we'll score our goals. If you comment, "Joe wants A" and a Gunner scores to that area, you'll win £10. A second goal gets you a pre-order of Football Manager (to be shipped in November when it's actually out). A third goal scored there? Your choice of a 2016 Arsenal jersey (home, away, or third). See more of the rules below...


  • Each player is only allowed one square, no multiples
  • Entries will not be accepted from blog owner, contributor or employees of Paddy Power
  • Squares will be allocated to the first 6 people to comment on available squares
  • The BBC’s definition of which square the ball went into is final, this can be found on BBC Football news http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/results
  • Prizes are subject to availability
  • Only one prize per square
  • Only the first 5 goals are counted      
  • UK entries only
  • If the match score is 0-0 the first to comment on the original post will win the booby prize, a Danny Dyer Football Foul-Ups DVD
Got it? Good. I know we want our lads to score goals for only the purest of purposes—to deliver victory to the Arsenal—but it's nice once in a while to pick up a little swag for ourselves! Get tto it!

30 October 2015

Sorry, Swansea, but your timing couldn't be worse...

After bowing out of the League Cup in somewhat shocking fashion, it's reassuring if nothing else to get back to proper Prem play. That we've now lost Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain is a setback worse than having lost to Sheffield Wednesday. Heck, Swansea lost in the previous round, part of a recent run of poor form that has undone their respectable start, the one that saw earn a draw at Stamford Bridge and defeat Man U as well, rising to as high as fourth. Since then, however, they've taking on water and have sunked to twelfth.

With Campbell on, Swansea's goose is cooked...

Joel Campbell should start on Saturday. Why? Because of his performance against Sheffield Wednesday. Yes, I know we lost in spectacular fashion, conceding three goals in less than 30 minutes against a Championship side. However, Campbell was perhaps alone in playing with purpose and passion even if without final product. Amidst a squad full of seemingly overawed youngsters and jaded first-teamers, Campbell continued to impress with his work-rate, his willingness to track-back, and his will to make something happen. If he can replicate that performance on Saturday, Swansea's goose will indeed be well and truly cooked.

28 October 2015

Maybe it's time to ring up Pulis about ending Gnabry's loan...

Once we set aside the result itself and realize that losing to Sheffield Wednesday should do little to impede our momentum, we have to face a cold, hard reality that presented itself in two forms on Tuesday and looks likely to menace us going forward: our first-choice XI is quite good, but it's awfully slim pickin's after that. It looks like we'll be without Theo, Ramsey, and the Ox for a few weeks, one position in particular looks awfully thread-bare—that right wing. The only player currently in the squad who has anything remotely resembling Prem experience there is Joel Campbell. Why do I not feel a surge of confidence?

London club in SHAMBLES after SHOCK loss to underdogs from the North!

A shocking League Cup loss has a London club in dizzying disarray, sources report, with critics wondering just what the manager is up to with his squad selection and tactics after the big-city club were upended by the upstarts from up north. Even if it's true that many Prem clubs see these cup-ties as a chance to bed in some youngsters, this was one occasion when the gaffer saw fit to send on what amounted to a full-strength squad only to see his XI eclipsed by a more-ambitious lower side. I speak, of course, of Chelsea, who sent out a strong squad only to lose on penalties to Stoke. Yes, yes, it's true that Arsenal also lost, but only one of these two London clubs seemed to treat the event with any urgency. In what might be becoming a specialty, they failed anyway.

26 October 2015

Pick to Click: Alex Iwobi, bagger of a brace against Bayern...

The pundits and punters will tell you that Arsenal have not won in their last six visits to Hillsborough, as if this is meant to mean something. Maybe it does, until we realise that our last trip there was January 2000 and that looking to results that are any older than three or four years old means little, if anything at all. Still, the League Cup is full of pitfalls and pratfalls, and we at Arsenal need not look too far into our own past to dredge up some painful memories. On the other hand, it's been a few years since we got such a favorable draw, having faced Prem mainstays Southampton and West Brom in recent seasons (I dare not delve much deeper into the annals than that, thank you very much). Back to Sheffield Wednesday, whom we play on Tuesday, just what have they been up to recently?

25 October 2015

Rivals' Rundown: The Mourinho Melt-down and Arsenal's ascendancy...

We're back. Finally, it seems, my unbridled joy at seeing Chelsea suffer, Liverpool languish, and Tottenham put on its bravest face has trumped my sloth and indolence. We're coming up on a third of the season gone, and the trends are starting to emerge. Yes, there are upstarts—can West Ham, Leicester, or Crystal Palace sustain their early-season form? Perhaps more pertinently, can Tottenham, Liverpool, or Chelsea (yes, even Chelsea...) find the kind of form that would enable them to climb back into the top four? These and other questions remain to be answered. Arsenal were briefly alone atop the league and will share the position with the always-generous Man City for the time being. Let's get into the nitty-gritty, at least as it stands after ten matches...