30 January 2016

Of Sinners and Saints: can Theo score? Can Ox convince?

This was his moment, the perfect moment, the one scripted for him above all others. Subbed on late in the match gainst a visiting lower-tier side chasing an equaliser in the world's oldest association football competition, Theo Walcott found himself one on one with the keeper. Heaton was 15 yards off the line when Theo collected the ball, 25 yards from goal. These are the moments Theo lives for and scores from, are they not? However, he bottled it, trying to dribble Heaton only to have the chance snuffed out. With that, he might have killed two birds with one stone; the first being the chance itself and the second being Oxlade-Chamberlain's revival. It's the second I'm more concerned with...

Mohamed Elneny's Debut vs. Burnley: Match Highlights

In what looks to be Arsenal's only signing of the January window, Mohamed Elneny delivered a reassuring if not quite inspiring performance against Championship-side Burnley in the FA Cup fourth round tie, which Arsenal won 2-1. In the highlights below, you'll see a confident, composed defensive midfielder who slotted in quite well, moving about to offer support, drag opponents out of position, or disrupt counters. He might remind you of Alex Song—but without the reckless forays forward or the hopelessly optimistic hoofed-forward passes. He was unafraid to shoot from distance and asked questions of the keeper, coming close to scoring but for a fine save. Time will tell whether he can manage a similarly strong performance against stiffer opposition; for now, he looks like competent cover in the defensive midfield. Give the Egyptian a gander in the highlight reel below...

Thanks go to TerryAFC, whom you can follow on Twitter and to whose Youtube channel you can subscribe here.

Arsenal 2-1 Burnley: Vote for Player Ratings/MotM!

Arsenal fielded a much-changed side, making nine changes from last weekend, and struggled at times with a spirited Burnley side. The return of Alexis brought a much-needed boost as the Chilean assisted Calum Chambers's goal to open the scoring, then delivered the second goal after a beautiful, free-flowing sequence reminiscent of Arsenal at its finest. It wasn't always impressive but it was enough to see us through to the FA Cup fifth round. We'll take a closer look at how the lads performed later; for now, get down to the poll to give 'em what they deserve!

29 January 2016

Unleash Elneny! There. That is all.

After three disappointing results in the Prem, the FA Cup offers a welcome break as we host Burnley on Saturday with a golden chance at advancing to the fifth round proper. The Clarets did make a cameo in the Prem last season only to rejoin the Championship, where they currently sit third behind Hull and Middlesbrough, each of whom has featured in our recent FA Cup wins in recent seasons. Saturday will also reunite us with an old friend in Joey Barton, who I'm sure relishes a chance to play the cartoonish villain yet again. We'd do best to ignore his antics; he's just as likely to get sent off as to get someone sent off.

26 January 2016

Arsenal in CRISIS after dropping seven points from three fixtures!!! What's it all mean?

The bloom is off the rose, at least temporarily, only it's Arsenal's and not Leicester's that's suffered. The Foxes have apparently not gotten the memo yet (Re: fading in the second half), and Arsenal have now dropped points in three consecutive matches, allowing Man City to nudge past and Tottenham to creep closer. If there's a silver lining to the weekend, it's that Man U lost at Old Trafford, creating a bit of space between a crowded top four (separated by five points) and fifth, another five points off the pace. The coming weekend brings us the FA Cup's fourth round proper, with Prem action hot on its heels Tuesday and Wednesday. Your correspondent's scratched cornea might result in a few typos, but bare with him as we get to the rundown...

25 January 2016

Ahh, let those Baby Blues have their Bottle...

Chelsea can't beat Arsenal when both sides are at full strength—or by scoring from open-play. It's that simple. It's astounding how a squad so talent-deep has to resort so often to such skeevy tactics to beat us. It's as if they're parodying a caricature of the villain's role. In the latest installment, Diego Costa did what he does best by getting Per Mertesacker sent off (although this time the fault lay entirely with our centre-backs) and then scoring the only goal, earning three points that does more to resuscitate Chelsea's moribund season and less to undermine Arsenal's optimistic one. Fine. They can win the battle and lose the war for all I care. We have bigger fish to fry than these.

24 January 2016

Arsenal 0-1 Chelsea: Costa revives the lost art of physiognomy...

Diego Costa did what he does best, making the most of a reckless tackle to get Per Mertesacker sent off, and moments later scored at the near post. From then on, Arsenal, despite being down a man, created chance after chance only to come away empty-handed each time. I'd love to see how Chelsea would fare in a fair fight, one in which we get to stay at full strength. This is twice
now when we've ended up short-handed (even if this was was fair-less controversial). Still, no matter which way we slice it, it's a setback and a disappointing result, one that asks many questions of our ability to sustain our title-tilt. Still, we fought hard after going down a man and came so close so many times. There aren't any points for effort, but we showed more heart and fight than we have in similar situations. Keep that in mind as you get down to the poll...