22 October 2022

Arsenal v. Southampton: Banana Peels and Bogey Teams

I do believe that's Cedric popping up to celebrate an Arsenal goal, but...
At a risk of counting eggs before they've hatched, the weekend has already offered some tidy surprises, whether it's Liverpool losing to Nottingham Forest since 1980 or Chelsea and Man U sharing a point, so it's with butterflies in the stomach that we look ahead to our own Sunday clash against Southamptom. If there's ever been a bogey squad, it's Southampton. No matter how many players they sell, no matter how good we are, no matter how bad they are, they always make it harder for us than we have a right to expect. That said, we'd better expect more than we expect. Catch-22. That's quite a catch. Will we meet the Saints who defeated Chelsea or the Saints who lost to Everton and Aston Villa?Probably best to bet on the former.

20 October 2022

Arsenal 1-0 PSV Eindhoven—Vote for Player Ratings & MOTM!

For more than an hour, PSV Eindhoven sat back and waited and hoped and basically did everything but get forward. They finished the half with just one shot taken but did start to show something more-closely resembled ambition, getting forward enough in the second half to launch a grand total of three more shots before Granit Xhaka broke the deadlock in the seventieth minute by lashing home from Tomiyasu's pass. That was pretty much it, but it was enough to secure three points, solidify our position atop Group A, and move us one step closer towards winning the group. Without further ado, then, let's get to the poll to rate the lads!

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Van Nistelrooy...helped the Invincibles?

 
In his pre-match presser, former Man U striker and current PSV manager Ruud van Nistelrooy made a startling confession, namely that he expects a warm welcome because of how he helped Arsenal complete the undefeated Invincibles season by missing that penalty (alluded to ever so obliquely in our match preview). Can you imagine the unmitigated gall, the lack of self-awareness or humility, the...the...the hubris? If this guy thinks he'll get a warm welcome from the Emirates, well, he's got another think coming (and, yes, that's the original phrase. Don't come at me saying it should read "another thing coming". Anyway, where was I? Ah, yes—about to give it to this Dutch dolt with both barrels. He should realise that he's walking into the lions' den, skating on thin ice, playing with fire, and all the rest of the clichés that describe danger. Why, if I could get my hands on him, I'd—oh. He's mocking himself. Huh. That's actually kind of funny. Maybe I shouldn't let myself get all worked up over nothing.

19 October 2022

Arsenal v. PSV Eindhoven: Vengeance. Sweet vengeance.

Arsenal are always fired up by United | London Evening Standard | Evening  Standard
Okay, so there may not be quite this level of animosity...
Here it is, then—our spiciest Europa League encounter to date. Okay, so a certain Ruud van Nistelrooy is unlikely to strike the crossbar with a potentially game-deciding penalty. On the other hand, he has assembled a pacy, energetic side that has feasted on recent opponents, scoring 24 goals in their last six matches (although this does include 10 against hapless FC Zürich). On the other, other hand, their recent 3-0 loss to Cambuur in the Eredivisie—a relegation straggler that had lost its previous four matches—suggests that this young squad (average age 24.0, younger than Arsenal's 24.6) is capable of some mood swings. They had, after all, defeated Feyenoord in a wild 4-3 match just before this. 

17 October 2022

Rivals' Roundup Matchday #10: So, are we legitimate contenders yet?

I'm a lazy, lazy man, Roger.
First things first: I can't promise that I can deliver these every week, because, as the missus will attest, I've elevated laziness to an art form. It's hard sodding work being this lazy. Anyway, Arsenal are riding high, and I found myself with some free time, so here we are. The good news? Arsenal have won nine of these first ten matches and are riding high. The better news? Several erstwhile rivals are in disarray. The even-better news? We've opened up a four point lead over Man City despite them deployed the cybernetically perfected cyborg know as Haaland, scorer of something like 87 goals thus far. Or something. I haven't checked. Like I said: lazy. Anyway, it's been a while since I've had a go, so pardon me if I'm a bit rusty. Let's get to it.