29 October 2022

Nottingham Forest Preview: We're no longer top. It's all over.

That's it. It's all over. There's nothing left to play for now that Man City have wrested first place away from us. All that's left between us, relegation, administration, and liquidation are 27 matches that are yet to be played. That's a mere 71% of the season, but, now that every pundit's prediction about Arsenal's eventual collapse have been validated, there's nothing left for us to play for. Just give the trophy to Man City and start penning the gleeful posts gloating over our fall from grace and glory. Out of fairness to the fans who already bought tickets for Sunday's match, we might as well play. I just hope that this gloomy fate doesn't hang too heavily over our players' heads. Let's just get this preview over with, shall we?

28 October 2022

Gooners want Arteta OUT NOW after SHOCK loss to PSV!

Just so we're clear—I only capitalised "PSV" because it's already done that way. Don't shout it out like the other capitalised words. Go back and re-read the title again. I'll wait.

Welcome back.

Be careful what you ask for, or something like that. My match preview asked for rotation, even at a risk of losing the match, believing that Saka, Martinelli, Jesus, Partey, and
Ødegaard were looking leggy. For a good hour, I got the best of both worlds: just two of these players started, and our new defensive strategy—let VAR bail us out—was working. However, it all went somewhat sideways soon after that, and we now occupy a precarious perch just two points from our hostile hosts. We now face much what amounts to a must-win against FC Zürich.

27 October 2022

PSV vs. Arsenal: Squeaky Bums and Fading Spirits...

So here we are. A draw or a win secures top spot in Group A. Even a loss, as long as we somehow manage to overcome winless FC Zürich when they come to visit next week, lets us take that precious top spot, thereby avoiding the likes of Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, or Juventus. Barca are already in the Europa League, and Atleti and Juve still have fading hopes. Heck, even Tottenham could find their way back to their favorite tournament that they never win. Anything can happen. First, though, we have to sort out our own situation. I'll put it to you plainly: we should rotate heavily and let the chips fall where they may. Short version: our moderately strong side, including Saka and Jesus as starters, laboured its way to a 1-0 win at home. Going into Philips Stadion will likely present a stiffer challenge. I'm not usually one to throw in a towel, but we're running on fumes at the moment. 

26 October 2022

Bringing Broja down in the box? Penalty. Jesus? Nope.

To borrow from the inimitable Rodney Dangerfield, I went to a wrestling match but a football match broke out. More to the point, I witnessed our own Gabriel Jesus, uh, "volunteer" to participate in some Greco-Roman wrestling with various Southampton players (who give the lie to the moniker "Saint"), including not but two throat-grabs and two takedowns in the box. To be clear, it was Jesus on the receiving end of these completely legitimate, totally above the board, and not at all against the rules of the game, as evinced ex post facto by the fact that referee Robert Jones saw nothing in any of it to be worth a penalty or even a yellow card. We know that this would stand up in a court of law due to the inherent consistency, infallibility, and competence of Prem referees, the FA, and the PGMOL, among other esteemed and cherished institutions. We have some day find reason enough to revise this system of beliefs, but it is not this day.

24 October 2022

Rivals' Roundup, Matchday #11—the best of times, the blurst of times...

Apparently, Newcastle are not a "big" club. Don't tell the Saudis.
The weekend started off so swimmingly, what with Liverpool losing away to Nottingham Forest, the first time that's happened since 1996 when your corresp
ondent was a shaved-head vegan college graduate with all the sanctimonious self-righteousness you can fit into a body that stands 5'6". Add in a tie between Chelsea and Man U, and the recipe was coming together nicely (we all knew that Brighton were never taking points off Man City, so don't bother asking about that fly in the ointment or the mixed metaphor I just penned).

23 October 2022

Southampton 1-1 Arsenal: Vote for Player Ratings & MOTM.

Meh. I called Southampton a banana peel in my match preview, and I wasn't far off. Despite us seizing an early lead courtesy of Granit Xhaka's goal in the tenth minute (his fourth of the season, matching his best season total since joining), we failed to kill the match off and let Southampton find an equaliser. I'll spare referee Robert Jones the excoriation his performance deserves, but you're going to come away empty-handed more often than not when you're asking for competency from the ref. We really should have scored a second or at least kept that clean sheet, but we at least stay atop the table for another week. Well, without further ado, then, let's get to the poll to rate the lads. Click here to cast your votes; a post-match summary graphic will be posted tomorrow.