10 December 2022

And then there were three...

Friday's results had everything a neutral could hope for—goals from marquee players, presumptive wins for the favorites, stunning comebacks, and dramatic results. For those of us refined enough to support the Arsenal, results have brought mixed blessings as various countries have been knocked out, depriving our players of a chance at World Cup glory but also sparing them the worst ravages of overexertion. After sending ten of our players to Qatar, just three remain standing (although two of them have spent most of their time there sitting): Saka, Saliba, and Ramsdale. Sent packing, literally, are Tomiyasu, Xhaka, Martinelli, Magalhães, Turner, Partey, Jesus, and White. Whilte it's frustrating to say the least to see Jesus suffer an injury when he finally got to play in a match from which Brazil didn't need a result, and it's infuriating to see the speculation swirling around White's departure from Qatar, we can heave a collective sigh of relief around the damage that hasn't been done, namely to key players like Xhaka and Partey and to those who've become even more vital after the injury to Jesus.

09 December 2022

DISGUSTING rumour on Ben White's Qatar departure circulates...

When Ben White left the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, the support was just about universal. This hasn't stopped scurrilous rumours circulating, alleging that White had a "dust-up" with England trainer Steve Holland and offering unsourced, unsubstantiated rumours that the two had come to blows after White showed up to a session unprepared for the match against the USA. None of this holds any water, and, given the possibility that White is attending to a rather-urgent family matter, it all comes across as rather unseemly, to say the least.

It's all speculation at this point, but there's speculative speculation, and there's scurrilous speculation. This reeks of the latter. If it turns out that this story is in fact clickbait, I sincerely hope that those involved are sacked and are subsuquently sued for defamation, emotional distress, and any other relevant charges.

08 December 2022

Arsenal 3-0 Lyon—Highlights!

Arteta named the strongest side he could from the players available, and they absolutely battered Lyon 3-0 through goals from Big Gabi, Nketiah, and Vieira. Arteta basically replaced the entire outfield with youngsters, and they still ran Lyon ragged. It could have been 6-0, but the woodwork did a better job of keeping us from scoring than did their keeper, to be honest, and our own Karl Hein turned away four of the five end-of-match pens to secure that fourth point. Anyway, not a lot to analyse here, just some good clean fun.

Lacazette wants to audition to return to the Arsenal...

The timing is just too perfect, isn't it, what with Gabriel Jesus going under the knife, doubts swirling around Nketiah's quality, and Alexandre Lacazette appearing in the Dubai Super Cup? What better occasion to remind us of what we once had—nay, of what we may yet possess again? Lacazette has been en fuego for les Gones, and with that, all I need is a book title and I'll have the italicized trifecta. If you haven't already, go read Black Swan Green. It'll bring you back to 1982, Margaret Thatcher, the Falklands War, etc., etc. Good times were had by all. Back to the match, though. Lacazette, as I mentioned a moment ago, leads Lyon with nine goals in 15 appearances, including five in his last six, and, to all outward appearances, could just very well be the reinforcement we need as Jesus recuperates.

07 December 2022

In Jesus's absence, Portugal offer Arsenal a chilling vision of what was and what could be...

Thanks to the inimitable David Squires...
Ronaldo has not only been squeezed out of Man U's life, down the drain like molten toothpaste; he must also feel like he's been used and spit out (and if you can recognize those lyrics without Googling, you've got good taste). Exiled—I'm sorry—having parted ways with Man U by "mutual consent", Ronaldo has also been dropped from the Portugal for the forseeable future after his petulant reaction to being subbed off against South Korea. In his absence, Portugal have offered a certain section of the Arsenal fanbase two blood-chilling visions of what could be. One is the future of a Ronaldo-less Man U; the other is of a Ronaldo-ridden Arsenal.

06 December 2022

PSG will prevent Mbappé from eclipsing Henry. Prove me wrong.

Well, it's official. Olivier Giroud is now a better striker than Thierry Henry ever was or Golden Boot wintter Karim Benzema ever will be, at least for country if not for club. That's the only rational, sane conclusion to be drawn from the fact that Giroud has now overtaken Henry as the all-time leading scorer for Les Bleus, courtesy of his goal in France's 3-1 stroll past Poland and into the World Cup quarterfinals. Anyone doing a spit-take with their coffee, tea, or scotch will do well to note that Giroud scored his 52nd goal in just 116 matches. It took that tosser Thierry 123 to score 51. You can't spell "over-rated" without...well...to be honest, I expected more of letters from Henry's name to appear in "over-rated" and have painted myself in a bit a of a corner here.

05 December 2022

Are Arsenal eyeing up a loan-deal for this in-form Dutch striker?

Now that the sky has fallen and the wheels have come off and the trains been derailed, we might as well throw in the towel. After all, just as our critics and naysayers have ben saying all along, we've relied so extensively on Jesus's goals that his absence, rumoured to be as long as three months, will set us back past the point of no return. We've ridden the deepest purple patch of his career to the top of the table, and, without him, we'll fall to the bottom faster than, well, faster than Ronaldo goes to ground in desperate search of any chance to finally score another Prem goal before he...oh. Anyway, all sarcasm aside, we do need som reinforcements, and that was true before Jesus apparently went down. We'll return to that "apparently" at some point soon.

04 December 2022

England 3-0 -Senegal—Saka highlights as soon as they're ready!

England take on Senegal today with the winner facing France in Saturday's quarterfinal. In the rare event that our own Bukayo Saka manages to do what he always does, we'll feature the clip(s) here. Strangely, Southgate has decided to deploy our starboy at [checks notes] right wing? Is that a position Saka knows how to play? It might have been better to play him at left back, no? Okay, so, yes, he's played his preferred position in all three appearances now, but far be it from me to miss a chance at a cheap shot at Southgate from the cheap seats. At any rate, any Sakasian (Saka-esque?) highlights will appear here with all due speed.

Click to expand each link; I'll do my best to add more as I find them on social media.

Arsenal suffer MASSIVE Brazilian setback. Who will step up?

consarn it.
Ok, so, normally, that's me using a click-bait title to lure readers into (what I hope is) a more in-depth article. Well, now that you're here, dear reader, rest assured that you won't see any more sensationalism or exaggeration from me. In fact, there's literally nothing I hate more than hyperbole. I was just sitting down to put pen to paper on Gabriel Jesus with the news that he had been feeling some pain in his knee prior to the World Cup and to then interpret this to mean that his withdrawal from the match with Cameroon was simply a precaution due to something like tendinitis or some other nagging but not-serious niggle. News now from Renato, essentially a Tier One Brazilian journalist, has spilled the tea, and it's going to leave a mark.