Showing posts with label Anthony Taylor. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Anthony Taylor. Show all posts

17 February 2023

Arsenal 1-1 Man City: Player Ratings & MOTM Poll Results

Well, more than 800 voters weighed in after our latest setback and, while we were harsh on several individual players (Tomiyasu, Gabriel, and Nketiah in particular), the broader trends suggest we saw some silver linings or even outright reasons for something resembling shreds of optimism. Arteta's tactics received a solid score, and Saliba, Saka, Trossard, and Jorginho seemed to acquit themselves well enough to escape our wrath our disappointment. Speaking of Jorginho, he nabs his first MOTM with 35.4% of the vote. Saka followed hot on his heels with 32.6%, relegating No One to a distant third at 19.5%. For as glorious as a win would have been, the loss is not as thoroughly damaging. Take two of City's best players out and we're talking about a different result altogether. Despite the loss, we're level with City and have a game in hand. Rumours of our demise are somewhat exaggerated.

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15 February 2023

Arsenal 1-3 Man City: Vote for Player Ratings & MOTM!

Despite the late injury to Thomas Partey forcing him out of the lineup just hours before kickoff, we went toe-to-toe with City and more than held our own, shaking off the lethargy of the last few weeks. Yes, de Bruyne pounced on a risky pass from Tomi back to Ramsdale to score a clever goal, and Ake's accidental flick from Dias's header hit the crossbar, but Saka equalised from the spot, sending Ederson the wrong way and Ederson had clobbered Nketiah. From there, it was back and forth, with each side creating chances. In the end, though, it was really our own mistakes and not anything City did that led to this result.

Anyway, click here to vote. That nifty graphic will be available later; if you want real-time results, click here.

16th February 2011. Summon the spirit!

Can someone please make sure this man is in attendance?
I want you to come with me on a journey through space and time and dimensions to revisit a heady era when a young Arsenal squad, full of stars in the making but none of them established, went toe-to-toe with one of the best squads money could buy. In their prime, there was Valdes, Alves, Piqué, Puyol, Xavi, Villa, Iniesta, Mascherano, and, of course, Messi. Messi scored only 53 goals in 55 appearances that season. At the helm, of course, was none other than Pep Guardiola. Against this formidable squad, we sent out an XI that averaged all of 23.6 years of age. Everyone had predicted that this Barcelona side to not only win the Champions League as well as La Liga (which they would end up doing), but no one could have predicted that an Arsenal side full of youngsters and starlets would deliver as they did. It's that spirit that we must summon.

14 February 2023

The secret to defeating Citeh...REVEALED!

It's quite simple, really. It's the kind of thing that's so simple that no one's bothered to think of it yet. It takes an uncommon mind to think of these things, and people are always telling me that they've never met anyone quite like me before, so I guess that's the same as being uncommon. I was going to dive deep into regression analysis and statistical abnormalities and iterabilities and the rest, but I'll spare you the jargon and mumbo-jumbo and cut right to the chase. To defeat a behemoth like Man City, it's really quite simple, but first, I want to make sure that you are sitting, for the enormity of what you are about to read may shock and amaze you. Have you seated yourself? 

24 January 2023

Arsenal 3-2 Man U: Results of Player-Rating & MOTM Poll

Man, 681 responses. I was hoping for 600, but we eclipsed that. Zinchenko earned MOTM honours with 45.5% of the vote, eclipsing Nketiah's 40.7%. It's not often that the scorer of two goals in a 3-2 victory, earns a 9.38 rating, and fails to claim the MOTM, but such was Zinchenko's all-around performance that he really did deserve it. Between this match and the NLD, he had the most touches, passes, duels won, aerial duels won, and 100% success in take-ons. While it's true that Martinelli and White struggled, they've each logged heavy minutes and have played out of their minds. Having Tomiyasu and Smith-Rowe back and bringing in Trossard will give us some much-needed depth and rotation options. Well, enough huffing and puffing. Check out the poll results below...

As a final note, I'm still trying to find a suitable commenting platform. Google's comment widget only allows for Google logins or anonymous comments, neither of which really make discussion easy. I've brought Disqus back although it's far from perfect. If you have any feedback on Disqus, email me at In the longer term, I'll be migrating to a new domain (same URL) with a provider that has better commenting options. Thanks in the meantime for your patience!

23 January 2023


It was billed as a titanic clash, a bout between heavyweights, a potential Prem title decider, and, well, that's all probably a bit premature and a bit hyperbolic. Yes, Man U have nosed their way into the top three 
four, but they've done so by feasting on mid-table minnows and relegation fodder (except, it must be admitted, for their dramatic derby win at the weekend). However, it never felt like they really got a foothold in this match whereas Arsenal? Well, it has to be said that we rose to the occasion, seized it, and made it our own. It was a dramatic, emphatic win, the kind that could very well propel us to our first Prem title since 2004. In fact, for those curious, we're five points ahead of that Invincibles side.

22 January 2023

Arsenal 3-2 Man U: Vote for Player Ratings & MOTM!

In a stirring, possibly season-defining display, Arsenal came from behind to overturn an early Man U lead through Marcus Rashford to win 3-2, courtesy of last-gasp Nketiah goal to snatch all three points. There was some doubt as to whether the goal would stand, with Zinchenko possibly in an offside position during the sequence, but VAR let the goal stand. This one felt like one of the titanic battles between old heavyweights, and it's not too soon to suggest that Man U look to be back in contention again. Although their first goal came through a bit of luck, as Rashford pounced on the ball, made a nifty move, and slotted past Ramsdale from a good thirty yards out, they did give almost as good as they got. Almost. The result puts them back in their place and puts us five points ahead of Man City with a game in hand. The character and determination our boys showed, fighting until the very end, was something to behold. Not to be overlooked is the calm maturity of Nketiah, who had a chance at a late hat-trick but kept carrying the ball toward the corner flag to burn precious time instead. I just wonder what his doubters will say now that he's scored a brace against a big-six side. 

At any rate, get into the poll to rate the lads. Let's see if this one can break the 600-votes mark. An attractive results-graphic will be available tomorrow. If you're the impatient type, you can click here to see results as they roll in. Last but not least, for a visual on how the title-race is unfolding, check this page for a week-by-week chart of the top eight clubs are doing. 

Arsenal 3-2 Man U—highlight-clips as they happen!

I'll post quick clups of our 238th meeting with this old rival as quickly as I can. Man City's win over Wolves has narrowed the gap to just two points although we'll still have a match in hand after this (against, of course, none other than Man City...). Here's hoping I'll have lots to post here today...

21 January 2023

It's a Clash Of The Titans once again...sort of...

Five yellow cards mean what, now?
It's been a long, long time since this fixture attracted as much attention or meant as much as it does. These two clubs once dominated the Prem only to watch upstarts and oil money upend the established order, distort transfer fees and wages, and force two major cities to learn of the existence of local rivals. One club has shot up towards the top of the table, having lost just once in twenty matches. That includes a stirring derby-day victory. The other club, of course, has lost thrice in 26 matches with a big, fat asterisk over all three, two of them coming from heavily rotated sides and one, of course, coming in part due to a wrongly disallowed goal. Far be it from me to cast aspersions on Man U's growth since the World Cup. On second thought, I'll cast aspersions wherever I feel like it. Let's do this.

31 December 2022

Brighton Preview: they're droppin' like flies over there...

The nay-sayers will point out to you that we've only won twice in ten outings against Brighton, including a 1-3 loss in the League Cup back in November. That match does stand out as one in which Arteta got it wrong, not so much in fielding a heavily rotated side (only Saliba and Tierney started among a bunch of back-benchers) but in panicking late on, throwing on Martinelli and then Big Gabi and Zinchenko and Jesus and finally Xhaka in what looked like an increasingly desperate grasping at straws. Arteta may have learned from Pep that it's imperative to fight for each trophy, but if he had wanted to win, he would have started as we finished. Ah, well. Water under a bridge or off a duck's back. This is the Prem, a competition we know not to take lightly...even if our hosts will be lacking key players.

13 March 2022

[Title based on obligatory pun on Partey scoring a goal] oh, and a Player Ratings Poll!

This feels...weird. Not that we defeated Leicester. That's basically de rigueur these days. No, what I'm referring to is how we won. Thomas Partey scored AND we were awarded a penalty for a handball in the box. It's almost as if...I can't quite put my finger on it, but it's almost as if things are kind of, sort of, almost thinking about considering the possibility of going in a direction that to some degree might resemble a facsimile of being ours? Whatever it is is strange enough that I don't know how to describe it or even put my finger on it. I mentioned to the wife that it felt like it was on the tip of my tongue, but she said it looks more like a canker sore. So it goes. 

29 September 2018

Arsenal 2-0 Watford—Vote for Player Ratings & MOTM!

Arsenal won its seventh in a row, bouncing Deeney's Hornets out 2-0 courtesy of an own-goal (or was it a Lacazette goal?) and another from Özil, and it's starting to feel like we are building actual chemistry and momentum, enough to start perhaps believing that Emery is making progress in
rebuilding the squad around his philosophy. Whatever it is, it's enough to see us keep pace with Tottenham and Man City, who each won, and create space between us and Man U, who (savor this) lost. Well, enough. Get down to the poll!

10 February 2018

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

In a pulsing, intense North London Derby, Harry Kane nodded one home in the 49th minute. Did he shove Koscielny out of the way? In a very real sense, yes—then again, Anthony Taylor was presiding, so in a very different sense, it doesn't matter. Truth be told, though, Tottenham were the better side for most if not all of the match, and for us to get the hour-mark down just 1-0 was a bit of a blessing. It wasn't until the last ten minutes that we really started to show an interest and an ability to test Tottenham, but even four minutes of stoppage-time didn't give us enough time to dig out of the hole we had dug for ourselves. Lacazette fizzed close twice from close range, Well, there will be time for a post-mortem later; for now, let's rate the lads...

09 September 2017

Arsenal 3-0 Bournemouth: Vote for Ratings/MOTM Poll!

A fifth-minute goal from Danny Welbeck settled jangled nerves around the Emirates, and Arsenal thoroughly dominated a listless, overwhelmed Bournemouth squad still looking for its first point of the season. Lacazette added another twenty minutes later, and Welbeck found his second soon after halftime. Even after we went down to ten men when Coquelin had to come off with an injury (and we had used all three subs, we kept control. All in all, it should amount to a confident if not complete return to competitiveness as we look to recover from an absolutely shambolic start. We needed something to boost spirits, especially ahead of a trip to Stamford Bridge, and the lads delivered. Let's get down to the poll and give 'em what they deserve!

27 May 2017

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

Arsenal dominated Chelsea for long stretches of the FA Cup final but went into halftime ruing wasteful finishing, unhelpful woodwork, inspired goal-keeping and not a few goal-line clearances. It looked as if a 1-0 lead, controversially awarded despite a potentially-offside Ramsey trying to get out of the way of Alexis, would disappear in the secdon half as Conte made adjustments. However, that inspired, determined showing carried over into the second half. Despite Diego Costa's equaliser, Arsenal went ahead moments later as Ramsey nodded home. Victor Moses was sent off on a second yellow for simulation, and Arsenal rode out the storm to make it three FA Cups won in four years and a record 17th time. And we did it against Chelsea. Fantastic! We'll have a closer look at it all in another post; for now, get into the poll and give our lads what they deserve!

Injuries mount. Anthony Taylor to preside. What could go wrong?

Cazorla's still out. That's nothing new. Gabriel joins him, also injured. Koscielny's banned. Also sidelined? Maybe Mustafi and Gibbs. At this rate, we'll have no one left to play in the defense regardless of whether we play a 4-2-3-1 or a 3-4-3. Pity that Chambers is cup-tied. At Chelsea's end, of course, they're hale and healthy and have all but coasted across the finish line the Prem. Sure, there have been some hiccups here and there, but does anyone seriously doubt that they'll do the double, adding the FA Cup to that Prem title?

08 May 2016

Man City 2-2 Arsenal—Vote for Player Ratings/MotM!

Arsenal went into the Etihad with asnowball's chance in hell of finishing above Tottenham, who lost at home to Southampton earlier in the day. Olivier Giroud answered Sergio Agüero's early goal with one of his own, and Alexis equalised after de Bruyne scored early in the second half. However, that's where it stood even deep into stoppage-time with Arsenal apparently content to play for the draw and the hosts pressed urgently for the win. That's all she wrote, however, and Arsenal hold onto third place, two points back of Tottenham and two above Man City with one to play. Madness to think that we could still finish as high as second or as low as fifth. Ponder that for a moment, then get down to the poll to rate our lads!

02 April 2016

Arsenal 4-0 Watford—Vote for Player Ratings/MotM!

Arsenal waltzed to the comfortable victory over Watford that we should have had just a few weeks ago, with goals from Alexis, Iwobi, and Bellerín amounting to our most-confident and commanding performance in recent memory.  Midway through the second half, the real challenged seemed to lie more in how many cheeky little flicks and backheels we could string together rather than how many more chances we could create and convert. Walcott came on late and scored the fourth, more of an afterthought if anything.Nice as it was to see a bit of swagger on the pitch, one must remember that it was nothing less than the kind of result we should simply expect rather than celebrate. If this ushers in a winning streak to end the season, so much the better. For now, though, get down to the poll to rate our lads' efforts...

01 April 2016

Arsenal vs. Watford: Revenge, yes, but a chance to gain on Tottenham!

Watford. Watford, of all clubs. Travel back just a few weeks, and the club with an elk as a logo and a Hornet as a mascot would have looked like just another speed-bump between Arsenal and a possible double. A third-consecutive FA Cup was still in the sights; the Prem was still within reach. Then, the unthinkable happened, and we're left grasping at straws. We've crashed out of the FA Cup. The Prem, however, still dangles just barely within reach. Barely. Arsenal must exact a measure of revenge.

03 January 2016

These are the results that champions deliver. Period.

For long stretches, it looked as if Arsenal would stumble. At home against an embattled and overmatched squad, our Gunners should have cakewalked their way to an easy victory. Instead, we witnessed a gritty, grubby performance as Newcastle hunkered down in a stubborn 4-5-1 and dared us to unlock them. Their occasional counters proved to be more dangerous than most of what we could muster, and the excellence of Petr Čech should surely earn him a MotM award. However, for as much as we might have craved a swash-buckling display, it's closer to the truth to expect days like these, when a desperate opponent reminds us that anything can happen. To have found a positive result on this day proves more than any lopsided result that we're serious about winning the Prem.