Showing posts with label Kevin Friend. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kevin Friend. Show all posts

09 November 2021

Maybe Arsenal should have returned the ball to Watford...

One side was full of thuggery and poor sportsmanship. T'other 'twas pure as driven snow. There's to be no confusin' now as the one side, the one side that did its level best to honor the letter and spirit of every law, rule, regulation, and custom be  it written and unwritten was hard done by in the end as their commitment to fair play. There's just no justice in the world, none I say. Why, I remember a day when you could look a man straight in the eye, give his hand a firm shake, and know you'd struck a deal as unbreakable as oak. These days, I don't know what to make of this topsy-turvy world. Up is down, down is up. It's enough to make one lose faith. And yet we don't. We bravely soldier on, knowing that tomorrow is a new day. So it must be for the brave, indefatigable souls at Watford.

08 November 2021

Arsenal 1-0 Watford: Player Ratings & MOTM Poll Results

Ten matches undefeated. Seven clean sheets. Four wins in a row. Three consecutive clean sheets. It's getting hard to resist feelings of unbridled optimism now that we've risen to fifth so quickly after flirting with being among the bottom three. Hell, if we defeat Liverpool by a paltry 11 goals, we'll overtake them on goal difference. Stranger things have happened. Seriously, though, we should remind ourselves that form is temporary, and that trip to Anfield after the international break looms large as our first stern test since that disastrous start to the season. Before we look two weeks into the future, let's allow ourselves just a little more time to savor the moment we inhabit now.  Here, then, without further ado, are the results of our post-match ratings poll!

07 November 2021

Arsenal 1-0 Watford: Vote for Player Ratings & MOTM!

Tony Pulis's Stoke were up to their old tricks on Sunday, kicking out at, maiming, and gouging Arsenal left and right...oh, wait. It was Watford. Kevin Friend was awfully generous to the visitors, calling 19 fouls while issuing just three yellow cards before finally sending Kucka off in the 89th minute. By contrast, Arsenal committed just six fouls but had four players booked. It's a good thing that Emile Smith-Rowe found the back of the net, pouncing on a ball after Lionel Messi--er, Ben White, actually--was dispossessed after a slaloming run through the heart of the Watford defense. We should have had more, what with Aubameyang fluffing a pen straight at Foster and then, from an offside position, tapping in an Ødegaard cross/shot that looked to be going in anyway. Whatevs. It's another three points, a fourth straight win, and tenth undefeated. We now sit fifth in the Prem. Not bad. With that, lets' get to the player-ratings poll!

14 January 2018

Bournemouth 2-1 Arsenal—Vote for Player-Ratings & MOTM!

Arsenal largely dominated proceedings at Dean Court but were indeed lucky to escape numerous close-calls, including a penalty-shout against Iwobi who appeared to extend his arm to deflect Bournemouth corner during their spirited charge to close the first half. However, Kevin Friend saw nothing in it, and we went into halftime in a scoreless draw. It wasn't until Héctor Bellerín, running onto Alex Iwobi's well-weighted through-ball, found a way past Begović, his shot squirting through the Bosnian to finally seize a lead. It didn't last long as Bournemouth found the equaliser through—what else? Sloppy defending on a counter-attack. A scant three minutes later saw Ibe, who had tormented the Arsenal defense all afternoon, slash one home, right through three players including Petr Čech. It's a grim result, to put it mildly. Let's get down to the poll to give 'em what they deserve...

19 December 2017

Arsenal 1-0 West Ham—Vote for Player Ratings and MOTM!

Danny Welbeck scuffed home a sloppy goal minutes before halftime, marking the first goal that West Ham had conceded in 320 minutes of football, and that was enough to send Arsenal through to the next round! Not a whole lot more to add on this rather hum-drum day, but it's a win, and that's good enough. Let's get down to the poll and rate the lads!

01 October 2017

Arsenal 2-0 Brighton—Vote for Player Ratings/MOTM!

Nacho Monreal opened the scoring for Arsenal in the 16th minute during a scramble in front of Brighton's goal, and Brighton never really looked ready to answer. Alex Iwobi scored his first goal in January to make it 2-0. Arsenal were turned away time and again in a splendid performance by Mat Ryan, assisted by numerous goal-line clearances and the woodwork as well. The result is our sixth win and fifth clean sheet in our last seven outings, and we're making the most of a softer stretch of the schedule. We're now level on points with Chelsea, no small feat when we consider where we were after the loss to Liverpool. Enough of the big picture for now; let's get down to the poll to rate our efforts against Brighton!

19 April 2016

Game on: Man City proves that it's not just Arsenal who can bottle things...

Well, well, well. Turns out that rumours of Arsenal's demise were greatly least for a few more days, at least. Manchester City went into St. James's Park on Tuesday with a chance to secure third place all to themselves. The perennial relegation-fodder that is Newcastle would surely offer little resistance against the Leviathan that loomed before them. After all, Man City arrived in the midst of a purple-patch of sorts, having defeated PSG in the Champions League and having scored nine goals in their previous three Prem matches. Game, set, and match to the Citizens, yes? In a word, no. Like us, they found a way to drop points from a winning position against an overmatched opponent.

07 February 2016

Bournemouth 0-2 Arsenal: Vote for Player Ratings and MotM!

First-half goals from Mesut Özil and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (his first in 16 months) powered
Arsenal to an early lead that they would never relinquish. Even if the 88 seconds between the two might have augured even more scoring, the result is good enough to close the gap on the increasingly impressive Foxes, who thrashed Man City at the Etihad. Bournemouth did have a few too many chances to call this a convincing result, but after four straight setbacks, a positive result is important enough not to look askance at. We've overtaken Man City, gone level with Tottenham, and closed the gap with Leicester to five. At the end of the day, that'll have to be good enough. We have a dramatic chance to close that gap next weekend. For now, though, get down to the poll to rate the lads!

06 February 2016

Open letter to Benik Afobe: do be gentle...

Dearest Benik (and I mean that sincerely, post-dated to before your move to Wolverhampton)—
I do apologise sincerely and earnestly for the rough treatment you received upon your departure. After all, you'd been with Arsenal since you were just six years old. Six. Six. There are some who are still wearing training pants that are altogether different from what we normally discuss at that age. You've done some growing up since you left, and you've announced your return to the Prem in fine fashion—your form stands in stark contrast against our own, what with you scoring three goals in four appearances while none of your erstwhile teammates has scored for three full matches and then some. In other words, to some extent, we hope that you remember your time at Arsenal fondly enough to tread lightly upon your return. We may very well depend on your good graces...

Arsenal arrive to pop a few Cherries—a tactical breakdown...

This would be comedic if it weren't so tragic. Maybe it's just ironic. Just as we've finally started to reassemble a full-strength squad, surviving—or so it seemed—an injury-crisis to dwarf all injury-crises, we've stumbled to four consecutive depressing results. A last-second equaliser at Anfield. a stubborn foe at the Brit. Another red-card assisted win for Chelsea. A blinder turned in by Southampton's keeper. Add them all together, and we've now dropped nine points from our last four outings. If we can't get back to winning ways, well, we can write off any chance of winning the Prem.

13 December 2015

We are top of the league, said wearetopoftheleague!

Okay, so it wasn't quite the swash-buckling rampage we've come to expect against Aston Villa, scoring only two goals after scoring 12 in our previous three outings. Pity poor Villa, on whom Kevin Friend might have lavished some pity by ruling Walcott offside just before halftime. Walcott lashed home a vicious shot anyway. Regardless of the particulars, we took care of business, seeing off a Villa side that is already all but relegated. Whatever. It's the other end of the table that matters—the one atop which Arsenal now sit...for now. If you haven't been chanting "we. are. top. oftheleague, saidwearetopoftheleague!" while reading, you're doing it wrong. Go back to the top of the page and reread whilst chanting and bobbing your head to the rhythm. We'll wait.

Aston Villa 0-2 Arsenal: Vote for Player Ratings/MotM!

Olivier Giroud scored his 50th Arsenal goal (third-fastest in club history behind Henry and Wrighty), and Aaron Ramsey
made an 80-yard run after making a tackle to finish Özil's selfless pass to make it 0-2. In the second half, Villa showed a bit more spark but not nearly enough to pierce our defense. Petr Čech got his 169th clean sheet, equalling David James's record. Arsenal rise to the top of the Prem. however briefly. All in all, not a bad day to be a Gooner. Let's get down to the poll to rate our lads!

12 December 2015

Ramsey's resurrection equals Villa's vivisection...

Who would have thought that injuries to Coquelin and Cazorla would turn out to be a blessing in disguise? Strange though it may be, our most-common complaints—who will play DM if Coq gets injured, and why is Ramsey playing on the wing—have been answered in the form of Ramsey restored to his preferred and most-productive position. Since his return to the middle, we've exploded for six goals in two matches after struggling to manufacture the same number in twice as many. That's not all down to Ramsey's return; then again, he has found a goal in two assists in those two previous matches. Maybe there's another resurrection for the Welsh Jesus waiting in the wings...

11 December 2015

Are Campbell and Ramsey flashes in the pan, or can they ride the wave?

It would be hard but not impossible to find two clubs headed in more-opposite directions than Arsenal and Aston Villa. Arsenal are just two points off the unlikely pace set by Leicester and have advanced to the Champions League knockout stage, while Aston Villa seem to be doing their best impression of a League 1 squad. They've not had a whiff of a finish in the Prem's top half for going on five years and look quite happy to slump towards relegation with just six points from 15 matches.  In short, this is one that Arsenal simply has to win.

01 November 2015

That's why Campbell is mm-mm good!

Well. I guess we have our right-wing sorted for the next eight to ten years now, don't we? After much wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth, we're spared the rending of garments for at least a few days after Joel Campbell turned in a confident performance in a vital 0-3 win at Liberty Stadium, scoring his first goal for Arsenal a mere four years after signing for the club. More than that though, from the opening minutes it seemed clear that he was bound and determined to prove a point, and prove it he did. That his goal came as icing on the cake more than as main course is beside that point.