Showing posts with label Mark Clattenburg. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mark Clattenburg. Show all posts

30 April 2017

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

It's a scoreling that might flatter the visitors, to be honest, as Tottenham looked livelier if not more lethal throughout the match. Arsenal found chances few and far between, and the only real question left to ask is what the result signifies: have Tottenham moved above Arsenal not just now for the foreseeable future? They seem stronger at most positions. They seem to have a sharper, stronger vision. And now, courtesy in part of this result, they may now have a mental edge, a belief in themselves, that they've lacked in the past. We'll ponder the imponderables later. For now, get down to the poll to give our lads what they deserve...

11 February 2017

Arsenal 2-0 Hull: Alexis lends a hand [VIDEO]

Handballs or the lack thereof) were the order of the day as Arsenal wasted numerous chances against Hull's packed-in defense. Finally, in the 33rd minute, Alexis scored a ball-to-hand after a flurry on Hull's line. That would be about it as far as clear-cut chances until stoppage time when Hull's keeper had come off his line, full-Fabiański, leading to a scramble in which Lucas's header forced Hull defender Clucas to extend his arm to attempt the goal-line clearance. Clattenburg issued the red, and Alexis slotted the penalty to make it 2-0. It wasn't ever pretty, but it's a result, and we'll take it. Enjoy the highlights below!

02 May 2016

Open Letter to Bottlin'ham—er, Tottenham: yes, we hate Chelsea, too...

First things first, let's all congratulate Leicester on a wondrous, glorious Prem title. They've fought hard and won it well, and no one outside of Hollywood could have written a better fairy-tale than this—other than to have let the Foxes win it outright at Old Trafford, denizen of the dominant for so many years, rather than having to wait on results elsewhere. Even if Tottenham's hopes for a Prem title were razor-thin at best going in, we at Arsenal understand how it feels to let something that was oh-so-close slip through one's fingers. I won't go so far as to suggest that I was gunning (catch the pun, eh?) for you to win the Prem, but there's just enough in this one to let us commiserate—if you're willing.

19 March 2016

Everton 0-2 Arsenal—Vote for Player Ratings/MotM Poll!

Danny Welbeck got Arsenal off to a much-needed strong start, scoring through a beautiful sequence just seven minutes in, and Alex Iwobi opened his Arsenal account just before halftime by running onto an audaciously lofted ball from Bellerín and slotting right under Robles. The second half opened with Everton showing a bit more intent and aggressiveness, signified by Lukaku sliding into Ospina, who needed assistance but stayed in despite wincing and limping for most of the rest of the match. For what it's worth, that also signified referee Mark Clattenburg's resistance to warning or booking anyone wearing Everton blue on the day. Imagine what might have happened had Gareth Barry had been available. Be that as it may, Arsenal found a vital three points to draw just a bit closer to Tottenham and Leicester (perhaps Palace and Bournemouth can each do us a solid...).  We're back to winning ways; get down to the poll to rate our lads!

UPDATE: something has hijacked the poll. Please check back later, after I've had a chance to investigate the cause.

18 March 2016

Arsenal set up to salvage a season against enervated Everton...

Can it be the international break already? Please? The last few weeks have been especially unkind to Arsenal, what with getting dumped out of the Champions League and FA Cup and winning just once in our last eight outings. It's hard to believe that just a month ago, there was distant talk of a treble, but that talk has slowed to a trickle as Arsenal face not only a season without significant silverware, but one in which we might finish below Tottenham for the first time since 1995. And so we go into Goodison Park clinging to slender hopes of resurrecting something from a season that feels like it's teetering on the edge of catastrophe.

25 January 2016

Ahh, let those Baby Blues have their Bottle...

Chelsea can't beat Arsenal when both sides are at full strength—or by scoring from open-play. It's that simple. It's astounding how a squad so talent-deep has to resort so often to such skeevy tactics to beat us. It's as if they're parodying a caricature of the villain's role. In the latest installment, Diego Costa did what he does best by getting Per Mertesacker sent off (although this time the fault lay entirely with our centre-backs) and then scoring the only goal, earning three points that does more to resuscitate Chelsea's moribund season and less to undermine Arsenal's optimistic one. Fine. They can win the battle and lose the war for all I care. We have bigger fish to fry than these.

24 January 2016

Arsenal 0-1 Chelsea: Costa revives the lost art of physiognomy...

Diego Costa did what he does best, making the most of a reckless tackle to get Per Mertesacker sent off, and moments later scored at the near post. From then on, Arsenal, despite being down a man, created chance after chance only to come away empty-handed each time. I'd love to see how Chelsea would fare in a fair fight, one in which we get to stay at full strength. This is twice
now when we've ended up short-handed (even if this was was fair-less controversial). Still, no matter which way we slice it, it's a setback and a disappointing result, one that asks many questions of our ability to sustain our title-tilt. Still, we fought hard after going down a man and came so close so many times. There aren't any points for effort, but we showed more heart and fight than we have in similar situations. Keep that in mind as you get down to the poll...

22 January 2016

Arsenal vs. Chelsea: Tactical Preview (bring on Diego Costa, by all means)....

We might be deprived of a chance at rubbing Mourinho's face after he was unceremoniously sacked by—I'm sorry—after he and Chelsea "parted by mutual consent" in December, but that should take none of the edge of an encounter that stil offers plenty of history and perhaps even hatred. For as much as we love the fact that Chelsea sit just a few points from relegation, this is still by and large the same squad that won the Prem just eight months ago. After dropping points at Anfield and the Brit in recent weeks, we simply have to smash Chelsea for all three, both for the schadenfreude as well as the strategic value.

21 January 2016

Dearest Guus Huddink: could you wear a Mourinho-mask, or get Clattenburg to don a Dean?

I'll admit, I'm miffed. Perturbed. Disappointed, even. Ever since Mourinho's minions managed to escape Stamford Bridge despite playing twelve against nine, I've looked forward to this one. I'd been relishing the chance to rub Mourinho's smirky, passive-aggressive face into the Emirates pitch for weeks; meanwhile, I milked the sweet ambrosia that has been Chelsea's flirtation with relegation, eagerly anticipating the chance to not only exact revenge but to do while showing your plastic fans what football should look like—no amount of bus-parking or cynical fouling or hoofing it forward would save you. And then, your sugar-daddy had to go and spoil it all by sacking Mourinho, depriving us at a chance at sweet, sweet revenge. Well, in his absence, you'll have to do.

22 November 2015

If that's what it takes to defeat Arsenal, we'll win the Prem...

So. Arsenal lost. All it took was an injury to a key player, two flukey goals, and a cowardly performance from the referee. We went into the Hawthorns with good reason to believe that we could and indeed should emerge victorious, and early returns confirmed as much. A 28th-minute goal from Giroud (assisted, as if it needs be mentioned, by Özil) looked to pave the way for the foregone conclusion. However, preceding that, we'd lost Coquelin, and it was from there that things unraveled. This then is the apparent recipe for defeating the Arsenal: look for an injury or two, count on the referee to offer a favorable call, and ride your luck 'til the end. To that I say, is that your best? Is this the best you can do? Foul deeds, indeed. We'll rise above, you can count on that.

21 November 2015

West Brom 2-1 Arsenal: Vote for Player Ratings and MotM!

Injuries and poor play marred Arsenal's trip to the Hawthorns, as Coquelin was injured
fourteen minutes in, and his replacement Arteta was ineffective at best, conceding an own goal to give West Brom a 2-1 lead. Arteta then came off shortly after halftime, and these injuries not only left our midfield in disarray but also denied Arsène other more-strategic options. We were far from our best, and he only real bright spot was Özil getting an assist in his 11th straight Prem match. Just when it seemed we'd find an equaliser, Cazorla slipped while taking a spot-kick and sent the ball sailing over the bar. Well, it's a tough one, no doubt. Give our lads what they deserve in the poll below...

20 November 2015

Campbell's the one to cook West Brom's soup...

What a week. Normally, we fret and strut about, worrying whether this or that Gunner will come up lame during the international break during some pointless friendly. How gladly would I accept Alexis's injury if it would have forestalled what transpired last Friday. Rarely has the diversion of Premier League soccer come at a more-necessary time. Sport is meant to be a proxy to war; here's hoping that it offers a welcomed salve as well.

22 February 2015

Gunners lucky to scrape out a win and climb to 3rd on the day

Phew. That one was about as unmpleasant a win as I've been around in a bit. Throughout the match, it seemed like only a matter of time before Zaha would (a) find his way past Monreal, (b) earn a penalty, or (c) get Monreal sent off, if not some combination of the aforementioned. Ironically, the first goal came after Clattenburg ignored a penalty-shout from Palace and on the ensuing counter, Welbeck was brought down by Soaré juuust inside the area, and Cazorla coolly converted the penalty to make it 1-0, very much against the run of play. Just before halftime, Giroud added a second during a scramble after Speroni spilled Welbeck's shot—our 13th goal scored in extra time to date. An 0-2 lead has rarely felt as fortunate as this one. However, it's three points banked on what's looking like a great weekend.

06 March 2014

An open letter to Mark Clattenburg ahead of Saturday's match

Dear Mr. Clattenburg,

I hope that this letter finds you and yours well. The climate here has been somewhat chillier than is seasonal, what with there being a good 25cm of snow on the ground and temperatures hovering at -5. Still, the children are hale and making the most of the snow, although the snowman they've made looks to be more an effigy than a frivolity. I told myself I wouldn't worry over it, though, as you know how children can be. I'm sure they'll burst through the door soon enough, apple-cheeked and runny-nosed, clamoring for hot chocolate and biscuits. Listen to me prattle on, though, as if there aren't more significant issues for us both! I'm sorry. This old mind of mine tends to wander. As to my real business, I suppose you know by now that we have an important rendez-vous this Saturday, and I do hope that I can count on you to do your level-best. After all, the Arsenal have been hard done by in previous matches. You of all people know that I'm not given to moaning, but I feel that I must air my views and hope you will lend a sympathetic ear.