Showing posts with label Michael Oliver. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Michael Oliver. Show all posts

10 March 2023

Michael Oliver just can't stop helping the Arsenal, can he?

Just don't mention Martinelli.
Michael Oliver and bookings that benefit the Arsenal. Name a more-iconic duo. Well, you've probably already named several as I make light of Oliver's inflated reputation dating back to his sending Di Maria off lo these many years ago. Well, lightning, or at least a middle-aged man with pale skin, has struck twice, It seems ages ago, but Michael Oliver showed Fulham star João Palhinha a yellow card during Fulham's match against Wolves way back on 24 February. That was his tenth yellow card of the season, and thanks to rules changes, he'll serve the second of his two-match suspension on Sunday.

01 March 2023

Arsenal 4-0 Everton: Vote for Player Ratings & MOTM!

Now that's more like it. After weeks of wobble and unconvincing performances, we needed some catharsis to purge ourselves of the ennui that had settled in. Enter Everton, the near-perfect foil. Despite their keeping eight or nine outfield players inside the 18, we carved them open, first as Zinchenko sprung Saka free to leather it past Pickford from a tight angle. Then, in the stoppage time that Pickford himself had created (seriously - he took 20-25 seconds any time he had the ball), Saka played Martinelli through on goal. He was at first flagged offside, but VAR overruled it and we went in to halftime up 2-0. The second half was more of the same as Everton actually tried to get up the pitch to find a goal, and it started to feel we had an extra man. If anything, the scoreline flattered our visitors and we could have won by six or seven. No need to get greedy, though. We battered badly enough as it is. Well, anyway, here's the link for the ratings & MOTM poll. Live results are here, and that nifty graphic will be available tomorrow.

Click the post's title to expand and see the comments-section if you're interested.

26 December 2022

Arsenal 3-1 West Ham: Vote for Player Ratings & MOTM!

We dominated. It looked for a while like we would blow West Ham away until Saliba gave Jarrod Bowen a chance to go down in the box (under the lightest of touches, it must be added, but a touch nonetheless). Strangely, somehow, against all odds, Bowen managed to take several more steps before realising he had been clipped. Fair play to him for trying to play on rather than diving awkwardly to attract Oliver's attention. Anyway, Benrahma converted from the spot, and it might have felt like the old Arsenal again. However, we stormed back. First, Ødegaard forced a pen by drilling his shot off of Cresswell's arm in stoppage time, only for VAR to overrule. It did look to go off of Cresswell's head, if we're being honest. Into the second half, three goals in 15 minutes secured all three points: first, Saka pounced on Ødegaard's smothered shot; then, Martinelli beat Fabianski from a tight angle, and last but not least Nketiah spun his defender tidily to score the third—his 11th goal in 11 Emirates starts from just 16 starts. Not bad. Not bad at all.

Anyway, we've taken all three points, we're safe from relegation on forty points, and we're now eight points clear of City...for now. Let's get to the poll and rate the lads!

07 November 2022

Results of Chelsea Arsenal Ratings & MOTM Poll

Click to enlarge...
580 responses, eh? Not bad. Between here and reddit, we've chosen William Saliba as our MOTM even thought it was Gabriel who scored the only goal of the match.  The plaudits went all the way around, with everyone earning at least a seven. Even Michael Oliver, our one-time bestie for sending off Angel Di Maria and current villian for sending off our own Martinelli, managed to earn more than a six. Not bad. Not bad at all. These results reflect a squad-wide performance, which in turn reflects a deepening commitment among everyone in that squad. Everyone's buying what Arteta's selling. 

Arsenal FAIL AGAIN to silence critics in quest for Prem title despite winning...again!

When will Arsenal learn? When will they stop pretending to be legitimate contenders for the Prem title? Yes, they've wone three straight Prem games against the big six for the first time in nearly a decade. Yes, they're the only club to have scored in every match they've played this season and have kept the most clean sheets (6). However, they only lead Man City by two points and third-placed Newcastle by seven with a game in hand, and no one else looks like they know how to play 90 minutes of football, but, no, Arsenal are not legitimate title contenders. They'll need a statement win over some other legitimate title contenders while also overcoming the catch-22 that defeating some other legitimate title contenders renders that side illegitimate themselves. That's some catch. that catch-22.

06 November 2022

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

We're back on top. That's three consecutive wins at Stamford Bridge. Three consecutive wins over "big six" opponents. According to Granit Xhaka, the atmosphere was ducking unbelievable...or something. We dominated most of the match but had to wait for Big Gabi to poke home Saka's corner (which may have been going in anyway). From there, we had to hold on tenaciously, which was made more difficult by all the holding and kicking and fouling Chelsea resorted to and largely got away with. Michael Oliver and VAR waved off a pretty blatant handball from Cucurella, who extended his arm to deflect the all as he entered the area, but in the end we didn't need the penalty to take all three and re-claim our position at the top of the table for another week. We'll revisit the match in more detail later. For now, let's get to the post-match poll and rate the lads!  Click here to open the poll; a results-graphic will be made available tomorrow.

05 November 2022

Gooners INCENSED at INCENDIARY Chelsea preview!

Ahead of a vital top-four clash. BT Sport released a clip in which former Gunner Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang stated, "Arsenal, nothing personal. I'm back, I'm blue, I'm ready. Let's go." This is apparently meant to rile up Gooners hither and yond as if we're nothing more than a hornet's nest ready to swirl into action at a moment's notice. Please. Anyone's who's followed this club for any length of time knows that we're well-versed in facing former Gunners who wish to be Gooners—and I'm not sure that Aubameyang even cracks the top ten. Before we go any further, I have to apologize on two levels. One, I apologize for the lurid, click-bait headline. Suffer me this: I'm trying to attract attention to my measly little blog. Two, I apologize for indulging this particular topic. Aubameyang may not even play a role here, and I hate to feed the pre-match feeding frenzy. Then again, I'm just a little fish, so I can't complain too much about the water in which I have to swim.

13 January 2022

Liverpool 0-0 Arsenal: Vote for Player Ratings & MOTM!

Gotta love the club at a time like this. Going into Anfield, the traveling fans were louder than the legendary Kop. Even after Xhaka did what Xhaka does—get a straight red for a foolish tackle, this time for kicking Jota in the chest just outside the area in the 24th minute—we looked resolute and determined, even better in spurts than our supposedly superior hosts. As one wage on Twitter put it, Xhaka's red was yet another false positive for Liverpool. I suspect that many of us including me assumed we'd lose this one, all the more so after losing Smith-Rowe, Tomiyasu, and Ødegaard. Going down to ten men just sealed the inevitable. However, we dug down and put on a fine performance and are very much alive for the second leg a week from today. Let's give the lads what they deserve!

Click here to open the poll. A results-graphic will be available tomorrow, but you can see running totals after you've voted.

16 November 2021

MIchael Oliver, we hardly knew ye...

Oh, Michael. Michael, Michael, Michael. Where did our paths depart? Where and when did we go astray? It seems on one hand like just yesterday you were sending Di Maria off as we won at Old Trafford to advance to the semifinal before somehow squeaking past Tim Sherwood's Aston Villa side by a narrow, bum-clenching 4-0 scoreline. 

With that as our backdrop, how could any other encounter feel like like anything besides rainbows, unicorns, and lollipops? Such was the reaction of many a Gooner (well, mainly, me, myself and I—so that's three of us, at least). However, to be honest, Olllie—can I call you Ollie? It feels familiar, fitting, even—you've not done us quite so well in recent memory. What gives?

13 May 2018

Huddersfield 0:1 Arsenal—Vote for Player Ratings/MOTM!

Arsenal ended a 22-year long era on a relative high note, seeing off a feisty Huddersfield to allow Arsène to bid us all adieu on the heels of a win. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang found his 10th goal in just 13 Prem matches, becoming the fastest Gunner to reach that mark. There will be time for hagiographies and remembrances later; for now, enjoy the result and rate the lads!

24 January 2018

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

It looked like it might be over before it began as Chelsea's Eden Hazard slotted home an early goal and were looking far-more lively despite being shorn of several regulars and Conte worrying about fatigue. However, Nacho Monreal headed a corner in from Mesut Özil, and Chelsea's Rüdiger helped it home to equalize. After going into the half on level terms, Arsenal came out in the second half looking much more purposeful, and an energetic Lacazette worked his way along the edge of the area, and Xhaka pounced on the deflected pass to seize the lead. Four minutes of stoppage time gave the visitors several chances, but Ospina was more than up to the challenge. The winners will go on to meet Man City in the final. More on that when the time is right. For now, let's get down to the poll!

28 December 2017

Crystal Palace 2-3 Arsenal—Vote for Player-Ratings/MOTM!

Arenal dominated proceeding throughout and didn't have to wait long to take the lead, with Mustafi slotting hom in the 25th minute from a Lacazette rebound. While it's true that the hosts found an equalizer shortly after halftime, Alexis scored twice inside of five minutes to make it 1-3 and all but put the game out of reach. Palace did pull one back in the 89th minute, but that would be about it. Even four minutes of stoppage time would not be enough to allow Palace to find the equalizer. That's it, then. Three points in the bag  Let's get down to the poll to rate the lads!

05 November 2017

Man City 3-1 Arsenal—Vote for Player Ratings and MOTM!

Arsenal played far better than the scoreline suggests, as Man City needed a penalty (which was a bit harsh but the right call) to get to 2-0. After Lacazette came on and scored in the second half, the game looked like it would be up for grabs as Arsenal looked energized and determined. However, City found a third despite both players involved being offside. Ah, well. In the end, this looked like one most of us would have written off as a loss. So be it. We played tolerably well and will feel hard done by the referee. In the end, though, we lacked the quality and concentration we needed against a side of this quality. Be gentle as you get down to the poll.

17 September 2017

Chelsea 0-0 Arsenal: Vote for Player Ratings and MOTM!

Arsenal looked like the better squad for long stretches of the match and came agonizingly close when Ramsey poked past Courtois only to strike woodwork, and Lacazette couldn't redirect the rebound. Midway through the second half, Mustafi headed home from a Xhaka cross but was rightly ruled offside. With five minutes to play, David Luiz was shown a straight red for a reckless challenge on Kolašinac. All things considered, I might even go so far as to say we should be disappointed to come away with only a point.

Let's get to the poll and rate the lads!

21 May 2017

Arsenal 3-1 Everton: Vote for Player Ratings/MotM!

A brave ten-man Arsenal overcame a spirited Everton side to win 3-1, but it won't be enough to scratch into the top four as Liverpool defeated Middlesbrough 3-0. We've seen numerous streaks end, then: finishing in the top four, qualifing for Champions League, and finishing above Tottenham. All good things, of course, must come to an end. Back to the match: goals from Bellerin, Alexis, and Ramsey were enough to at least end the Prem season on a high note, with only Lukaku's penalty to deny us the clean sheet. We'll go into the FA Cup final on a solid run, five straight on the bounce, with a chance at claiming silverware. First, though, get down to the poll to give the lads what they deserve!

13 August 2016

Look to Theo to lay waste to Liverpool...

After a season in which our lads achieved their best finish since 2004-05, it's strange but also all too familiar to fret about our chances going into 2016-17. Despite pipping Tottenham to finish behind Leicester's legendary season, the same qualms and doubts persist. With Guardiola and Mourinho to contend with, it's anyone's guess whether we have what it takes to stay in the top four, much less replicate last season's theatrics. Sunday sees us kick off the season against Liverpool—but we're already in mid-season form, at least as far as injuries go. As dire as the situation seems, we do have one ace up our sleeves—Theo Walcott.

12 March 2016

Let's all laugh at Chelsea, the gift that keeps on giving!

Never mind what's going on with Arsenal; this has been a glorious week when it comes to our erstwhile enemies. Not only did Chelsea crash out of the Champions League courtesy of PSG (thanks in some small part to the sale to the same of David "don't call me Sideshow Bob" Luiz), they also crashed out of the FA Cup in ignominious fashion, watching all but helplessly as one-time loanee-cum transfer Romelu Lukaku rampaged to a brace to secure Everton's advancement to the semis. Toss in Diego Costa's first-ever red card in the Prem, and we have a schadenfreude-sundae that's fit to be served. Of course, all of this and a ticket to the FA Cup semifinal gets Arsenal to the FA Cup semifinal, so let's not get ahead of ourselves. Let's indulge, if only for a little bit.

07 March 2016

Even at their worst, Arsenal is still better than Tottenham…

No Kos. No Čech. A spluttering offense that just can’t get on track. Sounds like a toxic mix, eh? We’re not done. Throw in two of the softest yellow cards issued in recent weeks, reducing Arsenal to ten men against high-flying Tottenham, and we truly have a recipe for disaster. Oh—and we’re not quite done. An injury to Ospina inspired the bum-clenching prospect of Ryan Macey between the sticks with the still shaky Gabriel and the still wet-behind-his-ears Elneny, A pulsing North London Derby at White Hart Lane looked like it would be Arsenal’s Waterloo. Instead, however, those Spuds bottled it, and now the pressure is on them to prove that they deserve to be where they are—just three points above Arsenal with 27 points still available.

04 March 2016

Wenger in, Wenger out; let's just hope for a North London knockout!

It's been a generation since a North London Derby has been as pregnant with meaning as this one is. Not since 1993 has so much ridden on the result of this one. Much as we'd like to comfort ourselves with the fact that those twenty years and change reflect just how much better we've been than our noisome neighbours, we face a cold, hard truth and might be staring an uglier one straight in the face: Tottenham are, at least for now, better than we are. We are reeling from two consecutive defeats and are three points off their pace. Forget St. Totteringham's Day for the moment. Our season is on the line.

01 March 2016

Leicester wobbles yet again; Arsenal will seize this season by the scruff against Swansea...

For the third time in as many outings, Leicester, the erstwhile runaway favorites to win the Prem, have flirted with entering the kind of death-spiral that we've long-predicted. We beat them. Again. They won in the waning seconds at home against Norwich. On Tuesday, again at home, they fought hard to come away with one point against West Brom. Their lead over us now stands at just six points, pending the result of our Wednesday scrum against Swansea. I hope you'll indulge as I look just a bit past the fixture itself and to the larger issues at stake. I think we all know what those issues are.