25 February 2022

You're so vain, you probably think this post is about you...

Hello, wandering Wolves fans. You probably think this, and our celebrations after defeating twice in a fortnight, are unseemly or unbefitting a club of our size and stature. After we won at Molineux, your Ruben Neves said, "We saw the way they celebrated the win and that shows the level we are," the Portuguese said. "I didn't see Arsenal celebrating like this in the past 10 years - it was like they won the league." Well, after against besting you last night courtesy of a dramatic stoppage-time winner from Lacazette (I don't care that it's officially an own-goal), complete with frenzied celebration, it's incumbent upon me, your humble correspondent, to clarify a few misconceptions—well, one, mainly: it's not about you, sweetheart. Our wild celebrations reflect perhaps as much as 3% joy over besting a spirited opponent. Perhaps. I think I speak for most Gooners when I say we kind of like you lot and wish you well...for the most part. Still, doing the double over you has little if anything to do with you yourselves. This isn't a North London derby, you're not Stoke, and there's no trophy at stake. So why the over-the-top reactions defeating you? Let's get to that.

21 February 2022

RIvals' Roundup #26: Apparently, it's all up to us. FFS.

After a few weeks in which it was starting to look like things were finally going Arsenal's way, this weekend happened. Apparently, if we're to finish fourth, we're going to have to—I almost choke on my own vomit as I type these words (well, not those words but the ones to follow)—earn it through our own hard work rather than through the failings of others. If you're as nauseated as I am, let's all reach the polite conclusion of assuming it's down to the situation I describe rather than the ham-handed manner in which I describe it. We have to reach back into hallowed antiquity to find some joy from this weekend. Well, not "joy" so much as schadenfreude. Let's get to it.

20 February 2022

Arsenal 2-1 Brentford: Player Rating & MOTM Survey Results

Almost 600 (okay, 561) voters weighed in on our victory over Brentford, anointing Martin Ødegaard our MOTM with 54.5% of the vote. Somehow, Jon Moss managed a 2.85 despite ignoring three or four possible penalties (depending on how much stock you put in conspiracies). VAR fared somewhat worse with a 2.05. It was all in all a pretty comfortable performance despite a few chances that the Bees wasted. It's a shame that we conceded late on; we could have leap-frogged West Ham, if only alphabetically. We do have three games in hand over them and Man U, but they are tough ones. We'll have to keep getting results at every chance we get if we're to rise to fourth. One result at a time, though. Enough throat-clearing, however. Here's the breakdown of the survey:

19 February 2022

Arsenal 2-1 Brentford: Vote for Player Ratings & MOTM!

Emile Smith-Rowe and Bukayo Saka each scored sublime goals to fire Arsenal past Brentford, who rarely threatened but did cause a few cardiac moments before finally finding a consolation goal late on. Truth be told, though, the scoreline more than flatters the visitors as we could have and arguably should have had gone into halftime up a few. Lacazette had a goal rightly but tightly ruled out for offside, there were two handballs in the Brentford box (one from an outstretched arm), and Saka was dragged down in the box as well. Late on,  Pépé was tripped in the box as well without any call made. Still, we shouldn't be looking to the referee, least of all the likes of Moss, for help against a newly promoted side. In the end, we got the result. Let's get down to the poll to rate the lads!

14 February 2022

Rivals' Roundup #25: Damn, it's good to be a Gooner...

It's hard to imagine a weekend going much better than this past one did. Most of our rivals for a fourth place finish dropped points, some of them twice since we last checked in, and our new-ish identity as Game In Hand Athletic Football Club (GIHAFC for short, patent pending, all rights reserved) has us sitting pretty in sixth with two games in hand over Man U, three over West Ham, and, it must be added, one over Wolves. More on them shortly. They've wandered into the mix (see what I did there? Eh?) and shouldered Spurs aside for now. It's getting nervy in the fight for fourth, so let's get to it.