03 May 2022

Rivals Roundup #35: Tantalus, Sisyphus, and barnacles...

I'll be honest here—I was really, really looking forward to writing about just two clubs this week. However, Chelsea had to go ahead and find a way to lose to Everton (who the hell loses to Everton, at Goodison Park no less? Pfft.), and Man U somehow found a way to defeat Brentford. As it stands, then, we still have to consider Chelsea, Arsenal (who stand in as Tantalus), Tottenham (who reprise their ever-lasting role as Sisyphus), and Man U (the obstinate barnacle).  I wish I could replace all of our rivals with that Chinese cartoon with the robots that turn into blingwads, but that's a project that will just have to wait. Without any further throat-clearing, then, let's get down to business.

02 May 2022

Who needs Erling Haaland when we have Eddie Nketiah?

"No, Dec. Please. We're wasting valuable time."
Okay, okay, so that might be a touch hyperbolic and more than a smidge hasty. After all, Haaland hasn't played a single minute in the Prem so there's just no knowing if he could do what he's done on a cold, night at the Britannia Stadium. Considering that Stoke are mid-table in the Championship right now, he may never get a chance to prove that old cliche wrong. I don't know why I brought it up other than that it feels good to type "Stoke are mid-table in the Championship".  Let's get back to why I brought you all here, though. Eddie Nketiah put on his best performance of his young career against West Ham on Sunday. While he didn't score any goals, we've grown accustomed to that sort of thing around here. He did put four shots on target, and that, my fellow Gooners, allowed the 22-year old to clear a very low bar.

29 April 2022

West Ham preview: possibly the best outcome we could have hoped for...

What appears to be our toughest remaining fixture may have just gotten ever so slightly less tough. West Ham went into their semi-final first leg against Eintracht Frankfurt eager and optimistic only to see the wheels come off inside the very first minute,  scoring from a swift counterattack that saw just about everyone in a Hammers kit seem like they were running in quicksand—and there would still be 89 minutes to play. The hosts did find an equaliser quickly, but a second Frankfurt goal early in the second half meant that the Hammers would have to expend maximum effort for the full 90 plus stoppage time. It's a good thing that Moyes managed his subsitutions well by—oh. I'm told he made only one substitution. Hm. This would suggest—and bear with me here, we're through the looking-glass—that key players logged heavy minutes and covered a lot of ground to chase that first European trophy since 1965. 

27 April 2022

Come on, you Hammers (well, on Thursday, at least...)

Emile celebrates his goal to make it 2-0 back in December.
We're all Hammers fans, at least until tuck-in time on Thursday, as we await our trip to London Stadium on Sunday. Of course, on Thursday, West Ham host Eintracht Frankfurt in what is amounting to a must-win for both sides. I hope it doesn't come across as cynical—or, failing that, excessively cynical—to suggest that all of us from the right side of London will be throwing the full weight and energy of our support behind our Prem League brethren from that side of London, if only because a Hammers victory on Thursday renders our Sunday clash all the less meaningful for them. All the better for us.

25 April 2022

Rivals' Roundup #34: Who needs an NLD anyway?

What a week it's been. Arsenal have apparently decided to troll Topspur by losing the matches we were expected to win and then winning the matches we were expected to lose.  It's a bit of the ol' Muhammad Ali rope-a-dope, and now they're the ones on the ropes. Either side of us, things are starting to crystallise, with Chelsea finally solidifying their grasp of third whilst Man U and West Ham finally fading away. It may be just a tad too early to write Man U off, but they gave it their best effort this weekend and came up well-short. With just five matches left to play among those still in play, then, the margins for error narrow all the more. Let's take a closer look at what that means.