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.

It's happened again, it's happened again, Tottenham Hotspur, it's happened again...

He'll probably get fined for this.
Okay. So we underperformed in Portugal, coming away with a 2-2 draw away. We've left it all to do in the second leg. Still, we have a better than even chance at advancing, and that's more than can be said of our noisome neighbours to the north. In the immortal words of Wojciech Szczęsny, it's happened again; it's happened again; Tottenham Hotspur, it's happened again. While we're still alive and kicking in our continental competiion, our erstwhile rivals have been bounced out, having failed to score even one goal to keep the tie with AC Milan alive. They're done. Dusted.

09 March 2023

Sporting 2-2 Arsenal: How very "group-stagey" of us...

Well, we've left it all for the second next week against a spirited Sporting side that bears absolutely no resemblance to the dour, stubborn, play-for-a-draw opponents we faced way back in the 2018-19 Europa League group stage. Rúben Amorim has set his players up to get up the pitch and attack, and we did them too many favours, both through an XI that looked more like, well like a Europa League group stage XI. Mat Turner was between the sticks with new signee Jakub Kiwior making his debut alongside Saliba and Vieira and Nelson starting among other regular starters. This really should have been enough to do better, but we were too loose and will have to be more confident and clinical next week at the Emirates.

08 March 2023

Arsenal are RUN-AWAY favorites to win the Europa League!


Click to expand. Or don't.
After years of being a veritable meme of a club for whom a fourth-place Prem spot was a "trophy" we are now the odds-on favourites to win not only the Prem, but apparently the Europa League as well (not that any of use believe any of this for a second. In most of our minds, winning either one seems like a far-flung fantasy believed by only the feverish few). Well, count FiveThirtyEight among the feverish, for they've made us the odds-on favourites to win it all. 

Gabriel Jesus to make his return against Sporting on Thursday (?)

Look to his coming on the first light of the fifth day. At dawn, look to the east. Okay, so it's been much longer than five days, and we'd presumably be looking west as rumours suggest that Jesus will travel with the squad to Portugal to face Sporting CP on Thursday. Okay, again, to clarify, Jesus himself won't face Portugal, but he might at least make the bench, which would be a welcome sign after he suffered that knee injury way back during the not-at-all dubious World Cup. He hasn't played for us since 12 November and hasn't scored for us since 1 October, but we look to his return with breathless anticipation.