The Armchair Gooner

An Arsenal blog bringing you news, opinion and humour on a daily basis. Well, I'll try at the very least…

Sanchez, Ozil, Walcott, Ramsey And The Unshakable Feeling Of Delicious Glory.

Theo justifies his start.

Howdy, folks.

There are moments as a Football supporter in which you can truly question the reasons behind devoting so much time and effort into following a team. In moments of the past, I’ve found myself pondering that very question, scratching my temple and proclaiming aloud, “Why the fu*ck do I subject myself to such torment?!”.

The game we all love is known to frequently show herself as a cruel and unforgiving mistress. However, as is always the case, there is a flip-side to that coin – a flip-side that is beautiful, wonderful, heartwarming and comprehensively answers the question above.

Yesterday’s performance and victory perfectly encapsulated that joy, that wonderment, that glorious euphoria and warmth you get from being a part of something experienced by others on a global scale.

Podcast cohort and good friend of mine, @TheDanielCowan triumphantly neglected a wedding to drive over to my place in Gloucester and we watched the game, along with my girlfriend who is proving herself a spectacularly good omen, accompanied by the heavenly taste of a Pieminister pie. It was the perfect set-up to what turned into the perfect performance.

From the moment the game kicked off, to the last remaining exchanges up until the final whistle, Arsenal dominated Aston Villa. Even typing the word “dominated” feels inadequate, as if there should a new word invented just to accurately describe how comfortable the day was – let’s say ‘Ultradominatronic’… Continue reading

1-1 Does The Job, But A Poor 1st Half Makes The Internet Explode.

Theo was delighted to hear Michael Bay won’t be directing another Transformers movie.

Morning, all.

Posts have been conspicuous by their absence the past couple of days mainly becuase I’ve not had the time and been putting my efforts into, shall we say, more enjoyable things and some distinctly less – work, for example. That’s not to say you delicious individuals aren’t of paramount importance to me. You are. It’s simply a case of other things will take precedence because they have to.

Plus, there hasn’t been much in the way of Arsenal news. No hot topics, no scandals, no huge transfer revelations. Just fluff. Thankfully, now that we’ve had some competitive football to sink our teeth into there are pertinent things to blather about. And that I shall do.

Before kick off – major cliché alert – I would have gladly taken a 1-1 draw away at Old Trafford. Anything other than a defeat practically assures us an automatic qualification place into the Champions League – barring a catastrophic meltdown in the remaining two games.  Continue reading

Not Scoring, Not Scoring Arsenal; Defeat… Is it Fair To Blame Ospina?

“Hooorayyyy, I’ve let a bit of a soft goal in…”

Morning, folks.

That was bloody awful, wasn’t it…

From the moment the game kicked off it had the unmistakable stink of one of those frustratingly complacent and lacklustre Arsenal performances we’ve not seen in a while. I said yesterday I felt a degree of ambivalence, as the fixture carried with it no real significance. With a top 4 finish guaranteed, my attentions have started to slip from what is directly in front to the FA Cup final once the season is over.

It looked like the players adopted the same mentality. The first half was thoroughly abject and we seemed happy to saunter around with little or no urgency. The distribution from the back and onwards was lethargic and Swansea found it very easy to get players behind the ball and stifle our build up.

It almost had the feel of a pre-season game at the Emirates Cup to such an extent I half expected to see a Mexican wave unfold across the stadium as everyone’s interests dwindled. It truly was terrible and arguably the worst half of football the team have displayed this far – maybe not quite as bad as the 2nd half against Anderlecht.  Continue reading

Ozil, Giroud, Cazorla, Gabriel, Akpom And Comfortable Progression.

Giroud’s classy finish

Morning, folks.

Sometimes, I don’t get the chance to watch games in their entirety. The perils and unsociable nature of my gainful employment are such that I’m at my busiest when Arsenal kick-off. Yesterday was an extremely good example of this; I missed the majority of the first have and caught fleeting glimpses of the second.

Writing a match review under such circumstances can be troublesome, so I find myself lurking around the internet hoping to find lengthy highlights. Then I’ve got to find the time to watch them, then get the time to write…

I’m rambling.

Point is, I even though it’s a chore, I make the effort.

*Cue rapturous applause, ticker-tape descending from the skies, shrieks of female adulation and appreciative nods from my peers at the unfathomable, glorious sacrifice I make to bring this drivel to you every day*

So….. The Arsenal. Continue reading

Ozil, Ospina, Ramsey, Coquelin And A Terrible 3 Points.

“A yellow card for that? Really?!”

Morning, folks.

Yesterday when reviewing the game I said I’d be happy with 3 points no matter how we obtained them. Perhaps that was a touch exaggerated. Winning the match against Leicester was, obviously, of paramount importance. Dropping points at home to the side bottom of the table would have been abject. Yet we didn’t look anything remotely like a solid, cohesive unit last night and allowed our opponents to not only make a game of it, but probably warrant having taken something home with them.

In short, we were sh*t.

Whether the reasons for that stem directly from losing to Spurs is debatable. Some jitters and nerves are expected during a fixture in which winning is vital and that’s often compounded on the back of a defeat. However, more worryingly so, we looked complacent and sloppy far more than jittery.  Continue reading

North London Derby: The Better Team Won.

Arsenal weren’t at the races at all.

Morning, folks.

Meh.

There certainly aren’t many feelings I can describe worse than the one that envelops me at present. Dejection, temper tantrums and a generally unpleasant demeanour are all side effects of having witnessed Arsenal not only lose the North London derby, but do so without really putting up a fight.

The Manchester City result was a tremendous example of how to approach difficult away games; remain tight and compact when soaking up pressure, but, most importantly of all, do something productive with the ball when we have it. Don’t idly attempt to pass out of defence and gift possession and initiative back to the opponents.

Yesterday was pretty much the antithesis of that performance. For every bit as good as Arsenal were at The Ethiad, we performed equally as badly yesterday at White Hart Lane. That’s the thing I find most difficult to swallow; having seen us display the correct way so proficiently only to regress to being bloody awful again when the pressure is on.  Continue reading

Magical Mesut, Super Santi And Bloody Awful Villa.

You splendid, beautiful man.

Morning, folks.

That was a relatively straight forward win, wasn’t it? I almost miss the bladder-weakening moments you’d associate with Arsenal in fixtures such as this; no bizarre concessions, no peculiar defensive mishaps and no reason at all for the internet to implode with self-important rage.

“GAZZZZIIIIDDDDIIIIISSSSS!!!”

I say, “almost miss” but that is a hideous exaggeration. I don’t miss it at all. I miss it like I would the regular opportunity to set my penis on fire in front of a live television audience.

In fact, it is genuinely pleasant to be able to sit down and write a report about a match in which we were comfortable, professional and ruthlessly efficient from the first minute up until the last.

As you might have read yesterday, work prevented me from following the game in its entirety. Mercifully, thanks to the wonders of modern technology and a brief respite from the masses descending upon us for Sunday lunch, I was able to watch large portions of the second half and see all the goals bar Giroud’s opener – Continue reading