The Running Kim looked pretty useful.
When the match finished last night, I had a bath. Normally I’m strictly a shower kinda guy. That might sound like the most pointless and inane of admittance, but it is relevant in a way. Amongst other things, Arsenal can cause me to get wound up. When those other things combine with my beloved football team, they create a sort of uber-stress and the notion of soothing bath appealed to me. To cut a tedious story shot; I thoroughly enjoyed it – no candles – and, if you’re currently filled with Arsenal-induced tension, I can highly recommend one. I might even stretch as far as to buy myself a little rubber duckie.
So, onto the game…
For a minute I enjoyed it, the remaining 89 plus time allotted for stoppages was excruciatingly bloody awful. Nerves were apparent all through the team, which is to be expected, but the fear of failure amongst the players was palpable. The sense of Arsenal easing out games that once was a feature of our play has long deserted us. However, I can’t really offer that many excuses for what I saw. Any team with the aspirations we have should be dispatching Swansea with minimal fuss. We shipped and early goal and although we got ourselves into a winning position thanks to a quick double from Podolski and Giroud, the sense that we wouldn’t hold on was overwhelming. Continue reading
Tim Sherwood displaying what a NLD victory means to the fans.
I shan’t lie to you; sitting through those 90 minutes wasn’t one of the more pleasurable experiences I’ve encountered as an Arsenal fan. Mercifully, for all their ‘heroic’ huffing and puffing, Tottenham Hotspur remain irredeemably bloody hopeless.
In many sectors of the media, yesterday’s performance will be branded as “hanging on” or “backs to the wall”. In all honesty; I can’t say I was especially comfortable throughout, nor was I particularly nervous. I resided in a state of football purgatory where my emotions cancelled each other out, leaving a stark, listless stare on my face as I awaited the jubilation of a confirmed result. When that moment arrived, glorious elation swept over me. There is little that feels as good as beating Tottenham.
It certainly wasn’t vintage Arsenal. Spurs were given too much to cling too when, but for Chamberlain’s profligacy, we would have had considerable distance between us and them on the scoreboard. Classing the team’s performance as “hanging on” might seem accurate, but it does warrant mentioning that the only two chances to score Spurs managed to get were gifted to them by Szczesny having one of his flappy days. Continue reading
Joel laments conceding and, more so, not being in the embrace.
Feels glorious, doesn’t it. That sweeping euphoria of knowing that Arsenal have not let you down and that we will be front and centre when Wembley hosts the semi-finals. Whatever you may think about games other than the final taking place at the national stadium, being able to say, “Arsenal are going to Wembley” has an undeniably mellifluous ring to it.
Yesterday was a great performance when one was needed. Before kick off and up until we took an unassailable 3-1 lead, I couldn’t relax. My stomach churned, I paced and thought of nothing other than the fact there was a game. I often write about that sensation. At times it must come across as complaint when it is anything but. Feeling so on edge, so worried, is a beautiful thing; it means Arsenal are playing in a match that’s important.
And the FA Cup is important. Continue reading
Arsenal fans took their expressions of rage to dangerous lengths…
As you might imagine, the Stoke defeat is still firmly sticking in the throat of many. Losing is one thing, it happens, but when the display is so toothless and inept at a time it needed to be anything but, you can understand why the folks out there are so angry.
Anger and frustration are understandable. When that transfers into hatred and bile, and our fans take to bickering amongst one another, I find it’s a good idea to step away from it all. Why waste your time with people who seem more eager to point you towards the supposed failings of others than they do with supporting their team? It’s a waste of time, folks.
Focus amongst my peers and collaborators has been on the fixture with Everton at the weekend. Continue reading
Celebrating a magical third.
This may well be the briefest match review you’ll read. Don’t hold it against me; I’m suffering with an astonishing lack of sleep and instead of heading to bed where I should be, I’m taking a few moments to ensure my run of posting every day in 2014 stays intact.
I’ve managed to see as much of the game as possible. Yesterday I worked a 12-hour shift and missed everything of the match as it occurred live – checking Twitter and live scores services whilst serving wedding food is extraordinarily tricky. It also tend to go down rather poorly with those expecting you to actually be performing the tasks you’ve been assigned. You’d think it was obvious where my priorities lie…
In order to keep things short, here’s a handy bullet-point list of a few things I managed to glean whilst checking around for footage of the game:
Having played Streetfighter 2, Olivier shared his love for M.Bison…
Geeezzz. That wasn’t the tonic I’d hoped for.
Moving forward, drawing against Manchester United isn’t catastrophic; the world won’t implode and the 4 horsemen of the apocalypse aren’t waiting atop a hill to charge at the unsuspecting. Things will move one from here. However, I can’t help but think it was all a touch anticlimactic.
With a resounding defeat haunting us, we went into the game with an air of nerves and unrest hanging over the team and the fans. It showed in the performance. I struggle to recall another game between the two teams where neither looked eager to press forward for the win. United came with a parked bus and the hope to sneak it on the counter. Arsenal looked more concerned with not making mistakes than taking a risk going forward. Continue reading
Giroud celebrates with Cazorla. I have no idea what he’s trying to do…
Before I get into my review of the game, I feel it’s best to start by complimenting our opponents. Arsenal were undeniably poor last night, but that shouldn’t be used as a way of describing the result when Southampton acquitted themselves admirably. From the kick-off, they hassled and pressured and imposed their own passing game on us once they gained possession.
In Adam Lallana and Luke Shaw they have 2 of the best prospects in the Premiership and they’ll do well to hold on to either. When the big boys come waving their cheque books, it’ll be a great shame to see such a good side dismantled, but such is the modern game. I genuinely believe Southampton could push for one or two honours if they can keep the nucleus of their squad intact.
In the first half, Arsenal were woefully abject. We’ve hardly fired on all cylinders at times this season, but have always shown enough in the important moments to rightfully get results. Yesterday evening we floundered and could quite easily have found ourselves trailing by a greater margin at the break were it not for fortune and some excellent defending from Koscielny. Continue reading
It was clear everyone wanted to be like Tomas Rosicky.
This isn’t going to be a particularly easy review for me to write. Ordinarily, I like to immerse myself in every aspect of the game – often watching again after the first live viewing. Today that’s going to be a little tricky. Having spent the vast majority of yesterday slaving over a hot stove, little or no time has been afforded to watch the 2-0 win over Fulham.
Since arriving home last night at 11.30pm, brief highlights scattered around the internet are the most I’ve been able to get my grubby paws on. From what I can muster, the performance was some distance from vintage, but the result was exactly what we wanted. Santi Cazorla appears to have rediscovered his shooting boots with a fine brace, and other than that there isn’t a whole lot to rave about. Continue reading
‘A’ is for, “A bloody painful last fifteen minutes”
Those nerves I mentioned yesterday, they came back. With a vengeance. During the last 15 minutes when we inexplicably allowed the worst Villa team I’ve seen in years back into the game, my poor innards were treated to a maelstrom of curious sounds and pained exhausts. Before the game I’d actually settled down and was prepared to enjoy a pleasant evening’s viewing. After that glorious 59 second period in which Giroud and Wilshere netted superb goals, any remnants of terror washed away absolutely. Or so I thought.
Oh, Arsenal, how you love to torment me.
When reviewing Arsenal, it’s often easy to point our certain areas where you believed improved could be made and end up sounding churlish. We came through an away fixture with three points and that’s all that matters. Continue reading
More of the same please, Arsenal.
Do you ever get hit with terrible nerves before games? I do. It happens quite frequently, as a matter of fact. The feeling of discomfort, unease and weakness of bladder especially occurs when the big games against our grubby neighbours come around.
Like all of you, the thought of losing to Spurs is about as appealing to me as dancing provocatively in a bridesmaid’s dress for a sex-hungry Dave Seager. I’d have to turn off the Internet for at least a week should we lose today. Given that Arsene is known for prioritising certain competitions and we have quite a few notable absentees, it’s fair to say that I’m a little more concerned that I ordinarily would be.
So, what exactly is the team news? Continue reading