Tag Archives: Anthony Taylor

Man City is the Matrix. That’s what this is.

Man City is everywhere. It is all around us. Even now, in this very room. You can see it when you look out your window or when you turn on your television. You can feel it when you go to work… when you go to church… when you pay your taxes. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.

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Arsenal 1-1 Man City: Player Ratings & MOTM Poll Results

Well, more than 800 voters weighed in after our latest setback and, while we were harsh on several individual players (Tomiyasu, Gabriel, and Nketiah in particular), the broader trends suggest we saw some silver linings or even outright reasons for something resembling shreds of optimism. Arteta’s tactics received a solid score, and Saliba, Saka, Trossard, and Jorginho seemed to acquit themselves well enough to escape our wrath our disappointment. Speaking of Jorginho, he nabs his first MOTM with 35.4% of the vote. Saka followed hot on his heels with 32.6%, relegating No One to a distant third at 19.5%. For as glorious as a win would have been, the loss is not as thoroughly damaging. Take two of City’s best players out and we’re talking about a different result altogether. Despite the loss, we’re level with City and have a game in hand. Rumours of our demise are somewhat exaggerated.

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Arsenal 1-3 Man City: Vote for Player Ratings & MOTM!

Despite the late injury to Thomas Partey forcing him out of the lineup just hours before kickoff, we went toe-to-toe with City and more than held our own, shaking off the lethargy of the last few weeks. Yes, de Bruyne pounced on a risky pass from Tomi back to Ramsdale to score a clever goal, and Ake’s accidental flick from Dias’s header hit the crossbar, but Saka equalised from the spot, sending Ederson the wrong way and Ederson had clobbered Nketiah. From there, it was back and forth, with each side creating chances. In the end, though, it was really our own mistakes and not anything City did that led to this result.

Anyway, click here to vote. That nifty graphic will be available later; if you want real-time results, click here.

16th February 2011. Summon the spirit!

Can someone please make sure this man is in attendance?

I want you to come with me on a journey through space and time and dimensions to revisit a heady era when a young Arsenal squad, full of stars in the making but none of them established, went toe-to-toe with one of the best squads money could buy. In their prime, there was Valdes, Alves, Piqué, Puyol, Xavi, Villa, Iniesta, Mascherano, and, of course, Messi. Messi scored only 53 goals in 55 appearances that season. At the helm, of course, was none other than Pep Guardiola. Against this formidable squad, we sent out an XI that averaged all of 23.6 years of age. Everyone had predicted that this Barcelona side to not only win the Champions League as well as La Liga (which they would end up doing), but no one could have predicted that an Arsenal side full of youngsters and starlets would deliver as they did. It’s that spirit that we must summon.

All the ingredients are there. Guardiola in charge of one of the best clubs money can buy, prohibitive favourites. An Arsenal side full of young, promising talents eager to prove themselves. A two-legged playoff for supremacy (albeit somewhat different from the Champions League format). A home-crowd in full-throated support of its side. It’s all on the table. 

Guardiola has been effusive in his praise of this current Arsenal side, saying the following:

So far, they are the best team in the Premier League. They played an incredible first round of fixtures. We felt it, when we played them a few weeks ago, how committed and how sharp they are. We have to try to read the game and it will be a big, big battle. In every department you have to be ready.

Of course, one always has to be wary of Guardiola’s praise, especially as it concerns Arteta. After all, the narcissist in him can always claim credit for anything Arteta achieves. He is Corax to Arteta’s Tysias in a way.  

The thread that unites these two matches is almost a direct line, a line made somewhat straighter, in fact, by our own recent wobbles. Had we thrashed Everton and Brentford as expected, the questions would have forced us to prove that we could handlt the pressure of being favourites, and that’s a position we haven’t been in for quite some time. Dropping those points, while far from ideal, changes the narrative just a enough to work in our favour. We’re no longer the precocious potential pretenders to the Prem title. We’re simply succumbing to the bland inevitability that is more silverware for City. Shorn of our (apparently unearned) frontrunner status, we can play with greater freedom, greater abandon, even greater passion.

That’s where you come in, those of you who can attend the match by dint of proximity or paycheck or simple ability to navigate the byzantine process for getting tickets online. Roar down these jaded, bloated City fans; show them the meaning of passion and purpose; prove to them that simply purchasing players at a premium is not the only path to silverware. There’s been a lot of chatter about City’s alleged improprieties, and Guardiola has found himself in the unfamiliar position of having to actually defend the massive spending that fuels his gluttonous appetite for silverware.

If you find yourself lucky enough to be inside the Emirates on this day, make it a day to remember. Make it a day not unlike that 16th of February 2011, when we humbled that balding Fraudiola and his expensive baubles with our rag-tag squad of soon-to-be’s, almost-were’s, and could’ve-beens. Make your voices echo and resound and reverberate; make the Emirates itself tremble with our passion and purpose; show those noisome nuisances that there’s more than one way to assemble a title-winning squad.

With a win, we can stake a claim to winning the Prem. Along the way, we can drive a stake through the cold, lifeless, cheating heart of the club that has dominated the Prem for most of the last decade. We can set things right. It’s just one day shy of the anniversary of that momentous result. What better way to mark the occasion than by reprising it?

The secret to defeating Citeh…REVEALED!

It’s quite simple, really. It’s the kind of thing that’s so simple that no one’s bothered to think of it yet. It takes an uncommon mind to think of these things, and people are always telling me that they’ve never met anyone quite like me before, so I guess that’s the same as being uncommon. I was going to dive deep into regression analysis and statistical abnormalities and iterabilities and the rest, but I’ll spare you the jargon and mumbo-jumbo and cut right to the chase. To defeat a behemoth like Man City, it’s really quite simple, but first, I want to make sure that you are sitting, for the enormity of what you are about to read may shock and amaze you. Have you seated yourself? 

Here it is: we shall have to score more goals than they score during the time we have available to do so. It’s a truth so elementary that it’s eluded all those pointy-headed pundits with their fancy suits and “experience” and “salaries” who are more concerned with sounding and looking pretty than in cutting through the dross to get to what’s real. 

Okay, I can only keep up that little charade for so long. Match preview seem to consist of two varieties. First, there are those that only give the bare minimum such as kick-off time, probably lineups, last five or six meetings, and the referee. Second, there are those who purport to offer some kind of insider insight, some heretofore undiscovered secret strategy that only they have been clever enough to unlock and are foolish enough to release to the general public.

This is neither. Instead, this is a heartfelt plea to any Gooners who will be at the match on Wednesday to shout and chant and scream themselves hoarse, to make the Emirates a seething cauldron of noise right from the off. Bay like hounds, bellow and roar and stamp your feet. Deafen our foes and inspire our lads Make so much noise that they can physically feel the soundwaves pouring down on them as if they’re standing under a waterfall and the goalposts vibrate and thrum to the din you raise.

The squad needs you more than they’ve needed you all season. Having dropped points to Everton and Brentford, even with the assistance of the incompetence of these refs, has to have knocked them back. They will dial up their courage, sure, but they shall thrive on the adrenaline, the intensity, the hunger that each of you can summon. There may only be 57,000 of you in that stadium, but remember that each of you carries with you the hopes, dreams, and fears of million of other Gooners too poor, too distant, or both to lend their voices. Channel us. Draw from us the breath you need when you feel yours falter, and then shout and chant and scream more. Send your voices to the heavens that they may may come raining back down on our rivals and pummel them into submission.

Then, we can all join voices together to sing in celebration.

We’re all counting on you.