2015: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.


I wish I had written this before the end of 2015, but to be honest, I dreaded writing this because 2015 was just a bad year overall.  Sure, there were some nice highlights that I savored but so much occurred that I can’t even begin to really write anything coherent but here goes.

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Win Ugly: Arsenal vs. Newcastle United (1/2/2016)

koscielny vs newcastle 2016

Watching yesterday’s game reminded me of our mauling in Southampton on Boxing Day, yet Arsenal (thanks in no small part to Petr Cech) stood as the victor in what would’ve been a game that we’d normally lose or draw.  Koscielny’s goal was the difference in a scrappy affair where the Magpies had the better chances to score.  Mitrovic was unlucky to some degree, but Cech did the business to snuff out the danger as Newcastle squeezed past our defenders to fire.  Oh, and don’t get me started on the ref.  The man was atrocious.

Oh, and Ramsey….please, if you’re clear on goal and if your lane blocked, GIVE IT TO CAMPBELL!!!!

Arsenal have always been beaten by the cudgel of “mental fragility” by many a pundit over the years, but it’s nice to see that we can dig out an ugly win with a set piece and get 9 out of a possible 12 points during a very hectic timeframe.  With us still retaining our place at the top of the table, it will become more of an imperative to grind out wins as the next set of fixtures approach (along with an FA Cup tie).  Yes, we’ve got some injuries, but our depth is there (barely).  The worry I have is that our defense and midfield was left exposed quite often against Newcastle so personally, I really think we need to tighten up with some structure / shape.  We’re missing Coquelin’s physical presence in midfield since both Southampton and Newcastle have proven that they could bully us in midfield with little consequence.  Here’s to hoping that we can dig deep and make it happen as we wait for the rest of our troops to return.


The February that was for Arsenal: Comments and the BBC have at it!

161954706_crop_exactIt’s the beginning of March, and to be blunt, I’d like to collect all of you fellow Gooners out there and hear about your thoughts concerning the Gunners and what a menacing February its been for them.  Our tragic loss to Blackburn in the FA was too much for me to bare, and with the British media’s Crisis-o-meter set to full blast on Arsenal’s defeat at the hands of an in-form Bayern Munich, it’s reasonable to say that to most non-Gooners, the Arsenal are up the shitter.  Doom and gloom has returned once again, and although they played and won against Aston Villa late in February, that won’t stop the BBC and our own would be Gooners to tarnish and feather the team at large.

However, let’s take a step back to look at what others like to say about the gang we love to call The Gunners.  The Beeb’s own Garth Crooks (a former ‘Spuds’ player mind you) generally writes the “Team of the Week” column and although Arsenal came on top against the Villans on February 23rd (with many a thanks to two goals from Cazorla), Jack Wilshere was given the spotlight on his choice. saying:

When is Arsene Wenger going to wake up and smell the coffee? He’s got serious internationals in his side with much more experience but far less fight than Jack Wilshere. The England international is the only real leader they’ve got and if Wenger doesn’t give this lad the support his talent deserves then he will be off like Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie. And it will serve him right.

Where the fuck does this nonce come off from?  No one is even TALKING about club departures from Arsenal!!!  He just signed a new contract and subjects like this aren’t even in the radar yet, let alone on some jackwad’s blog discussing who’s in the “Team of the Week!!!”  How the FUCK is that even relevant?  Is trolling THAT relevant for football coverage??  Garth Crooks, who died and made you judge and jury upon all you see at the Arsenal, eh?  Loads of garbage, plain and simple.

649301-fbl-eur-c1-arsenal-bayern-munichBut let’s track back even further and see what the BBC had to say about Wenger’s “imminent” departure (a la Benitez?) from Arsenal after his FA Cup shock and Munich Massacre shall we?  In all honesty, we had no excuse to lose in the FA, given that it was the most REALISTIC chance for us to gain back a Cup of some sort, but it’s clear that our defense and, dare I say, goal keeping issues need to be addressed.  I love the SZCZ, but he’s gotta be keen as a butcher knife, and with errors like that, some may wonder if he’s sharp enough to cut the mustard.  TV5 needs to grow in stature in terms of leadership and there’s just gotta be more of a “Shut this FUCKING GAME DOWN” mentality if we are to have a real bite into the Top 4.  But alas, Phil McNulty has overdone all of us shameful Arsenal fans and decided to write one of his biggest, steamiest, nastiest piles of journalism in a while, where the headline vaguely seems like it’s there to call for the manager’s head.  In this steaming pile of shit, he writes:

Throw in defeats to League Two Bradford City in the Capital One Cup and more recently Championship Blackburn Rovers in the FA Cup and this is a manager and team as far away as it has ever been from restoring old glories.

It is a sorry state of affairs for a classy, decent and dignified man who has brought so much to the Premier League as well as three titles and four FA Cups to Arsenal. Where he once had “The Invincibles” he now has the fallibles.

Contrary to some fairly widespread opinion, the media is not out to “get” Wenger but you cannot turn muck into honey and a simple analysis of Arsenal’s current place makes grim reading. He is held in huge respect, affection too, but past achievements cannot act as a shield against present realities.

Of all the things that irk me the most is this “I know a lot better about this shit than you” attitude that riles me about both of the aforementioned blog articles from the Beeb.  With no positive advice from these sages save for the olde English adages of “Grow some balls Frenchie,” “Buy more,” “Don’t hide behind your past laurels,” and the good ol’  “Gonna lose another player so you BETTER SPEND,”  one wonders if these daft football scribes masturbate themselves to sleep with dreams of becoming oligarchs who do nothing more than to use their coffers to silence their mistresses and fatten their football clubs.  With nothing constructive to contribute to the seemingly “ignoble” fall from grace that Arsenal are “apparently” undergoing, one wonders if that’s really what British football wants.  The irony of it all is that some of the things that Arsene has been accused of during his glory days (bringing more foreign, i.e. French, players to the English game) in such negative fashion have now become things that most clubs do without any sort of reprimand.  Alan Pardew’s grab and bag of French stars is proof of this, irregardless of the fact that he was one of the many people who considered Arsenal’s accomplishments as “not necessarily a triumph for British football”.

However, I’d like to end this incessant ranting with some clippings I got from McNulty’s comments section in relation to the aforementioned shit-piece her wrote about Arsenal (in numerical order, with Comment #005 being the highest rated).  Feel free to say what you feel, and as you know, I am only highlighting these to only bring perspective to all of you Gooners who may or may not have lost their fucking minds.  Regardless, keep the faith people, and if you really love Arsenal, then do us a favor, CALM THE FUCK DOWN!!!  (Me included)  Either that or just hope that we won’t implode in a frenzy of self-hatred once we get the results from Sunday’s derby with the Spuds.

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Asshat Footballers Dive. Aren’t Ya SURPRISED!?

DIVERSAfter watching Jackie Chan’s “Who Am I” with the GF last week, she decided she wanted to pull up some YouTube videos about football.  Initially, we observed some hilarious FA highlights about own goals, but we ended up watching other videos on diving, and needless to say, it was a laugh riot.  One cheeky fellow even made a video about Barcelona’s many award winning dives, and although I have no doubt that it was made by a shitty Chelski fan (the video highlights one of their defeats to the Catalan crew in a Champion’s League match where Drogba rages at the end of it), it does highlight the notion that as wonderful or ‘noble’ Barca seem to be, they’re just as bad about simulation as anyone else in the Beautiful game.

As you may or may not know, Luis Suarez is one of many talented footballers who, unfortunately, has a penchant for the dark arts.  Gareth Bale (fucking Welsh monkey), Didier Drogba, Cristiano Ronaldo and a whole slew of others have succumbed to this form of pantomime to award themselves a penalty, free-kick, or even the fandom of many a Manchester United supporter, but Suarez has done what many have not.  And guess what?  I STILL think he’s a cunt.  Know what he’s done?  He’s actually admitted that he’s dived, and apparently, Brenden Rodgers is seething right now.  Sure he’ll wring him out about it, but what about all the others wankers in the Premier League that do it like clockwork?  Don’t give me that shit about Cazorla or Pires since I’m an Arsenal fan, because plenty of fucking players do it too and don’t get a wrap on their goddamned knuckles for it.  Liam Ridgewell, Rooney or Ronaldo can go down with a sniper bullet, and no one in the media or in your grandmother’s nursing home will say shit, because that’s who you fucks want to see win, right?  I wonder if they all learned from that fuckwad Sergio Busquets from Barca?  HE’S THE WORST!!

1272484664010Brendan Rodgers defended Luis against many of his accusers, but the proof is in the pudding, and unfortunately for all of you unwitting Anfielders, you’ll have to eat it all up.  The person you have to feel sorry for is Brenden since he’s made a fool of himself for defending the Uruguayan, but that’s what you call “Sticking up for your players.”  However, the bright side of this is it does win you games, as we saw with how Chelsea beat Arsenal last Sunday 2-1 with some atrocious fouling and diving, making Ramires’ Man of the Match status rightfully deserved.  Sure they have their three enforcers (Mata, Oscar and that asshat Hazard), but after fouling Coquelin and seeing one clever fall in the box, it might not be any wonder why the GF tells me that Giroud should just fall in the box.

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Will the Last Song be Sung?

With RVP whisked away to the realm of the Red Devils, we now find ourselves, as Gooners mind you, with the possibility of losing another long serving player (who just happens to be one of this blogger’s favorites), Alex Song.

In the span of two seasons, Alex has improved his game dramatically since he first wore the red and white in 2005, but with the recent flaunts from the now classless Catalans at Barcelona, it seems that Song may have to retract his “I’m happy at Arsenal” statement.  It’s a bit of a shock when just a few words from Barca can jaunt you to do anything from joining them (along with that ass of a man Dani Alves) to kicking your grandmother in the teeth.  It’s ambition after all, right?

I remember when I rekindled my interest in watching Arsenal, and the first game that showcased the glory of Song was during the 2010-2011 season as we defeated Chelsea at home.  It was Song’s tough run and scrummy goal in the box that opened the scoring that night, and it was fantastic.  He can tackle, break up plays, and he assists quite well for a DM.  Yes, he does give away the ball in very bad, spot-kick-ish areas, and he’s a bit more physical than what the Catalans would prefer (in my opinion), so Barca’s interest in him is a bit puzzling to say the least.

The worst part about all of this is that we could be saying bye-bye to someone who stood by us from his youth and onwards for seven years.  Maybe seven to eight years is too much to ask for in regards to serving one club, and I wouldn’t want to force any player to do so if they feel that their “ambitions” won’t be fulfilled, but let’s be honest, we are NOT a lower tiered team in the Premiership, and it’s not like we are NOT challenging for anything.  Alan Pardew finished 5th and apparently he seems to be lauded a lot more than Wenger’s lot.

In addition to all of this, the negative comments surrounding the club have swirled back once more.  The trolls that comment on anything that is Gunner related have always had the nerve of not only dismissing anything that could potentially be fitting or “good” for the club (i.e. new personnel like Giroud and Cazorla), but they hover around with a cloud of negativity that apparently seems to equal good hits on any one of your run of the mill football rumor spewing web-blog.  Song’s situation seemed insignificant when I first heard of Barca’s interest several days ago, but with Darren “Fuck You Arsenal” Dein at the helm, along with every other cunt of a football journalist whispering all over the place about how shitty Arsenal is, it’s no surprise that the rest of us sane Gooners are shaking our collective heads.

Whatever happens to Alex, I hope he doesn’t lose his cool with Arsene any further than what has been rumored already.  Once he goes to Barca, let’s hope he goes with some class, some dignity, and at least with an ounce of gratitude to all of those that have seen him grow into the fine player that he is now.  With all the good and bad that has happened at the Emirates during this year’s round of the silly season, the last thing that Alex Song should do is pull an RVP.

Bidding a Fond Farewell to the Arsenal 2011 / 2012 Season

With Arsenal sealing Champions League qualification, thanks in part to Martin Fulop (rofl) and a stunning save from Kieran Gibbs, it’s safe to say that the club has finally rounded off another season of the Premier League, but with twists and turns all around.  Sure, we don’t have any silverware, but we’re third aren’t we?

There’s so much for me to say about the 2011-2012 season that there’s no way I can fit all of it into one post, but starting from the Gervinho red card against Newcastle to the drubbing at Old Trafford, both the media and Gooners smacked full blown with the “Wenger Out” Kool-Aid voiced their doom and gloom throughout the football sphere, as they told us all we were relegation fodder, a club in crisis and a weak, trophy-less, feeder club whose “attractive” football lacked any “real grit” to hunker down and win games (as if Ashely Young could show grit in the box before he scores, all I saw was a goddamned diver if you asked me).  August and September were gloomy months indeed.

October started off horribly with a defeat at the hands of our much hated rivals, Tottenham Hotspur (all the while losing Sagna to injury for months in the process), but then came our continued fights to beat the Group Stages of the Champions League, our dismantling of Chelsea at Stamford Bridge (with John Terry kissing the dirt too) and the fact that our signings, like Santos, Mertesacker & Arteta in particular, showed their mettle as Gunners worthy in name.  Panic buys my ass.

From November onwards, it was a roller coaster of a ride.  We beat Borussia Dortmund in grand style (there’s only one Song), we continued to rise slowly up the Premier League ranks,  Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain proved how raw yet prodigious of a talent he could be (while Park continues to elude us to this day), Henry returned on loan to help us out with a brief gale of victory, and RVP continued to score, score and score.  What more could you ask for?

February proved to be another roller coaster for us as we were knocked out of the FA (not before Henry returned to give us one helluva win against Leeds) , we lost 4-0 to AC Milan and a re-match against the Spuds were upon us.  Did we give in?  Hell no.  After scores from Saha & Adebayor, Bacary Sagna returned from the very same fixture that wrecked his leg to give Tottenham the “FUCK YOU GOAL” of a lifetime.  Couple that with a resurgent Tomas Rosicky and you have yourselves one of the most memorable games the Gunners had this season.  It was the sign of things to come, in the form of a big middle finger to all the negativity surrounding the club.

By March, we had seven straight wins in the Premier League, with a dramatic one coming out late against Newcastle thanks to the insane drive of Thomas Vermaelen.  April yielded one of our best games of the season as the Gunners pressed hard against current champs Man City and won 1-0 with a stunning shot from Mikel Arteta.  However, as the season came to a close, we let things slip a bit.  Losses to Wigan and ties to Stoke & Norwich added quite a bit of pressure on us as the race for Third place was coming to a head.  Yossi Benayoun showed his mettle and experience as he began to score good goals, but the loss of Arteta through injury was also a loss of midfield composure for our side.  By the time we made it to West Brom on our last game, things looked grim as we were down 2-1.  But, as I said earlier in this post, all that is in the past.  Chelsea have won the Champions League (classless fucks), and we got our spot to play on it.

As we bid farewell to the our season (along with Pat Rice, god bless him), let’s all remember that we still have to wait and see if our Captain will continue to score for us for years to come.  Let’s look forward to another one of Song’s lofted assists.  Let’s hope the young guns like Johan, Ramsey and the Ox strive better to improve their game.  Let’s hope Yossi stays!!  Let’s not forget the defensive badassery of Laurent Koscielny.  Let’s make sure that the new guys like Per, Jenks, Andre & Mikel find a great home with us at the Emirates and let’s hope to God that we’ll avoid any disasters like what we found ourselves in at the start of this season.  Let’s not forget that RVP is the man, winning the Premier League Golden Boot, the PFA Player of the Year award AND the FWA Player of the Year award (eat that Rooney…EAT IT!!).  And finally, let’s add some quality to the squad during this forthcoming “silly season”.  It’s been a crazy time for the Gunners, and a frustratingly vein-popping season for Uncle Arsene, but at least in my opinion, it was a very memorable one.  Cheers to all you Gooners out there, and cheers to our Gunners!!  ‘Til next season!  ^__^

Special Thanks goes to Arseblog, Arsenal FC Blog, Arsenal Bleacher Report & the Arsenalist, along with Grumpygrad.  Thanks to all of you for accompanying me on another footballing season with the Gunners!!

Weekend Roundup (2-10-2012 to 2-12-2012)

It’s been a while since I wrote anything here, and after a long and hard week full of PCR and other things I’ve screwed up on in the lab, here’s my roundup for the weekend.

Friday was a crummy day where I more or less provided some undue stress on my Post-Doc for being a bit too sure on a mistake I made earlier in the week.  Nothing detrimental in the long run, but it just means that I have more work to do to genotype a certain set of mice we’ve been breeding for a few months now.  That night, I was treated to some tasty Chinese hotpot at ‘said girl’s’ house for movie night with the roomies.  It first started out with the lackluster Colombiana, which had decent action, but not much else in terms of a plot.  It’s eye candy for us girls and guys, but that’s about it.  After a round of Uno, we proceeded to a film her and I have been talking about watching for a week now, and that’s Fruit Chan’s Dumplings.  A twisted, sexy film to say the least, it’s a gorgeous look at how one person’s desire to outwit the ravages of age consumes her as she consumes some special dumplings with a ‘special’ ingredient.  Lastly, it was a return to good film as we sat over to grace the awesomeness that was, and is, Pulp Fiction, while giving a boxing lesson at the same time (I’m not going into that any further).  Honey bunnies indeed.

Saturday started off really well, with a win for us Arsenal fans at the Stadium of Light against the black cats of Sunderland.  Martin O’Neil has really turned the Cats around since he took over, and it looked dire for us Gunners, especially after Mertesacker’s horrendous injury which later led to a goal for Sunderland.  However, Ramsey came on for us and scored a cracker of a goal that bounced off of both posts before smacking the net.  Arshavin and Henry some came in to replace our wingers and things really took off.  Arshavin took two of Sunderland’s defenders head on and made a cross between them that was headed for the box. Henry leaped up with a flying jump kick to poke the ball in for another legendary goal for us, sending our away troop into a frenzy.  It was Henry’s last game in the Premiership for us and it was one helluva way for him to send the fans off.  Now, if only he could score against AC Milan later this coming week…

However, that night, things turned a bit dour as I was informed by said girl over the FB that yes, Whitney Houston passed away.  Yes, I mean THE Whitney Houston.  Y’know, the diva of divas who’s been having a tough time as of late?  There is still no real clue as to why she was found dead in her hotel room, but hopefully people will take the time to remember somebody who you could say that you probably heard on the radio once a day.  I’m sure there are a handful of assholes making comments about her drug problems and such, and although that it is clear that she did have substance abuse issues, I think it’s bad that she may be remembered for that then, I dunno, singing an 80s pop song or having a film career or being an astounding singer.  I’m not the biggest Whitney fan out there, and I’m not gonna jump the band wagon just because she died, but to overlook her talent for singing by focusing on her issues with drugs and trolling the net with it is in bad taste.  So, do me a favor folks, at least play one Whitney song for yourself and raise your glass to her.

Sunday was simply a lazy one filled with running and room cleaning, so nothing much for me to mention.  The grammys happened, and so did a Whitney tribute as well.  Otherwise, with another Wong Kar Wai film review and a few other things in the works, including a new YouTube video from yours truly, that’s all I’ve got for now.  Valentine’s Day is upon us, and although I don’t care much for it, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t.  To all of those that do come by here and read every now and then, have a great week, enjoy it with somebody special if you can, and look forward to another weekend.  Cheers…