off to the caves of Blackburn! the Goonerdamus pre-report

Also posted on Arsenal America (8/27/10):

For Goonerdamus, last week can only be described as awkward. It’s fairly obvious that Arsene Wenger controls both time and fate. How else to explain the starting lineup? It’s pretty clear that Wenger’s powers extend beyond the average manager -he’s made some sort of deal the devil or is a demi-god. Either that, or perhaps Goonerdamus shouldn’t be so optimistic when looking into the future. But a new day awaits and an old evil is back: Big Sam and the people that live in caves up in Blackburn. Continue reading

Walcott quits the Mousekeeters; Rosicky retires; Gooners get a man-crush and a terrifying rodent joins the squad

There’s a lot going on following the game against Blackpool. First, we had the Walcott show. Then Rosicky announces his retirement…from forward to central midfielder. Song has become a mainstay on Tiger Beat magazine for Gooner fans. And, oh yeah, we picked up another central defender: a squirrel with a vicious streak a mile wide.
Continue reading

Blackpool Pre-Report: Harry Potter Returns!

As featured on Arsenal America. It’s the curtain raiser at Emirates this Saturday against Blackpool. To be fair, I love the name Blackpool. It’s so very English and makes you think of Harry Potter. Even better Blackpool destroyed Wigan in their last game. Blackpool versus Wigan, not exactly a clash of the titans, but perhaps the most Quidditch sounding game of soccer ever. Unfortunately for Blackpool, they’re the Muggles in this story and Fab’s return to the lineup, EPL’s own Harry Potter, promises to make it a very special night. For Arsenal. Continue reading

One Gooner’s thank you to Wigan for the wake up call

Is this the darkness before the storm? With a golden opportunity to reignite the race for the EPL, our team fell flat. There is no excuse here. Three goals in 11 minutes is too much. This is a debacle. Many will call for a revamp of the squad; others will ask for calmness. I fall somewhere in between. I never thought I’d say this, but Arsene has become too risk adverse, in every facet of the game. But this Wigan game is the wake up call we need to make radical changes and get serious. It’s time to rebuild from the ground up. Continue reading

Messi masks Arsene’s Arrogance

Much will be made of barca, or rather Messi’s quality after this game. But make no mistake, this game was lost by Arsene. We could have won. This was not barca’s master class. It was nothing more than the epitome of managerial arrogance. There are times a manager must forgo philosophy; he must settle into the storm of reality and right the ship. Arsene did none of this. Instead he left his players floundering and asked more than he gave. He used an inexplicable strategy that led to a predictable failure. Continue reading

There’s only One Song and he’s gone. Arsene must win this game with tactics

Arrrrrrgh. I’m a positive person by nature, glass half full and all that. And I truly was looking forward to the match at Nou Camp tomorrow. Fear of no one. But I have to say, even my optimism took a hit when I heard Song would miss the barca game. One of my favorite players, Song has been a rock for us all season. The only positive I can find, is that the loss of Song might force Arsene to change his approach to this game. Absent our One Song, we will now be asking less to do more. Forget men against boys: we need Arsene to win this game through management and tactics. The beautiful game is secondary. Continue reading

Nasri and Diaby: the sum is greater than the parts

This game comes down to Nasri and Diaby playing their way. Unlike the first match, this one looks to be more physical, less pretty and more like an EPL match. Don’t misunderstand me, this won’t be a Bolton v. Stock City matchup -the players won’t be out to put on the pain. But it will be faster paced, less passing, more dibbling and harder tackling. Continue reading