Thursday, December 23, 2010

The 12 Days of Christmas (Arsenal Version)

The 12 Days of Christmas - Wishes for Arsenal and their Fans in 2011

On the first day of Christmas Arsenal gave to me:
  • Twelve additional clean sheets.                              
  • Eleven strong players (for each game).
  • Ten consecutive wins.
  • Nine Chamakh goals from headers.
  • Eight Nasri highlights.
  • Seven goals against Tottenham.
  • Six points versus Man. U. and Chelsea.
  • Five saved penalties.
  • Four Fabregas hat tricks.
  • Three Other Trophies (Premiership, FA Cup, Carling Cup).
  • Two strong centre backs.
  • One Champions League Trophy. 
Come on Arsenal!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The 12 Days of Christmas (Mets Version)

The 12 Days of Christmas - Wishes for the New York Mets and their Fans in 2011

On the first day of Christmas the Mets gave to me:
    Beltran, Davis and Bay meet Santa (David Wright)
  • Twelve fewer blown saves.   
  • Eleven walk off wins.
  • Ten meaningful games in September.
  • Nine winning road trips.
  • Eight grand slams.
  • Seven bobblehead giveaways.
  • Six wins over the Yankees.
  • Five solid starting pitchers.
  • Four fewer visits to the disabled list.
  • Three healthy outfielders.
  • Two new players to replace Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo.
  • One World Series trophy.

Let's Go Mets.

Friday, December 17, 2010

I Don't Like Mondays...and the Phantom of the Opera

It's taken me until Friday to finally deal with the happenings of this past Monday. Monday was the day of the big game and I was full of nervous tension and optimism as Arsenal were heading up to Old Trafford to face Manchester United for a top of the table clash. I met up with some fellow Arsenal fans at the team's official NYC pub, The Blind Pig, (yes that's the real name) as it's always fun to watch games of this magnitude with other fans.

Arsenal vs. Manchester United has always been one of the top fixtures in the EPL and in years past the teams were generally on a level playing field. However, over the past 5-6 years Arsenal always seem to come up short, losing on a regular basis to the team hardcore Arsenal fans refer to as ManU(re).

Of course the pre game hype was ridiculous and Arsenal supporters were full of hope that things would finally go their team's way. Arsenal began play at the top of the league and Man. U. has not looked as strong as they have in the past.

Long story short, Arsenal held their own, the game was a defensive battle and in the end, it mattered for nothing. Man. U. scored the only goal of the game on a deflection...luck really. The only enjoyable part of the game was watching Wayne "Shrek" Rooney sky his bogus penalty shot over the net and in to the stands.

Leaving the bar I was bummed but my next stop was a focus group where I was going to be paid $100 cash for participating in a discussion on Broadway shows. The person who had registered me pretty much told me what to say in order to qualify. So, what do I do? I forget that she told me to claim to have not seen Phantom of the Opera (I have seen it twice and both times fell asleep), and I check off that I've seen it. I realize my error, but having already turned in the paper, it's too late. I am disqualified from the group and not paid.

Later that night, I find out that the Philadelphia Phillies have signed free agent pitcher Cliff Lee which pretty much guarantees that the Mets will be irrelevant and the Phillies' doormat for the next few years.

Mets fans look forward to 2015 season

The good thing about sports, however, is there's always a next game and a chance to turn things around. Arsenal are still in good position and there's plenty of time left in their season. As for the Mets, you never know what's going to happen, so there will be hope once the 2011 season gets underway.

As for Phantom of the Opera, I am never seeing it again!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Arsenal Jump Chelsea and Man. U, Mets Go Bargain Hunting at the Winter Meetings

Super Samir Nasri
We're heading towards Christmas and Arsenal are top of the League!  While all the haters are burying them, the Gunners are two points clear of the suddenly vulnerable Chelsea and one point up on Manchester United (United do have a game in hand as their fixture with Blackpool had to be postponed last week).  A 2-1 home win over Fulham was highlighted by 2 AMAZING goals by Samir Nasri. (Check them out: Goal one, Goal two).  A cool note on this game was that all Arsenal players were donating their day's pay to the team's selected charity, Centrepoint, London’s largest youth homeless charity.

On Wednesday the Gunners defeated Partizan Belgrade 3-1 securing their place in the final 16 of the Champions League.  On the positive side, they are through and have qualifed for the final 16 for the 11th straight year in a row.  The bummer is that they looked very sluggish against a lousy Partizan team and by finishing second in their group, they will face a tougher match up in the next round.  The team's possible opponent will be either Schalke or Bayern Munich from Germany or, god forbid, Real Madrid or Barcelona.  I'd rather be heading to Germany next.

Coming up on Monday, Arsenal travel to Old Trafford where they have to show their true title credentials.  Here's hoping for the best.

Random crazy events in the EPL this week:
  • After guiding Newcastle United back to the Premier League where the team is so far having a good season, club owner Mike Ashley fired manager Chris Hughton out of the blue inciting an insane stream of vitriol from the fans.
  • Trouble keeps popping up at the Billionaire Boys Club...a.k.a. Manchester City.  This past week saw Carlos Tevez almost come to blows with manager Roberto Mancini upon being substituted.  It seems that money has not yet bought happiness to the blue half of Manchester.
    D.J. who?
On the baseball front, the Winter Meetings have come and gone and while the Red Sox were making a splash by signing Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford and the Yankees were throwing around the money, my beloved New York Mets were showing their continued post Bernie Madoff hangover.  New GM Sandy Alderson came back having signed reliever D.J. Carrasco and backup catcher Ronny Paulino.  Analogy...the Yankees and Red Sox are shopping at Saks Fifth Avenue while the Mets are checking out the discount racks at Walmart.  But, in the imortal words of Tug McGraw, "You Gotta Believe".    

Friday, December 3, 2010

Qatar-troversy - Thoughts on the 2022 World Cup

Arsenal and the Mets are taking a back seat for this one as the backlash that FIFA is getting with regards to the awarding of the next two World Cups is all over the "Twitterverse".

I have spent the past 24 hours following the feedback from Twitterers all over the world regarding the Qatar bid and here is a sampling of some of the Tweets that I found:

-Is that oil I see dripping from the money stuffed in FIFA delegate's pockets?

-Can’t wait to see what happens when Israel qualify, as well as Budweiser the official world 
 cup beer's stance.

-With only 2 cities in the whole country, are fans expected to camp in the desert?

-The Qatar stadiums look awesome, but they have one fatal flaw: they're in Qatar.

-Ironically, we have been awarded the 2022 Oppressive Regime Against Women And 

 Homosexuals World Cup. 

-And who will be building all these stadiums and roads in Qatar? No doubt workers imported     from 
abroad, living 20 to a room and getting paid £25 a week. I guess slave labour is "carbon     neutral" though.

-Has wikileaks got any dossiers on the abject failure of humanity who run FIFA?

-I hope the media attention for Qatar in 2022 will force them to deal with their rampant  discrimination, human trafficking and slavery.

-Qatar: No stadiums, no history, unfavorable climate, no city of even 1m people, etc. 

  Everything about it is wrong except the oil money. WTF?

One player currently playing professionally in England tweeted:

"Gutted about England not getting 2018, as for Qatar imagine playing in that heat!"

Other opposition I found from fans voicing their opinions on the Internet include the following:

I understand FIFA trying to expand football in new regions, but my concern is for your general Joe Fan.  Nothing to do with safety or heat, but what culture is in this place?  What is there to see or do?  I hate to bring up alcohol consumption but come on - where can a fella have a few points and a bit o' banter?  Will good old fashioned singsongs be tolerated?  Maybe the English, Dutch, Germans, Americans, Russians, Czechs, Irish (hopefully) can get by on fruit juice for a month.
Qater is, hot, boring, full of annoyingly rich people who have never worked a day in their lives. Westerners living in compounds. More heat. More foreign workers (slaves as you need permission from your employer to change jobs or even leave the country!)
"The thumb-shaped Qatar peninsula," warns the Lonely Planet guide "is not exactly one of the world's major tourist destinations."  The chapter on the Qatari capital is even less enticing. "Around the Gulf, Doha has earned the unenviable reputation of being the dullest place on earth."

The following article from The Guardian explains Qatar's current stance on homosexuality and how Fifa's new "anti-discrimination taskforce" is trying to get the country to be more tolerant in hosting the World Cup.

Perhaps most disturbing of all was this on Twitter: No Asians allowed:Racism in Qatar Shopping in Doha via You Tube.

I was able to find some Tweets from folks happy about Qatar winning the World Cup bid:

-My country Qatar won the bid to have the world cup in 2022!!! I'm so proud to be from  Qatar!!!

-Somewhere now in America: “Dude, where's Dubai?” “Dude, next to Qatar! Duh!” LOL

I then saw that someone had posted the actual Qatar presentation from Zurich which outlines the country's plan for the World Cup.

It's always good to look at both sides of a debate and I have to admit that the presentation looked pretty good and it's nice to see that people in that part of the world are happy and proud for their country.  However, there is definitely some anti American sentiment being expressed as well.  I then read this article which I feared would be the reaction due to the tense times we are living in.  It paints Americans as entitled, ignorant as well as anti-Arab and anti-Muslim.  While there are many people in the U.S. who think this way, the backlash that the Qatar bid is getting from soccer fans around the world has nothing to do with this and everything to do with soccer/football.  Here are the Tweets I found that pretty much sum up my feelings:

          -Where will Fifa go next for the WC, Greenland, the Galapagos Islands, the Maldives, 

            surely they all deserve a chance. Sepp Blatter you are ruining football.

          -How can Fifa allow a country to host an event such as a world cup when they have never 

           even qualified for one? Does anyone think money has been used to get this one?

          -Are they really going to play as host nation? They will be thrashed.

Here's the reason football fans are outraged, Qatar is a tiny country and will be the smallest ever to host the World Cup.  There are more people living in my Manhattan neighborhood than live in the entire country of Qatar.  They keep calling this a World Cup for the Middle East.  If that's the case, why isn't it being held throughout the Middle East?  The 2002 World Cup was co-hosted by two different nations with huge populations; Japan and Korea.

Also, every country that has ever hosted a World Cup has had their national team qualify for other World Cups.  In other words, they have invested in their country's football development and earned the right to compete in the World's largest sporting event prior to hosting the tournament.  No offense to Qatar, but they have never qualified for the World Cup.  As the host country they get an automatic entry in to the tournament which means that a more deserving nation will miss the World Cup so that Qatar can get crushed in every game they play in.  Brazil vs. Qatar would not make a highlight reel.

Nations that deserve to host the World Cup more than Qatar include:  Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica, Costa Rica, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Trinidad and Tobago and even North Korea.  Why?..because all of these countries have played in past World Cups having gone through the actual qualification process and winning the right to play.

In fact, more deserving countries in the Middle East include Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates...all of which have had teams qualify for past World Cups.

As an American I would have loved to have the World Cup held here again, but I didn't think that was fair as it was just held here in 1994.  For the same reason I felt that South Korea and Japan didn't deserve it as well.  The country that really got hosed was Australia.  They've qualified for World Cups in the past, there are many Australian born footballers playing in professional leagues arouund the world as well as at home in the A-League.  The country has an amazing climate, a multi cultural population, beautiful cities, stadiums that are already built and most of all, they have never held the World Cup before.  They've earned the right to host the World Cup. Qatar was pretty much just handed it.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Arsenal Survive November and the Mets Prepare For 2011

As in past seasons November proved to be a challenging month for Arsenal.  A home defeat to Newcastle was hard enough but wasting an opportunity to lock up a spot in the knockout stages of the Champions League to a mediocre Braga side was gut wrenching.  Bad as these two losses were, the real "knife in the back moment" for all Gunners came when Arsenal blew a 2-0 half time lead to the Spuds of Tottenham, losing 3-2 in front of the Emirates crowd.

Since then, Arsenal beat Villa 4-2 in the league and locked up a spot in the semi finals of the Carling Cup with an easy 2-0 win over Wigan.  Despite all the disappointments of November, Arsenal are still alive in all competitions and along with Chelsea sit just two points behind current leaders Manchester United. Chelsea have had a real dip in form (very enjoyable to see) and are ahead of Arsenal in the standings solely on goal differential.  Man. U. don't look too good themselves.  Despite not having lost in the league yet this season, they've blown several leads and have a large number of draws.  With Shrek back in the fold, they hope form will improve.

An additional bright spot was seeing Alex Ferguson and his egotistical side get whipped by last place West Ham in the other Carling Cup quarter finals.  Of course once they lost, Man. U. supporters put a spin on the result by claiming that it was just their reserves and it was just the Carling Cup.  Whatever, we'll take it.

Arsenal have been drawn against dirtbag Roy Keane and his Ipswich team in the Carling Cup semi-finals. The trophy drought could soon be over for the boys from North London.

On a nostalgic note, it was weird but pretty cool seeing former Arsenal legend Robert Pires back in uniform amongst Arsene Wenger and Arsenal, albeit in a Villa jersey.


As for the Mets, the winter meetings get underway this weekend in Orlando and Mets fans everywhere are holding their breath.  Now that a new GM and manager are in place, putting together the roster for 2011 is priority number one.  Typical for Mets fans, however, is the breaking news that Johan Santana won't be ready to pitch for the team until JUNE.  It's looking like 2012 can't come soon enough for this team. 

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Thoughts on the Mets and Arsenal

This has been one of the worst week's that I have experienced as an Arsenal fan. First they threw away a 2-0 lead to freaking Tottenham, utltimately losing 3-2 and missing out on a golden opportunity to go top of the table. Then yesterday they travelled to Braga needing just one point to clinch qualification for the next round of the Champions League. Braga SUCKED...but sadly, Arsenal sucked worse. Regardless of the fact that the referee also sucked; waving off a clear cut penalty for Carlos Vela and letting Braga commit foul after foul without issuing cards; the Gunners were soft. The defense again was at fault as they were caught out TWICE in the last ten minutes of the game and Arsenal ended up losers. Being so invested emotionally in the team, it's amazing how bummed out you feel after seeing them underachieve so much. However, rather than dwelling on the negatives and ranting about who should be dropped from the team, etc., this being the day before Thanksgiving, I've decided to dwell on the positives:

What I'm Thankful For as an Arsenal Fan:

  • Despite the setbacks, the team is still alive in all competitions.
  • Living in New York I don't have to get as much grief as I would if I lived in the U.K. for the current dip in form (Very few here knows who or what Arsenal is).
  • Arsene Wenger is a legend.
  • Samir Nasri, Bacary Sagna, Cesc Fabregas, Jack Wilshere.
  • The amazing Arsenal fans.
  • Past successes.
  • Trophies to win.
  • You Tube clips like this.
What I'm Thankful For as a Mets Fan:

  • The team finally have a new GM and a new Manager and have a new start going in to 2011.
  • Oliver Perez will not pitch another inning for the team.
  • David Wright.
  • Mr. Met (this is actual footage from a real event).
  • Great memories...1986, Mookie Wilson, Rusty Staub, Tom Seaver, Doc and Darryl.
  • I'm not a Yankee fan.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Watch Out Here We Come

Just two points off of the top of the league
Sunday was one of those euphoric days that makes being a sports fan worthwhile.  Arsenal headed to Goodison Park in Liverpool for a meeting with Everton.  While not playing at their best, Arsenal held their own and had a 2-0 lead until the 89th minute when Aussie Tim Cahill got one back for Everton.  The Gunners dug in and held on for an important 2-1 win.  The first goal was a rare but impressive shot in the 36th minute from defender Bacary Sagna, with captain Cesc Fabregas scoring the second just after the restart.

Coming on the heels of Saturday's Manchester United draw with Aston Villa, Arsenal jumped the Mancs and moved to second place, five points behind Chelsea.  Then things just got better.  Sunderland traveled to Stamford Bridge for a meeting with the billionaire boys club known as Chelski.  Assuming the inevitable would happen and that Chelsea would win, I dozed off during the game.  When I awoke it was the 70th minute and the Black Cats had a 2-0 lead.  The next 20 minutes were fun to watch as the Chelsea fans fled the stadium in a mass exodus.  Ashley Cole and the rest of Chelsea looked a mess and when the final whistle blew the 3-0 Sunderland win meant that Arsenal were now just two points off of the top of the table.

While this blog is about Arsenal and the Mets, I do have to give a special mention to the New York Jets who somehow pulled out a victory from nowhere with a winning touchdown run on what was definitely the last play of overtime.  The Jets are 7-2.  Like Mets fans, it's not too often that supporters of the Jets get to gloat.  So today, we finally get the chance.

Adding to the great results of the weekend, the Mets also didn't lose.  Yes, it's a joke it's the off season.  But on a positive note, the Mets are currently interviewing candidates for their manager opening and Mets fans everywhere are optomistic.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Pretty In Pink

Lukasz Fabianski is pretty in pink
As a Mets fan the best part of seeing the World Series end is that you can finally take a break from baseball  and all the misery that comes from following the Mets.  While I love the sport and the team, sometimes it's good for your head to just have some time off.  That being said, the Mets have so far made good off season decisions that at least show fans that the top brass are heading in the right direction.  Lowering ticket prices for the 2011 season is a righteous move.  Stealing a line from our local NBC affiliate, "At least next year Mets fans will pay less to have their dreams dashed".

As for Arsenal, sometimes they dominate games so much that you start to believe that this is the year they will finally get back on top of Chelsea, Manchester United and the rest of the pack.  Then they come out and look like a shell of the team that had you believing.  In the past November has proven to be a defining month for Arsenal and this November didn't start out well.  First the team travelled to Donetsk in the boonies of Eastern Ukraine and put in a sub par Champions League display losing 2-1 to a team they had pounded 5-1 back in London.  The only consolation was that former Arsenal man Eduardo scored the winner.  While Arsenal still lead group H, this was a troubling performance.  Then, last Sunday at home, they dropped 3 points to Newcastle, losing 1-0.  Andy Carroll's game winning header was the only true shot on goal the Magpies had and of course it went in.

Yesterday the Gunners finally got back on track, but even then it wasn't overly convincing.  Marouane Chamakh scored in the first and last minute of the game.  The 93 minutes in between were pure torture to watch.  Arsenal were constantly under pressure from a Wolves onslaught.  If not for luck and the excellent individual efforts of Bacary Sagna and Tomas Rosicky the score may not have been so one sided.  Then there was the man of the match...believe it or not, Lukasz Fabianski.  The often maligned goalkeeper, dressed in a Pepto-Bismol colored hot pink goalie kit proved a site for sore eyes in more ways than one.  While the kit was shocking, the saves Fabianski made saved Arsenal. 

Next up is Everton away this weekend.

Random thoughts:              

Monday, November 1, 2010

Moving On Up

Fix this Mess...oops Mets
The last week was nothing but good news for both the Mets and Arsenal.  While the Mets' season ended in a thud, the off season has gotten off to a good start with the announcement that Sandy Alderson has been hired by the Wilpons as the team's new GM.  While Alderson does not have access to a magic wand that will suddenly transform the Mets in to world beaters, he is an experienced and intelligent baseball executive who said the right things and will aim to fix the mess that he is inheriting.  As a fan I am thinking positive and invoking Tug McGraw's old rallying cry, "You Gotta Belive."

As for Arsenal, the team is currently firing on all cylinders.  Following their 3-0 beating of the great pretenders known as Manchester City last Sunday, the Gunners rolled over Newcastle on the road 4-0 in the Carling Cup.  Arsene Wenger fielded the right mix of youth and experience and saw welcome returns from Theo Walcott and Nicklas Bendtner who both got on the score sheet.  The draw for the final eight was kind as well with Arsenal being handed a home match against Wigan.  With Arsenal fans craving a trophy and the media unfairly beating up Wenger, it seems he is taking this year's Carling Cup tournament a bit more seriously.

This past Saturday, Arsenal hosted bottom of the table West Ham at the Emirates.  On paper it should have been an easy Arsenal win.  Instead, despite owning the majority of possession and creating some decent scoring chances, the team was up against a determined West Ham team that played a strong defensive game.  West Ham didn't look like they were going to score, but thinking of a 0-0 draw at home was gut wrenching.  It would have definitely been two points dropped.  Great teams have to win games like this...and so they did.

In the 88th minute Gael Clichy pushed forward and delivered a spot on cross that Alex Song headed straight in to the back of the net.  1-0 to the Arsenal.  Three points won.  Next up is a trip to the Ukraine and a Champions League meeting with Eduardo and Shakhtar Donetsk. 

More great news today as Arsenal announced the long term signing of 19 year old budding superstar Jack Wilshere.

Random thoughts:
  • Loved seeing Manchester City lose to lowly Wolves.
  • Wayne Rooney is an idiot.
  • Great to see American Clint Dempsey score a brace in Fulham's 2-0 victory over Wigan.
Song uses his head (Clive Rose/Getty Images )

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Three Is A Magic Number

The start of a perfect sports weekend
This was the perfect sports weekend for fans of Arsenal and the New York Mets. To use a horse racing term it was a winning trifecta of results. Friday night saw the Yankees manhandled by the Texas Rangers and bounced from the playoffs mercifully shutting the mouths of obnoxious entitled Yankees fans everywhere. Making it even sweeter was watching A-Fraud strike out looking to end the game. In Yankee land its win the World Series or else it's a failure. So, according to the team's standards, the Yankees' season was a failure.

Saturday night it was Ryan Howard and the Phillies' turn to limp out of the playoffs. Howard did his best Carlos Beltran impersonation as he struck out looking with the tying and winning runs on base. Having attended several Mets games at Citizen's Bank Park where I was lucky to leave with my life and dignity, I can honestly say seeing the Phillies’ fans stunned and silent was brilliant. (To further rub salt in the Philly wounds, the Eagles lost today as well). So, congrats Texas Rangers and San Francisco Giants and congrats to fans of the other 28 teams in baseball.

Today was the icing on the cake, the cherry on top, the crème de la crème. Manchester City and their collection of trophy pieces purchased by their sugar daddy sheik hosted Arsenal. In the same fixture last year, former Arsenal mercenary Emmanuel Adebayor proved how classless he is when he ran the length of the pitch to celebrate a goal in front of the travelling Arsenal supporters. Arsenal lost that day 4-2. This time, the Gunners looked poised and owned the game.

Captain and true leader, Cesc Fabregas controlled the game with outstanding efforts from Nasri and Song who scored the first two Arsenal goals. Manchester City was forced to play 85 minutes of the game with only ten men as Dedryck Boyata received a deserved straight red card for bringing down Chamakh just outside the box. Proving that three is the magic number this weekend, Nicklas Bendtner came off the bench late in the game to seal the victory for Arsenal with their third goal of the game. 3-0 was the final and the blue side of Manchester has been put back in their place.
The end of a perfect sports weekend

Monday, October 18, 2010

Yankees Suck...and so do Manchester United, Chelsea, Tottenham and a few others...

Hey Yankees, who's your Daddy?
While October 2nd marked the end of the baseball season for the Mets, it was just the beginning of what seems like my annual post season ritual of rooting for whomever the Yankees are playing.  While Minnesota wasn't up to the task, Texas so far is looking good.  As I write this the "fans" of the Yankees are streaming out of the ballpark in the top of the 9th as their team are being owned by Cliff Lee and the Texas Rangers.  It's aswesome to watch.  Tonight's starting rightfielder for the Rangers Jeff Francouer began the season as a New York Met.  So using the 6 degrees of seperation theory the Mets are getting one over on the Yankees.  (Yes that's stretching it but it's true),

As for Arsenal, they got back on track with a 2-1 win over Birmingham City.  It was an ugly win, but in truth that is what the team needed.  They've played too many beautiful games where they didn't get the results.  The weekend was also beneficial as both Chelski and Manchester United were held to draws.  Also making me laugh is the news that Wayne Rooney and Alex Ferguson have had a falling out and that Rooney wants out of United.  Anything that makes United weaker is better for Arsenal and therefore a good thing.

I know that I should concentrate on my own teams and not feel joy at watching the failings of competitors, but this is sports and this is a blog so throw all that goodness out the window. 
Shrek wants out of Man. U.


Friday, October 8, 2010

YES Nets Deal For Arsenal Soccer Coverage

YES Nets Deal For Arsenal Soccer Coverage: "The YES Network will kick off coverage of one the English Premier League's ..."

I received this news today and on one hand thought awesome, Arsenal are getting some love and recognition here in the old US of A. But then I looked closer and saw those dreaded three letters...YES...Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network. Oh the horror, the evil empire, the team that I hate even more than Chelsea and Manchester United...the f'ing Yankees have got their claws in to Arsenal. The more I think about it, it's a good thing. The Yankees' motto is "if at first you don't succeed, buy, buy again". As we all know, "Greed is good". If it helps Arsenal, then I'm all for using the evil empire to further the Arsenal cause.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Sunday, Bloody Sunday

Sunday, October 2nd was just another one of those days that makes you wonder why you follow sports at all. You love your teams so much that losses can basically ruin your entire day. Of course you always go back, but when those wounds are first inflicted it leaves you gutted. (I stole that word from the Brits, it sounds more dramatic than depressed or bummed).

First up was the encounter between Arsenal and Chelsea (Chelski) at Stamford Bridge in the posh section of London. When I first began following Arsenal, Chelsea were a tough opponent but Arsenal always had their number. Unfortunately, things have changed since Roman Abramovich came along and pumped his oil money in to Chelsea. These days, Arsenal play the role of whipping boys and sadly this day turned out to be the same.

Arsenal looked solid, played well had a lot of possession but in the end we all had to sit there and take it when the
egotistical Didier Drogba scored. Still it was 1-0 so there was hope. But, that was dashed as a free kick resulted in an amazing strike from Alex and it was done and dusted. The only solace Arsenal fans had was that at least we looked good while losing.

As for the Mets? As I sit here writing this I am watching the Yankees in the playoffs (rooting for the Twins of course) and still laughing at the way the Mets finished their horrible season. While meaningless in terms of making the playoffs, it would have been nice to see the Mets put in an amazing effort to close out the year. No, instead they wasted an excellent pitching performance by Mike Pelfrey by scoring one measley run and allowing the game to go in to extra innings. Just losing the game would have been enough, but not our Mets. They had to do it in true pathetic fashion. Who should come in to the game in the 14th inning, but the human disaster that is Oliver Perez. Scorned and shunned all season, Ollie had the chance for redemption. But remember, this is the Mets. Instead Ollie hit one batter and walked three allowing the winning run to score! (Keep in mind this guy is making 12 million dollars a year). Game over, season over. The next day the GM and Manager were dismissed. Just another day in Metsland. I'm actually happy that the Mets' season is over. I couldn't take any more.

On the bright side, the Jets actually look good this year!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Mets season going south, Arsenal start off strong

(Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty)
For the fourth straight year, the "Amazin" Mets have again let down their fans and are facing another meaningless end of the season. Unlike the great collapses of 2007 and 2008, this year's Mets have done little to even remain relevant in to September. If not for the hapless Washington Nationals, the Mets could be looking at a last place finish. The ironic part is that the Mets came in to the season as a team expected to score but with a questionable pitching staff. In the end, their pitching was outstanding and their hitting was non existent. The only chance Mets starters have to win a game is pretty much to pitch a shutout. Even then, getting a win is not a certainty. Pathetic is how you say M-E-T-S, Mets.

Luckily, the new English and European football season has begun and Arsenal are off to a solid start collecting 7 points in their first three games. While the haters continue to write off the Gunners before the season even gets going, they have shown muscle and resolve thus far. Plus, with captain and World Cup winner Cesc Fabregas remaining at the club, the prospects for the new campaign, as well as the Champions League, look good.

New teams to hate this year, in addition to Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool, are the pretenders Manchester City and Tottenham. City has become the New York Yankees of England buying up whomever and whatever they want with no real team plan. Tottenham fans are letting last year's fourth place finish fill their heads with false pictures of grandeur and success. It was therefore quite enjoyable to watch both cocky wannabes fall to weaker opponents this past weekend. Tottenham sputtered and lost to Wigan while Man City went to Sunderland and came up losers.