Thursday, January 20, 2011

Arsenal Back On Track...Mets Still Hibernating

Van Persie is back and flying high
(Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Arsenal's January was tough to begin with, but the boys made things a bit more difficult for themselves with some uninspiring performances against Championship competition.  On January 8th Leeds came to the Emirates and almost knocked Arsenal out of the FA Cup.  Only a late Fabregas penalty saved the team from an early exit and set up a replay at Elland Road.

Further worries came on the 12th as Arsenal travelled to Ipswich for the first leg of the Carling Cup semi-finals.  Suffice it to say that the Gunners were a shell of their regular selves and left Portman Road 1-0 down with the second leg scheduled for this coming week in London.  Ipswich are in 20th position in the championship and recently sacked former ManUre dirt bag Roy Keane, so this result was shocking.  Hopefully this embarrassment will be erased and Arsenal will be on their way to the finals.

Following this one week of less than stellar play, the real Arsenal seem to have returned.  Last Saturday West Ham travelled to the Emirates and were outclassed and outplayed easily.  3-0 was actually a flattering scoreline for Avram Grant's team.  Van Persie and Walcott scored in the first half and Van Persie sealed the victory with a penalty shot in the 76th minute.

Yesterday was the FA Cup replay in Leeds.  I actually went to this exact fixture in 2004 when Leeds were still a Premier League powerhouse.  That game ended 4-1 to the Arsenal and I was pretty confident that it would end in similar fashion this time.  Within 5 minutes Samir Nasri had scored and Arsenal pretty much controlled the ball from then on despite an amazing shot and goal from Leeds' Bradley Johnson.  Sagna had an excellent game and scored a rare goal while Bendtner finally looked like a player with a perfect pass allowing Robin Van Persie to head in the game winner.  3-1 to the Arsenal and next up in the FA Cup is home to League One Huddersfield.

Arsenal are the only team in England still in the running for four trophies (Premier League, Carling Cup, FA Cup and Champions League).  Time will tell if they can pick up some silverware, but being half way through January and being in the position they are within all competitions, these are good times to be a Gooner. 

Next up is a home game to relegation strugglers Wigan. 

Willie Harris one of the Mets' spare parts
(Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

As for my beloved Mets...they say no news is good news, but I'm not so sure in this case.  The club keeps inviting some used parts to Spring Training so we'll see what works and what doesn't soon.  Pitchers and catchers report in less than a month.

Favorite new Arsenal songs:



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