Sunday, April 8, 2012

A Great Weekend To Be A Fan of Arsenal and the Mets

The return of the mercenary
What an amazing weekend. Not only is the weather in New York awesome but the Mets are 3-0 to start the season while the mighty Yankees are 0-3. Then there's Arsenal and the team's victory over the money grubbing mercenaries of Manchester City. This weekend was the sports equivalent of winning the lottery!

Back in October Arsenal fans were treated to headlines such as Once-proud Arsenal is a club in crisis and this one from February Former Arsenal boss Graham lays blame for Gunners' crisis squarely at Wenger's feet.Yes, there have been some dire performances this season and the 8-2 loss back in August was humiliating. However, in football as in all sports, it's not where you start but where you finish. (Check out the EPL table from August 28th.)

Interestingly enough, last season Arsenal were cruising until February and then it all fell apart. This year it's been the opposite. The instability surrounding the club at the start of the season was a major detriment and led to the poor start. However, since an uninspired 0-0 draw at Bolton on February 1st Arsenal have won 7 out of 8 of their league games.
Vermaelen seals the win versus Newcastle
Watching how great the team played today it's shocking that they lost last week at QPR.

Then came today's match and the return of the greedy and disrespectful Samir Nasri. Not only would a win be vital for Arsenal's quest for a top 4 finish, it would be the biggest F.U. to Na$ri and the high priced individuals that Manchester City call a team. While fans of other teams question why Arsenal supporters are hating on Nasri for taking a big payday, remember this headline? New Manchester City star Samir Nasri claims Arsenal lack ambition. Or this one? Nasri: Move not about money – I am at City simply to win trophies. But it's even more than just the cocky, rude and arrogant comments from Nasri. It was the total disrespect that he showed to the club, the manager and the fans. Wenger and Arsenal gave Nasri the platform to establish himself and rather than leave with class, he pretty much said screw you and left.

So today's game was payback time. Manchester City spent a ton of money to buy the EPL title and in recent weeks, the wheels have come off of City's title bid. A defeat at the Emirates would leave City 8 points behind United with 6 games left. For the first time that I can remember, United fans were rooting for Arsenal and in the end thanking them for giving City another damaging blow.

The new and better number 8.
Arsenal didn't just win...they dominated the game...every time Na$ri touched the ball he was booed. It didn't really matter though as Alex Song and company owned Na$ri & he was barely involved in the match. Arsenal got what they deserved when Arteta drilled the ball in to the back of the net in the 87th minute and the game ended 1-0.
The Balotelli show
Then there was the comedy show that is Mario Balotelli. The guy is probably the biggest moron in world football right now. In between his hookers, car crashes and boozing he's supposedly a good football player. Not today. He almost broke Alex Song's leg early in the first half and should have been sent off. But no. Miraculously nobody but the 60,000 people inside the stadium and a worldwide viewing audience noticed the foul. He didn't even get a yellow. So you'd think the guy would realize he got away with one there and calm way. He finally got a yellow for trying to break Bacary Sagna's ankle and capped off a fine display of stupidity by doing it again late in the game. Finally he got the red card he deserved. In reality he should have gotten 2 red cards!
About time
Lastly, the sight of Carlos Tevez coming on as a sub late in the game to "save" City was beyond hysterical. After what he did to his manager, team and fans earlier this season it is beyond shameful how City came grovelling to take back this ungrateful waste. Great way to set an example look like the biggest  and most desperate fool.

Based upon Arsenal's late season play, it's looking good for the future of a team that was "in crisis" just a few months back.
Team unity

How does the Poznan go?
North London is red


As for the Mets...everyone is predicting them to finish dead last in the National League East and unfortunately they're probably right. That doesn't change the fact that I'm still going to root for them and support them regardless of how the Wilpons and Bernie Madoff have screwed up this team.

While 3 games out of 162 is just a blip, it's nice to see the Mets sweep the Braves to open the season. Even when the Mets were "good" they never seemed to be able to sweep any series.
Duda raises the apple 
Some of the bright spots early on include the strong return of Johan Santana, the home run power of Lucas Duda and the strong bullpen performance. The season is long, but it doesn't hurt to start off strong and gain some confidence...especially when everyone expects you to fail.

Adding to the enjoyment of seeing the Mets begin 3-0 was seeing the big, bad Yankees owned by Tampa Bay. CC Sabathia and Mariano Rivera were beaten up badly and the Yankees are definitely looking old. In fact, when the camera focused in on the Yankees' dugout there were a large number of noticeable receding hair lines.  Perhaps the New York papers will follow the lead of those in the UK and report on a "Crisis in the Bronx."
Leading the league in receding hairlines

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