Monday, January 5, 2009

Match Pricks '09 or: Pedal to the metal

Va va voom, baby.

What a dichotomy this is turning out to be. As the Arsenal half of Match Pricks, I'm writing posts asking to change nearly half of our squad in the transfer window. I'm writing posts to discuss why an Arsenal player was moved to tears after being lustily booed off of his home pitch. I'm writing posts declaring a man who suffered one of the worst leg breaks you'll ever see as our saviour. I'm lining up a run at a post about just how freaking nauseating, dramatically and horribly messed up it'd be if we fell to 5th or 6th.

Meanwhile, the Liverpool half of Match Pricks, ol' Jimmy Kop is running circles around us down below (keep scrolling, folks, you've every right in the world to keep scrolling, don't let anyone lead you to believe that you can't scroll!) as Liverpool are top of the table with gusto at the New Year. Their top-scorer, Fernando Torres, has inspired one of the all-time greatest songs from the terraces and has finally made his way back to the pitch for their pole vault into the second half. To say nothing of the fact that their huge buy from the summer, Robbie Keane (a man who has scored and will always score) has finally started to score! How about a cherry on top? Right, check. Their Captain Fantastic, Steven Gerrrraaaaahhhhrd was just arrested (have you heard about this?) for REQUESTING A FREAKING PHIL COLLINS song. Too cool, babe, too cool.

And I'm sitting here hoping against hope that we don't overpay for a waify Russian playmaker. He's dazzling, sure. I really want him in the team, sure. Like really. But do I want to commit too much money to a position we don't (admittedly) really need until we address other needs (ahem, defense/holding midfield). Do we sell to buy? Yes. But I certainly hope it isn't Kolo Toure as the rumours are hinting. He's a player I think most Arsenal supporters would admit they expected to be around for a much longer time. He's been such a great performer for us, it'd be sad to see us part ways.

At any rate, just like Jim says down below ("Scroll, baby, Scroll!"), no sense in slowing down now. The FA Cup is just kicking into gear. Arsenal will face last year's beaten finalists Cardiff in the next round with Robin van Persie captaining the side for the first time and notching two goals in a game that was watched by yours truly while chomping on black pudding, beans, runny eggs (you know the drill) and glaring at a television that showed a freaking Web-feed of some yahoo recording his own television (complete with action figures in the foreground, folks) and broadcasting it across the Web. Yeah, that's right. And we drove 85 minutes for that (don't get me wrong, though, wonderful times with Fellow Gooner Jamie and Neutral (in this instance) Peter). The delay was so poor we couldn't even react to the proceedings.

Big weekend ahead though. Can't slow down now. This is when we really start weeding them out. Anyone can hold down a top eight/ten/what have you place for a couple of months. Anyone can pull themselves out of bed for a 6 a.m. every now and again. But can they do it week in and week out? Can they endure the torment of the 3,420 minutes their team will play in the league?

We'll see. For now ... Arsenal v. Bolton from the Emirates on Saturday (followed by a dive into a curry buffet in the afternoon). Time to slam that foot down on the accelerator, folks. Time to rev that engine and pass a few teams ... va va voom!

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