Middle Earth 3-0 Mordor: setting things right again...

12/1/15 By Woolwich1886

By rights, it should have been 3-0 inside of five minutes. But for a pair of high-class saves from Begovic inside of five minutes, Stoke would have been on the wrong side of a 2-0 scoreline. As it stands, Begovic was the only one standing between Arsenal and a proper mauling, and one well-deserved. Normally, I try to stay above the tribal fray, but I have to admit that Arnautovic's shove on Debuchy—which occured well-after the ball was out of bounds and Arnautovic himself had both feet beyond the byline. Debuchy comes away with a dislocated shoulder, and Stoke emerge with intent announced: win or lose, we are here to injure. With that in mind, a 3-0 scoreline is all the more satisfying...............

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Tale of the Tactical Tape: Bojan vs. Alexis

10/1/15 By Woolwich1886

Sunday brings us one the of the Prem's sharpest contrasts in style, with Arsenal offering flittery, ballerina-esque, elvish dancers who can dance with the ball as if their shoelaces are interlaced with the ball's stitches and seams, and with Stoke lumbering about with Cro-Magnon men hoofing it forward to Golem-like, moai-esque attackers, hoping that the ball will somehow find its way to the back of the net..............

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Live: Smokin' Szczęsny and the Seagulls!

6/1/15 By Woolwich1886


In case you hadn't heard, Wojciech was do distraught after his howlers against Southampton that he was later caught smoking the shower and was fined £20 with rumours of him never playing for Arsenal again. Throw in clean sheet from Ospina in the FA Cup match against Hull, and we have ourselves a juicy l'il tidbit dressed up as news.

Adding further fuel to the fire, we draw Brighton and Hove Albion because apparently defending champions have to play against two squads at a time1, and now we're remembering how Szczęsny nearly cost us that one, which reminds us of how he did cost us against Birmingham and against Blackburn, and we're starting to feel a bit more credulous and even relieved. By all means, drop him. He's made his last bone-headed mistake, after all...........

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So we can have our cake and eat it too...

5/1/15 By Woolwich1886


In a sadistic scheduling that seemed to draw out the drama and the dread of our third-round clash with Hull, we had to wait until most of our chief rivals had already completed their own fixtures. Should any of them crash out, we might be left feeling as if our defense of the title was a bit empty; should Chelsea or Man City or others bow out, it might further diminish the status of the Cup and leave us wondering just why we're trying to so hard..............

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Of all the stupid things Arsène did to lead to this failure...

2/1/15 By Woolwich 1886

What a debacle. We came into St. Mary's with an opportunity to finally overtake the Saints and close the gap on Man U, who had drawn away to Stoke. If felt like fourth place was in hand, and third was lurking in the bush. And then...and then, well, we dropped that steaming pile of fertilizer on the pitch............

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All About Woolwich 1886


First, why "Woolwich 1886?" Welll, I wanted something that harkened back to the club's origins, and it's hard to get closer than the year and the London district in which the club got its start. The club's name has changed a few times over the years, as has its location, but I like those roots and holding onto them. Sure, the name may have be as snappy as some of the other blogs out there, but I don't mind. In fact, I like it that way.

I've been an Arsenal fan for as long as I can remember. Details are foggy, but it was some time in 1981 or 1982 when I found Prem League First Division highlights on late-night cable tv.  I somehow managed to sustain my fandom despite having no reliable access to matches, fixtures, tables, or stats for nearly two decades. I started writing in February 2013, frustrated that we had only signed Nacho Monreal in response to Kieran Gibbs's injury. It's been a pleasant diversion from the frustrations of the day-job.

I've played soccer football since I was about five. Mostly through speed and determination, I played on a traveling team in college (yes, we had real jerseys and so on. No league, though. We went around playing various college and university teams and won more often than not). I was a box-to-box midfielder in my youth. More recently, I've been playing in a local league for the over-35 set, and I might be the shortest sweeper/center-back you'll ever see: I'm 5'7"/170cm. However, in April 2013, I tore my ACL and MCL in, which has put a damper on things as far as that goes. I still find time for some rock-climbing, snowboarding, and triathlons. As of July 2014, I'm back on my feet and running around as well as I ever was (I think).

I've been an English teacher in and around Chicago since 2000, thanks in large part to Jonathan Swift's essay "A Modest Proposal" and more recently Vonnegut and Orwell. I enjoy writing, I enjoy football, and I especially enjoy Arsenal. I hope someday to make a pilgrimage to see a game at Ashburton Grove, and it'll always sting a bit to know that I'll never see one at Highbury. It's on the agenda, I tell you that. If my ship ever does come in, I know where it's taking me first.

Here, for no apparent reason, is a list of random favorites:

  • Music: Fugazi. Maybe Wild Flag.
  • Book: David Mitchell's Black Swan Green, Salman Rushdie's Haroun and the Sea of Stories.
  • Food: Sriracha (It has calories. It has vegetables in it. It is therefore food. The food on which it spread is merely a conveyance).
  • Gunner: Bergkamp (former) and Koscielny (current).
  • kit: probably 1969-78. Classic red, cannon, nothing else. Clean and clutter-free.
  • TV show: The Simpsons, seasons two through ten (or so). Breaking Bad. Family GuyThe Daily Show. Colber Report.
  • Drink: coffee. Islay scotches like Laphroaig or Bowmore.
  • Movie: Chinatown.

That should do it. I might embellish or expand some day.