Saturday, November 22, 2014

14-15 Overview: Matchday 12

It was truly just one of those matches where you can dominate in possession but have just one thing go wrong to be the difference. Gibbs has been in the wrong place at the wrong time before, but for the ball to stay as low as it did was fortunate for united as the ball in meant that the whiff was actually better than originally perceived. Pretty Boy's goal on the counter fast break attack I initially thought was a sliver offside and we were fortunate to escape without DiMaria scoring on virtually the same type of play. Martinez has a good presence in net having to have come on for an injured Szczęsny, but the first time, the elevation of the ball's flight pattern narrowly eluded his right glove hand. As for Giroud's substitution, a bit earlier than originally anticipated with good fitness leading up to the match, was rewarded for his return with the goal in the fifth minute of second half stoppage time. But Arsenal couldn't get it done in the remaining four minutes of stoppage.

Danny Welbeck was surely having only eyes for goal against his side and that was eminent especially in the opening quarter of an hour. Kieran Gibbs despite the own goal, really showed that he wanted to do everything in his power to make up for it. Unlike in years past, his role has changed by the Boss and he wouldn't have treid to make it up before - showing his signs of improvement since coming up from development some years ago. The Wilshere injury will certainly hurt, but there are still many central midfield players still at our disposal. As for United, De Gea indubitably must be the reason why Arsenal lost this match. He was in form given that he sprained a finger during the international break. But the player for me that most impacted United's performance was Danny Valencia. He made good decisions when Arsenal were threatening to score, and when he was out of position he was smart as to determining when and where to make challenges or trying to win the ball without the challenge.

Arsenal have no reason to be disappointed with their performance today, though they've lost three points and have posted their worst seasonal performance since the 1982-83 campaign. I did see a "sack Wenger" banner at the Emirates on the television screen, but I think he is actually a Newcastle supporter as well (not really). Speaking of, they won again today, making it five wins in a row for temporary fourth place until the United defeat of the Gunners. And the other big news of the day, Burnley have won their second in a row - this time it is Stoke who lose at the Turf Moor. Coming into the Gunners match today, places four through twelve have very little breathing room between them as Spurs currently sit in that twelfth spot. That is a better sight than where we are currently, but there is still an opportunity to get back into the top four in the near future.


Thursday, August 21, 2014

14-15 Overview: Matchweek 1

Already we have seen a few matches meeting my expectations. Incorrect results finishing in draws only warrant one point and each completely correct pick warrants three points. Correct predictions will be in boldface. Scores would be too difficult for anyone really to anticipate.

United 1-2 Swansea
Leicester 2-2 Everton     
QPR 0-1 Hull    
Stoke 0-1 Villa    
West Brom 2-2 Sunderland  
West Ham 0-1 Spurs        
Arsenal 2-1 Palace  
Liverpool 2-1 Saints     
Newcastle 0-2 City          
Burnley 1-3 Chelsea

That puts me on 24 out of 30 possible points last week. I can earn a total of 380 points. Points are tripled for Cup fixtures and have their own weighting. Considering Fabianski  has taken over the starting job at Swansea, it doesn't surprise me that they won. But given the hype of Van Gaal's arrival got the benefit of the doubt. Stoke are just that pesky team that never goes away and Villa have been see-sawing the past few seasons since Martin O'Neill's departure. Hull needed that win after losing to our boys in the FA Cup final, but Redknapp's men had more momentum carrying in. One set of mstches down, 37 to go.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

14-15 Recap: Champions League Playoff Leg 1

This match could've been dubbed the Match of Cautions, but I've reserved that for one Netherlands vs. Portugal match in the round of 16 during the 2006 World Cup in which 16 cautions and all four send-offs were second cautionable offenses. Ironically played in nearby Nurenburg, that was the worst amount of disciplined game I have ever seen. A lot of cautions here but no send-offs. Otherwise a lack-luster game for me. Not really much to report here. Just to look forward to Matchday 2.


Monday, August 18, 2014

14-15 Preview: Champions League Playoff Leg 1

This will be an interesting tie for Arsenal to play. I am expecting the following changes to occur from the roster. Since Giroud and Monreal came only off the bench on Saturday, the will both start and Gibbs will be out in the back. "Ox-Cham" should be subbed in as Wenger likes to use him in UCL games and with his UCL experience, you might see Flamini in as well.

Let me make it known now that this will not be Arsenal's pairing to win in Istanbul. they will get this one if anywhere back in North London. It is too early in the tournament for them to be winning on the road, but that means that the will not advance if both teams score the same amount of goals and aggregate comes into play. However, a scoreless draw in both matches would be their saving grace and force the Turkish side to win the tie outright. the winner will advance to the UCL group stage with nine other clubs. The loser still plays in the tournament, but the Europa League. in fairness to the draw process, teams that won their leagues cannot play teams that didn't in this round.


Sunday, August 17, 2014

14-15 Recap: Matchday 1

Arsenal starts the season with a hard-fought three points to put them on top of the table. My Palace lineup was rather off, but it was hard to guess with all the injuries and keeper Julian Speroni though he is the keeper of tenure for the Glaziers, Wayne Hennessey had finished the last campaign and was a more than capable selection during his stint with Wolves in the Premier League. The Gunners in the first half an hour or so looked like the "boring, boring Arsenal"  of the 70s & 80s and had seemed to struggle against the Eagles. Wait 'til they have to play at Selhurst Park. Arsenal cannot afford to start matches like that. Fortunately for them, they managed a goal just inside first half stoppage time to change the scenery at the break.

The second half seemed to be very agonizing despite some of the chances Arsenal had and let's face it there was only one shot the had before the stoppage time goal against Speroni, who forced a very brilliant save. That would pick up after the break but the Arsenal still had very little to show for their efforts. Finally another break comes the Gunner's way: Puncheon is sent of for a second bookable offense, another reckless challenge in the 89th minute. Sure enough, not a Islington minute later it was Aaron Ramsey for Arsenal and the Welsh international captain's strike sealed the win and the points in front of the home crowd at Emirates Stadium. It's Beşiktaş on Tuesday when former Gunner midfielder Oğuzhan Özyakup's team will host Arsenal in Istanbul.


Saturday, August 16, 2014

The DSA Fantasy Team

Today I will be starting my first day on the job as team manager for Medaille College's prestigous men's soccer program. Between sesions today, I'll try to catch the second half of the Arsenal/Palace match at Mes Que on Hertel with the other members of the Buffalo Arsenal Club (good folks). Then I'll be back at it with Medaille down the road later.No matter, the BAC so far only has six people registered for a fantasy league via the Premier League website. This includes the Dial Square Gunners (formerly W.S. Yax 2006-2014) which gets it's new name from this site. Let's have a look see at your opening day starters.

Let the games begin!


Friday, August 15, 2014

14-15 Preview: Matchday 1

Referee: Jonathan Ross. Assistants: L Betts, M Scholes. Fourth Official: R Madley.

Projected Starters:
Arsenal (4-4-2)
   Bench: Martinez; Coquelin, Flamini, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Wilshere, Rosicky, Zelalem, Campbell; Sanogo


Gibbs     Koscielny     Debuchy     Chambers

Ramsey       Cazorla       Arteta       Monreal


Crystal Palace (4-5-1)


Bolasie                                                      Puncheon
Ledley                    Jedinak

Ward                                           Mariappa
Delaney     Kelly


The big news of the match is that the people expecting to see Tony Pulis standing in the technical area on Saturday afternoon will instead find caretaker manager Kieth Millen after Pulis left by way of mutual consent just some 11 hours ago, around 06h30 GMT, 12:30 AM EDT (-5 GMT). With Arsenal still missing their world champions (Ozil, Mertesacker, and Podolski), there have been questions as to how the team will plug the holes in the short term logically. It would be wise for Wenger to spend for another striker in this transfer window. Especially when Giroud had been injured late in the season. But expect Monreal and Chambers to be replaced by their German teammates when back in the line-up and I imagine Giroud and Podolski will be interchangeable to some degree.

The following information was provided by the Premier League:
"I think there's going to be about six teams involved right until the wire," Ramsey told the club's official website. "It's going to be difficult but I think we have a great team here and great team spirit. We're in a good place at the moment.
"Hopefully, we can get off to a good start in the season and put [ourselves] in a good position."
Ahead of the match, Wenger revealed centre-back Laurent Koscielny (Achilles) should be fit to play. However, Abou Diaby (hip), Theo Walcott (knee), Ryo Miyaichi (knock), Serge Gnabry (knock) and close-season signing David Ospina (thigh) will miss out.
The high anticipation that Palace had coming into the opening matchweek is now gone. If anyone is to reignite their drive, it will have to be former Gunner Marouane Chamakh who recently extended his contract with the Glaziers. Also, Frasier Campbell's arrival from newly relegated Cardiff should somewhat bolster an already stealthy attack. He led his former club in goals scored last campaign and was brought in by the Eagles to continue displaying his goalscorer's touch.


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Pre-Season Predictions

Lots of transfers, big drama, and three months later, it's time for another Barclay's Premier League season to begin. But not before I present my preseason picks. I will also provide my Pick for promoted teams in next campaign.

This may seem to be a little out of the ordinary, but let me continue with some narrative to the predictions. Arsenal and Chelsea will be the only contenders to the title alongside City. however, the gap between first and third may likely result in a dismissal of Jose Mourinho from the Blues. Arsenal, meanwhile, have spent more money but not on a striker in the pre-season. By the end of the summer transfer window, Arsenal will (finally) get that striker they need in case of emergency. But I feel the Gunners will remain mostly silent in the winter window and that will cost them at some point.

Liverpool's eighth place finish is rather easy to explain. While they did a lot of shopping this summer, including two of Southampton's main facets, they will not completely replace all of Luis Suarez's goals. But in turn, at least they won't have to worry about his pitch discipline problems. Since Tony Pulis took over managerial duties last campaign, Crystal palace have been one of the most competitive non-Champions League contending competitors. Selhurst Park has become a place with an eerie aura around the ground when the visitors arrive.

Leicester has a similar situation at home as they earned 102 points in the Championship last season to grab the first promotion spot. They won't be a pushover on the road either. United are going to have to deal with their noisy neighbors in the blue half of Manchester. However, Louis van Gaal's arrival is to be welcomed as the Red Devils can see themselves at the top even by next season. While Saints are losing players left and right, they still have time to regroup, but it needs to be sooner rather than later. Southampton cannot afford to lose some of the games I have picked them to win, otherwise it may just as well be the to get relegated.

Arrows indicate the winner and "D" indicates a draw

That should cover the main talking points. The above table breaks down the league schedule. I have based these predictions on transfer rumors, form against opponents, and form at each venue (with the exception of the promoted teams). While I am making predictions, there is one more bit of business to tend to. My picks or promotion are: 1 Notts Forest, 2 Brighton/Hove Albion, and 4 Blackburn. Next time, we'll look at Arsenal's first Premier League tilt of the 2014-15 season at Selhurst Park against Crystal Palace as well as the other fixtures in Week One. Until then, bye for now.


Welcome to the DSA!

We are proud to present to you a guide to all things Arsenal FC: the Dial Square Armory. Feel free to browse around and dig in to the prestigious history of the club and what lies ahead in the future. We welcome you to treat this site as a beginner's guide for new fans of the club. Various news and analyses will come along throughout the season as well as predictions, club news and other material. So have fun and come on you Gunners!