Were Arsenal hurt by conservative tactics and rotation?

Arsenal-Everton 1-1: Great match, disappointing result?

Sunday’s line-up:

ars v eve actual

High flying Everton, fresh off victory at Old Trafford came to North London full of confidence and with nothing to lose.  From the kickoff a pattern of Everton pace and width with repeated balls into Chelsea man Romelu Lukaku would be the tactic–a means of bypassing Arsenal’s packed 5 man midfield.

Early on Everton, to their credit, performed like the home team and Arsenal were often pegged into our own half.  Playing on the break, we seemed limited by Giroud’s lack of pace and the midfielders lack of sureness as to whether they should make the forward run.  Additionally, with only Giroud as a target (and nobody to really aim his headed ball towards), Szczesny’s (much improved) clearances never posed a real threat when we did go “Route One.”

By contrast Everton presented a strong attack and seemed happy to play the ball forward quickly.  Barkley, Mirallas, Pienaar and the two fullbacks, Coleman and Oviedo all pressed well and pushed forward while ManCity man Gareth Barry anchored their shape.  Still, beyond a few dangerous looking whipped crosses, which found only our heads or open spaces, they were limited to long, wide angle shots.  In the first half, Szczesny did not have a save to make.

Arsenal came into the match as the half wore on and in the 27th minute we almost took the lead on a cross from Cazorla to Gibbs in the 6 yard box.  Only a slight deflection (unseen by the linesmen—a goal kick instead of a corner was given) prevented a sure goal.  As the half wound down, Arsenal forced two smart saves from Tim Howard after nice combination work from Ozil, Giroud and Ramsey.   Still, possession stats corroborated Everton’s dominance: 62% to our 38% showed just how much we had struggled to force the game to our will.

While I find great satisfaction in watching Arsenal defend with calmness and confidence, I do feel we will struggle for results if we cede so much possession.   It could be argued that Arsene Wenger’s desire to have a 5 man midfield was undermined by his reliance on a combination of younger,  relatively inexperienced players (Wilshere, Ramsey) and older, smaller, less mobile guys (Arteta, Cazorla), all of whom left both new man Ozil and our big fella up front (Giroud) somewhat isolated.   I would add that our attempt to play the match in a good spirit, rather than indulging referee Howard Webb’s well known tendency to use his whistle near the center circle, was somewhat naïve.  Misplaced balls, often under strong Everton pressure, were a key feature of the first period.  A final area of complaint might be the ineffectiveness of our fullbacks going forward…  Crosses beyond our attackers are another quick route to lost possession…

2nd Half

We picked up where we had left off and our possession game looked far better in the early part of the 2nd half.  We certainly seemed on top as the hour mark came and went.  While I thinking that Wenger had given Roberto Martinez the upper hand by not starting Theo Walcott and giving us a threat of pace on the break, I was no less than stunned when he did go to the bench in the 68th minute.   A triple change of Walcott, Rosicky and Flamini entered the game at the expense of Wilshere, Ramsey and Cazorla and immediately made us look a greater threat and more solid in the middle of the pitch (Flamini clearly taking a leadership role…), but time was running short.  It was quite a roll of the dice and left us zero flexibility in case a player picked up a knock or the nature of the match was altered by a goal.

Did it also indicate a touch of regret regarding the starting 11?…

Finally, in the 80th minute Rosicky found Walcott in the box and a wise header down to Giroud looked a sure goal.  Possibly held back or fouled by Jagielka, our big man whiffed his effort but Ozil was there to smash it into the top of the net.  The 3 points seemed ours!

Unfortunately, Martinez had just brought in Barca boy Gerard Deulofeu.  Soon after, on a broken play and over-hit cross, the youngster was able to freeze the ball and defender Kieran Gibbs with a series of quick right footed touches and an even quicker shot of extreme power: he blasted the ball past Scszesny.   The shot seemed both block-able and save-able but the talent and skill of the Deulofeu should probably be saluted.  Gibbs had Rosicky protecting any move to the left so perhaps he should have done more to force the very right-footed young attacker back towards the center.

The match still had several minutes remaining and both teams seemed determined to try and find a winner, but Arsenal, stunned by the goal, had trouble wresting possession and Everton looked the more likely team to grab a late winner.  Lukaku, put onside by a Gibbs touch, had their best chance in the 88th minute but Scszesny was well aware to the danger.  A Walcott cross almost found Koscielny in the 90thminute and Flamini had a swing (and a miss) at a tough angled volley with Howard out of the goal, but closest of them all was a stunning turn and shot by Giroud that beat Howard but rattled off the junction of post and crossbar.     So close, but so far away…

It finished 1-1 and while disappointed that we didn’t take all three points and open up a seven point lead I’m still satisfied with our performance.  We must sometimes salute a strong opponent and a thrilling match played in a good spirit, I believe.  The trip to ManchesterCity will surely be very difficult but then there is time to regroup before the visit of Chelsea.   Of course, before those two is the difficult trip to Napoli where we must finish off our Champions’ League group.

I think we may have been hurt by Wenger’s conservative tactical and rotational approach to the match.  Arteta has been a rock as our deep lying midfielder but with youngster Jenkinson in for (injured) Sagna we may have needed a second rock in that part of the pitch.  We looked more solid once Flamini entered the match. Additionally, with Everton pushing the ball up field quickly and using their Fullbacks as attackers we might’ve tried to match their pace with our own in Theo Walcott. Sagna also provides a secondary target for long balls from Scszesny and that tactic seemed particular ineffective without him.  Last season, when we played plenty of “Route One,” Walcott’s runs off Giroud and Sagna headers were always something defenses had to respect.  I also believe that Gibbs, while being the better athlete and a great “recovery” defender, isn’t as good a possession and “intelligence” player as Nacho Monreal.  Did we suffer just that little bit from Wenger’s change at LB?

Finally, I believe we need to be better at adapting to pressing teams with quick passing, better outlets and using the protection of the referee when needed.  Young Ramsey (who frankly had an off day by his recent high standards–sorry, no player ratings for me…) and Wilshere need to move and pass more and carry the ball (or try fancy flicks) a bit less.  That they were both sacrificed, along with Cazorla, who often looks physically over-matched in open, fast paced games, was not a surprise.  We may have to re-jig our starting 11 ever so slightly against the more physical, quicker teams.

So, while we have some issues the team is still growing and obviously working together.  It is a disappointing result but I believe one that will toughen our resolve and move us forward.  Not the best way to start the brutal run of three (very big) matches in less than 6 days, but also not the worst.

Longer term, Everton are a much improved team under Martinez (did they miss Moyes big “targets,” Fellaini and Baines, today?) and a good bet in the battle for Champions’ League spots.  Unfortunately they’re heavily reliant on Lukaku, Barry and Deulofeu who are theirs on loan only.  Wenger’s words about current loan policy loom large if Chelsea and City are to be considered our biggest league rivals.  Will any (or all) of the three be recalled in the January window?  We know they won’t play in matches against their parent clubs, which surely doesn’t seem correct…

We take a five point lead going forward.  Not as good as seven but we also carry a fighting spirit that I’m not sure our rivals possess.   A big month looms and then we may need to make adjustments in the New Year and the January window.  All told, consider me excited by today’s match and our prospects…

How ‘bout you?…

 Written by: 17highburyterrace

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26 Responses to Were Arsenal hurt by conservative tactics and rotation?

  1. Macko says:

    very good summary 17highburyterrace, I entirely agreed with your analysis ;)

  2. Macky says:

    I’m really disappointed by your article.If wilshere & ramsey are inexperience,players with almost 5years Epl experience,then you call barkley,seasmus coleman,macarthy… what?..they were playin’ some good football..Ramsey & wilshere may not have played well on sunday does not mean they are inexperience,it can happen to any player,the pair are some of the best in the league…everton is a good side & we have the quality & experience to keep pushin’.

  3. babakrdaemi says:

    All respect to Everton they played very well. However, it is a farce that two teams can have so much talent that they can loan players to another powerful and arguably bigger club. Without the oil money Everton are bigger and more successful than both Man City & Chavski. However, thanks to the lack of control on spending the two teams teams can give Everton Barry & Lukaku. Arguably their best two players this season.

    Thats why Arsene is under too much scrutiny. Without those luxuries elsewhere in the league Arsene would be about to start our most successful period in our history. I am certain of that.

  4. Macky says:

    Babakrdaemi,you are spot on,nice one…man city & chelsea have so much depth & waste talents on the bench, that is what the so pundits wants.Can you imagine stars wastin’ at chelsea & city,some may not even play up to 10
    games this season….let them keep buyin’ & loanin’,afterall,they are helpin’ the likes of everton…i think our squad is okay,just a little touch in our attack & defence…wenger is doin’ a great job,hate him or love him,he is one of the best with loads of experience.

  5. Prince says:

    Well done 17, u got it to a T.
    Although you were very diplomatic with the “Possible” foul by Jagermeister on Ollie G ;-) If retrospective action was brought into the English game, i doubt many defenders would gamble 50/50 in trying to con a ref or making dirrty challenges when you think that punishment could be more damaging to a club and its teams position. Can you imagine Phil J got caught out by a ref who actually had a pair. Hmm, straight red and auto 3 week lay away with his chum Leighton on the lines. Everton would slide down that table quicksmart with a 50% depleted defence. Kinda reminds me of that song by Good Charlotte or Blink 182(?) “All the-small things……”

  6. Prince says:

    I suppose i dont blame Jag either, but thats coming from a guy that also would have saved Gyans certain goal at the world cup ala Ratatoullie. I guess it depends on the weigh up between risk and reward. Today Gyan isnt even a hero in his country let alone Sunderland, but people will forever remember Suarez save in the same vein as Armandos’ hand of luckGod.

  7. Gerry says:

    HT17 – From a single viewing I think you got most of it spot on. I had the benefit of listening to the audio, the watching it this morning. Top man for filling the void.

    Points of agreement first. Everton on that evidence should be a match for most teams in the division. Largely because they played our type game; advanced wingbacks, double DM pivot, a free running AM, supported on both sides by capable MF’s, a tough, and fortunately for us, inexperienced striker to play to, and off up front.

    We have done very nicely playing that , or similar, system?

    Where it went wrong for us, particularly in the first half, was some wayward passing. Sometimes from being too ambitious which got cut out, other times by being plain careless. The area where we should have been stronger, creative MF’s, was so easily lost by their sharpness, both in passing and quicker on the ball. it was not just the possession stats that showed us being below par, but also our passing accuracy. We were not at our best, and we needed to be.

    You have correctly identified the main culprits, although criticism of Gibbs is a tad harsh I feel, but I’ll come back to that. But the question you pose on the headline is on rotation, and whether this had any effect?. In theory, the players rested in the week should have been fresher, and therefore we cannot fall back on mental fatigue as an excuse, in some cases at least. So why is it we can just turn up sometimes, but not bring our game to the table?

    Change of personnel? I was happy with the players that started, given they had played well together previously. I also feel there were other considerations at play regarding the other possible starters
    Walcott clearly is being nursed back into the side very gently, so I think we can assume that AW knows something we do not, regarding his fitness. A bug stopped him training since his last appearance too.
    Flamini had a start not long back when he had a groin strain, and had to come off in the first quarter. So perhaps here too, the hope was he would not be needed in order to be okay for the other tough encounters we have yet to face?
    Rosicky we know can suffer if played too often too quickly, and given the Walcott/Wilshere/Cazorla managed without him previously, he was almost certainly being kept back to be the impact player if needed.

    The triple substitution did have the desired effect, in so far as we got our goal, but at the same time robbing us the use of Monreal doubling up, and in all likelihood, prevented them from scoring?
    What hindsight brings now is probably not what could be argued at the time. The three players who came off were the very ones who were looking like losing the edge to their already iffy, in parts, contributions. The players that came on were the ones that were needed.

    The big question is whether they could have been staggered, and/or, made earlier? We are not in a position to judge their fitness levels, but the slick passing that we so much needed may be down to us being so reliant on two players carrying the others along? Namely Ramsey and Ozil?

    Three players stood out for me;
    MOTM – Koscielny. He played his sweeper role to perfection, full width of the pitch. I am coming around to the view that he could indeed be a very good DM playing in front of the CB’s, rather than sweeping up behind his partner … and absent fullbacks?
    Giroud played for the team throughout the 90, and was so unlucky not to be rewards with that snapshot late on.
    Gibbs, as he too put in a heroic shift in up and down the line, and the only one to make that diagonal run that so nearly netted him a goal, but for the deflection? Given he went forward many times, often chasing over-hit passes, he is indeed an athlete of the highest order. He also put in several decent crosses into absolutely the right area if only more had gambled on them by getting into the box. His one error was not being aware of their scorer moving in behind him. That meant he did not get close enough when the double shuffle and shot was made. he did stick out a foot, but such was the quality and speed of the nifty footwork, it just skimmed over the top of his boot and gave Szczesney no chance in the fraction of a second from toe to back of the net. You may argue that Monreal would have done better to stop that move developing, but I think that deployment would have allowed their RB many more runs and crosses throughout the game if he was on at the start?

    Jenks and Mert did little wrong either. But a draw probably reflected a fair result?

  8. RA says:

    Nice one 17ht,

    You have covered every thing very nicely – thank you.

    My own summary, for what it is worth is that the importance of our young Welsh boyo, Rambo was made very clear. That was not one of his best games, and that is not to be critical, but he has put so much into all his games that he looked and probably felt totally shattered.

    The impact on the team was evident because his passing went off the radar, he looked leggy and as the main driving force of the team, his lack of energy seemed to put more onus on Arteta who frankly was over run in midfield.

    Credit to the team tho’ because they responded very well and on another day would have knicked all three points if our finishing had been a little sharper.

    Everton were really good value for money and will give other teams real problems, so in the end I was happy with the point and only moaned a little bit at Gibbs’ failure to close down Delafeu.

  9. RA says:

    A good summary, Gerry, deserving of a Post in its own right.

    I think you are correct that we should not be too hard of Gibbs for the equaliser, because the midfield did not offer him much protection, as for some inexplicable reason, instead of closing the game down we seemed to be chasing another goal when the game was already won at that stage.

  10. James Bond says:

    nice one @ 17HT – not much to disagree about really

    however, our experienced side was outdone by a fearless everton side, that came here to play and express themselves – which they thoroughly did.

    we were outdone by them on the flanks , as they played with a 3- 2-5-1 formation (the 2 represents then FB’s up the pitch, almost majority of the game) – i do feel sorry for Jenks though, the poor lad got little help from JW and then Santiago switched , it was a tad better but he was constantly being tag teamed on that side by the everton players – the goal that we conceded, it was crossed from that side as well – Everton knew it would be our weak link and Roberto , exploited that very nicely – we could and should have done the same to them by using Theo or Gnabry, however, AW’s one dimensional tactics were well nullified by a smart Manager who had all the right players to do that.

    although, a draw was a fair result, i do feel that AW has become far too predictable for top level managers to find him out, something that reflects in our last 8 year – trophy less years… there is no surprise element with our starting 11 or shock element that other top managers often use….

    and it’s not that we didn’t have options either, we had options to change things , sooner rather than later , at least formation wise, could have tweaked it a little – young Ross Barkley had Arteta in his pocket the entire game, hence you see my concern from day 1 with Arteta, not only he is vulnerable playing against top teams in Europe but also against decent teams in the EPL, hence we do need a younger, more mobile and stronger DM , the sooner we get one, the better it is.

    now onto 3 positives and then 3 negatives as per usual. (I am going to be very controversial, so best to buckle up )

    Negatives first :

    1: Giroud – People who reckon we won’t cope well without him and he is essential to our title challenge and he is Quality are sadly mistaken in my eyes – they only say that because we have a lack of alternatives up front and we are having to settle for less – the system we play , any striker who is half decent , can score goals in our teams – I’m sure there will some people gunning for me and what i am writing here, but look , Giroud is an Okay striker at best, the goal Ozil scored, it should have been Giroud’s, it’s only due to Ozil’s good luck and our good luck that both of them were at the same place at the same time, how often does that happen ? yes, he had a go in the very last minute and hit the bar – but that was more hit and hope then anything really, in short, am i suggesting we need a better striker up front with whom Giroud can play alongside with, YES , absolutely.

    3: Gibbs – right then, why is Nacho not playing every possible game and Gibbs not stepping him to give him a breather is way beyond me ? ah , yes – because Gibbs is apparently better going forward and has more speed ? i beg to differ, since i consider Nacho the best crosser in the team, more intelligent and street smart and of course, more mature and experienced – if you are going to play Santiago on the left then starting with Nacho always is a NO BRAINER – fair enough if, it’s going to be Poldi or OX on the left then i can understand Gibbs starting but let’s just say, I find it rather harsh to see Nacho on the bench for majority of the season thusfar, he is better than Gibbs in my opinion and can not do better positioning(defensively) but also is a better more intelligent attacker, better crosser and passer.

    5: Ramsey – yep, i did say i was going to be controversial ;) nothing serious but it would be better to rest him for naples, by that i mean, leave him in london and give him a proper rest and a day off – no, he doesn’t look physically jaded but mentally he could do with a rest.

    on to Positives now.

    1: The 3 substitutions – it showed that we wanted to win this game and not settle for a draw, was very refreshing to see, for a change.

    3: Rosicky – what a fine fine player , takes the pace of the game to another level, as soon as he came on, he made things happen and that goal we scored, it was due to his cross to Theo ?

    5: Ozil – by far the best Arsenal player and it was his type of game, I’m sure he must be wondering if it’s RM vs Barca or Arsenal vs Everton , it was very spanish minus the physical aspect and dirty (clever) fouls by the everton players – he is beginning to look a player you would want to spend over £40 million on ;)

    lastly, congratulations to Everton for again knicking 2 points off us, i said it before and will repeat it again, last year Everton knicked 4 points off us and if we don’t bag all 3 points at Goodison park, then it may well end up being a similar story with the only difference being that last season they cost us a 2nd or 3rd place finish, this year they may cost us the EPL – saying that, all will be forgiven and forgotten if we win against man city next week, we need to pick it up again.

  11. James Bond says:

    my bad, left out the biggest positive of them all @ all the critics and pundits out there

    - Arsenal can’t play without the ball ? we see what happens when they don’t have the ball ? guess what, we didn’t have the ball for large parts in the first half and did we do ok ? you bet we did, not only did we do , ok but we did remarkably well – special mention to Koc and Per, both of them were phenomenal and after yesterday, they are the best CB pairing in England by a mile. (tough luck TV5).

  12. Gerry says:

    RA – Thanks for the comment above. My problem is, when the matches are not played on normal TV or BT Sport, I have to wait until morning to see it on the ‘Player. Then I have no time to write anything until the dog walking is done, then dinner, then try and remember in sequence what I saw earlier. Which is why they may well come over better as a reply, rather than first reviewer?

    One day may be?

  13. ‘Morning fellas…Thanks for the responses…Glad to see that a few are weighing in with some differing and/or controversial ideas…Also nice to see a couple of new faces (Macky and Babakrdaemi) and a couple of older ones: Prince and RA…

    First off, the headline about rotation was added by Total though I did ask the question when the triple sub was made. My thought is that we’ve perhaps gone about as far as we can playing against the more athletic teams (w/o good ref protection…) using our smaller guys in a 5 man midfield with Giroud isolated up front. In an open game with aggressive defenders pressing hard and flying in with tackles I’m just not sure our midfielders–in particular guys like Arteta, Jack, Santi and Ramsey have what it takes to control possession. The effect is compounded when we don’t have our best ball handling FBs (Sagna and Monreal) in as well. I singled out Wilshere and Ramsey as “inexperienced” because I think they need to move better off the ball (providing outlets for guys with it) and move it more quickly when it comes their way. (Sorry if the term “disappointed” you, Macky…) Though we came back into the match we still finished with only 46% of the possession. My dream is to see us control these matches with better ” keep-away” (tika-taka?) one-touch football. Though we’re committing numbers to the task, we’re not quite getting it done.

    I don’t want to overstate questions about blame or personnel as I’m truly inspired by our collective approach and never-say-die focus. As Bond points out, we’re looking soooo much better as a defensive unit. Gerry too may have a strong point about Gibbs and his run which was inches from netting a first half goal–And it’s likely that Nacho may have had a real struggle with Coleman (and later, Deulofeu) over on that side. To me we’ve got a lot of quality in the position even if they’re quite different players. I do believe that Nacho may have helped with our ball retention yesterday, however…

    The question of Arteta (which Bond raises) is an interesting one. I believe we need him as he’s so committed to moving without the ball and providing the easy outlet for the others. At the same time he can appear over-matched physically and not quite the replacement for Cesc Fabregas or enough of an athlete to really control the rear of midfield. Is it possible that Flamini as the regular starter and Arteta as the adjunct (in the tighter matches when we need two holding mids) is the better approach?

    Finally, a comment about Ramsey. As I’ve written previously I think he’s at his best further up the pitch. That volley he got on target (though easily saved) was a wonder. As RA points out, he looked tired and he fell down yesterday in some of the more mundane work in the center of the pitch. He’s been so strong as a goal scorer and his ability to make something out of nothing makes him hard to bench. (The same, I think, would go for Santi Cazorla…) Still, I couldn’t help but feel that we really needed the pace of Walcott (from the start) yesterday and maybe Aaron would be the one who might’ve made way. Naturally I’m VERY curious how AW will rotate for these next two matches and who emerges as the starting group when everybody is rested for Chelsea…

    Enough said, for now… ;) Thanks again for the comments… :D

  14. RA says:

    More good points 17, and I pretty much agree with all of them.

    Perhaps you will recall my often repeated comment that I am not Theo’s biggest fan, but we do need his pace in the team against an opposition who are playing with a high line and to give us an ‘out ball’ when our defines is under pressure.

    My preference has always been to get someone with his pace but more technical ability, if I am being candid — but failing that – yes please, Theo’s pace is a prerequisite in the team — and he does have a mean shot too. :-)

  15. RA says:

    defense [not] defines :-)

  16. Evening……Brainwashed Arsenal Supporters Trusting Arsenes Reckless Diabolical Systems !……..or BASTARDS for short !…….just kidding about Arsene, but BASTARDS still stands !. hahaha

    Thanks Snowy Sasquatch for scaring the natives……..I mean for an excellent report !.
    As is my usual custom, I don’t watch the games we draw or lose….just a good time viewer !….why punish myself….I`ve been married 37 years !….and you still want your pound of flesh !….and you wonder why I call you BASTARD`S !. hahaha
    Anyway, I cant agree or disagree, but I did see the goals and can comment that if I was either Szczesny or Gibbs I would be disappointed with myself !.
    I always thought this was going to be either a… Delirious Delightful December or a Dreadful Disastrous December !. After dropping 2 points, I think it will be the latter. Word is City will play a weakened team away to BM 24 hours before we play Napoli . City have been murdering teams at home of late so an early kick off Saturday bodes not well imo, we will be lucky to escape with a draw unless Darth Wenger listens to Monsters logic and prioritise just the EPL, so that will be Arsenal Ladies Vs Napoli !. Sorted !.
    Deulofeu !. I have championed this exciting talent, but have also championed Barkley !. Barkley will be a Monster of a player, possibly overtaking our Jack, mainly imo, because of his superior athletic physique . Mark my words, he will be a Manscum player by summer as Arsene doesn`t like treading on their toes, ala, the Ronaldo saga !.

  17. Gerry says:

    HT – I also champion the case for Ramsey to play higher up the pitch. I am sure it would have been the plan to rest him yesterday, had the twin pivot, and Walcott on the wing … if the players on the bench were fully fit?

    No doubt Monreal will be a starter against Napoli, and rest Ramsey with Rosicky. Ozil will like the CL opposition so he shouldf be okay, but the twin pivot might not be available. TV5 might also come in for Kos. That would be my rotation. Then see what they can cobble together for ManC?

    We do have a 9 day break before the Chelsea game, so some may mange all three?

  18. Gerry says:

    TCM – how come Everton can play 19/20 year olds and they look the part, yet everybody on here gets the heebeejeebies when I suggest some of our juniors getting even a little game time?

    I hope you saw the excellent Luke got into the final of X-Factor, and when PG surfaces he will know I tipped Neil Robertson to win the UK Snooker Final .. from 5-1 and 6-3 down in the best of 19.

    Pity I joined the zero club in UMF again. I must be spreading my resources to thinly? I dread o think what the Boing League will show, when I check tomorrow?

  19. James Bond says:

    agreed @ 17HT

    i think i was unfair slightly on Arteta when i said that young Ross had him in his pocket, because our own Koc did that and more to Lukaku,

    i can only remember the one time when Lukaku had a go at goal, which was after he outmuscled and bullied Arteta towards the end of the game, when i have no idea what Arteta was thinking (shades of Jenks vs Swansea last year ? ) anyhow, other than that, Koc did a marvelous job of closing down the Lukaku threat completely.

    Gerry,

    Everton can afford to play their youngsters because they don’t have the luxury we do, our youngsters will get their chance when it’s their time and they have shown the manager what Gnabry has done in training – there time will come.

  20. James Bond says:

    Fozzie B – hope all is well with you ?

  21. TotalArsenal says:

    Fantastic match report, 17 :)

    A real joy to read and agreed on all your observations. It is the sort of report we can read again in a year and relive the game once more. You are a natural!

    It is a shame we did not take all three points but I am also a realist in believing we cannot win them all and a bit of luck is sometimes needed. We had a lot more clear cut chances than Everton and on another day would have won the game. But Everton deserved their point for the quality of their football and guts to come to the Emirates and play their style of football in front of 60000 Gooners.

  22. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Syrupatations 17. You are a credit to the Arsenal support

    Some of our home grown numpties can learn a lot from our fantastic overseas fanbase

    I was paid a visit by my mate “Mad John” today. Not been in a good mood anyway been overworked with the tax deadline approaching, this fool componded my woes with his negative attitude

    “We will never beat City or Chelsea” Were going to blow it” “Giroud aint good enough” “Ramsey was shit” etc

    In between his vitrol, i shouted to one of my staff to lock my door “Why you locking us in Tel?”. “Its for your own good” I replied. As he continued, I reached into my desk and proceeded to put on my heavily padded black biker glove. “Why you putting on that glove Tel?” I responded “For social etiquette purposes John”

    He got to the point were he was criticising Giroud when I rose from my seat and approached the fuse box. “What you up to Tel, thats the electricity thing init?” “Thats correct John. An ambient atmosphere is required for such occasions”

    I flicked the switch and the office fell into darkness. “Bloody hell Tel, I cant see nuffink” “Excellent observation John” i said, as i proceeded to kick swipe his chair sending him tummbling. “Arrrggh, blimey geezer, ime on the floor” As i then enveloped him he yelled “Arrrggghhh, whats that Tel, F*ucking hurts” “Thats the soft but padded leather of the luxoriant biker glove pummelling your face John”

    After a good time was had by all, John moaned “Why did you do that Tel? My face aches”. I responded “Society demands a response John. Such vitriolic nonsense can no longer go unanswered. The violence inflicted on you today, though unseemly, was an unfortunate nessecity”

    Yes 17, overseas Gooners can teach us plenty.

  23. VCC says:

    TMHT………. ;-) classic.

  24. Gerry says:

    TMHT – There must be a better way? But very funny :)

    So we are now on Napoli Eve. Big things hang on this game, but at least we are in the driving seat in so far as any good result will be good enough.

    We are not at home, but that has not posed too many problems for us. What will, is the complacent attitude based on the above? We must go out there to win.

    Hopefully everybody that needs to be, will be fit; The solid back four; The double pivot, and pace from Walcott. The problem with the latter is if he starts, and fades on the hour, without Gnabry on the bench, and I don’t expect him to be, we have no true width. That said, Jenks will not stop running the line. But can we afford to start slowly and use Walcott late on?

    With all the transfer stuff getting more intense, any signings may well be influenced by our involvement the the latter stages of the CL, even if some may be ‘tied. I think there are big danger in the net cast so wide regards newcomers, but it also has the potential to save us trying to get players in the summer. Remember how difficult it was last season with players away on international duty, then having a break before the season begins? The real worry for me is that we could miss out by having a ‘priority’ list and a shed load of back ups. Don’t get me wrong, it is the only way you can do it, as you cannot buy and keep everybody on the wishlist?

    We all know that Arsenal seem to take an age to complete, even when 95% of an agreement in place. I am hoping they have learnt their lessons and much of the groundwork is already in place. If not, we could find ourselves haggling over the top of the list, whilst those prepared as ‘back ups’ get snapped up, and we miss the boat completely? For me, I see the potential to do most of our summer signings now, even though it may mean loaning back players to their current clubs just to see the season out and keep both parties on good terms. That will apply to some younger players as much as those we could class as ‘ready made’.

    The advantage of bringing players in now is two fold:
    !,- They get time to settle in and experience life at Arsenal. So if they are involved in the World Cup, they can rest while the team are on their pre-season tour. So when they all join up for pre-season training it will not be like strangers meeting for the first time?
    2, – We could do with the boost to the squad as, hopefully, we are still in a position to fight on three fronts?

    I only expect three players to come in that category though. But I can see a few more adding to the squad at the end of the season. AW will be keen to get players that are keen to come to Arsenal, as well as having the right quality and character to do well here.

    In the meantime, one name that has been bandied about since the last TW is Suarez? I just put this question to those that would have thought he would be a great buy as a striker for us …
    If he has to replace Giroud for any reason, do you think we will have to change our style of play?
    Try and be consistent with your arguments, eh? :D

  25. Gerry says:

    VCC – please check your UMF comments?

  26. TotalArsenal says:

    New Post :)

    Marcus analysis the match once more. Enjoy. :)

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