Arsenal v Everton Preview/Lineup: Eddie or Balogun, Ode or Ceballos, Strongest Defence?

Arsenal v Everton – April 22nd, 2021

LONDON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 23: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Arsenal scores his team’s second goal past Jordan Pickford of Everton during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Everton FC at Emirates Stadium on February 23, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

It’s rivalries like these that make football a very special sport and to see the ESL reduced to ashes in just a few short day’s shows just how much our beloved sport means to so many of us. What we need now are some rules put in place to avoid further money hungry opportunists taking over our clubs and regulations to tighten and protect both the past and the future of football.

Arsenal and Everton are the two clubs that have spent the most time in the upper echelon’s of football.

Famous Old Foes and Modern Day Nemesis: Everton v Arsenal

The Evertonia gave a brief resume of Arsenals early history in September 1961 the article stated:

Arsenal were founded in 1886 by a group of workmen in Dial Square, section of the Royal Arsenal, at Woolwich and were nicknamed Dial Square, then Royal Arsenal. It was under this latter name that the club turned professional in 1891 and were elected to the Football League, Division II in 1893. In 1896, they changed their name to Woolwich Arsenal, but shortened it to its present form in 1913 after moving from Plumstead to Highbury. In view of their early association with the Royal Arsenal, the Club is affectionately known by their supporters as the Gunners.

Arsenal did not gain election to the First Division until 1904, but were relegated to the Second Division in 1913, and after one season in the lower circles, the outbreak of World War One suspended all serious football. When peace was restored, the Londoners were elected to a place in the First Division to fill one of the vacancies created by the extension of the League.

Everton first took on Arsenal at Goodison Park on April 5 1905 when a goal from Alex Sandy Young was enough to earn Everton both points.

The most famous encounter at Goodison Park between Everton and Arsenal is undoubtedly the final game of the 1927/28 season, the match which saw the legendary William Ralph Dean set the record for the number of league goals scored by an individual player in the top flight a record that is unlikely to be broken.

Everton Football Club captain Dixie Dean (1907 – 1980) leads his team out for a match against Arsenal FC at Highbury in London. (Photo by Barker/Getty Images)

It was May 5th 1928 and it was described as a great day at Goodison Park, It was the last day of the Everton Golden Jubilee season and the club had already made sure of the League Championship. Arsenal had beaten Everton twice during that campaign  firstly at Highbury on Christmas Eve, 1927 when they had overcome Everton (3-2) and then again by the odd goal in seven in January 1928 when they had eliminated Everton (4-3) in an FA Cup Third round tie.

Arsenal as well as wanting to beat Everton for a rare treble over the Toffees would also have hoped to do well for Charles Buchan as this would be the Arsenal players final appearance as a footballer for the club

Dixie Dean entered the fray requiring three goals to beat George Camsells record. Camsell had set the record during the 1926-27 season whilst playing for Middlesbrough in the Second Division when he scored 59 League goals. Incidentally George Camsell got off to a flying start and overshadowed Dixie when he had hit all four goals against Everton in the Toffees first away game of 1927/28 campaign at Ayresome Park in Boros four-two win. Dixie had endured a hamstring injury in his previous outing against Burnley (3-5) at Turf Moor where he had scored four of Evertons  five goals in an important victory George Martin had scored the fifth goal of the game for the Toffees.

Everton trainer Billy Cook stayed at Dixie’s home for the week leading up to the final game at Goodison giving Deans injured leg as much attention as possible. When the morning of the match dawned the 21-year old-goalscoring machine pronounced himself fit and hungry for the record! Dixie later recalled that It was just a normal day for me, I just got the tram number 44 from Water Street to Goodison in the normal way.

Deans first goal of the game was also Evertons 100th League goal of the campaign and it was also the first time that the club had registered a century of goals in a single season. The goal came as Dixie hit a powerful shot that beat the Arsenal goalkeeper after just three minutes of the match to equalise for the Toffees after Shaw had netted for the visitors. The second goal came from the penalty spot after Dixie himself had been fouled, nobody else would have dared to have taken the kick and up stepped Dixie to attempt to put the Toffees in front.

Dixie said I aimed to place it but it wasn’t one of my best efforts. It went through the keepers legs but they all count. Arsenal had equalised when the unfortunate John O’Donnell had put through his own goal just after the half-hour mark to level the score at two-two. John O’Donnell had been only one of two players who had been an ever-present in the league campaign the other being Alec Troup. A description of Deans third and record breaking goal as reported in the Liverpool Echo by Bee states:-

With nine minutes to go, the crowd yearned for a goal to Dean or anyone, and nearly got their voices working when Martin shot and Paterson punched away over the bar for a corner kick. This was the beginning of Deans historic record goal in English football. Troup took the corner-kick and out of a ruck of probably fourteen players, Dean with unerring accuracy, nodded the ball to the extreme right hand side of the goal. There has never been such a joyful shout at Everton. It was prolonged for minutes and went on to the end of the game. The crowd never stopped cheering for eight solid minutes, and Dean was hugged by all his comrades.

Everton goalkeeper Gordon West punches the ball away under pressure from Ray Kennedy of Arsenal as Roger Kenyon runs in to cover during their Division One match held at Goodison Park, Everton on 21st April 1973. (Bob Thomas Sports Photography via Getty Images.)

Although Arsenal had also scored three goals that afternoon as Shaw grabbed his second goal of the game in the eighty-sixth minute the Evertonians in the ground didn’t really care about the final score as they had come to see the Champions and to witness Dixie Dean achieve the record and at the final whistle the crowd invaded the pitch which was a very unusual occurrence in those days

Dixie said that he was surrounded by faces on the park, rubbing their whiskers and chins and cheering and back-slapping. They came on that time because they’d seen it and that was that. I slipped off a couple of minutes later and didn’t come back on again till the following season  except to collect the championship trophy. And the Arsenal players were among the first to congratulate me the goalkeeper first of all. Everyone except Charlie Buchan who seemed to feel I’d stolen his thunder in his last match. He was a very proud man was Charlie.

Arsenal played a prominent role in Dixies career, he made his Everton debut against the Gunners at Highbury in a defeat for Everton (2-1) in March 1925 and he scored his final Everton goal against them at Goodison Park on the opening day of the 1937/38 campaign, but his goal was a mere consolation as Everton (1-4) succumbed to the visitors to the annoyance of the Evertonians in the 53,586 crowd. Dixie made 21 appearances against the Gunners scoring thirteen times and his only hat-trick against them was perhaps the most famous hat-trick of his or any other Everton players career.

Dixie Dean – Scoring Record at Everton
 LeagueFA CupClub Total
Arsenal v Everton – EPL Home Results
124-Oct-921  20
228-Aug-931  20
314-Jan-95 1 11
420-Jan-96  112
519-Jan-971  31
603-May-981  40
708-Nov-981  10
816-Oct-991  41
921-Apr-011  41
1011-May-021  43
1123-Mar-031  21
1216-Aug-031  21
1311-May-051  70
1419-Sep-051  20
1528-Oct-06 1 11
1604-May-081  10
1718-Oct-081  31
1809-Jan-10 1 22
1901-Feb-111  21
2010-Dec-111  10
2116-Apr-13 1 00
2208-Dec-13 1 11
2301-Mar-151  20
2424-Oct-151  21
2521-May-171  31
2603-Feb-181  51
2723-Sep-181  20
2823-Feb-201  32
Arsenal v Everton – All Home Results
Division 144111513277

As you can see Arsenal have only lost one home game against Everton in the EPL but with Ancelotti as their manager they are a very improved team so I expect this to be a tight game with Arsenal ending up victorious.


Predicted team by TA:

With Laca and Auba still out, this is a great opportunity for Eddie to (re)make his mark, or is it Balogun who will get to start? I reckon Arteta will play the team that will also play on Thursday, with maybe one or two changes depending on fitness. So I expect our best defence in terms of strength and height right now: Xhaka-Mari-Holding-Chambers; maybe Soares or Hector will start instead of the full backs but I doubt it. In front of Partey, it should be ESR and one of Ceballos or Ode – the latter is a fitness doubt. Up-front it should be Saka and Pepe again to support Eddie.

With six days left till the first leg of the UEFA League, Arteta has a good opportunity to play his strongest team and try out a few tactical moves. We need a win of course and I hope the boys will be fully up for it. COYGs!

28 thoughts on “Arsenal v Everton Preview/Lineup: Eddie or Balogun, Ode or Ceballos, Strongest Defence?

  • While I would love to see a 4-3-3 in future, I don’t know if Arteta will introduce it quite yet. If ever there were a time for some experimentation in the league, now would be it. I’d put Balogun up top too. I have a soft spot for Eddie, as an academy graduate, but I’m not sure he has the power or, more importantly, is capable enough in combination play.

    That being said, I think you are right, Eddie will start. For the semi-final we gotta start Martinelli through the middle. He always seems to unsettle the opposition, even when off form. I don’t really expect that to happen either, though. I’m more convinced that it SHOULD happen midweek, than tomorrow. The league is gone. Gabi deserves a true chance. I hope Arteta truly knows how to manage him as well as a few of the younger players.

    The perceived ostracism of Martinelli, as well as Saliba and the lack of opportunities afforded Balogun, attracts some gentle doubt and criticism from myself, as well as others. My one question to him, regarding the season as a whole is, why did he persist with the old guard, when he might have tried alternate solutions sooner.

  • Cheers Milo, good choices and questions. I was a bit disappointed in Martinelli in the last game. Thought he wanted to score himself too much. But he is young and so eager and may well start instead of Eddie.

    Picking players is a balancing act and experienced players will get the benefit of the doubt from Arteta. To me that makes sense. Unfortunately, Willian and also Auba have been disappointing this season.

  • Great one TA, regarding your comment on Marteneli. Iam far more happy to see a hungry youngster play and be selfish rather than see a old player signed ok from Chelsea who has motivation or hunger.
    I agree with Milo and for me that’s Artetas biggest issue his trust of older players when he himself is a rookie and evidence of this season suggests that he has been rescued by youngsters. If the Kreonkes have to earn trust in the aftermath of SL then Arteta had a lot more to do regarding youngsters if he has to earn trust of fans like me.
    Hoping for a good game, but I suspect the lingering of SL fiasco will make it a dire match. Coyg

  • Cheers Madhu, I think I understand Arteta’s position differently to you. That’s all. Using loads of youngsters is great when it works, but players are also assets and need to be managed carefully.

  • Dropping two points to Fulham was so disheartening and kind of made me accept that Arsenal are probably going to end the season where we currently are and with that in mind I’m afraid that I can’t get to excited about this evenings game. My focus and I think the clubs’ has to be next Thursday, our season hangs on getting three positive results in the Europa, get those and we’ll be in a much better place…

    As for the game today, start Nketiah, give him 60/65 minutes and if it isn’t working make some changes.
    I would actually have Saka on the bench, he’s taken a lot of punishment recently and we need to protect him a little.

    Will Mat Ryan start?

  • Maybe, Kev, the boys knew already then about the ESL and their heads were somewhere else. This team, with the run of games they have, can finish much higher. I predict we will and tonight’s game matters a lot. A win and we can still finish 6-4th this season. Come on You Rip Roaring Gunnners 🤪🌋🌋🌋

  • I’m afraid the decision to omit Balogun from the bench is a rank poor decision, I’m not at all impressed by that choice at all…

  • This has been a poor reaction to the Fulham game very disappointed in our general play Everton have been better at pressing and in possession not by a lot but just overall better. We have just lacked that extra bit of quality and I am not going to use the excuse of distractions or eye on Europa, I feel the commitment has been there so they lack of quality in execution makes that much more disappointing and unfortunately with our history I can see things like this snowballing into a bad midweek performance but hopefully not.

    Also again Mikel for me is a little too conservative with the substitutions the players could have done with an earlier jolt it seems like Arsene he has a thing about bringing on subs on 70 minutes and beyond in most cases which can be frustrating. I would also hope Soares gets a look in at left back again I feel Granit can be exposed there and not sure what Leno was doing on that goal not going to do his confidence and good.

  • Oh, I forgot to mention…My other complaint with Arteta is that he let Martinez walk, in favour of keeping Leno. Shocking decision. Too late now though. Arteta has so much potential…he has innovative ideas at times, but how long is Granit gonna have to play left back?? I have been underwhelmed by Ceballos. I thought he was gonna ball here…but it just hasn’t come to pass. Put Granit back in midfield or on the bench. It was fun for the first couple matches, but we all know he is gonna get burned soon enough.

    I wasn’t able to see any of the match, as I’m at work…

    I really, really want Arteta to be a success, but I’m starting to wonder when, not if, he is going to break my optimism. It used to be the reverse. I would wonder when I would be truly convinced, because I believed he would, or could garner my confidence. Now it seems like I’m just waiting for it to be completely extinguished. It makes me very disheartened, as I really enjoyed watching him play for us.

    Midweek really is his make or break. It’s been a shambolic season and if we do not win the Europa League, I would hope that he is on a much shorter leash, looking ahead to next season.

    I’m very disappointed.

  • Agreed on the conservative substitutions as well as the overall disappointment. And I would rather see Xhaka back in CM; not mainly because he could be a liability at LB, but Partey is not yet good enough to dictate the tempo and provide the attackers with quality balls all game long.
    It would be unfair to blame Leno’s OG on Arteta, but I felt that our attacks were quite impotent. Even when behind we couldn’t do much more than to pass around the penalty box and conclude the attack with a tame cross. I don’t see this a lack of trying or effort, but a lack of tactics and mental preparation.

    The VAR pisses me off as we are constantly at the wrong and of a 1 cm (half inch) decision. Balogun could have got 30 minutes in the PL, or at least a place on the bench. I don’t know when will he have such a chance to being #2 striker in a PL match. Maybe on Thursday…

    There is a good chance that despite our terrible PL form we may prevail against Villarreal. Not just because they worth half of Everton (according to TransferMarkt), but also because we are better on the road than at home (15 away wins vs. 11 home victories in all competition).
    It will be up to Saka and Smith-Rowe to win the match in Spain, as Arteta is clearly incapable of benching them despite their sub-optimal form and mediocre displays. I hope they’ll be having a good they next week, otherwise we are screwed.

  • The thing that needs to be mentioned with the Martinez deal is some of those funds were used to get Partey remember “Silent Stan” also let go of many employees and was not about to open up his wallet to fully fund the Partey deal so would you rather have had Martinez but no Partey if that is what it came down to. Also have to remember noone was bidding for Leno who had just come off a serious injury and Martinez began making noises early about wanting to be no. 1 or going elsewhere not to mention he was on a shorter contract. I am happy we got Thomas but it has been an injury hit season for him unfortunately but he could yet play a major part if we are to win the Europa.

  • In some ways today Bukayo looked like Pepe on the right in that he had a hard time as he seemed to receive the ball mostly with the defender behind him. He did not get many opportunities to isolate and square up to his man and beat him. Everton did do a really good job of doubling up on both wingers but it was interesting to note that more attacks seemed to come from our left side even though Calum is much more likely to bomb forward but maybe it was just me we look for more insights on this thread.

    Dani was not great but he was involved in one of the better moves with Pepe and I think forced the only save from the Everton keeper or it felt like the only one. ESR had a tough time things just did not happen for him but all round we could not pull of the precise quick one touch pass and move plays but some of that was down to Everton’s defending which later took on a more physical aspect.

  • I think Arteta was outsmarted by the silver fox today. We lost too many balls in midfield and Partey was top isolated. The tempo was low and our star youngsters played with the handbrake on. Eddie struggled bt also got little service.

  • Guys in this moment do you think Ryan gives us a better chance to win I am worried about Leno in goal now but it is such a big decision to take at this point could backfire and the fanbase is already after Mikel so the safer decision would to continue as is Sure Granit was beat in the move but to let that type of ball beat you is a calamity so it is a tough call. I would like to see Soares come in and would hope that with Mari next to him instead of Gabi there would be less of a chance for a mistake. Pablo always seems to bring a sense of calm and I had for a while said at this moment in time I prefer him to Gabi who is still very young and has a bright future.

  • For the first time since he took over as coach, I am slightly concerned that Arteta really isn’t the answer…
    I like Reiss Nelson, I always have but there absolutely no chance of Arteta getting him on so why bloody pick the boy?

    Why not have Balogun on the bench, what have we got to lose?

    Who would any of you preferred to see come on, Willian or Balogun?

    That one selection decision has really got me worried and worried that we’re actually backing a guy who isn’t as tactically sound as we’d all hope.

    Bringing on Willian was just insane, what on Earth was he trying to prove?
    Because if he’s trying to prove a point about the ex Chelsea man, he might instead end up with his P45.

  • Very disappointing result. Again an individual error has coated us points. That seems to be the theme of this season. Based on the evidence of the whole season we sold the wrong keeper. To Makayah’s point we could have sold either Willock, AMN, Nketia or Nelson to get the 20 M. It would have been prudent to say that EMI was the number 1 based on form and asked Leno to fight for no 1. Even now based on last match Ryan looks a better and safe keeper. This is not based on last match but evidence of the entire season. Ryan commands his space, catches high balls as apposed to staying back or punching and distributes well. He is good with his feet as well. Leno was made to feel very comfortable with no competetion.
    Nketia bless him but Martenneli did more in 15 mins than Nketia for 75 mins. Isn’t it a clue that last season Bielsa depended on Bamford and proven right than Nketia. Isn’t that what loans are for to assess your players.
    Very disappointing and instead of spending time on off field distractions we have to have a hard look on what we are doing on the field. Coaches are meant to get the best of the players in team sport and evidence of the League season suggests it’s not. We haven’t maximised out strengths and even a Cup will not neutralise the disappointment of the League. Very disappointed Arsenal fan

  • Kev, I’ve been saying for quite some time that Arteta is not the answer (at this point).
    He is a lovable great guy, with club DNA and probably a good at individual coaching level, but obviously has plenty of shortcomings.
    Which is quite normal of his age and experience, and I’m sure he will become a great manager at some time, but the question remains: should it be Arsenal where he learns his trade in his early years and – understandably – performs as a mediocre coach?

    My answer is this: if we win the EL – by beating opponents whom we should be able to beat, I’m not talking about Liverpool, Barcelona, Bayern or Man city level opponents – that would firstly prove that he can motivate the boys and time peak performance and secondly earns our trust to give him a year or two to gain experience. While one might say that winning the Europa League wouldn’t make him a better coach in May than he was in April, but probably it would, and mostly it would make up to this terrible PL performance, while a lost final just wouldn’t. So in my opinion

    – best case scenario: we win the EL and earn the right to participate in the Champions League next season
    – average scenario: we don’t win the EL and say goodbye to Mikel at the end of the season to give his successor (somebody with experience, superior tactical skills, not Henry for god sake) some time and influence to the summer transfer window and the pre-season
    – absolute worst case (yet quite probable) scenario: we don’t win the Europe League and Arteta stays

    The EL semi-final against Villarreal would be crucial not only because this is our way to the final (that is obvious), but also would show whether a club with overall better players but tactically vulnerable coach could be competitive with a slightly weaker squad managed by a better coach.

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