Eight Observations from Everton v Arsenal

Eight short observations from Everton 1-0 Arsenal:

  1. We didn’t win the battle in midfield but we didn’t lose it either. Partey seemed tired after 30 minutes and the Ode looked under the weather, and their substitutions were no real surprise.
  2. Still the system and tactics worked but the Toffees played at 120% of their ability and our players were almost all below par. Passes and first touches were rushed and sloppy, fifty-fifty balls were lost more than won and we also didn’t have our usual intensity in our play.
  3. We needed to wake up and we somehow couldn’t. I have witnessed this before with Arsenal at Goodison Park during early Saturday kick off. We have one soon away to Villa, so let’s prepare better for that game. But if Partey and Ode were playing not feeling 100% and the home team have had a shot in the arm through new manager Dyche, then it can be hard. I don’t think many clubs would have taken three points of Everton yesterday.
  4. When we attack we have three main weapons. The left flank of Martinelli, the right flank of Saka and the central channel of Eddie and Ode/Granit. Opposition teams know this of course and try to stop us with crowding the wings out. We deal with this very well usually by shifting the play quickly to where there is space. Ode and Xhaka are excellent at this usually but both wer a bit slow. Everton, it should be said, also did a good job in keeping the pitch small and not allowing us much time on the ball.
  5. Our Full Backs were also underwhelming with sloppy passes and not offering as much thrust as usual. The triangles on the left and right lacked energy, creativity and precision, and all above mentioned factors played a role in this. But our full backs can do much better.
  6. The subs did OK, not more and certainly not less. They couldn’t make the difference but we also didn’t drop our level after they came on.
  7. I rate Eddie highly and he is doing a very good job for us. But this was a game for Gab Jesus and I missed him. Jesus’ mobility and dribbling skills, his coming deep into midfield and then turn on his axis would have helped a lot with cracking those defensive lines of Everton.
  8. I think the team tried hard to get something from the game and I can imagine that Arteta was proud of his players. It was not to be and Everton deserved the precious three points. We’ll learn from this defeat and can now look forward to two home games. Come On You Rip Roaring Gunners.

By TotalArsenal

48 thoughts on “Eight Observations from Everton v Arsenal

  • Things looking a little brighter today. Man City are nothing like the team that’s been dominating this league for years.

    I have no complaints about Everton. These things happen. I think a little more aggressive subs would have been better, but now it’s behind us and we need to focus on Brentford, a very well coached team.

  • Still can’t get comments to post…

    Things looking a little brighter today. Man City are nothing like the team that’s been dominating this league for years.

    I have no complaints about Everton. These things happen. I think a little more aggressive subs would have been better, but now it’s behind us and we need to focus on Brentford, a very well coached team.

  • J, it just shows how well we played at the proverbial hole a few weeks ago. Citeh were a tad unlucky, I thought, and the referee was poor, but I ain’t complaining. 😎😎

  • The Spuds did us a favour today and we need a big performance against the Bees to make sure we maintain the points margin before we face the northern oiler$.

  • Unless it is like the last game of the season with a Spurs win the only chance we win the title, I just can never bring myself to be happy with a Spud win, especially when the team on the losing side is one which can give them a morale boost.

    Believe it or not, I was rooting for a City equalizer. It didn’t come and it was only after I put things in perspective. City were a tad unlucky but their performance is the reason I have us down for the 3 points on February 15, at the Emirates.

  • Fine observations, TA and they are the obvious ones seeing as we just didn’t come to the party at Goodison Park.

    To the last man (save the keeper), everyone seemed out of sorts and the team just couldn’t get into 4th gear. I believe that Arteta, an ex-Evertonian himself, must have tried to prepare the boys for the cauldron they were likely to face at his old stomping ground. What we didn’t do was be ready for the physical side of the challenge and the hosts beat us in that department. They won most of the second balls, the 50-50 challenges and seemed committed to the tactics of their manager to contain and then go long, force set pieces and muscle their way around our box in the hope something good shows itself.

    Granit had his passes cut off too many times and he just was unusually slow to spray passes to the wings, as he is wont to do; Saka looked like he did not to want take on Mykolenko in a foot race for the by-line, and mostly passed backwards, or cut inside to not much good effect. He had a certain goal-bound strike from a loose ball, after a corner kick routine. If Partey is not injured, it was too early and not the right move to take him off just to introduce Jorginho. I believe the adjustment interval cost us (the opportunity leading to) that goal.

    Hopefully, the team and staff learn from this. We have to avoid a repeat against an equally physical Brentford side, when the come calling. No need to panic. We still sit atop the table.

  • Thanks Total. A couple of other observations from the weekends games. It is a long weekend here (Waitangi celebrations) so I watched ours, Newcastle v West Ham, Spuds v City, and our ladies.
    Declan Rice was superb v Newcastle. His is a Merlin of an engine, something of the Viera about him with his long powerful, seemingly effortless stride. What a signing he could be.
    City were underwhelming, compared to what they have manifested in recent years. I don’t know if KDB has an injury? Why LaPorte isn’t playing? But without the two of them and the departed Cancelo they are not as scary a prospect as in past seasons.
    Our ladies were much like our men, couldn’t really get out of third gear. Bev and Viv are hugely missed and the new signings will need some time to gel.

    He is, Kev. ‘arry did us a huge favour.

  • Cheers Eris, yes I agree re wanting a draw yesterday.

    I thought Saka was also below par but still one of the better players. He was often left isolated.

  • Yes Stu that sounds like a long weekend and thanks for footie update. Rice is a fabulous player indeed.

    Not all is well at Pepsi City. To me it looks like authority issues.

  • I totally agree with TA on this game needed the style and approach of Jesus, even though the best Arsenal moment of the match came from Eddie’s dribbling and key pass from the left wing.

    Yet I have a confrontational topic. Less debating the coach himself, and more the fine supporters from this blog. Because a recurring slogan when it comes to transfers to “have competition” for particular positions. Don’t get me wrong I have nothing against competition. Competition is good in particularly all aspects of life (but we understandably prefer if companies are competing for us over when we have to compete). But that’s only one school of managerial philosophies. According to the ‘school of team A’ you should always aim to select the first choice player regardless of the training performance or the form in recent games, while the ‘school of competition’ would ordain you to prefer the best-in-form player thus replace any of your guy after a few games of below average performances.

    I’m in no position to evaluate these approaches. All I can do is to challenge you. If you prefer the philosophy of competition, and use it to justify transfers for positions where we have world class player(s); would you also support if Arteta replaces Ramsdale and White from the starting line-up against Brentford – as they were poor in recent games – and also Odegaard if he doesn’t improve against the Bees, as his form is clearly dipping from his December & early January heroics?

  • PB, I would totally support dropping anyone whose form has dropped. Nobody should be considered undroppable. I’m sure that although our mantra OGAAT, Arteta is planning for two big games and next Wednesday’s game is potentially huge. Other factors should also be taken into account with the players you mention.

    1. Although Ben has performed pretty well in his new position, we should be careful about overplaying him there. With Cedric leaving we only have two players for that position and although I love Holding’s character and loyalty to the team, Ben is arguably a better substitute for Saliba.

    2. Although his distribution is not as good as Aaron’s, Turner has improved that aspect of his game. He also played well in the WC and when picked to play in cup games for us. He will have other teams eyeing him up who are able to make him their #1. We need to give him hope, which means giving him more opportunities to play. Hein would also see this as a positivemove.

    3. We need Ode firing on all cylinders on the 15th against C$ty.

    4. I would also consider starting Leandro against the Bees. Martinelli has got a bit predictable and teams are finding ways to nullify his threat. Where the opposition is doubling up on our wingers, Marti might fare better by coming on once they are getting tired.

    Having said all that I don’t think that we should make wholesale changes on Saturday!

  • TA I think that Odegaard took a couple of heavy kicks on his ankle early in the game, I was a bit surprised that Arteta didn’t sub him off earlier and I thought that Vieira did ok when he came on, his passing was accurate and slick and he kept things moving, unfortunately his team mates were subpar and that happens. Partey couldn’t have been 100% and we need to look after him, Jorginho was ok’ish when he came on but it wasn’t a great day to make your debut.

    Vicarage Road
    7pm (UK)
    LIVE on http://Arsenal.com

    Arsenal U18 v Watford:
    Rosiak, Walters, Quamina, Sousa
    Ibrahim, Lewis-Skelly
    Cozier-Duberry, Gower, Ferdinand
    Subs: B. Okonkwo, Nichols, Kacurri, Nwaneri, Ismail Oulad M’Hand, Roberts, Kamara.

    Reporting for duty :

    (thanks to the Jeorge Bird – Arsenal Academy twitter accounts)

    Same lineup as in the previous round, away at St. James’s Park. Nwaneri on, and Gower benched was a possibility, but it would have been very hard on Jimi G., who had excelled against the Young Magpies, so it’s quite a good thing Jack was conservative on this one imo.
    Very strong side/squad … even though Brown, Robinson, and Quesada-Thorn are unavailable. Now I don’t know much about the Watford lads. According to trustworthy Jeorge, they’ve been inconsistent in the League so far, but no weak side can make it to the round of 16 of the Youth Cup (they knocked Everton out in the 5th round, if evidence of this axiom was needed).

  • Last weekends results.

    1st OX 10 with 1/6 plus 1 correct score and share of most correct predictions = 4.33 points
    2nd Total & Stuart with 1/6 puls share of most correct predictions = 2.33 points
    4th GN5, Eris, Madhu, Kev & Le Gall with 0/6 = 0 points


    Season to date.

    1st OX10 with 81.13
    2nd Madhu with 77.8
    3rd Kev with 74.80
    4th Stuart with 73.33
    5th Eris with 63.13
    6th Total with 60.66
    7th GN5 with 52.33
    8th Le Gall with 50.80


    That was a strange week in total we made 48 predictions (8 people x 6 games) and we only managed to get three correct .0625%. The games chosen did not look that difficult – strange ole game ain’t it.

  • Well, well, well …
    This is not a football week-end, it is a trip down a nightmarish “twilight zone” episode
    Watford 2 Arsenal 0 at HT
    They had a cup game mindset from the getgo, we came here as though it were for a U18 League game, is the first obvious reason for that disappointing scoresheet
    Just as the two goals at Newcastle, both goals were created down our right-hand side; it’s always hard to put too much blame on such a young player, but I don’t see how Rosiak could make it back on the pitch after the break, he leaves too much space behind him, and was made a fool of in the box by their LW lad, who assisted both goals.
    Our boys have been asked to play in the same setup as our first-team, obviously, but Sousa in the Zinch part and Ibrahim in Granit’s are like square pegs tryin’ to fit in round holes – even though I understand the rationale of it, for this is what Ajax or Barcelona have always done with their youth teams, so I’m not surprised that Mikel should have asked for it.
    Rosiak-Quamina-Benjamin off, Kacurri-Nwaneri-Kamara on wouldn’t surprise me, something like:
    But it’ll be tougher than hell, they’ve been drilled into the dark arts of time-wasting from the Mourinho-Simeone textbooks; 8 minute-extra-time were given, but it could-should have been twice that amount at least …

  • Next weekends selections.

    West Ham United v Chelsea *
    Arsenal v Brentford
    Crystal Palace v Brighton & Hove Albion
    Manchester City Women v Arsenal Women *
    Leicester City v Tottenham Hotspur
    RB Leipzig v FC Union Berlin *

  • 64′
    Watford 2 Arsenal 2 (Cozier-Duberry pen. Kamara)
    Kamara was fouled on the pen too, how’s that for masterful reshuffling – hats off to Jack)
    2-3 as I was writing this (Rosiak – Jack was oh so right not to take him off, too)
    The kids are all right!!!

  • I don’t doubt that this is a balancing act, TA, all I challenge is Arteta actually balancing it. He just isn’t. But – surprisingly as it may seem – I’m not stating it as a criticism. He prefers sending out the same team every week (apart from injuries), and before the Everton game it turned out for him – and us – perfectly. So if the same 12-13 players are capable to beat every team back-to-back, who am I to complain? Just saying, that the ‘competing for the starting spot’ scenario is not happening.

  • FT Watford 2 Arsenal 4 (Cozier-Duberry pen. for the last one)
    Very pleasant game, but nowhere near the level of maturity that had been so impressive away at Newcastle in the previous round.
    Cozier-Duberry the obvious standout performer – again, with Lewis-Skelly as a very worthy deputy
    Nwaneri came on around the 55th minute. His first touch is mesmerizing, there’s something Messi-esque about the short strides he takes with the ball inches from his feet, as well as with the way his head stays up all the time … but at the same time he looked strangely unconcerned at times. Having said that, he focused the attention of several Watford players, and the turnaround took shape after he was brought on.
    Kamara is a joy to watch, his runs, his predatory instinct in the box, the way he seems to bounce off the defenders’ challenges make it difficult not to think of Wrighty when you watch him play – I’d be very surprised if he wasn’t a starter next time
    This bunch of young Gooners and their rookie coach do us proud, they’re an unbelievable combination of talents, but I’m afraid they won’t make it all the way to the title if they don’t get rid of this lack of focus they have for too large chunks of time …
    Looking forward to the round of 8 anyway

  • FA Youth Cup quarter final in the Emirates!
    It is rewarding to follow the youngsters. Right, Le Gall?

    My preferred line-up for the next game:

    Subs: Cooper, Robinson, Quesada-Thorn, Rosiak, Oulad M’Hand, Gower, Ferdinand

  • Arteta choses the best players and except maybe for White and Tomiyasu, I think you will agree that is the case. The team is indeed settled and that ges a long way, but there is also a quality gap between the Nr1 and the Nr2 at the moment.

  • Thanks for that LeG, I forgot all about it, great comeback by the kids and we’ll done Jack Wilshere, not that he’ll get any credit from his critics, I guess our lads will learn a lot more from a game like this than they did in beating Millwall 6-0…

  • Interesting comments about Nwaneri, maybe it’s just his personality but I just have this horrible feeling that he’s not committed to Arsenal, you know like Omari Hutchinson, and that a shed load of cash will tempt him away to Man City, ManUtd, Liverpool or perish the thought Chelsea?

  • Rojas-Ibrahim-LewisSkelly-CozierDuberry-Nwaneri-Kamara-Benjamin I agree with, P.
    As for the defense I don’t know … I like very much what I’ve seen of Robinson-QuesadaThorn at the start of the season, but they haven’t been involved in the last 2 rounds … I think I’d like Jack to try something like
    Robinson-Walters-QuesadaThorn-Sousa (even though QThorn is a LB by trade …)
    … and yes, watching these kids is exhilarating, I hardly remember the last time we had such a side where no position can be regarded as an obvious weakness – not to mention the depth in “personnel”
    Something else about this generation: all of them will be eligible to play in the 2023-2024 Youth League (born on or after january 1, 2005, plus 3 players born on or after january 1, 2004) – Norton-Cuffy (january 12, 2004) could play, actually
    Which means that with the PL2 U21 games, the Carabao, Papa John’s, it’d make sense to keep them all at Colney, under Mikel’s supervision, with the possibility for them to be involved in the first-team training sessions, and to be ready for promotion, if need be … and it’d get pointless to loan them out to clubs where they might get little or no playing time, or get injured, as it has too often been the case lately …
    But first let’s bring this 2023 YCup home where it belongs, kiddos!!

  • TA, I’m not coming back to this topic because I’m stubborn (at least not now), but because it is interesting. Therefore my questions are also genuine – not knowing the answer – instead of trying to reveal a contradiction.

    So in the case when for a position there is a clear and undisputed difference in quality/offering between the first choice and the backup player, then should form not be taken into consideration? Is a poor Odegaard superior to an ambitious Vieira? Should Zinchenko be selected every time he’s fit ahead of Tierney regardless of their form? Assuming that Ramsdale is superior to Turner in most aspects of goalkeeping, should that mean that Aaron is to be picked every time, even after a handful of poor performances?

    I’m not saying ‘no’ to any of these questions (yet neither I go with ‘yes’). I’m just saying – repeating in fact – that in case of a fit Jesus starting every PL game ahead of (a less remarkable, but somehow more prolific) Nketiah IN PRINCIPLE, then we cannot really talk about competition. And we cannot really talk about rotation either, because it is Arteta. Therefore Trossard will never start a priority game on the expense of a fully fit Martinelli, because Gabi is the best player at LW. And it’s not necessary a bad thing. Just be conscious, that Leandro/Jorginho was never signed to compete or rotate with Martinelli and Partey, but to relieve the physical burden from the first choice players to do ‘lesser games’.

    After identifying his vision of the ideal first team, Arteta is building (buying) the B squad. And that’s fine as he didn’t spend a fortune so far, however I have my reservations for picking ‘old’ guys for the backup team; as I can’t stop thinking that today’s team B could – and maybe should – become team A in some years.

    You mentioned Tomi vs White. And for a good reason. Firstly because this is the position where the 2 players are so close in quality, that it would be really hard to pick an obvious first choice and his backup. And secondly, because Arteta keeps betting on Ben anyway, and while it worked miraculously for a string of week, it might come back to haunt him, or bite him in the @$$.

  • All good questions and observations, PB.

    Arteta is ahead of plan with Arsenal and unexpectedly we are fighting for the title. I think he is therefore less experimental. He is sticking to the same eleven as much as possible because they deliver. Many of the Nr2 are as yet a drop in quality. I think Trossard, Jorginho and hopefully also Kiwior are as good as their competitors, and I think Arteta will play them regularly from now on. But we’ll have to see how it goes.

    Arteta is developing the team and the way we play, the unexpected success is making him less experimental and for good reason. We will have to see ho he deals with squad rotation and competition over the coming seasons.

  • Here are my predictions for the weekend’s picks of games:

    West Ham United v Chelsea * D (1-1)
    Arsenal v Brentford H
    Crystal Palace v Brighton & Hove Albion D
    Manchester City Women v Arsenal Women * A (1-2)
    Leicester City v Tottenham Hotspur H
    RB Leipzig v FC Union Berlin * A (0-1)

  • Interesting article Kev. I use FUBO TV and get every EPL game and I can record or delay games at my will. The article states the FUBO in Canada costs 120 pounds annually – I pay $180 per year which at todays rate of exchange is 112 pounds – so just a slight difference.

    I find it outrageous that British fans are forced to pay 600 plus pounds. (I can’t find the Pound sign on my keyboard – old age thing most likely)

  • West Ham United 1 Chelsea 1
    Arsenal Brentford H
    Crystal Palace Brighton & Hove Albion A
    Manchester City Women 1 Arsenal Women 2
    Leicester City Tottenham Hotspur H
    RB Leipzig 3 FC Union Berlin 2

  • Those prices are brutal, Kev. Here in NZ I pay $35 NZ (18 quid) a month for all EPL and Champions League games, live and on demand.
    House prices are going down if any BK’ers are keen…

  • Thanks GN5.

    West Ham United 1 Chelsea 1
    Arsenal Brentford H
    Crystal Palace Brighton & Hove Albion D
    Manchester City Women 1 Arsenal Women 2
    Leicester City Tottenham Hotspur D
    RB Leipzig 1 FC Union Berlin 1

  • West Ham United v Chelsea * 3-1
    Arsenal v Brentford H
    Crystal Palace v Brighton & Hove Albion D
    Manchester City Women v Arsenal Women * 1-1
    Leicester City v Tottenham Hotspur A
    RB Leipzig v FC Union Berlin * 2-1

  • Let’s do a house swop for a month or two, Total?

    City deep in the brown stuff.

  • West Ham United v Chelsea * 1-1
    Arsenal v Brentford H
    Crystal Palace v Brighton & Hove Albion A
    Manchester City Women v Arsenal Women * 0-1
    Leicester City v Tottenham Hotspur D
    RB Leipzig v FC Union Berlin * 1-0

  • West Ham United v Chelsea * D 1-1
    Arsenal v Brentford. H
    Crystal Palace v Brighton & Hove Albion. A
    Manchester City Women v Arsenal Women * D 1-1
    Leicester City v Tottenham Hotspur. A
    RB Leipzig v FC Union Berlin * H 2-1

  • I wasn’t, Stu
    The highest degree in coaching (the one which gives you the right to manage a Ligue 1-Ligue 2 team) has always been notoriously difficult to get in France. You needed a combination of personal skills (i.e. having been a professional player – 3rd division at the very least) and theoretical knowledge, which was very hard to find. Which is why there was a tradition of “name-loaning”: the few guys who got the talisman didn’t actually coach, but “loaned” (actually: sold) their names (hence, their degree) to clubs who lived happily with a coach who had flunked the degree, but needed a guy with he proper degree on their payroll.
    The most famous one was Jean-Michel Larqué, who was the midfielder and captain of the mid-seventies Saint-Etienne team, but had passed the competitive exam for being a P.E. teacher before that, and had been a top-level judoka in his teenage years as well (I told you it was a are combination), so became one of the worthy few, but hardly ever actually coached at all – “loan” his name, that he did.
    It might be that clubs can’t do that anymore, but I was under the impression the Fédération Française de Football had regained total control about the degrees (in Larqué’s time it was the “Ministère de la Jeunesse et des Sports”), so that if you paid them the proper amount of money to check in, you were pretty sure to pass the thing.
    There’s a fair chance and end has been put to “name-loaning”, and there’s bound to be one and one only session a year (during the summer break) when the degrees are delivered, and since Still missed out on the last one, here we are … The mobsters who rule the “F.F.F.” couldn’t miss such an opportunity to bleed a mid-table club dry, I guess.
    About Reims, they have a very important game tonight in Toulouse, in the “Coupe de France” round of 16. It’ll be very interesting to watch, because there’ll be a pressure on the team (and on our wonderkid) which they are now free of in League games, since they are now snug as bugs in mid-table.
    A very important test it’ll be for Still, Fo, and their mates, I’ll be watching this.

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