Everyone has been praising the new Arsenal attack and the fantastic hat-trick from Aaron Ramsey, but I haven’t seen a lot of sympathy for Theo Walcott and his new Everton team-mates. The Gunners tore them apart in the first half and went in to the break with a 4-0 lead, but couldn’t keep the same frantic pace and the pressure up in the second half but the game was already over as any contest.
Not even their manager Sam Allardyce could find anything good to say about them. “I have a lot of trouble with the players taking on to the pitch what we asked them to do,” Allardyce told the BBC. “I’m not frustrated. I’m angry – very angry – at the players performing to that level. It’s unacceptable.
“The players are showing so much inconsistency that I face an uphill battle trying to get them to play at their best week in, week out. It was a pathetic first-half performance.”
“You set out to block the areas Arsenal like to play in. We had the same game plan that Swansea had on Tuesday.
“We studied how Swansea played, how defensively sound they were and how they limited Arsenal to very few chances.
“Swansea only had 30% possession but created chances, but I may as well have been talking in a foreign language. We didn’t implement my plans either defensively or offensively and the game was dead and buried.
“It doesn’t matter what system I pick – it’s about players playing to their best. You can show them but it’s up to the players.”
The Toffees captain Ashley Williams also expressed his anger at the first half performance, and he told the Independent: “The manager was not happy – but none of us are. It hurts like any defeat but when you go down like that – 4-0 in the first half – it does really hurt. It is football, and whatever formation you play, or whichever personnel are in the team, you have to do your best.
“You have to compete and we did not compete in the first half. We have used different formations and won, so that is not an excuse.”
Everton did play better in the second half, with Walcott looking dangerous as they tried to peg Arsenal back, but they were fighting a lost cause. If you think that Arsenal didn’t play their best then think how the Everton players and fans are feeling this morning!