Everton v Arsenal Review – Fate and fitness denied Arsenal the win

Everton Vs Arsenal Review: Hard Victory‏ by ElusiveArsenal

On one hand, I feel compelled to slate the entire Arsenal team for a very irritating and hair-raising performance. Even more so after another heart-in-mouth match, but then after the initial bloodlust cooled off, replaced by languid relief, I decided to take a second look at the game as a whole.
The first thing I noticed was that both Everton goals could have been easily prevented. On one hand, Ozil left his runner while Chambers’ inexperience showed in playing everyone onside. For Everton’s second goal, twice the referee should have stopped play: For a foul, and then for offside, but alas the fates and ref board were once again not in Arsenal’s favour (for the third game in a row).

Now, it would be too easy to raise my pitchfork and stab Ozil for being ‘invisible’ but then again, what he brought was something we didn’t have in the first two games: WIDTH. The importance of Width cannot be underestimated as it drags defenders out to mark, opening space for strikers to exploit. I think it’s telling that both goals came down the left flank as opposed to our previous games where Cazorla rendered that flank completely inept.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not praising Ozil for simply standing out wide… His passes, while not spectacular, where tidy, precise and with purpose, sometimes ripping through the face of the 6-yard box to find its target. A bit of nice play between him and Cazorla led to the first goal. However, when a manager sticks a player like Ozil with Monreal, on the same wing as Coleman and Lukaku.. then don’t blame the players for getting overrun. It’s just bad tactics. So Ozil: Solid first game.. not spectacular but that’s what happens when played out of position.

This wouldn’t be an Arsenal article without hate/praise on two of the most polarizing players: Giroud and Wilshere…

As it was in the Besiktas and Crystal Palace game, Wilshere was the only midfield player looking to try something. Whether it was high-pressing with Sanchez, tackling, or taking on defenders, he tried to pump life into a lifeless Arsenal. The only problem is that in the current formation and the type of players that were around him, he always comes off looking the worst. Ramsey played below par AGAIN, but he scored so everyone forgets that(including me) and all is forgiven.. Wilshere busted his guts but as usual his final ball was still lacking. I believe he should come off the bench for Ramsey for now… The two of them on the same pitch in the current formation just doesn’t work.

Finally, Giroud: My God what a player. Despite the constant criticism and hate from Arsenal fans, the lad never stops giving a 100%. He was everywhere. His trademark flicks while not 100% where present, his lay-offs were brilliant, and he powered in a beautiful header to snatch us that extra point. I still believe we need a quicker Striker: Maybe Falcao or Cavani.. but make no mistake, Giroud has more than earned his place in the Arsenal team, and anyone who says otherwise should check on their life insurance cause you will see lots more of our favorite pretty-boy-prefect-hair-lumbering-polarizing-sometimes great-sometimes not- Striker..


Tags Giroud Ozil Sanchez Wilshere


    1. Anyway we have to improve and there is big room for it.Everton gave us a second chance to get back into,We may not get it againtst other rival.

  1. We looked dead and bury in the last 10 minutes, but we showed good fight and determination to come away with a priceless point although we were’nt at our best! Great fight back!

  2. Stupid officiating denied us all 3 points. Everton’s 2nd goal was offside, the biased referee kept on brandishing yellow cards against Arsenal and deliberately ignored the fouls made by the Everton players. Such abysmal performances from officials should be sorted out b’se they’re ruining the beautiful game!

      1. Not excuses everton at goodison is always gonna be a tough and very close game, if you start getting decisions against you it becomes extreamly difficult to get a result.

        1. Seriously I’m not having the ref excuse in this game so let’s not talk about it we all know we went 2 nil down because of our poor collective defending so leave the ref excuse out of it please.

          1. Not an excuse in tight games poor decisions can decide matches
            E.g liverpool vs city the onside goal ruled offside. Or Chelsea vs Arsenal the penalty for theo not given.
            Arsenal vs Liverpool the penalty not given for suarez. All those decisions were the difference.
            If we were playing them at home or playing a weaker team i would agree no excuses as we should play better but at goodison its always going to be tight.

              1. Well for the first goal, Alexis got called for a foul for putting his body in the way of the Everton defender and the ball and gets a talking to for it. Second goal, Lukaku does the same thing to Mertesacker, no foul. If the ref is going to call weak fouls then fair enough, but at least be consistent. The ref was absolutely awful yesterday, as was the Besiktas ref on Wednesday. Seems like half our team was booked in each game..

                1. Bad refereeing does not excuse a bad performance from a team, but a bad performance does excuse bad officiating. Yesterday I read that both Everton and Arsenal were poor. In this case the ref’s decisions do matter.

                2. I’m gonna be honest here no neutral watching that game yesterday would say the ref influenced the outcome of Arsenal not winning that match!
                  The sooner you lot except that the better we didn’t defend as a unit well and could of bin 3 nil down 1st half easy.
                  The out come of that game wasn’t a referring horror show.
                  We just didn’t get going till the 2nd half.
                  So again enough of blaming refs for every game we don’t win it’s boring doesn’t help us play better and if Wenger took the same approach about every game we didn’t win we would never improve excuses end off.

                3. I get ergs point you cant keep crying about refereeing decisions and tbh im not too bothered these things tend to balance out over the course of the season and its also part of the home advantage as that foul on mertesacker is definately a free kick at the emirates.
                  but it is a fact that bad refeereing decisions can decide tight games.

              2. What a stupid comment, i said Bad decisions can decide tight matches and i gave other examples. So i am talking about yesterday genius.

          2. Yes refereeing decisions DO effect games, and DID yesterday.
            I was not close to the line of player, but, could see he was off-side, so WHY did the linesman not,
            MOTD showed clearly that he was. And Lukaku fouled Merts, though, what he was doing on the half way line, on the left, is still baffling me.
            Yes, the goals could have been avoided, but just, for a moment, think about our defence yesterday, who was in the back 4, how fit some were, how some had played in Istanbul Tuesday night, and how many games, or rather practice sessions one of them had played with the others. Then, you may understand WHY our defence struggled against an Everton team that have played together all last Season, on their own turf, and having rested for a week.
            Hopefully Kos will be ok for Wednesday and, BFG can work on his fitness on the training ground.
            And hopefully Girouds ankle is ok, because we will need him.

  3. Probably a good thing for now that we’re under performing and still picking points up, encourages more signings by highlighting our weaknesses.

    1. They’ve been in Jose’s pocket since 2005. I just was to see this ‘special one’ rubbish turn into the ‘sacked one’

    2. Diego Costa already on 2 goals, and Fabregas with lots of assists…this settling in the team excuse is the worst in my opinion. Is Ozil still settling in the team as well?

  4. I believe in giving credit where its due, even i give giroud some stick sometimes for not being clinical enough! But he saved our ” backsides” yesterday and got us an important point when we looked dead!

  5. Wilshere best position is the left side of the bench.
    Hope he plays there next weekend.
    If wenger keeps forcing him into the team we’ll be sh*t going forward again this season. Hes such a poor no10 0 creativity all he does is run into players and atempt useless one twos, never spots runs or plays killer passes, if your not a creative no10 them atleast be able to score goals like oscar but he doesnt do that either.
    He should play CM or not at all as hes good under pressure and good at starting attacks.
    And also our main man rambo plays much better with a no10.
    Theres other ways to get wilshere back to form, sub apperances and starts when resting ramsey or ozil will be enough.

    1. Wilshere is playing cm, hence the new 4-3-3 formation. There’s no “no.10” in that formation. Plus even in the 4-2-3-1, he played as a cm, or at times out wide. We have played jack as a number 10 for two years now mate. Open your eyes!

  6. I was disappointed we didn’t press or pressure them. Sanchez was shouting for the midfield to move forward but no one did. We never forced mistakes out if them until late on.

    Everton are not all that. Even last year it was our bad performance as opposed to their brilliance. This year they could not deal with the additional pace as opposed to April.

    1. Every1 overrated evertons performamce, they were just as sh*t as us.
      They got dominated for the first 20mins and got a goal against the run of play, then they played well for 25mins and then did f*ck all for the remaining 45mins especially the last 20 when they couldnt even get it out their own half, we pinned them in like we were playing burnley at the emirates.
      We dominated them in every single stat even though we played sh*t.

  7. We can’t play without a recognised striker other wise our midfielders have nothing to play off.
    That was the biggest mistake we made and we payed for it 1st half.

  8. Giroud has one good match and it’s a love in.
    How can people be so fickle as to change their mind with each subsequent match!

    A thought on Sanchez, it is great that he has the power and endurance to be literally everywhere on the pitch, even back in the box in open play chasing down an opponent.
    however where is he actually meant to be?
    When he is running around everywhere I think it is a case of trying to do to much, do your job and do it well, don’t try to do everyone’s job.
    If we had broke from that tackle when he chased a player down one of our forwards was the wrong side of most of our midfielders and all of the opposing team.

    King Henry was rarely if ever that far back and would be waiting for a ball to come to him on the break; shouldn’t Sanchez be doing something similar?
    Couldn’t help but notice Ozil still looking for people to run onto balls and Sanchez being short on the through passes because he had been dropping so deep.

    1. I’m always backing Giroud he’s decent squad member and a good target man we just need more depth in that department.
      Sanchez isn’t a striker he’s a wide forward.
      Ozil is part of our collective defensive frailties seems unable to adapt to playing out of position well.

      1. For weeks i have repeated the same.Sanchez isnt a C forward.You are one of few…very few people here who seem to realize that

        1. I thought Sanchez was bought to replace Podolski as a wide forward I genuinely thought Wenger would buy another striker I thought it would be Remy.
          Clearly he’s not in for 1 which is worrying for us.

            1. You can’t say that it worked hypothetical if he had started we could of won it’s all ifs and buts……
              1 thing is for sure we look a more cohesive unit going forward with a target man to play off.

      2. Best tell that to the Chilean football coach and tell them that his good run in the WC would have been better if he hadn’t played Sanchez as a CF.
        While you are at it tell it to his coach at Udinese, where he also played striker and playing from that position was voted ‘most promising player’ in 2010.

        …but then hey, what do they know that you don’t?

    2. Brother,
      When you look at Barcelona where Sanchez came from, all players chase the ball and all players attack the ball. Sanchez was calling for our players to attack up the pitch but they did not. I understand why though, we could get caught as well if we move too high and they manage to get the ball up the pitch.
      We need to do alot of work in our team. I am optimistic we will be too strong when we get our team together finally, not without few quality additions though.

  9. We watched a couple of teams vying for 4th place with a hope of third….the idea that refs will determine our fate is stupid…actually he did us a favour by allowing the goal as it upped the game in second half….and the fact that we don’t give 100 per cent from the go is solely wenger’s doing… It was embarrassing when Sanchez was calling players forward and no one came….and there were times when he was on the attack and no one else anywhere near…we need a proper DM ASAP flamini and arteta and Diaby can’t deliver its so obvious only the arrogant Frenchman refuses to see it and if the reus rumours are true then splashing over the odds is a no brainier…also sick of hearing that it all depends on Wednesday night…only if profit stream trumps quality flowing football

  10. Talking Points


    I felt Ozil kept slowing down our attacks anytime the ball came to him. He seems to second guess any pass he wants to make and seems to dwell on the ball a bit too much. He was also not daring with his passing… maybe it was because we didn’t have runners in the box too much. For the CAM role, I think Rosicky suits our style the most. A shame he can’t play 2 games a week…


    He wasn’t terrible, but he seemed to forget he was playing striker and spent too much time battling with Baines on the flanks. For a curious reason, the OX seemed to forget he was supposed to play right wing and was almost playing a false 9 position. The lad obviously wants to play central. I think “STAY CENTRAL SANCHEZ” would’nt be a tactical instruction that would be too difficult to implement. Once again, I feel Walcott is still a better option down the middle than Sanchez. He simply thinks more like a striker, and shoots at any given opportunity.

    Is clearly better from the bench, which is both good and bad 😀 We still need a proper sharp shooter in the box. A striker that has a phobia for tippy tappy football. A striker in the mould of Huntelaar, Dzeko, Mandzukic, Lewy and Negredo. We lack that kind of player, and yet we want to win the league.

  11. I didnt like the speed of our game. We need to pass and move faster. Keep pur style, but play a bit more direct

  12. My summary in a nutshell: We were not bad, Everton just played out of their skins and Martinez tactics were spot on. Also, Everton seemed to win most loose balls especially in the first half and things just generally went their way.

    I like Ozil alot, but I thought he had a terrible first performance yesterday. He had one or two key passes but overall a bit lack luster.

    I still think our defense is suspect, especially with Mertesacker and his noticeable lack of pace. Sure he was fouled but his lethargic movements is what caused him to fall over. If he had been quicker on the ball it would not have happened. Him and Chambers are not the best pair as both are slower than Kossie. Wenger must bring in another CB, either from our reserves or buy someone faster quicker than Merts. I shudder at the thought of him playing against quicker teams like Liverfool and Chelski. Hopefully Koss will be fit by then.

    I have said many times before that Giroud needs to be played against certain teams that exert a lot of pressure and are physical. Everton is one of those teams and Wenger made a great decision in bringing him on for the second half, he made all the difference. Great goal and well done Giroud. I still feel we need another CF who has all the attributes Giroud does not – pace and skill on the ball.

    Otherwise I wouldn;t be too hard on ourselves. Everton have a great team and are going to upset a lot of other teams this seasons. An away draw against them isn’t such a bad result.

  13. ancelloti just said in his press conference that kheidra is going nowhere so we can finally put that rumour to bed for this transfer window

  14. as hard as we are on nacho, his creating space and perfect cross was phenominal, he was as much a part of the goal as olivier, like to see more of that,

    1. He was also the culprit to the 2nd goal after Lukaku turned him and ran right past him. Made the same mistake as last time but then again Ozil was put on the wing and is not a player known to urgently track back and help defence.

      1. Nacho not good at one-on-one situations honestly. But this whole season so far he’s had Cazorla, who goes missing a lot, and Ozil, who refuses to defend, in front of him. Play Ox or Campbell on the wings, and we wont be so leaky on the left. its not shocking that nobody really attacks the right side of our defense because our harder working players are there.

  15. If Arsenal had won yesterday then we would not have been talking about the referee performance, so from that perspective the performance is far more important that poor refereeing decisions.

    My concern is that any other successful manager – Ferguson and Mourinho being the best examples would have lambasted that team to the media, we were absolutely DREADFUL yesterday and its was only Everton lack of concentration that allowed us to come away with a point. Wenger on the other hand comes out with praise but the fact was for only seven minutes were we half decent – for me this is a sign of weakness and avoiding issues. A manager should be DEMANDING 100 per cent effort every game, not when they feel like delivering.

    I just think in my opinion that Wenger is a very poor motivator – he needs to be far more critical and demanding otherwise we will never challenge for the premiership on fairy performances like yesterday.

    Oh and sign a DM and striker as well…

    1. thank you for finally using stats. People saying Jack adds physicality, when he just adds fouls. Looks lost when trying to attack, fails to link up with Ramsey at all. He should be on the bench against Leicester.

  16. I hate Tottenham Hotspuds soooo much, that I’ve completely stopped eating potatoes because they remind me of them.

  17. We are unfit, unprepared and rusty and het we have 4 points on the scoreboard including a trip to Everton. Hardly a case for alarm bells to ring.

    Add a couple of players, the time to gel and we’ll be firing on all cylinders, we have goals in this team but the defensive attitude and cohesion needs to improve.

    Also there is no point having a talent like Sanchez going forward if the rest of the team does not follow.

  18. KJ needs to stop his troll ratings and slate a single individual players.

    Campbell a 4? If it had been one of your sweethearts on the pitch for 15 mins you wouldn’t have given a rating. Get specialist help, grow up, learn about football and stop behaving like an A hole.

    1. I’ve learnt to ignore KJ’s ratings. I don’t bother with them anymore. He watches games with one eye closed! Campbell should’ve been brought on earlier or even started the game TBH!

  19. Silly thread, anyone who compliments Giroud has never played or coached at a decent level , he wouldn’t start at Chelsea,City, Man U, Liverpool, he’s a decent back up striker and a good sub, but if you want yo win PL or CL then he’s not good enough

    1. with this site, people love him one week, hate him the next. Its a circus, just stick with your opinion and ignore the others who flop every other week.

  20. Again bad game for us, I dont know, it seems that team is still not fit. This could be reason to a long season (WC in Brazil), but this shouldnt be an excuse.
    Wednesday is really important game, players should step up and win the game. Injuries to Arteta and Giroud could be blessing in disguise and here is the last transfer window week, for which Wenger said will be the most busy one. Team is short for three players to really play for the tittle: striker as we already know, maybe Cavani rumour is true? There is also something about Reus but I doubt it. Beast DMC is also necessary, there are no more news about Carvalho, Khedira maybe, what about Song? There is last place DC, Kostas Manolas should be ok if we can believe to rumours.
    I really hope we will get new players, we need some extra quality in the team.

  21. It seems Roma offering Manolas first team football, wenger can’t and won’t give a guarantee, reports in Greece saying he’s opted for Italy

    what options are remaining maybe nastasic/schar or reid

    1. im fine with this. Why should we guarantee him first team football? If hes not willing to fight for his spot, then next option. I’d personally like Schar. Nastasic a bit injury prone, and probably more expensive too.

  22. Well, well, Di Maria off to Manure. Wenger should think rrly hard about our current situation. This is not a matter of winning the Cl, but a mater of survival.

    And another point we can learn from Manure. Cl means horse Sh%t. As long the money is good you will get the player you want. So No Wenger, 4th place is not that important how you make it out to be.

  23. I still think Giroud is a decent forward. Days like yesterday seem to confirm that. I’ll concede that maybe he is better as a sub, but he is worthy of his place in the first team.

    For sure we could do with a world class striker, and a CDM to give us a more complete team, but I would be happy with one of those tbh.

    On balance I think we need the CDM. Our attacking options are still v.good, and with Walcott coming back we aren’t short in that area. Plus of course we have Ramsey who seems to score like a striker!

    All in all, a decent result yesterday. I think many predicted a 2-2. I was a bit blindly optimistic with my own prediction of 3-1, but the smart money was on a draw of some kind.

    Onwards and upwards!

  24. I think the fate and fitness could’ve been factors but what was a definite was the shocking officials.

    They pretty much gave every perceived infringement to Everton whilst missing quite a few of theirs not just the blatant foul and offside !

    We’ve still got to do more ourselves as we cannot afford to rely on fate or the good graces of the officials

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