Five BIG things we learned from Arsenal at Everton

Arsenal have now played two Premier League games and the first leg of the Champions League play-off against Besiktas, but we are still looking rusty. There were some encouraging signs of improvement during the game at Everton yesterday, but are still trying to find some of the attacking fluency that was on show last season and, strangely, during the comfortable Community Shield win over Man city at Wembley.

So as the Gunners try to find their higher gears, what did we learn from the game at Goodison Park yesterday? Firstly, I think we should all go a bit easier on the big man. No matter how frustrating we find Olivier Giroud at times when he fluffs a finish or for his lack of pace, the first half yesterday shows just how much he gives the team a focal point up front.

Secondly, Aaron Ramsey has not really got going yet. Some of his passing and shooting were like the bad old days, but he will sit out the game on Wednesday with a suspension and will hopefully be fired up for Leicester next weekend. And even with the handbrake on, he still found the perfect run into the box to score the goal that started us on the comeback trail. Two goals in two BPL games when he is off form suggests that Rambo could be even better for us this year.

Calum Chambers is a great prospect but still has a lot to learn and with Per Mertesacker now having a full game under his belt, I expect Arsene Wenger to revert to the tried and tested defensive pairing of him and Koscielny. Chambers should be good for cover, but I hope he will also get a chance in the defensive midfield role now, where the odd mistake will not be as dangerous.

Alexis Sanchez might need time and patience from us before he really starts to motor in the English Premier League. I think he is trying too hard and is desperate to start repaying the transfer fee. I reckon a goal will go a long way to relaxing him, but if it doesn’t come soon I hope that the fans don’t start to get on his back.

Finally, although Arsenal have not been at their best so far, I am really impressed with the team spirit and determination that has seen us simply refuse to fold in three tough games. Once we really start to click, this attitude suggests that the Gunners will be a much tougher prospect for our rivals this season and could just see us lifting that big trophy next May

Tags Alexis Chambers Giroud


  1. what i like about Alexis is that he is actually concerned about makig his mark, no big star attitude

    1. His attitude rocks. You all saw how he tried to make (even though he doesn’t speak the language) all the Arsenal players to press Everton in the first half.

    2. My dream signing by the end of the transfer window.
      CDM William Carvalho
      LW di maria hope we hijack the deal. 🙂 or rues in for pod
      CB Kostas Manolas
      ST Jackson Martinez

      I can only dream 🙂

  2. I found more positives from the match then negatives:
    1. We have heart and won’t give up
    2. Giroud has improved in that he can score off the bench at cruicial moments and against good teams.
    3. The Germans are back
    4. We have one our first home game but were not beaten away at a good top 5 competitive team.
    5. We will be even stronger when Walcott comes back next month and will beat Everton when they come to us.
    6. Ramsey is our superstar
    7. Mertsacker will give Calum some rest and Calum will improve
    8.Ozil was not match fit but still showing signs of brilliance.

    Some of our players just need some more matches under their belts to get in the groove.

    1. I found that Giroud was always good off the bench.
      Remember last season against Everton when he came on and scored 2?
      Remember when we beat newcastle 7-3 and he came on and scored 2?

      I’m sure there are more instances that I cant recall.
      We need a world class striker if we want the tittle, Giroud would be a good plan B option.

    2. I really fear for Ozil being played on the wings to accomodate Wilshere as the same thing happened for Arshavin to play fabregas at cam.

    3. Great article, agree with all of your points.
      Just want to add
      – Aaron Ramsey is playing under huge pressure from fan, and his job is not made easier with defenders now give him more attention and track his run more. That’s the problem any player need to go through before being a real star. Most of us acknowledge the limitation in his last 3 games, so maybe the best thing is to get off his back a little bit. He surely has potential to be the midfield general for us in near future
      – Our grit – we used to be laugh at as a team with weak mentality, who drop point at the dead. In the last 3 games, we get 3 points at the death, we survive when playing with 10 men and nearly steal 3 points at the death, rescue a point from the jaw of defeat. It is a significantly improvement.

  3. OK i don’t want to be a critic but at the starting of the window i suggested AFC buys the following players:

    1) Navas to replace Fabianski. = 5 mil
    2) Debuchy to replace Sagna. = 10 mil
    3) Dier to replace Vermaelen. = 5 mil
    4) Pogba to be new CDM. = 40 mil
    5) Reus to replace Podolski. = 25 mil
    6) Balotelli to replace Bendtner. = 20 mil

    The problem is that now we have a marquee signing in a position we weren’t desperate in. We do need a new ST, CDM and CB for sure. Otherwise we will fall short again.

    1. Pogba is not a CDM, holding midfielder at best. His best position so far’s been similar role to what Ramsey plays in.

      But yeah, I get your point. CB, CDM and LW/ST still needed.

    2. What do you mean our marquee signing wasn’t needed! Go back and check last season – we suffered severely for a lack of pace!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Ozil wasn’t needed, now Sanchez wasn’t needed blah blah blah. Yeah let’s buy a bunch of average players and we can enjoy mid table.

      1. agree. People forget how horrible we were when we lost Walcott. Another pacy player was needed for sure, and we got him. But more additions are still required if we want to challenge.

    3. Definitely no major competition win for us this season. If some other clubs knock out the big boys from the FA cup we may win that as we did last year.
      At the end of the tfr window in a few days time we will get a few freebies from the bargain basements in France to fill the injury gaps – He is an Asshole! Spends 42 mill on the softest, most brittle, laziest player in the side – I’d play Santi before him all the time. Even Rosciski give us much more go forward. I like signings like Alexis, he works his butt off… cant say the same about Ozil.

      1. You are an idiot!
        Ozil is an amazing player if he is given the tools to work with i.e. fast running strikers and wingers running onto his through balls.

        So he doesn’t track back and defend out of his half, that is not the style of player he is and he doesn’t have the physicality for that.

        You can’t blame him for Wenger not buying a fast natural born striker or playing our fastest players.

    1. And exactly what does the CL have to do with signing him?
      It isn’t like we are a smaller club than his current club.
      We are Arsenal.

      This same horsecrap is floated around every year:
      Breaking news (insert players name) to sign for Arsenal after they qualify for the CL.
      The thing to do woul,d be to sign a player day one of the transfer window and let him train with the team pre-season.

  4. Oh and by the way, I foresee dark times ahead for United..

    Gathered 1 point after Sunderland and Swansea matches.. Now paying over £60 millions for Di Maria and presumably his wages are around £200 000 a week.

    So they are paying + £70 millions for one player (who is great admittedly) who will not solve all their problems..

    Also their new shirt sponsorship deal will cost them 200-300 millions if they don’t make it to Champions League by 2016 I think..

    1. The do receive 75 million per year just for choosing Adidas. Plus they generate the most money of any team from all sources. Financially they aren’t worried too much.

      1. That amount will drop 30% to around £50 millions a year if they fail to qualify for the Champion’s League by 2016.

        Although £50 millions is more than we do.. But anyways, without Champion League the fan base will decrease tremendously (the fickle ones) and I can’t see them breaking it to top 4 this season.

      2. 75 millions but without the merchandise. OK, we got 35 but we keep whatever says Arsenal on merchandise. I reckon is another good 20 millions. At least! Honestly, Manure is not my worry, Arsenal is my only worry. Is the only thing I look in EPL and basically in the world of football.

      3. They are in debt up to their necks. The Glaziers have put them in hock, and now, they are rumoured to be looking to spend £150 million in the transfer window.
        They need defenders, but, are paying £60-70 million for Ashley Youngs replacement.
        Even Utd fans are in disbelief.
        I disagree with the poster as to our best CB partnership. For me, especially in the “big games” it would be Chambers and Kos, but another left sided CB to stand in for Kos is needed, and if he is good as a LB, then even better, problem being as we have found out today, decent players do NOT join to be bench warmers.

        1. No you can’t blame ozil for being played out of position but we should be able to blame Wenger for playing him on the wing where he is a liability in defence and average in attack.

  5. One big thing learned was that Arsenal are not good enough to win the league unless two or three top players are added to the squad. Arsenal looked second best in the last two games played. Stop making excuses Wenger! Strengthen the squad before it’s too late!!!

  6. My dream signing by the end of the transfer window.
    CDM William Carvalho
    LW di maria hope we hijack the deal. 🙂 or rues in for pod
    CB Kostas Manolas
    ST Jackson Martinez

    I can only dream 🙂

    1. £70 millions for Di Maria? No thanks! With that money we can afford Reus, Carvalho, Manolas and still left money for a 2 button Puma jacket without an infamous zip for Wenger!

    2. dont think Di Maria is needed. We do have LW’s, Wenger just refuses to play them and instead wastes Cazorla/Ozil on the left. Campbell, ox can play LW, but are instead on the bench.

  7. I like the “Calm and Collected” attitude of the players when we were down. Even the Manager was not as calm, so usual of him.

  8. just a random thing i noticed. For United first goal, they had players IN THE BOX! Less crosses get wasted when there is more than one option to aim at. This is why Wenger needs to stop flooding the midfield with so many playmakers who dont want to get in the box.

    1. Put in another way, more mid field players should be getting into the box and not sitting on their asses and ball watching !

    1. @Matt: we all are but don’t think it is going to happen. A 8-10 million backup CB at best! Let’s get real!

  9. Why are people surprised that Giroud actually came from the BENCH to score a crucial goal?! Look, the key of getting the best out of Giroud is to bench. Ironically, it’s probably from the bench that he’s more likely to hit 20+ goal a season.

    1. it’s because the way arsenal play by the 2nd half we cramp the opposition into there own box .. That’s when giroud is at his best ..

    2. hes an impact sub. He is for France, and he should be for us as well, but instead he starts, and… well… lets just say he’s inconsistent.

  10. Lets just hope that the boys could maintain a safe distance with the 1st position for this first half of the season. And then they could click and move to a high gear during the second half of the season 🙂

  11. Sloppy passing, an unfocused defence and a team playing consistently out of shape – sums up the game for Arsenal…we still need to strengthen in key positions, whilst having patience with the players we already have. Let’s stick behind the boys rather than bitching…way to early to be negative! COYG!

  12. many fans have been saying we still need more players after signing a few.
    most crucially CB, CDM, LW and/or ST.

    CB, i definitely think is a must with Vermaelen gone. Chambers is good, but he eventually has to fill in Debuchy’s shoes as back up. And he is still relatively unexperienced. even if we get a CB that is only 4th choice and we still play Chambers more, it still feels safer to at least have 1 back up for each position, if you count bellerin in as well for RB.

    CDM, is a tricky one. what arteta is doing essentially is win the ball, keep the ball, and recycle it, basically a deep lying playmaker. it’s what cesc was doing before, and it worked fine back then. What makes it not working NOW is that arteta seemed to have lost his long range passing, and that the other player beside him isn’t a defensive minded player like Song, but an offensive b2b like Ramsey.

    As much as Ramsey is our superstar, engine and everything at the moment, he isn’t or engine when it comes to defending. sure, heat map shoes he’s always willing to drop back to fill in empty slots and help win the ball, but he isn’t going to be fast enough against quick counters from the flanks anyway.

    Gibbs had never convinced me when it comes to defending counters. he is quick going up, but often get caught going to far forward and a simple 1 2 or a switch of atking side can easily get past him.
    Same problem goes for the RB side, but since debuchy has a slightly better sense of positioning, he doesn’t seem to get caught as often.

    To solve the problem, we need someone who:
    1) can win the ball back for the team often
    2) willing to release the ball to other players for a quick counter
    3) has the legs to cover the empty flanks when being countered, especially the Left.

    So Carvalho or khedira is both good, and perhaps Carvalho fits the bill more since he’s stronger and tougher, while khedira is more injury prone.
    since Ancelotti was quoted saying Khedira is happy and will be staying, and looks like Man utd or willing to over pay for Di maria, i think our man is Carvalho then.

    LW ST is the most difficult in terms of choice. just not too many reasonably priced strikers out there. Reus is actually more attacking mid turned shadow striker/ inside foward.
    if he is to play with us as our LW, then what he has to offer that’s different from cazorla is that he’s got pace and he’s capable of roaming free on the field with other players to create something.

    if our front 3 is Reus Sanchez walcott, then at least the attacking fluidity can be better, and not have sanchez do everything with only ramsey and walcott to follow.

    Cazorla is not bad , but he’s playing on the same wavelength as Arteta, often passing a bit too much, or holding the ball up for a bit too long. losing our chance to play the quick counter.

    Reus would be great, cavani still good, but all would depend on whether we can qualify for CL wednesday.

  13. no, don’t think so. Balotelli might turn out to be great for liverpool, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he fits with us.
    with such a crazy mind, i don’t think he’ll be what we need. It’s not like we need his flare when we have ramsey sanchez, ox and even wilshere at times to give us the passion and flare we need.

    Giroud seems to be going on the up if he keeps scoring every time from bench, if anything, i say sign someone like benteke that has strength and pace to keep up with the counters.
    However, not suggesting Benteke is the one we need, just in the mold of.

    1. Come on, look, Balotelli would have been a good option to compete with Giroud, as it stands, our option is Sanogo and someone please tell me that Sanogo is a better option than Balotelli and we may go through the season with that being the case. I believe it was a poor decision not to purchase Balotelli for a mere 16 mil and should we not add to out forward line Wenger will be criticized and rightly so. Some talk about how disruptive he is , please tell me when was the last time we’ve heard about disruptive behaviors in addition the fact that the guy has gotten engaged signals this guy is will to change his direction. Sorry but I think we’ll live to regret it.

      1. @Chenrob: I think what we are looking for is a striker who will fight for every ball and give his all for the team. Balotelli would have been a gamble in that respect. I do not understand why everyone is shouting for a cavani/falcao- we can never afford them. It’s unrealistic. I damn agree with you that we need squad depth (because of our injury history) but we cannot afford players with 200k weekly wages. So may be we should get realistic for a change. I think more than transfer failings, wenger is failing to make our playing 11 pllay as a team (but it is too early in the season to comment). Players irrespective of their stature should be pulled up and big performances should be demanded of them. Enough of protecting players, Wenger needs to get tough ! Very interested in seeing how Ozil develops this season. Based on his performances last season, his signing looks to be a panic buy and nothing else.

  14. Why’s the Metro so obsessed with Arsenal? They always have one sill Arsenal rumour or the other everyday.

  15. I think Arsenal should go for Juventus’ Angelo Ogbonna. He is a left footed CB who can also play LB. He is pacey, very strong, and tall.

    The only reason he doesn’t get as much game at Juventus is because Juventus have Chiellini, Barzagli and Bonucci.

  16. With United already dropping 5 points that they should’ve had, I can’t see them making top 4 this season. They’re starting against the smaller teams, the longer they go without getting into shape will hurt them even more so. The more points they drop against small teams early on, they’ll have to make up against the big teams later on. Regardless of who they sign, their new players will also take time to integrate. They’ll battle Everton and Spurs for 5th I think.

  17. Juventus have agreed personal terms in principle with Podolski. Meeting with Arsenal tomorrow

    I will miss him I am 100% sure many do he is the best clinical striker there are many undeserving players still at arsenal myachi/diaby/coquelin not fair wenger just couldn’t get the best out of him

    1. Hopefully he plays on Tuesday.. Truly a fans favorite.

      If Podolski is leaving, then there must be a top top top top forward coming our way!


        1. Back in training. And the prediction (late August /early Sept) is somewhat dated. Don’t be surprised if he does not play in a game before October and if it takes until December for him to be back to full speed.

  18. Wenger loves to experiment too much and the team is always unbalance, we were lucky to be able to leave with a draw from everton, when we became more balance in the second half we played far better.
    Ramsay is our star man, not ozil, sanchez, wilshere, its ramsay. he has not been playing well but still manage 2 goals from 2 games , only midfielder that runs to the box to finish, which had been missing from arsenal games, we have to many passers and not finishers on the field, therefore our goal average have been low. We really need to improve in this area urgently.

    The everton game can also e viewed as a stepping stone, its actually a game that can inspire us to become champions, dead and buried for 83 minutes with a 2 goal deficit and we manage to get a point, quite reminiscent of the Manu glory days winning and getting a point when not playing well.

    Ok we are still missing CB and DM and also A striker if Podolski goes, so lets get this show on the road

  19. One of the big things we have learned is that AW needs to rapidly get this squad to the point where they give 90 plus minutes of high quality football. So far we have only seen bits and pieces of quality football from a couple, but not all, members of the squad. Especially in the attacking third we have shown a consistent lack of quality. There is talent on this team, and maybe a couple of pieces are missing, but they are not playing at the level they will need to mount a challenge to the EPL title. We need our “big time” players like Ramsey, Ozil, Sanchez, Carzola, to step it up and set examples for the others to follow so that everybody is playing at the highest level possible. If we don’t get 95% of the players playing at the top of their game we don’t have a chance. Also, AW needs to ensure that players are competing for playing time, and no one should feel that the position is theirs, they must earn it. I am speaking primarily about Wilshire in this regard. And yes we need a CDM.

  20. After every game we cock up we get this article about what we have learned – I’ve never seen it applied, so let me say we have clearly learned nothing – The obvious lesson is that we are simply not good enough and need some good players desparately – if we want to win any major trophy. Wenger is a law onto himself – no one can teach him anything. The older he gets the more of a dictator he becomes. Arsenal do not need just on player – they need at least 4 1. CF 2. DMF 3backup right back 3 Monreal is ok – but we need a back up – Gibbs is forever in the sick bay – too timid! 5 Replacement for the slow boat to china Mert. Sell Ozil – one of the laziest players in the PM and use the money to get us some workers with ability like Rambo or Santi etc. Giroud will continue to fall over his own feet. Can only score with his feet if he can run onto the ball and than he mises at leats 50% of the good openings our midfield find. If he has to turn with the ball at his feet he will lose the bal 99% of the time to the defensive player.
    If exposed alone at the back we are dead! So whatever we learn Wenger has his ideas – playing for the Wenger trophy – 4th place in the league – I doubt if he will achieve even that this year. Where are our costa’s, 4 x CF’s like MC – anyone of those 4 will have Giroud warming the bench – look what chelsea have bought – costa – Big and strong and ver ca[pable with the ball at his feet.

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