FIVE Talking Points from Arsenal’s defeat at Everton

The Gunners were hammered a blow to their title aspiration by the Everton defeat, thus ending their 14 games unbeaten run with the 2-1 loss at Goodison Park. Going into the game Arsenal should have been full of confidence following back to back wins in the League and in Europe (1-4 win over FC Basel).

Arsenal took the lead through their talismanic forward Alexis Sanchez with the aid of a deflected free-kick but the Everton had plans of their own as they rallied back to turn the screw against Arsenal with two headed goals to claim an unexpected win.

With the defeat it means Arsenal missed out on the chance to close the gap on Chelsea in the title race and our local rivals now host Sunderland today as clear leaders.

Here are the possible lessons from the Arsenal’s 2-1 defeat at Everton….

The Chilean gave Arsenal the lead outside the box as midfield player Francis Coquelin was fouled in the area. Sanchez converted to give Arsenal hopes of extending their unbeaten run in the season before the worst happened few minutes before the intermission. Among the Arsenal players Sanchez looked the liveliest and seems to carry Arsenal on his shoulder. Unfortunately for him it was a game his partner Mesut Ozil failed to come on board as he missed two chances in the game after being played in by Sanchez. With the trio of Sanchez, Oxlade and Walcott firing in recent weeks, it was no surprise as the trio got the nod ahead of Iwobi and Giroud including the hat-trick hero against FC Basel, Lucas Perez, but its Sanchez that redeemed himself with a decent performance as Chamberlain and Walcott did not give enough to get Arsenal something in the game.

The side must improve in the long run defensively as tougher test awaits in the season with Bayern Munich in mind. There is need for the Arsenal side to maintain full concentration at the back to keep their title hopes alive in the season. Arsenal might have gone on an unbeaten run this season prior to the Everton defeat but the defence could not keep a clean sheet even with the presence of Arsenal reliable Mustafi. It has to do with the desire of the players and the understanding that defensive stability will be key in the title race. The positioning at the back has not been that effective and that is why the caliber of Petr Cech was beaten twice in the Everton goals. There is need for increased concentration if at the back if Arsenal will not bid their title aspirations goodbye for yet another season.

The hosts threw everything they had into the game after going 0-1 down in the 20th minute of the game. Everton players exerted themselves in their bid to overturn the deficit, which paid off as the game turned physical. With the likes of Aaron Lennon, Gana Gueye and Enner Valencia who were very strong, Arsenal found it hard to deal with the opposition as they were content on their ability on the ball. It was Lukaku’s show of strength against Gabriel that resulted in the corner kick for the winning goal. The ease at which Barkley left Sanchez standing showed were the physical strength lay as Everton profited to bring themselves back in the game with a goal before half-time.

In a game like this where the tempo is high, work rate will be key. Players like Tevez and Essien and even Kante will cherish such games in an attempt to assert themselves in the game. Everton had tireless Gueye Gana pulling the strings in their midfield pivot to deny Arsenal some space in transition while, Lennon had his own plans in tandem with Enner Valencia. The likes of Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley combined pretty well with the latter flashing a shot across the face of goal which went out for a goal-kick. Sanchez was the last man standing trying to force openings in the opposing defence while some of his team mates were content in passing the ball around without incision.

The Everton game had exposed some of Arsenal weaknesses in the charge for the title along with Chelsea. Players like Walcott and somewhat Oxlade-Chamberlain have proven they are not enough for Arsenal to win the league so a reinforcement is imminently needed. Earlier in the season I wondered why Joel Campbell (of all people who was one of the best player in pre-season) was allowed to go on loan at Sporting while Serge Gnabry was left alone after a decent performance at the Olympic Games in Rio particularly against top sides like Nigeria and Brazil in the tournament. With a hat-trick against San-Marino, Wenger might have been wondering why he let Gnabry leave the squad.

Wenger must go for Draxler or fix something for Arsenal in the transfer window so that Arsenal can compete efficiently in the course of the season with one trophy (EFL Cup) lost already. Gunners we need a new signing and Wenger must admit it and splash the cash in January.



  1. Dennis says:

    Great talking points and i understand you have to do this to write an article but I’m going to make it easy as to why we lost. We were bullied, and once you bully arsenal players they become unstuck and start making mistakes. Notice how teams who bully us always go after Ozil or Walcott? hahaha you can’t make this stuff up, they know ‘how’ to beat arsenal and if they can’t outplay them (which is hard to do) they turn the heat up. This is the 3rd time in a row Koeman has beaten arsenal.

    1. Dennis10Bergkamp says:

      The corner was never a corner and it was a clear penalty in the end.
      But it doesn’t matter, this defeat was good.Now we can go and beat Man City away and go from there. People need to stop overreacting, everyone loses games.Look at Liverpool they been dropping points like crazy. We really could have used a video-referee yesterday.

    2. Trudeau says:

      No question Koeman knows how to beat Arsenal. There is a danger in reading too much into a loss but my main concerns from yesterday are two-fold. One – how Walcott can do from MOTM to man missing so quickly? He’s got to sort that out if he is going to get to the next level. Two – and hopefully Im jumping to conclusion, is that there were too many times last night where Sanchez and Ozil seemed only to have eyes for each other. The two points are related but hard to tell which one comes first.

      1. Soweto_Gooner says:

        I have to agree with Trudeau. I have noticed this a number of times, the first person Ozil looks for when he gets the ball is Sanchez.

  2. HA559 says:

    We need a signing who will be ahead of Ox Walcott and Iwob in the lineupi. Iwobi has potential to be better than the other two. Right now we need immediate success and players who are already at the top level.

    I mentioned Payet before, if we don’t get him someone else will in January, maybe PSG since they will play Barca in UCL. Many teams still in UCL will look at him as an option to bolsterbefore knockout stage start.

    1. JAmerican says:

      Exactly! I said this yesterday that our wings are weak now that Alexis has been moved centrally. We will not win the league with Walcott and the Ox as our wingers, neither have a tachnical football brain, mostly just speed. I wanted so badly for us to get either Griezmann or Mahrez in the summer and we now could be looking at adding Draxler to that in January. Imagine how our front 3 would look with Draxler – Alexis – Griezmann/Mahrez.

      1. rkw says:

        yep … spot on … sanchez plus any two from giroud welbeck perez iwobi ox and walcott is not going to deliver through an entire season … wenger refused to buy quality attacking option in summer and this will come back to haunt him …same is true for left back .. cheapness of owners and arrogance of manager will fail to deliver again for the12th consecutive year … somethings got to give to make arsenal great again and it doesnt come in orange

    2. Franko says:

      Perez is way ahead of them both. Given more playing time, you would see another left-footed Sanchez in him.

  3. HA559 says:

    What the heck is Moyes playing at this evening? His starting with 8/11 defensive players. Four of them are CB, one of whom, Denayer playing in midfield.

    Lets see how that holds out.

  4. Onochie says:

    Wenger should stop to disgrace himself,Why not admit that his players played utter rubbish,while he sat down and was looking. He should watch how Roland was shouting at his players.

  5. Ronny331 says:

    Damn pool spurs and Chelsea all winning, watching mu walk all over palace. Yes indeed we don’t like to be bullied stoke of old comes to mind.

  6. Arsenal_Girl says:

    Don’t look at January for a Top signing
    You tend to get them in the Summer
    January tends to be for emergencies

    City, Chelsea, Liverpool and Spuds all winning 🙁
    Liverpool and Chelsea winning away
    If it finishes like this we will still be 2nd (barely by goal difference over Liverpool) and 1 point ahead of City
    Chelsea will be 6 points ahead

    This is what I was dreading Chelsea pulling away from us
    Let’s hope Sunderland can do something special

    1. truegunner12 says:

      Actually we will be 3rd on GS

  7. Juhi McLovin says:

    Looks like we were the only losers this round. Typical.

    1. JAmerican says:

      With Liverpool also knocking us to 3rd on goal difference. The difference just 1 game makes.

  8. RSH says:

    Why do people think AW is going to go after Draxler? Never going to happen. It’s another one of those rumors that pop up every single window. Like Benzema and Higuain.

  9. HA559 says:

    Well maybe I was expecting too much from Sunderland. Arsenal biggest loser in matchday 16. If it’s more than 7 points behind after Sunday it’s over.

  10. Onochie says:

    I believe that Chelsea just taught us how to manage pressure. I wonder if we would learn. I watched the game again,it just looked like the Everton players got energy from their crowd and they became stronger physically,and more decisive on the ball. As for the corner issue which led to the goal,it was really a corner,our zonal marking is not the best type of clearing aerial balls,wenger has spent 20 years to know it doesn’t really work. Oh Sanchez,I felt for him when Giroud came on,he was isolated and got into space a number of times but he was totally neglected which he kept shouting and showing his frustration right in front of Wenger,yet he just sat down looking.

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