Arsenal 1 Everton 1: Weird old game
FROM GOODPLAYA AT THE EMIRATES
WEIRD old game this.
I left the ground feeling this was a game that Everton had, if anything, shaded. They’d certainly played nearer their best than we had played near ours. They’d, amazingly frankly, enjoyed the majority of possession (unheard of for them away to Arsenal). They’d combined their usual grit with real flair and certainly stunted our attacking play.
And yet when you look back at the highlights, real chances wise, we were pretty dominant. Granted, there were times when your heart rate increased as they approached our goal, but the saves Szczesny has made are ones he really should be making quite easily. At the other end, Ramsey and Giroud both forced really decent first-half saves from Howard, Cazorla and Ramsey came closish and Giroud, of course, clobbered the bar right at the end.
I think Arsene will want to work out why, like against United, we appeared sluggish from the off. You could see it within seconds of kick-off and really it lasted until the last five minutes of the first half. I think they perhaps overran us in midfield. Would there have been an argument for putting Ozil wide right and Wilshere in the middle in a less advanced position than the German would ordinarily take-up? Maybe. When we had Arteta and Flamini in there we did look more solid, though Everton still enjoyed plenty of possession late on.
I think we missed Flamini a lot and yet Arteta was arguably our best player. It felt like that kind of game – one where midfield was key.
Just to mention that when it became apparent that three subs were coming on at once, I correctly called the three going off. Just saying.
But it was the right move – none of Ramsey, Cazorla or Wilshere were firing and in Flamini, Theo and Rosicky we had three subs each with something unique to offer. In Theo’s case a headed assist for the goal. Get that.
This was no a disastrous result. Arsene will want to ensure these slow starts in big games do not become a pattern but the reality is we were playing an Everton side who are absolutely flying at the moment. And despite not playing particularly well, we still created a decent number of chances.