Race is on for 2nd | Arsenal problems brew in Everton game

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I think the chatter pregame mostly centred around the concern that the starting 11 meritocracy wasn’t exactly fair nor was there much use of the squad. This is one of those ‘can’t believe you’re moaning’ posts but if you don’t highlight the problems when you’re winning you have no right to complain when you lose.

Per Mertesacker was rightly pulled from the starting line up, Wenger said it was due to the amount of games he’s played which has to be true. It’s also down to a severe lack of form that most likely correlates with the latter point. The manager also pulled #WELBZ and put Chambo in his place (who was pretty poor to be fair).

For me, that left a team pretty bereft of energy. You have a fit and on form Rosicky sitting on the bench probably wondering what he has to do to play. Then you have a £100k a week Theo who has worked incredibly hard to make it back only to ostracised from the starting line up. Those two in the side would have brought a different level of spice. Coquelin holding flanked by Rosicky and Chambo. Up top, Sanchez, Giroud and Theo. That’s pace that could have killed off a drab everton early.

Instead we opted for Santi, who looked like he was running in wallpaper paste for large parts… Ozil who is so uninterested in the team it’s frightening. People complain that’s just how he looks… for me, it’s how he plays. Use your eyes, not your hipster night vision goggles that convince you you’re one of the elite who can see the defensive shift he puts in my moving into spaces where the ball is.

He’s the worlds most productive passenger. Imagine that? Complaining all Ozil does is assist and score goals. What a brat I am. Well, there’s more to football than those items… and look, when Arshavin was doing the same everyone hated him. Against teams like Everton, you can afford those types. Against big names, you can’t, he’s so lazy. Watch how slowly he potters about to bring his distance stats up. The only energy he expends is when he attacks… which results in some incredible moments only he is capable of. But the rest? Real questionable.

The first half was a very uninspiring affair. Arsenal sat deep because they didn’t have the legs to press and Everton there for the taking. Our passing was very off key and we looked clumsy in the final third. Everton were equally poor but gave us a run for our money in the first twenty. We again suffered the same problems we had against Monaco. The ball is flown into Sanchez almost at any cost, he tries to take on the world like a Sunday league player… loses it and we’re on the back foot.

Giroud had a shocker of an opening attempt, firing a 6 yard diving header 6 yards wide. He made up for it with a shinned effort across goal from a corner. Take em’ where you can get them I say! Great to see him on the score sheet. You can knock him for many things, not being a fighter ain’t one of them.

Gabriel introduced himself to The Emirates crowd with a couple of beastly tackles. He stayed on his feet, shepherded Lukaku and made a perfect interception. After an early error, he really did ease into the game. He has all the ingredients Kos has and sadly, many Per no longer possesses. A brilliant Premier League debut. Also worth noting Ospina made a very brave double save in Neuer-esque fashion to deny Lukaku early on.

Arsenal didn’t have enough in the tank to bury Everton which was a shame.

The second half saw Coquelin take a whole Giroud in the face… busting his nose to pieces. Things got worse later on when he took a ball to the face, finishing him off.

Giroud had time to make another hash of a free header. Again, another demonstration as to why he just doesn’t cut it. You need your main man to bury chances that easy. Arsene eventually started making subs on 81minutes, absolutely crazy when you consider how dead some of our players were. He introduced his first sub on 82minutes, bringing on Rosicky. I mean, words. I have no words for firstly always taking off Chambo and secondly always making subs so late adding to the fatigue issue.

Anyway, Rosicky took a superb pass from Ozil and buried a deflected Frank Lampard in the 89th. Game over. The remaining 7minutes were fine because we battered an Everton that seem to have lost every last drop of fight they learned from Moyes. Martinez, finally getting found out. 17 odd points worse off than last season.

Conclusion:

A win is a win. You can’t knock that. It’s just not great. I love the points, I love the fact that somehow we’re now competing for second place. I just think we do things badly. Wenger doesn’t trust his squad, he doesn’t seem to learn from his mistakes of overplaying and he doesn’t know how to kill a game off early when it’s there for the taking. It’s no surprise that it’s been so easy for Chelsea this season. Mourninho has a plan, every time. He kills games, not players. He’s winning it at a canter. Literally no challenger. Meanwhile, we’re in for second, but taking a tanking from a Monaco side so boring I actually dozed off in their PSG game last night.

Rotation:

Wenger has to move his players around for this Wednesday’s game. He needs to bring Tomas into the fold, he needs give Theo some game time and he probably needs to leave Mertesacker on the bench. We need to bring some fresh legs into the equation. Mostly because QPR have had some down time, so they’ll be able to run us all over the park if they fancy it. We, on the other hand, have buried a lot of players. My bigger concern is that some will just get hacked off and leave. I have no idea what Theo has done to deserve being ignored… same with Tomas. Both very good players who are overlooked.

Irony here is that when we all wanted Wenger to drop Theo back in the day he’d play him over and over and over again. Now he’s a talent, no chance!

Gabriel:

He dropped a big can of whoops early on but as the game grew, so did he. He plays with far more composure than I originally thought he would. He’s a smart defender and he gives us competition and cover in an area we’ve been very exposed. I think we’ll grow to love him. He looks like he could be a cult hero for the right reason.

Gibbs & Kos:

I have no idea why Gibbs keeps getting in the side. He continues to play like a winger, continues to doze off and he just strikes the fear of god into me. Is no one coaching him? What happened to Monreal? I thought we were in a good place? As for Laurent, I’ve not been convinced by him this season. He looks like a man who has one eye on the exit door. Shame, his performances aren’t going to capture the attention of too many of the elite clubs… he’s really let himself go since he signed his new deal. Disappointing, he could have been one of the best.

Ospina:

I thought he had a very solid game. He contributed with some very good saves, he came for the right balls and he didn’t scare me once. I still don’t think he’s the right keeper. I think even on a basic level, Lukaku ran into him and nearly gave him whiplash. You need to be big and strong enough to deal with players like that. Does seem like it’s over for Crossbar Challenge Chezzer. His arrogance cost him. I’d recommend following Tony Roberts on Twitter as well. He’s the best keeper coach we have at the club, seems to absolutely love his job as well. Reckon Fabianski might still be here if he was heading up things.

Sanchez:

He’s obviously still one of the greatest assets the club has, but someone needs to pull him to one side and have a word about the mazy runs he goes on. Someone made the point on Twitter yesterday that it’s easy to see why a possession based team like Barca would let him go. If he just reined in the OTT lust he has to create someone from nothing every time, he’d be so much more productive. He’s a great talent, just seems a bit out of control on the pitch.

Ozil:

Sorry, really struggling to buy into what he gives the team. This is the Premier League. You need 10 outfield players contributing at all times. Ozil, on the passing front, is sublime. He scores goals as well, which is incredible. However, you need to bring more to the table than that if you want to be part of a side that delivers trophies. Ozil gives next to nothing when we’re defending. He saunters around in half jog mode when we’re not in posession, there’s no real purpose to what he does. Moving forward, he’s great, he opens up space, he doesn’t waste a touch… but we need more. In the small games, he’s fine to do what he likes, but in a high intensity game (even against smaller clubs like Spurs) he just exposes us.

SUBS:

First one in 82minutes. Have a word. Please. Someone have a word. Nothing says stuck in your ways like Wenger’s predictability with subs.

Right… MANY WORDS FOR YOU. Have a great day and just remember, Spurs fans spent 90 minutes walking down a cold, wet and windy Wembley way yesterday. Hilarious. Absolutely hilarious.

HAVE A GOOD ONE x

P.S. I’m in Sydney from Wednesday. Fear not though, as you wake, I’ll be dropping morning posts at 6 in the evening. Just might be a little out of whack. If there are any Sydney Gooners out there, get in touch so I can come and watch the games with you. I’m in Surry Hills or something like that.

 

514 Responses to “Race is on for 2nd | Arsenal problems brew in Everton game”

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  1. Ozy

    I need to get a shooter for the PS4. I kinda can’t stand shooters but every once in a while, you kinda just want to play a mindless online game for an hour or two. Thinking Battlefield Hardline since I hate COD and Destiny is too big of a commitment.

  2. N5

    London, I will give that Witcher a go, it looks amazing. I must admit I’m ignorant to Witcher, I’ve not played any of them, but I’ve heard good things. Thanks for the recommendation,

    Ozy, bait dog! I’d not heard of that before what a horrible world a!! well done you for giving it’s pup a nice/loving home.

    Cesc, I’m sure not all are as surreal as her experience. I have friend who works with kids who have suffered abuse and that’s what she did her witness and victim support in, so I imagine with your line of work it will be more general and not so case specific.

    PS The Order looks amazing though, I’ll give it that.

  3. london gunner

    I can’t actually play games anymore.

    Whenever I pick up a PS3 Controller its like a time fastforward pad.

    Get in from work play for half an hour oh nope I have actually been playing for 3 hours straight.

    Needlessly to say I unplugged the PS3 asap. Lol when I retire that’s all i’m going to do

  4. N5

    Ha ha London, spot on. Time flies past too fast and you realise you’ve wasted a day and should have done something constructive like “fix the draw that keeps getting stuck”.

  5. N5

    “Statistically though Ozy, 9 out of 10 people thoroughly enjoy the experience.”

    I really didn’t want to laugh at that, but I couldn’t help it.

  6. Cesc Appeal

    N5

    Yeah, it depends on what you get I think. I think for me it’s more to do with helping them through the trial process, courts are very alien, daunting places to a lot of people.

    All look like something from 1500, all the robes and wigs and procedure and coldness.

  7. N5

    LP, its funny how many times you’ve called me that since I said you behave like one. Get your own material sweetcheeks.

  8. Ozy

    Witcher 2 was great. I’m definitely buying W3 when it comes out. Looks incredible.

    I’ve heard good things about Far Cry. Not heard anything of Killzone so I’ll check both out and see which I’d prefer!

    It’s funny, you often hear about how boring retirement is. All of us who have grown up with video games are in for a treat.. it’s all I’ll do! Unless my geriatric fingers can’t do it. That sounds so depressing.

    FIFA 57 … here I come.

  9. MidwestGun

    Respect is not something I’ll dish out to you little weirdos. With your online community. Fucking sados man.
    But I’ll be here every week. Winding you up. Laughing my arse off.
    Until I’ve had enough. Or I feel you’ve had enough. So yeah, go ahead, call for me to be banished.
    I shall regard it as a badge of honour
    ___________
    So Lee is trying to earn his Untold merit badge? Hahahaha too funny.
    Nice rant by the way….. very H.ighbury D.aze like.

    “But I’ll be here winding you up”? Pffffft and you wonder why I call you a troll?
    However,I’ll cut you some slack because the world needs more weed dealers.

    I mean business directors. 😀

  10. Marko

    Anyone hear this story about us making a move for Juventus sporting director in the summer? Sure it was attached to some bullshit Pogba rumour but an actual sporting director? Yes please

  11. Marko

    Anything that takes away That power to dither on transfer targets is a major plus. Whether he feels undermined is irrelevant at this point. Much like the situation with Bould it’s gotten to the point where he needs all the help he can get

  12. Cesc Appeal

    Ramsey back for QPR.

    Hasn’t been playing well this season but I do feel, especially away he will provide a bit more balance playing deep with Coquelin.

    I would rest maybe Cazorla, Giroud and Ozil, play Rosicky, with Ramsey back we could maybe give Walcott a go as well, Oxlade and Welbeck.

    Get a bit of rotation going.

  13. Cesc Appeal

    Oh please let the Sporting Director story be true…we are desperate for some nous in that department.

    Time to start taking power away from Wenger in the run up to retirement, start getting some new coaches into the training ground as well, top flight coaches with big reputations.

    Time for Wenger to take a back seat, become a figurehead almost.

  14. MidwestGun

    Just once I’d like to see Theo, Welbeck and Sanchez ahead of Ozil. Backed by two solid midfielders and a back 4 of Monreal, Kos, Gabriel, Debuchy and see how that works. Unfortunately that won’t be this season or any
    really. But it would answer some questions in my mind. Lol. Because it’s all about me.

    Saw where Le Coq not ruled out either. How sad is our cdm situation when we need to use a guy with a busted face, 3 days later?

  15. Cesc Appeal

    MidWest

    Yeah, so much could be cured by having a powerful central midfield, allowing our more creative players to have more freedom.

    Personally against QPR I’d like to see:

    Ospina
    Bellerin, Gabriel, Kozz, Monreal
    Coquelin, Ramsey
    Walcott, Rosicky, Oxlade
    Welbeck

  16. Bamford10

    Good to see Dortmund coming into form and enjoying themselves. Told you you were wrong about Klopp, London.

    Dude is class.

  17. N5

    Bamford, I’m really glad too. I wrote a lot of cheques on here that I thought were going to bite me so hard. He did have me panicking a bit.

    It all seemed to turn around the game following the players apologising to the fans.

    Well done Dortmund.

  18. MidwestGun

    Cesc –
    Ya.., not bad. Think we should try to get Santi and Ozil and Sanchez a game off. On a more serious note. Any chance Pacqiou can beat Mayweather? If I get in early can get 6 -1. If I could pick a round like 50 -1.
    Unfortunately…. can’t see it. Wish this fight was gonna take place 3 years earlier. Lol. But I guess it’s finally gonna happen so … shouldn’t bitch.

  19. Sancho Monzorla

    I hate to pile on to a discussion that doesn’t involve football, but I must comment that Lee is the saddest excuse for an Arsenal supporter I’ve ever come across.

    One of my first days commenting a few weeks back he got caught talking to himself with a 2nd account, and then he got binned for calling the guy who pointed it out a child m0lester that goes after young girls on Le-Grove.

    If you really are a rich director of two companies with model gfs, just shut the fuck up about it and enjoy your life, you’re winning already.

    There’s just no way someone so accomplished would EVER come across as a dickless asshole like he does.

  20. Cesc Appeal

    MidWest

    Will go the distance, split decision Mayweather win I think.

    Mayweather is just a master at nullifying an opponents strength. I like Mayweather, was worried when he fought Canelo, 14-15 years his junior, fast, strong etc.

    Absolutely gave him a lesson.

    I think Mayweather will cede the opening rounds, like Pacquiao come on, work him out and then just force him to fight the fight he wants.

    To beat Mayweather you have to have a plan for Round 1, a different one for Round 2, a different one for Round 3…and so on. And you have to execute them to perfection with tonnes off effort and a staggering work rate.

  21. N5

    Pacman isn’t good enough to beat Mayweather. As much as I would like Pacman to beat him, Pretty Boy is almost untouchable and he’s pound for pound the greatest boxer of modern times.

  22. N5

    CA, have you seen Mayweathers stance, he makes it almost impossible to land a clean punch on him. Only Ali was better at making punches slip off his skin.

    He’s a champion in so many weights it’s frightening. I think Mayweather would be an absolute modern day Ali if he wasn’t such a boring dickhead. It takes away from him the fact he’s an amazing boxer.

  23. MidwestGun

    Cesc –
    Ya.., that’s pretty much how I see it too. And the bookies unfortunately….., can’t make any money betting on a Mayweather points win. If Mayweather stops Pacman then I could, but I don’t see that either.
    Think Pacman’s workrate will be great, and Roach his trainer is talking trash
    about a late round knockout but I just don’t think Manny has that kind of power anymore. Been in too many wars and lost a couple. Plus Mayweather’s defense is just too damn slick.

  24. Marko

    If anyone’s gonna beat Mayweather it’s The Pacman. Should be an amazing fight could be one of the all time great fights.

  25. MidwestGun

    N5 –
    That’s just it, exactly. Manny less power due to age and Floyd too slick, 3 years ago tho. I think Manny could shut him up a bit. Unfortunately, Floyd knew it too and dodged the fight, imo until he knew he had the edge.

  26. N5

    Marko, did you ever see the Pacman vs Erik Morales fights? Manny back then would beat a Mayweather now. But as Middy said, he’s been in to many wars and Mayweather is such a class act it’s almost a forgone conclusion baring some freak occurrence.

    I’d love to be wrong, but Mayweather is just too good.

  27. WengerEagle

    Would have been a much better fight 5-6 years ago.

    Pacman would have beat him in their prime IMO, unfortunately can’t see any other outcome than a money man win now.

    Which is a shame because Mayweather is a prized wanker.

  28. N5

    Agreed Midwest, Mayweather wasn’t silly. He swerved a Pacman that would have matched him toe to toe. Either way though it will be an epic fight.

  29. N5

    Agreed Eagle. That’s odd that me, you and Mid all wrote he would have beat him a few years ago at exactly the same time.

    #TeamPacman!!

  30. MidwestGun

    Don’t get me wrong tho…I’ll probably be one of those suckers who pays to see it. Basically lining Floyds pockets. lol.
    Been waiting so long for it to happen tho, I’ll probably give in throw a viewing party.

  31. N5

    Just watching the highlights of Mayweather vs Hatton on YouTube and I was a huge Ricky fan, he was such a bulldozer that would just get in close and stomach punch his opponents into submission, but Mayweather keeps him at arms length and then just picks off big punches at his will. He has Hatton’s head wobbling like a bobble head. It was cruel.

  32. MidwestGun

    Thomas good point. I should have said due to his opponents and style more wear and tear. Age has definately taken its toll on Pacman. Floyd’s fighting style looks younger. But ya age vs age. Should favor Pacman.
    If anyone can beat Floyd it will be Manny, just can’t bring myself to bet on it. Lol.

  33. N5

    I’d never forgive myself if I said don’t bet your money Mid and Pacman won, but I personally wouldn’t risk it. I just can’t see anyone but Mayweather winning.

    I’m buzzing for it though.

  34. Marko

    I thought Maidana pushed Mayweather real hard there recently. And thought Pacquio got a bit of his mojo back against Rios. Certainly if he puts in another Margarita performance he can do it.

  35. tenerife gooner

    I believe if Dave Mckay was 25 and he signed for Arsenal this summer,even with no more additions we would be challenging for topspot next season.

  36. Gary C

    If Peter Storey was still playing for us, we’d win the league. Although, we’d only have 10 men on the pitch for the vast majority of the campaign

  37. GuNZ

    I believe that if we had Georgie Armstrong on the wing, Georgie Armstronmg on the wing, Georgie Armstrong on the wing, we’d have the best team in the land

  38. GuNZ

    I once managed to tap off with my German penfriend when I was visiting her and I got drunk and sang her that ‘We’ve got the best team in the land’ song where you go through all the numbers and do the chorus in between each. She was well impressed and she put out big time. I was only 14. It didn’t work with other girls after that. I still try it on down the Raglan Hotel every now and thennow I’m 53 just in case but the missus gets pissed off and, anyway, it tends to upset Arsene when I catch him down there having a cheeky pinot noir.

  39. GuNZ

    And it doesn’t work anymore what with the arbitrary numbers they all wear and the new ‘positions’. You used to be able to sing: ‘We’ve got x-xx-xx at number one, we’ve got x-xx-xx at number one, we’ve got x-xx-xx at number one, we’ve got the best team in the land’ and so on until you got to the second winger who was number eleven which has too many syllables so you had to go ‘We’ve got x-xx-xx on the wing etc.etc.’ How can you do that nowadays? We’ve got x-xx-xx at central attacking midfielder, we’ve got etc. etc.’ No, it doesn’t work. That, my firiends, is the demise of the Arsenal chant situation in a nutshell. That’s why all we have now is ‘And it’s Ar-se-nal, etc. etc.’. Bring back the old numbers. let the players take pride in their number, let the fans take pride in them taking pride in their number. Bring back the old chants!

  40. Frank Mc

    GuNZ, looks like you’ll have to pen another letter to the Arsenal, surely second time lucky?!?! I’m still perplexed as to how they could turn a blind eye to your attention to detail…..