Injury doubt, Lucas Torreira, was declared fit to make his first Prem start replacing Matteo Guendouzi but apart from that, an unchanged Arsenal were set to face their next challenge in the rebuilding process.
Again it was a case of not much happening at all. Everton harried and chased with extreme vigour and application, though without really troubling the helmeted one, partly due to their own jitters in front of goaL At the sharp end Arsenal were blunt, with even the Terrier struggling to make much of an impact. Nacho Monreal had the only effort on target for the Gunners in the first period but could only place the ball well within Pickford’s reach.
Greek philosopher, Sokratis, left the arena after half an hour having damaged his hip mopping up after his prone centre back partner. Rob Holding looked reasonably assured and confident entering the fray which was a great relief. Mustafi grabbed the senior partner role with both hands and made no further obvious blunders.
Everton produced a few worrying moments for the Arsenal defence but Petr Cech stood firm.
The first goal when it arrived was of such quality that it shone like a sparkling, golden nugget sifted from the silty detritus of the river bed. Ramsey’s first significant contribution to the whole game was to find Laca inside the box. The Frenchman produced a curling finish of stunning execution quite unlike anything up to that point. A real beauty.
A few minutes later and we were two up as PEA finished off a 3 on 1 break. Did we care that he appeared a yard offside when Ramsey flicked the ball forward to him?….did we heck as like.
The Toffees huffed and puffed but our Czech in goal made sure his performance put him strongly in the running for MOTM.
Theo got a bang on the eye and was replaced after looking one of Everton’s least effective players. The defence held firm with Torreira marshalling the area in front of the back four in a fashion quite unlike we’ve seen for many a year. A clean sheet against all the odds. Wonders never cease.
After some nervous moments in the first half for those of us with dodgy tickers, the team consolidated in the second with two well taken goals and a clean sheet. Job done.
Cech – Outstanding, MOTM by a country mile, and noticeably so much more commanding with his feet….10
Bellerin – so much better both attacking and defending. It was possibly the Terrier who made this all work….8
Nacho – workman like performance, no frills, no spills….7
Mustafi – bizarrely got better when Holding came on. Absolute pants before that….5
Sokratis – I thought we were doomed when he went off. Interesting to watch him starting to tell Mustafi off, much improved….7
Terrier – hard to really believe that he is still only 22. If that is what he can do in his first start we have good things in store….7
Xhaka – nightmare start with school boy errors at every turn. But, he is a very experienced player and he started to find his range as the game went on….6
Ramsey – looked lost in the first half but after the half time magic orange juice, started to look the player we are trying to persuade to stay at the club….6
Özil – I have said so many times that there are 2 Ozils, the one you see on telly and the one you see live, I was not at the game and he looked under the weather….6
Aubameyang – always happy when he scores, he plays so much like TH14 down the left, I keep on expecting him to accelerate past the defender and am confused when he doesn’t….7
Lacazette – picked himself up from his horizontal protest in the week and found the net with a very important breakthrough goal. Crap celebration but will gladly suffer it as much as he wants to do it….7
Holding – Thursday obviously gave him some confidence and he was an able deputy….7
Iwobi – added fresh legs, he looks a big old unit these days….6
OMG, OMG, OMG, doesn’t our National game provide so much room for interpretation!!
” This should have been a goal, that should have been a goal, and this should have been a goal”…….Sure Phil, we all know you are a genius as a pundit……IF Calvert-Lewin, TW, and Richarlison (twice) hadn’t made the WRONG decisions, Everton would have been four up.
But of course, if the referee hadn’t been a blind, fat lump of lard, The Arse would’ve/should’ve had two penalties. If they hadn’t had a goalkeeper, Nacho would have put the ball into an empty net, and if Aubang hadn’t mishit his attempted “Nayim from the half way line” (of course he meant it!) shot, the ball wouldn’t have hit the junction of post and crossbar, and would have lobbed perfectly into the corner!!!
Funny old game, eh Ant!
Didn’t enjoy watching the game at all. Arsenal are not improving, I’m afraid. Where is the pressing game we were promised? We saw glimpses of it against Chelsea, but it has since completely disappeared. The Arsenal I watched yesterday is worse than the Wenger version.
Corporate Man, have a good day.
I have to admit I was out for first half, and arrived home to watch Laca curl one in to the top corner and PEA toe poke after Aaron’s fluff.
Needless to say seemed like an everyday comfortable 2-0 win to me, was quite surprised when I saw Cech had been given MotM by a few sources.
Nice one Chas.
And the stat we were looking for on Sunday, Ant. “Arsenal have now conceded 0.6 goals per 90 minutes when Torreira has been on the pitch this season, and 2.5 per 90 when he has not.”
And even more interesting………”.Arsenal are the first club in top-flight history to have a player and a manager at the same time with vowel initials – Alex Iwobi, the Nigerian midfielder, plays for Unauthorized Emery”…………first!
“Unauthorized”….……..give me a break please predictive text!
Great post. A victory and some positives but overall a below average performance.
Positives: Lacazette scoring, Torreira’s performance, Cech’s hot hands and a first clean sheet somehow
Improvement needed: Defending as a block and also attacking as a block; finding the right mix of players to start to have a balance squad; too many chances given away; Aubameyang’s slight dip in form; Xhaka still making school boy error
How shall we line up then in our next Cup game and PL game?
Leno – Bellerin, Holding, Mavropanos, Monreal – Guendouzi, El Neny, Xhaka – Miky, Iwobi – Wellbeck
Cech – Lichten, Mustafi, Sokratis, Monreal – LT, Xhaka, Guendouzi – Ramsey, Auba – Laca
RC, so Mesut dumped?
LBG let us try. I feel like Ramsey is just eager to be in the final third and could do a great job for 60-70 minutes and then we have Ozil and Miky that can also provide threat in this final third
I mentioned his name in the past but he is now making headlines again. He plays for Lyon in midfield. He is a mix betweek Kante and Tolisso and he reminds me a bit of Vieira but less agile/elegant on the ball but more potent defensively. His name is Ndombele and he did well against City. He is touted to join the French team as a replacement for long-term absentee Tolisso.
I would take him in a hearbeat and ship Xhaka out.
My opinion on Mesut and Aaron has been expressed before. I have felt for a long time that the two cannot play successfully together in the same team.
The old Aaron, of a successful Wales team and for that matter in two marvellous Cup Finals, was in the Lampard/Gerard mould. Big energy/engine which allowed him to get into the box or on its edge, late, and in doing so score vital goals. In the last two however, he seems to have begun to believe his (and AWs) own publicity that he is a creative, central holding midfield player, which, I’m afraid, IMO, he is not. He does not have the pace, the tricks to keep the ball under pressure, and even more importantly the creative ability.
The No 10 role (shock, horror, spit, spit, swear word) requires creativity, and if he is to play on the right (or left) he doesn’t have the pace or as illustrated a couple of times yesterday, even the strength/skill to guard the ball.
The problem currently, is Mesut is wasted on one side or another ( esp the right, as yesterday), as well.
So, enough of this, give it try, and shut up LBG.
I enjoy reading your views on Ramsey and Özil
In an ideal world, we could play Ramsey, Ozil, Miky, Laca and Auba together but I would worry about our balance 😦
Ramsey would do great in two positions:
– As an 8, if he is supplemented by two defensive mids and has 3 attacking options in front of him, including two hard working wide men and a target man:
LT, Guendouzi – Ramsey – Miky, Lacazette, Auba
But that requires Miky and Auba to also put a defensive shift.
– As a fake 10 with another playmaker next to him that can play deep and a target man that he can play off to
LT, Xhaka, Guendouzi – Ramsey, Auba – Lacazette
If you want to play Ramsey and Ozil, you need 3 midfielders that are quite defensive minded and also that means putting Auba or Laca on the bench. Laca is on a good stretch so….and Auba is our best striker…
Does any one know if our game is on tv on Wednesday? If not it might be a trip to the Costa Blanca supporters club, a bit out of the way but they do usually manage to find the game.
Dippers v chavs is the Sky game.
No idea if Arse Caribou games are streamed around the world but presume they are.
A quick Google suggests there’ll be loads of streams.
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