Torreira banned, Xhaka not quite ready plus Rambo eased back slowly (perhaps because he’s in the red zone) means that Elneny and Guendouzi got the gig in centre midfield. Mkhitaryan there to help and with the wingbacks we should have enough in midfield? Kos is still out so the back three is as against Newcastle but will surely face greater pressure than on Monday night.
The start to the game tended to suggest which way the game might head. After a couple of minutes Laca was completely cleared out by Zouma with a late, sliding, reckless challenge in the penalty area which the ref completely ignored. A penalty and caution were obvious, but no, it was Guendouzi who received the first yellow with a silly follow through a couple of minutes later.
The goal when it came was typical Arsenal, back to those away days at Stoke when Delap used to terrorise us with his trebuchet. The throw was legal as Digne’s heel was on the touchline contrary to a huge outcry on twitter. The 50/50 header wasn’t read by the Arsenal defence and the follow up header hit Kolasinac on the foot, deflected 90 degrees straight to Jagielka who hadn’t been down to play until a half hour before kick off. He hadn’t scored since the 20th century. Classic Arsenal concession.
Not too much happened goalmouth-wise for the rest of the first half. There were, however, a series of nasty challenges. We’ve been kicked off the park at Goodison before but it never gets any easier to watch.
Only one effort from Arsenal in that 45, zero on target, not good enough. Mesut was swamped every time he touched the ball. Pre-match doubts about the Guendouzi/Elneny partnership were completely justified in that first half. The only way to match them in the second half would be to match their intensity or completely change formation.
The necessary change in personnel with Ramsey and Auba replacing Elneny and Wardrobe appeared to have an immediate positive effect, but illustrated the absolute poverty of that first half performance and team selection.
Our best period of the game was the ten minutes after half time. There were a few good chances but none looked remotely like being taken.
The rest of the second period was Arsenal pressing but Everton looking more likely to score on the break.
In summary, we were garbage and made an average Everton side look quite good.
This pretty much sums up the performance …..
What has become a somewhat predictable away performance from Arsenal. Few chances created but plenty of opposition chances allowed. We probably could have played for another hour and not scored. Beaten by a really poxy set piece calamity of a goal.
So, we’re back behind the spuds and those 4 away games left look dangerous unless there’s some sort of change in mentality.
Leno – nowt much do again, a good block from Sigurdsson in the second half and a fine block when Bernard was through – when the keeper is MOTM and you’ve lost, you know it’s been a shite performance from the team … 7
Mustafi – a pretty standard performance from the German – some good challenges mixed in with some garbage … 5
Sokratis – too often left exposed by our weakness on the flanks – his booking means he misses our next two matches against Watford and Palace … 5
Monreal – struggled manfully as usual but received no cover from the wing back or central midfield … 5
Maitland-Niles – seemed confused by Everton’s intensity – mind you, he wasn’t the only one … 3
Kolasinac – pretty clueless – no help to Monreal and he passes backwards if he’s not barrelling toward the byline, which he never was … 4
Guendouzi – felt sorry for him – a 19 year old shouldn’t be placed under that much pressure and responsibility … 5
Elneny – a squad player at best – a chance to shine and he was barely noticeable in that first half … 3
Mkhitaryan – lightweight and not what was required for a battle at Goodison … 5
Ozil – captain? do me a favour – not very good leadership either by command or by example … 4
Lacazette – not one of his best days – almost our best move/chance and Laca could only fall over when a simple pass to Aubameyang was on … 4
Ramsey – raised the level of Arsenal’s performance from the depths – but couldn’t engineer a goal … 6
Aubameyang – another who perhaps should have been on from the start – it would have been nice to see him double-teaming with Laca, especially near the end when we needed a goal … 5
Iwobi – had an excellent little test of his dribbling skills for 15 minutes – perhaps unlucky not to achieve more … 6
Emery – he’s still not cracked the away form weakness – let’s hope inspiration comes before Watford … 5
Marco Wagner – set his team up to steamroller the Southern softies into submission and it worked – 3 points reduction for beating us … 4
Kevin Friend of Everton – a penalty and a yellow for Zouma in the first few minutes and it’s a different game – allowed far too much niggly foul play from the Toffees … 3