Hardly convincing but we’ll take it – Everton ratings

September 24, 2018

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.

First Half

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.

Second Half

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.

Summary

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.

Ratings (LB)

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

Subs

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

Welbeck….6

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Let’s get stuck into the Toffees

September 23, 2018

First off a tribute to Everton’s Dixie Dean the holder of the all time English top flight scoring record.

Dixie Dean’s Record 60 League Goals in 1927/28

When George Camsell scored 59 Football League goals for Middlesbrough in 1926/27 he must have believed that his record would last for years. It lasted just one season being bettered by William Ralph Dean – Dixie Dean. Not that it was easy, with two matches remaining he needed seven goals to beat the record. Four of them came against Burnley in the penultimate match and on Saturday 5th May 1927, 48,715 Everton fans were at Goodison to welcome the newly-crowned League champions and to see Dean get a hat-trick to take the record from Camsell. Arsenal opened the scoring after two minutes – Dean equalised a minute later. In the 6th minute Dean was fouled in the box and converted the penalty. The record equalled and plenty of time to beat it but it wasn’t until 8 minutes from the end when Alec Troup sent in a corner for Dean to head home the record-breaking 60th goal. (It should be noted that this was achieved in a 42 game season)

Dixie Dean remained at Goodison until the 1937/38 season having scored an amazing 349 goals in 399 League appearances. He died on 1st March 1980 at Goodison while attending Everton’s match against Liverpool.

Here are some more memorable moments in our games against Everton.

Everton 2-1 Arsenal – 19th October 2002

Rooney’s first league goal was certainly one to remember. The spectacular long-range strike ended Arsenal’s 30-game unbeaten run in the league and confirmed the 16-year-old was one for the future.

Arsenal 4-0 Everton – 3rd May 1998

The Gunners picked up their first Premier League trophy after demolishing Everton with two games to spare. A Slaven Bilic own goal got the ball rolling for Arsenal, and after a Marc Overmars double, captain Adams smashed home the fourth in emphatic style. The game and league title was already secured when Adams raced forward in the 89th minute, but it was a seminal moment for the club captain in front of the Highbury faithful.

Arsenal 1-2 Everton – 20th Jan 1996

Everton’s first and only Premier League win at Arsenal came more than 22 years ago. Ian Wright had set the Gunners on their way to victory, but Graham Stuart levelled matters before Andrei Kanchelskis netted an 83rd-minute winner.

Arsenal 7-0 Everton – 11th May 2005

Dennis Bergkamp put on a magical display as the Gunners demolished Everton. The Dutchman assisted the first two for Robert Pires and Robin van Persie, while he got on the scoresheet himself with Arsenal’s sixth. It remains their biggest Premier League victory to date, having matched that scoreline one year later against Middlesbrough.

Arsenal 1-0 Everton – 10th December 2011

Van Persie is no stranger to scoring spectacular volleys. Efforts against Charlton Athletic, Liverpool and Aston Villa (the latter for Man Utd) come to mind, while this first-time strike against the Toffees sealed all three points for the Gunners following Alex Song’s delightful ball over the top.

Arsenal 4-1 – 21st April 2001

One of the more bizarre moments in the Premier League’s history occurred when an angry Everton fan ran onto the Highbury pitch and offered his shirt in exchange for Alex Nyarko’s royal blue jersey. Nyarko asked to be substituted immediately and went on to quit football, though the midfielder reversed his decision a few days later and joined Monaco on loan.

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Everton are one of only 6 clubs who have remained in the Premier League since its inception in 1992/93 – the others being Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham.

After losing our opening 2 games of the season we have now won 4 on the trot, 3 EPL and 1 Europa League. Overall we scored an average of 2.33 goals per game, however our defence still leaves a lot to be desired as we have not kept a clean sheet this season and our goals against average is a poor 1.83.

Our EPL home record against Everton is very positive; in fact (without checking) it may be our best against any EPL club. Only staunch Everton supporters would put money on Arsenal getting anything other than 3 points on Sunday.

Team News

It would appear that Lucas Torreira and Henrikh Mkhitaryan are both doubts for the match.

Possible team

Written by GunnerN5


Toffees Trampled in North London – Player Ratings

February 4, 2018

How one feels about some event tends to say more about the individual doing the feeling than it does about the event itself.

Of course I am talking about one isolated game of football, and for me, the fluctuations in my range of feelings begin with anticipation, the team sheet, and finally the performance. The bigger picture stuff is completely forgotten about in the moment. It can wait.

The anticipation of this particular isolated event was naturally bolstered as it came on the back of a storming transfer window which brought the promise of a refreshing new era.

I don’t suppose anyone believed our new star, PEA, would be making the XI, but that is what happened. If you did not experience a surge of tingles shortly after the team was announced just after 4:30, then hope fades for you. Auba was starting, and better still, being re-united with the man with whom he shared such a devastating partnership in their heyday at Dortmund, Mikki.

The game was pure joy from start to finish, and with the exception of LB, we all saw it (I hope our own cyclist has access to internet replays). Stars shone and stars were born, but most importantly there was the old Arsenal swagger back in sharp focus. Confidence oozed and smiles on players faces returned, replacing the furrowed brows of our recent visit to Wales.

Now that the dust has settled, and the sun rises over a new era, we get to do the bigger picture stuff. Well, to be more precise, you lot do.

I think  Eddie has already perfectly captured the new mood regarding the big picture when she said earlier: “the best aspect of yesterday’s display is our imminent trip to Wembley. Instead of being scared I am actually looking forward to watching some spuds being mashed.”

On a personal note, I never believed for one second we’d actually sign Auba. Damn it’s good to be wrong.

 

Ratings

Cech/Ospina – Where Did Our Love Go – It’s so much more fun being in the crowd when David is taking goal kicks ….8/8

Monreal/Kolasinac – Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – Nacho is important to the team – as the Beast proved in the second half…9/8

Mustafi – Uptight (Everything’s Alright) – Committed, positive and forthright ….8

Koscielny – Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me) –  Stooping header to finish off his centre back partner’s flick on – Bould and Adams?  ….8

Bellerin – Living For the City – Loved going forward, knowing he might actually receive the ball  ….8

Xhaka – Ball of Confusion (That’s What the World Is Today) – Much better from Granit – Fat Sam not playing any strikers until the second half helped ….8

Ramsey – Three Times a Lady –  Bang, bang, bang – enjoyed himself immensely – as did we all ….9

Mkhitaryan – Reach Out, I’ll Be There – Micki loves creating goals, works hard for the team and hits early pinpoint balls across the box – what’s not to love? ….9

Iwobi  – You Can’t Hurry Love – Didn’t look out of place playing in such esteemed company  ….8

Ozil – Let’s Get It On – Loves playing with his new teammates ….9

Aubameyang – Dancing In The Street – Majestic finish to equal Stevie Bould’s achievement of scoring on his debut ….8

Written by MickyDidIt89 

(except the ratings)

 


Everton Pre-Match: Team and Statistics

December 13, 2016

In recent games we have been playing teams which are quite frankly, crap. Tonight we go to a proper club looking to extend our unbeaten run; none of the Orc, snarling Mancs, dodgy Swiss or East Larnderners variety. Everton are proper Top Table diners.

Here are a few facts about Everton:

Goodison Park was the first dedicated football ground built in the world.

The longest run of seasons in the top division

They have scored and conceded most goals in the top div.

Drawn and lost more games than any other team in the top div.

Top scorer ever in a season. Dixie Dean 60. Yes, 60!!

It is fair to say, that Everton have history. They may not be the behemoth they were in other times but despite a small(ish) ground, noisy neighbours and not being an Oiler club, they have managed to be there or thereabouts. Bringing in Koeman is a step in the right direction, though the chances of his taking them into the Top 4 are unlikely, he may well (given time) improve them ….

But, Everton are on a poor run of results and the fans are questiong the big Dutchmen’s abilities.

Here’s a stat: Koeman is the highest scoring defender in World football history, having scored 193 goals in 553 games at club level (inc. 67 for Barca) and 14 for his country.

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There is much to say about Arsenal. 12 goals in 3 games. 3 wins in 8 days. There is a need to rotate before going to the Ethihad on Sunday. Picking a team will be difficult. Does AW dare drop either Ozil or Sanchez? Does he play Gabriel or Holding at CB? Who will play in the centre? Will Giroud get his first start of the season? This is what AW earns the big bucks for.

This is my guess, for which I am not paid a single sous….

Cech

Bellerin     Gabriel     Koscielny      Monreal

Ramsey    Coquelin     Iwobi

Walcott    Sanchez    Ozil

Pretty standard apart from dropping Ox and Granit, who will both be on the bench.

Why? Because if we can take 3 points at Goodison it will be a huge fillip ahead of a tough weekend, and as we all know, 3 points are 3 points 😀

Here’s another stat: In the PL years we have played Everton 48 times and lost just 6. A fine  and surprising record.

At home, at night, after a roasting from both the fans and the management the Everton players will be looking to win in style tonight. We should expect a tough game.

 

 


Can Leaky Arsenal subdue Lethal Lukaku?

March 19, 2016

Goodson Park, not the best place to go given our form and the coming International break. In the unlikely event of a loss for the Arsenal the fans will have at least a week to ferment (or should that be foment?).

Have we reason to hope for victory? I would say that there are the green shoots of a return to The Arsenal that we know and love. On the other hand, we have won once in our last 8 games and that to Hull reserves.

Supporting Arsenal is not for the soft-hearted, it requires fortitude and an ability to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune (see Rasp – even Shakespeare believed in luck 😀 ). This season has tested us to the full, however a win today would be a major fillip.

Lukaku: We should have shouldn’t we? He appears to be an expensive bargain but before berating the  Arsenal Purchasing Dept. I would also have had a punt on Benteke! Chelsea Directors must be shaking their heads at how The Unemployed One could have chosen to sell Lukaku yet keep Costa, Remy, and Falcao. I would break the bank to sign him.

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Barry and Mirallas are missing – is that a positive?

Everton are having a strange season, beating Chelsea with a superb performance last week yet throwing away a 2 goal advantage at home to West Ham the week before. If they are on form we will struggle.

Martinez is a man I thought could succeed Mr Wenger. I no longer believe he has the necessary vision. That said he has made some fine signings – Lukaku, Delafeu, etc

Enough of Everton. We need BFG to marshall what has become a leaky defence. Gone are the days of 1-0 TTA which given the quality of the individual defenders it is perplexing but that is also true of the other end of the pitch. We have to score more goals.

Is Welbeck strong enough to start twice in 5 days? I doubt Mr Wenger will start him.

My Team:

Ospina

Bellerin   BFG    Koscielny    Monreal

Elneny    Coquelin    Sanchez

Campbell    Giroud    Ozil

We will have a strong bench despite the succession of injuries to midfielders.

Does anyone know when we can celebrate the return of Wilshire? Mr Wenger has told Roy Hodgson to keep a place for Jack so it must be soon.

As always we must hope for a decent performance from the officials because Everton have a slew of divers and enforcers. Mark Clattenburg referees fresh from his CL trip to Madrid – could be worse.

I like Everton, like Arsenal they have history; when they play Liverpool I am a Toffee (why isn’t it a mint). This afternoon I hope Everton are three down at halftime.

COYRRG

 


The Month of The Ox

October 24, 2015

I was born in the Year of the Monkey or was it the Squirrel or the Lemon? Anyway, I was born. Ramsey’s injury gives The Ox a month to cement his place in the side. It is the Month of the Ox.

Much of Mr Wenger’s Friday press call was devoted to questions about Ramsey and whether AW was guilty of over-playing him, Easy in hindsight. In my opinion a better focus would be upon Oxlade-Chamberlain. Here is a young man who is an established England International and yet has no place in his club’s first team.

I am a huge fan of young Alex. He has it all – strength, speed, fine ball-control, a powerful shot, an eye for a pass and he can tackle. The negatives of his game are the desire to keep the ball in defence rather than find Row Z, a lack of appreciation of where his position should be when Bellerin is attacking and a tendency to hold onto the ball too long. All of which can be rectified by a run of games, and now he has his opportunity to develop and shine.

The big question is  – Will he? Ramsey provides energy that few can compete with, which is one of the reasons we are so strong late in the game. We need the same from Ox.

Enough of that ….

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Everton: I have always liked them – proper club with history and tradition. In most games I want them to win but I hope they get a hiding this afternoon. They lost against a rampant MU who were smarting from having their arses tanned at The Emirates, logically we should beat Everton, unfortunately there is little logical in football.

Any team with the quality of Lukaku, Barkley, Kone, Mirallas, Coleman, Jagielka and the excellent John Stones will cause problems. My hope is that Everton continue to play the expansive game which Martinez favours rather than the Pulis kick and run stuff. I was at The Em’s when Everton dominated the game in a 1-1 draw in 2013 with both sides committed to attack. Barkley was excellent that day and if Everton can repeat that performance we will struggle.

What is there not to like about Everton? Well, let’s start with that little shitehawk Naismith. This bloke is plain nasty – he reminds me of a second rate Billy Bremner, happily he is unlikely to play today. I don’t like their kit – blue home kits are the sign of the devil.

As to us.: Will AW rotate given this is our 3rd game in 6 days? I would and expect Debuchy to get a run, though Bellerin is becoming a vital cog in the team and his partnership with Chamberlain needs to develop.

Everton are too good to take to many chances with, as such there will not be too much tinkering. Possibly Gabriel for Koscielny. Other than that I can’t see much change being possible.

The huge input necessary to beat possibly the world’s best team on Tuesday could have it’s repercussions today, let’s hope not.

We are playing terrific football, beating very good sides using a multiplicity of tactics – it is a time to enjoy being an Arsenal fan, a time to wear the scarf with pride  (though of course, not the full-kit) .

A win tonight takes us to A Number One, Top of the List, King of the  Hill. Let its be so.

COYRRG


An Arsenal home win. Was it good for you?

March 2, 2015

You saw the game. I saw the game. So I won’t cramp my post with details, rather thoughts and feelings.

Laboured win, but an extremely valuable three points is one of the things I observed. Another were empty seats and a very muted crowd for a perfectly timed 2pm Kick Off.

Everton arrived ever so slightly staler than us having Spurs Nighted on the Thursday. The turning point was a scuffed shot from Ollie, but low on confidence strikers whoever they are, need just such fortune.

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You are probably sensing an impending note of doom in the air, and you’d be right. Earlier in the season we put a poor performance, but three points bagged, down to occasionally “winning ugly”, and I agree that’s a great quality. My problem is that we are only winning ugly, with just sporadic flurries into style.

Damn I was looking forward to the days when we would have a fit attack comprising Mesut, Ox, Theo, Alexis and Santi. They are going to terrorise defences with mesmerising football. It’s just not happening.

Even on this site, the majority are happy to bag the three points, and style and performance matter less. Are the Match Goers sending out a different message? We may get Top Four (something very important), and who knows maybe an extra £20M by coming second, and I would be delighted by that result.

My problem is that these players are capable of so much more. We have seen odd glimpses throughout the season, but they are rare sightings. I happen to believe we can win 3-0 in Monaco, but I have absolutely no idea which are the key players to have fit on the day to engineer a clicking performance.

Are my levels of expectation unreasonably high?

MickyDidIt89