Everton Hit By Bouncing Czech

Arsenal 2 – 2 Everton

0 – 1 Osman (13)
1 – 1 Denilson (28)
1 – 2 Pienaar (81)
2 – 2 Rosicky (90)

Before kick-off, the assumption was that the game in hand would be won, pressure placed on Chelsea as the gap to the top closed to but one point. As events unfolded, Everton proved anything but the routine cannon fodder they were presented as being, an unrecognisable outfit from the one obliterated on a sunny August afternoon on the opening day of the season.

The point gained could quite easily have been three dropped; whether the negative aspect of the result matters will be known when the new home for the Premier League title is found. Tomas Rosicky has been missing for some time, flitting in and out of the first team as his fitness permits. A telling contribution to Arsenal’s season came as full time loomed, a deflected equaliser saving a snowbound afternoon from being a disaster for the home team.

Everton claimed the early ascendency pressing forward with their usual directness. Saha had a goal rightly chalked off for offside before squandering a great opportunity, getting goal side of Traore, Almunia blocking and the rebound sent skywards. Positionally, Traore’s inexperience betrayed him on that occasion yet he did not crumble, continuing to work hard on the Arsenal left.

Their pay-off came when Osman headed the ball from a Donovan corner, Denilson powerless to stop the ball entering the net. The goal was a poor one to concede. Gallas and Vermaelen marked their assigned men but no-one picked Osman’s run from deep; he attacked the ball, Gallas holding his ground under pressure was the nearest Arsenal player, Osman arriving ahead of him to the trajectory.

Thereafter, Everton retreated into their shells, defending in numbers and hitting on the break when opportunities arose. Arsenal responded, the best opportunity fell to Gallas from Diaby’s subtle chip over the defence, the defender beating Howard to the ball but Baines retrieving the situation with more cover behind him, an indication of the tenacity with which Everton were defending.

Fifteen minutes passed before Arsenal equalised. Nasri crossed from the right, Arshavin and Eduardo played a neat triangle, Denilson firing from range, the ball deflected to leave Howard wrong-footed. Shortly after, the Croat wreaked havoc being fleet of foot through the visitors defence, denied by running into one of the numerous centurions on the edge of the area.

The second period saw the Arsenal and Everton attacks trading punches, the host’s flurries met with the occasional jab. Yet few clear cut chances were created, most of the impetous petering out as sights of goal came, snuffed out by numbers in the area, Arsenal perhaps the better side in attempts at goal. Rosicky bravely attacked a cross, not ducking out of the challenge as Howard sought to meet the same ball.

Vermaelen struck a stiff shot, Neville blocked, Denilson clattered by Neville as the rebound left the ball safe. A penalty? The infuriating aspect is that some referees would have given it. Arshavin emerged from the periphary to smuggle the ball down the touchline, sprint into the area, weave an opening, blocked en route to goal.

Everton thought they had won the game with 81 minutes gone. Denilson was struggling as Pienaar sprinted from the Arsenal half, collected the ball and ran unchallenged towards the penalty area. Almunia came to meet him, went to ground perhaps early, Pienaar lifted the ball over the Spaniard and watched as it ekked towards the line, enough pace to evade the retreating ‘keeper.

Moments later, Denilson collapsed whilst in possession, Vaughan broke and Almunia saved, perhaps answering some of his critics with a point-saving parry. The referee should be suitably chastised. At no point could he ascertain what caused the collapse yet play progressed. He could not have known whether it was a life-threatening injury but decided play must progress, presumably sure that the Brazilian was feigning his condition.

A familiar scenario ensued. Arsenal pressed to save a point and Rosicky duly provided it, slamming home a shot via a defender into the net. Calmness reigned in the middle of the battle, the Czech confident in his own ability to hit the ball with the outside of his right boot. The goals were an object lesson in shooting; Frank Lampard has built a career on scoring deflected shots, Arsenal’s midfield has learned the benefits as well.

It was not a fantastic performance, one reminiscent of those immediately following the international break as I feared yesterday. A point though is welcomed, three now the deficit, emminently retrievable.

The question as to whether Wenger needs a new striker was not answered. Eduardo’s confidence has returned, his willingness to put himself in the firing line undiminished. A question arises over whether central midfield cover is required, Denilson’s condition will answer that. However, Diaby was willing to put his boot into tackles and perhaps provides that solution yet as quickly as players return, others are falling by the wayside.

’til Tomorrow.

252 thoughts on “Everton Hit By Bouncing Czech

  1. Zap says:

    I have just seen 1 of the best comebacks ever

  2. Zap says:

    Unbelievable. Amazing!! I feel sorry for angola though….

  3. Zap says:

    The 7 fans representing Mali are going mad!!

  4. William says:

    The problem was we were sloppy, real sloppy.

    Our midfeild were sloppy and they gone a goos going over, hopefully it will be a wake up call to end the sloppiness that seems to have crept in. No more sloppiness is acceptable and you know this

  5. Poliziano says:

    Spike,
    Can I get back on my pedestal now?

  6. William says:

    Poliziano, No, stay on the floor for now

  7. Champions In May says:

    Its obvious that Denilson can’t cover for Song. He lacks the strength, power and height to be successful there. Arsene should just try Coquelin or Eastmond.

  8. William says:

    How can we cut out the sloppiness? Anyone? Maybe a few big money signings?

  9. Frank says:

    4 goals in 3 minutes. Remarkable. Hence the remark obviously.

  10. William says:

    Spike,

    Denilson – Sloppy
    Traore – Sloppy
    Ramsey – Sloppy

    It was a very Sloppy performance, an unacceptable performance and you know this Spike, you are a sloppy builder so you can relate to this dog

  11. Spike says:

    Well, sloppy is my middle name.

    Wet wipes all round it is then.

  12. Passenal says:

    Which channel is showing ACN this year?

  13. Spike says:

    Passenal;

    I have no idea? The BBC seemed to have not bothered this time round.

  14. Dupsffokcuf says:

    Eurosport are showing live ACN games.

  15. Passenal says:

    Is that all? Last time they showed the whole thing and I really enjoyed it. That was when Alex Song really came of age.

    Thanks for the information Poliziano.

  16. 1 loose cannon says:

    Wrighty said “But can you honestly tell me Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and even Manchester City would not be tempted by the chance to get Mourinho this summer? ” what is wrighty is getting at, is he working for the Portoguese fishmonger.
    Not Arsenal wrighty it will never happen I can’t see us watching that dire football by Mourinho.

  17. Passenal says:

    Mourinho also needs to spend 100’s of millions to achieve his ambitions as well. Arsenal have not sacrificed all this time to give it to him to throw away.

  18. William says:

    1 loose cannon, we were great when we played the boring game, we invented it dude, you hearing me dog

  19. Champions In May says:

    Mourinho goes to teams that are already resourceful, human or monetary. Porto had won 5 titles before he went there and won three more.

    He spent 500+ at Chelsea on players and won two titles back to back but no double. Inter was doing well before he went there and have money to spend as well.

    I’ll rate him if he gets to Everton, a team with less resources and win titles with them.

    I dislike him because he teaches rugby football. Arsenal don’t rate him only Pool does.

  20. William says:

    wenger rates him highly and has said so many many times dog

  21. Spike says:

    Wrighty is an idiot, a renta quote gob shite. His views on anything aint worth consideration. Its a real pity he has ended up like this. used to love him as a player for us.

  22. Spike says:

    Mourinho’s obsession with Arsenal and Wenger is very disturbing. he will be in an interview, discussing anything BUT Wenger or AFC and he will make a negative reference about the club and/or manager.

    He is a twat as well.

  23. William says:

    He’s a wanker that wenger respects though dog

  24. Spike says:

    Don’t think that is the case there Yo. Think AW thinks he be a skunk pussy.

  25. William says:

    Wenger spoke at Jose’s daughters cristening, there secret bum chums dog

  26. Spike says:

    I knew they were lovers Gee, but Wenger cannot stand the arrogant egotistical fuck wit Blood.

  27. William says:

    Trust me dog, wenger and jose are tight, they be kickin it every night, boyakka boyakka

  28. Real Social Dad says:

    ((((: 1 loose cannon on January 10, 2010
    at 10:27 pm
    Wrighty said “But can you honestly tell me Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and even Manchester City would not be tempted by the chance to get Mourinho this summer? ” what is wrighty is getting at, is he working for the Portoguese fishmonger.
    Not Arsenal wrighty it will never happen I can’t see us watching that dire football by Mourinho.”))))
    When did Wrighty write this must be ancient history remember you only goods as you last game.

  29. Real Social Dad says:

    think jose need to stay at a club and build a few teams over a 10-15 years to prove he’s as good as wenger or red nose

  30. william says:

    I did not watch the game live. Only saw it yesterday in full.

    What I saw – watching the game knowing the result. Was a sometimes-overtly-physical Everton that did not do much. They defended so deep and got there noses in front.
    To give credit to that kind of football reminds me of what is wrong with football in England.
    Arsenal played football with intense desire to win. Even with Everton presure (a large amount – too physical) the Arsenal boys still played football. When commentators give credit to that over the bravery of our boys attempting and succeeding in playing around it.
    We created more chances than Everton, we were NOT lucky with the goals. Everton were carved open and shots taken on target that eventually got deflections.
    I was very very proud of what the boys achieved – and now understands Wenger’s comment even more. He knew they (Everton) were lucky, we don’t have to play them again. He’ll hope they dish the same punishment to our rivals.

  31. Passenal says:

    Interesting observations william – the commentators love to see that English style blood and guts football triumph over the continental style of the Arsenal. We will never get any credit from them. Compare and contrast the comments about man u drawing against Birmingham. There was no luck involved in that apparently!

  32. Two Owls says:

    English Football with its ‘physical aspects’ reminds me of Canadian Hockey that is completely physical compared to the European style. In Canadian Hockey it is so violent that there are a large number of traumas to the head every year which is pressuring the league officials to set things right. They are slow to react because in large part the average hockey fan enjoys the violence much like some of those fans in England. In reality the game that we call ice hockey in Canada is a form of barbarism that appeals to the most primitive aspects of our natures. Please, may the Gods allow Wenger to succeed.

  33. PIRESAHOLIC says:

    Yeah it was a scrappy game but we started coming into it towards the end and were unlucky not to get the lead. As for their 2nd goal I only blame one person and it is Denilson. Ok our defence went AWOL but if you notice Denilson was on the ground when the ball was played to Rosicky. Rosicky’s pass was intercepted and at this point if Denilson wasn’t on the ground and was in the midfield area he would’ve picked up Pienaars run and possibly prevented that ‘soft’ goal. Can’t blame the guy completely as he must’ve been in genuine pain but the fact that he got up in the end leaves me with bitter taste in my mouth. Hope he gets back because were quite short on defensive minded players at the moment. Wonder who would take his place now?? Surely, Ramsey but he would have to sharpen up his defensive discipline. Overall I think the most player that tried to counter Song’s absence was Nasri. He was always the link between defence and offence. He worked tirelessly yesterday which is very commendable. Ok I know we scored 2 goals but we could’ve scored more if Arshavin was pulled back from the center forward role. His talent is not fully utilized in that role especially against teams that are as defensively disciplined as Everton were. Heitinga didn’t give him a sniff!! We really could’ve used Bendy in a game like this. Whats really annoying is that our attack minded players are having to sacrifice parts of their game to fulfil roles that they are not accustomed to due to the absences of key players like RVP, Fabre and Song. This will only serve to help our fit players become more complete players in the meantime. The biggest thing we can take from the game was the determination and spirit we showed by never giving up and by continuing to ask questions of the opposition. At the end of the day aslong as a loss is avoided and we continue on this unbeaten run it can only help the morale within the squad. Traore was tested but he will learn and improve. If he can begin to handle such situation at 20 yrs of age then it can only build his confidence. The boy has come in and is willing to stake his claim to the position, you’ve got to respect that. With Denilson out one wonders if Wenger’s mind shifts to the transfer market??? Oh well all together with Bendy, Cesc, Clichy, Song and Eboue back for that February run I feel we have every chance in making our own luck. We just need to pick up as many point as possible until we meet the TOP 4’s. Until then it is truly there for the taking. Chelsea will drop points I guarantee you.

  34. CharlieG says:

    Piresaholic,

    Most of what you say is stupid but there are a few truths in there.

    Agree 100% about Denilson, he shouldn’t of been play acting at a time like that, still not convinced about him, he was sloppy

  35. Luke says:

    Wenger’s stance on his contract extension should serve as additional motivation for the team to fight for trophies, esp the big one which is the UCL. I’m sure that is his primary agenda in not giving a definitive answer to signing a new contract.

  36. 1 loose cannon says:

    if it wasn’t for Denilson we would have lost that game never mind a draw. we don’t have a natural replacement to Song he is the closest we have. Naturally he is very attacking minded player and I love to see him go forward, He was trying to intercept every ball and he took a battering from Fellani. But I believe he did very well. People say Everton should have won the game. On what basis? yes they had a chance to score the 3rd but that was not down to their play but it was a freak injury to Denilson and they took advantage of it. Wenger suggested to him next time if it happens he must touch the ball with his hand and give a free kick which I think it’s a good idea.

  37. Poliziano says:

    True, 1 loose cannon. Wenger had to explain to Denilson that teams from Liverpool take a slightly different attitude to sports from other people.

  38. CharlieG says:

    1 loose cannon, come on fella, we didnt deserve nothing except a spanking, everton schooled us and mainly I blame denilson for being too sloppy

  39. Ole Gunner says:

    Almunia’s actions that won us points recently. Reminder to those who forgot.

    1. Saving a penalty when a goal would have taken the game back to 1-1 against Hull.

    2. At least 2 crucial saves against Burnley away.

    3. Save that would have made the game 3-1 (and game over) against Everton.

    I want to point out that I did realise that Almunia hasn’t had a great season. But he has recently put in points-saving performances recently, that have helped keep our title challenge going.

  40. Champions In May says:

    Can we win the title with Denilson as DM and Almunia the GK? Its a big no for me.

  41. tunday says:

    Ole, fuck Almunia!.. I support any player in the red and white but not this Spanish clown. Nothing about him is ‘Arsenal quality’
    We will never win anything with him in goal. He is a complete pussy and scared of even little Leon Osman. He never ‘wins’ us games.. he’s a reasonable shot stopper but does not command his area ever!.. He was captain against Everton and couldnt even communicate with his own defence. Before Arsenal, he had never been close to the first team of any club.. that tells you all you need to know.

    Oh, and we would have won the Champs league final had that pillock not been in goal. (silly Jens)

  42. Me says:

    Good points, I think I will definitely subscribe! I’ll go and read some more! What do you see the future of this being?

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