Everton Preview, Old Foes & Arsène Wenger, Football Man

Get. A. Grip.

It’s the Round of Sixteen, it couldn’t be Barcelona so it had to be Bayern Munich. Arsène Wenger didn’t watch the draw; the tension was all too much so he took training instead.

It’s a rigged draw, some sneered. Ruud Gullitt allegedly felt some warm balls to make it that way but frankly, that’s old news. Joachim Löw did it in front of billions at Euro 2016, finishing off with an armpit for good measure. Scratch ‘n’ sniff television indeed.

The first leg is in Munich where we’ve our record is P5, W1, D1, L3 and the second at home where the ‘return’ games are P5, W2, D1, L2. Don’t get your hopes up. Notional and real aggregate scores are 2 – 3, 2 – 3, 3 – 3, 1 – 3 and 3 – 5. Or to pur it another way, P5, W0, D0, L5. Never beaten them over the two legs; end of.

Why should this year be any different? Well, it’s the optimism of a football supporter to believe that things can only get better. It’s the D:Ream, isn’t it?

I’m not bothered by the Champions League until 15the February next year. Well, maybe a couple of days earlier after the Premier League game against Hull City.

Does anyone have any contacts at BT or Sky? I’d like our Hull match moved to the Friday, not because we’d fare better with an extra day’s rest but simply because I want to see Mourinibore’s apoplexy at perceived favouritism toward Arsène Wenger.

Oh god, I am savouring that just as I type it.

Arsène Wenger, Footballing Man

Which is no surprise. I am surprised that he rejected the notion a ‘football ombudsman’ considering the Independent Football Ombudsman already exists. That’s independent as in funded by the industry it is monitoring. The topic came up following the cynical opportunism of previous FA chairmen who penned a letter to MPs demanding action against the excesses of the Premier League. This from a group of individuals who in the past thirty years have made no attempt to control the Premier League themselves.

Of course, the FA think they should monitor the game but who monitors the FA? FIFA? Maybe an ombudsman set up by the government might be the answer. Those are the same politicians who filled in their expenses forms so diligently.

Whenever previous FA suits pen diatribes to politicians demanding reform of the Football Association, I always hope – and am always disappointed – that the reply ought to begin: “Why should we listen to you? You didn’t try to change anything while you were in the job”.

I found the letter to be a despicable attempt by the signatories to distance themselves from opprobrium. They were former senior executives of the organisation and instead of keeping their heads down, they’ve turned to opportunism. With the current and troubling scandal over child abuse in clubs over the past few decades, the likes of the risible Dyke and Triesmann should be answering for their lack of action if this has been such a widely known ‘secret’ in football circles.

Everton Preview

Which let’s face it is the reason we’re all here today. Goodison Park teetered on the brink of a return to the good old days when Everton began the season with 1 defeat in 8. Since then though, it’s 1 win in 7 with four defeats. For an accomplished defender, Koeman’s side are showing disturbing signs of vulnerability at the back from their fans perspective.

Which is fine by us. With Alexis, this side counter-attacks dynamically and fare better than some of its’ predecessors. It will be interesting to see if Arsène goes with Alexis at the start. Such is our form that you’d believe it a mistake to change the XI, especially as he is the form striker. If there is to be a change, it’s on the hour mark with Giroud coming on and Lucas Perez for Theo. Unless Theo is on fire. The reality is that, for a short time at least, we have options up front which is an unusual position to be in.

However, defensively we don’t. Gabriel will presumably shift into the centre with Hector Bellerin returning to the side although if Wenger doesn’t feel like risking the young Spaniard, he has the option of playing Rob Holding against Lukaku. No, me either; Bellerin it is.

It leaves the line-up:

Cech; Bellerin, Gabriel, Koscielny, Monreal; Xhaka, Coquelin; Walcott, Özil, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Alexis

Other than that, Arsène seemed to suggest that the biggest enemy for Arsenal tonight is complacency. He’s right to talk of Goodison Park’s sense of “soul” and “history”. Football, as it moves to new stadia, is losing that. It’s why, despite their best attempts to do otherwise, I’ve never found it disappointing that Everton have yet to move grounds. Unlike Highbury, expansion is an option. It’s just a shame that the Leitch architecture, the towers, all the decor and history, is purged from refurbished/new stadia.

Finally, there’s an audio of the AST meeting featuring David Ornstein on Soundcloud. About a minute or two in, there’s a ‘Naked Gun’ moment when Frank Drebin forgets to unhitch the microphone. You get the drift. Brilliant stuff.

Oh, and before I forget (yet again), at 1pm a new playlist is live on Dad’s Jukebox. No, it really is.

Enjoy the match wherever you are watching it.

’til Tomorrow.

104 thoughts on “Everton Preview, Old Foes & Arsène Wenger, Football Man

  1. Orson Kaert says:

    Yogi I’m with you on the former FA chiefs who signally failed to update the governing body of football in this country. There can be no doubt that it needs moving forward by a century or two, if it could be hauled into the Twentieth it would be progress, I guess getting it into the present century will take a lot longer.

    The thing that struck me about this latest spat his the language used. “Elderley, white men”.

    Ageist, sexist and racist, are the words that spring to my mind.

    Rant over! Now I’ll read the rest of your no doubt excellent pre-match post, Yogi.

  2. Orson Kaert says:

    A headline in this morning’s Telegraph offers a warning of what we might expect this evening.
    The Everton manager says “We must show more aggression”. Are Everton about to turn into Stoke City? The referee will need to be alert to the threat implied in that statement by Koeman.

    I can’t fault your team selection Yogi, so I won’t even try.

    Thanks for the post

  3. Wailesy says:

    Great post Yogi,

    Arsene makes subs on the hour mark! Hahahahahahaha

  4. Ras says:

    Good afternoon YW excellent post,

    I am of the firm opinion that if we continue to D- Ream then surely things can only get better?

    We simply have to win.

  5. adam singh says:

    On BM. The phrase ‘at some point we will have to play th big boys if we want to win it’ is true but I too was hoping for an easier draw.

    On Everton. One question I have is given Bellerin was clearly fit to play last week why didn’t we start with him and perhaps given Mustafi a rest, replace by Gab. Easy to say now I know but these types of injuries happen far too often.

  6. C says:

    Wailesy,

    Going back to our last comments from yesterday…..

    It just makes sense to me to make the deal, its a need for both clubs so why not!

  7. C says:

    Personally, I think and want Elneny and Perez to come in for Ox and Le Coq.

    Everton have struggled, these are matches we need to put teams to the sword and make a statement, then take off Sanchez, Ozil and Theo and save them for the weekend.

  8. Bill says:

    Great preview yogi.

    Myself I agree with C and I would like to see Perez start on the LW with Theo on the right. We alwsys over rate players based on small sample size when they do something like score a hat trick. However Perez has done well in most of the games he has played. It probably does not really matter that much who plays LW as long as Theo and Alexis are in such good form and we know what we will get from Ox and Iwobe so it would be interesting to see what Perez could do with a run of games with the first 11. However I don’t think that will happen and I suspect Arsene will go with the line up you suggest. It would be very hard to fault him for maintaining the status quo when we are in the midst of a run of good form.

  9. Bill says:

    I might be a bit of a risk to change something that has been working but I think it would be interesting and useful to start Perez to see what he could do. Obviously Alexis and Walcott have to start upfront and I can’t think of any reason why we would want change the midfield or the defense

  10. Orson Kaert says:

    adam singh,

    Maybe the plan was to give Bellerin the last half-hour and take off either Mustafi or Koscielny, unfortunately the injury to Mustafi put paid to that. The problem with Mustafi’s hamstring could not have been foreseen.

  11. C says:

    Reports in France say Le Coq, Kos and Giroud are all set to sign extensions. Le Coq and Kos I get, but Giroud is a head scratcher.

  12. Orson Kaert says:

    C,

    Would you rather see Giroud go to Man City or United? Perhaps Liverpool or Chelsea? Or, God forgive, to the Spuds?……

    On second thoughts……..

  13. Pistol Fish says:

    Haven’t had time to comment lately, between family, fishing and work there is not much time left for other pleasures.
    I have really been enjoying our football of late. I like this team and our new found directness. Finally we have a worthy CF, imho that was 90% of the problem. We could really do with one more though. I’m not convinced by Perez and although he’s got potential I don’t see Iwobi as a real option for a team with big ambitions. I could be wrong on both counts.
    Bayern again, don’t worry fellas, we’ve as good as got it won. Unless we loose one of Alexis, kos or Ozil. So fingers crossed. I just have a feeling we’re gonna pip this one. Then get dumped out by Porto or Leverkusen in the next round 🙂

  14. C says:

    Orson Kaert,

    Citeh he wouldn’t get in before Aguero and while people will laugh at me, Iheanacho either who seems to score whenever he plays.

    United, well Ibra is a better version

    Liverpool, Klopp hates big strikers

    Chaves, well Batshuyi can’t get in the team.

  15. silvergunner says:

    Thanks for the post YW.
    Afternoon all.
    I have a feeling Iwobi and perez will come in for this game. Coquelin might be rested for Elneny too but I think your back line is spot on.
    Glad the French lads are on track now we just need to sort our stars with long term contracts.

  16. Bill says:

    Despite his hat trick in the CL, Perez is still an unknown with a very underwhelming career record. Another concern is that with the exception of Alexis all of the goal scorers who have moved to Arsenal in this decade have seen their production go down. The point is that we can’t count on Perez until we have more data. The only players on this squad that are proven PL scorers are Theo, Alexis and Giroud and counting on Theo to carry on like this for the rest of this season is dicey at best given his history. If Theo or Alexis get hurt or lose form I still think we are going to need Giroud at some point in this season. I have never been a fan of Giroud and I am 100% in favor of jettisoning him next summer as long as we buy someone better to replace him.

  17. Pistol Fish says:

    Giroud would end up at Stoke or Westham, never one of the top 6 teams.

  18. Bill says:

    Pistol fish. We have seen plenty of runs of form that have been this good in the past and we get excited and think we have finally found the key ingredient that will bring consistency. The reality is that in the past we have great runs of form that lasted longer then this one and we always play great football and our results are good anytime we defend well and the CF and one other player are scoring goals no matter who those players are.

  19. Orson Kaert says:

    Pistol Fish,

    Just have a look at the older players we have discarded in the past who went on for quite long periods at top clubs.

    Sagna, Clichy,Toure, Nasri, van Persie, Bendtner……well okay, not Bendtner, but you get my drift.

  20. Pistol Fish says:

    Bill
    You are correct and I have been just as wary as you regarding this. But, it’s not that this is a run of good form. We’ve played some awful football in this run and been very lucky to turn losses into draws and draws into victories.
    Can you honestly say that with Alexis upfront were not a totally different beast?
    Still, I am enjoying it while it last and may it long continue.

    Unfortunately it still looks very fragile and just one injury could derail it.

  21. Orson Kaert says:

    Pistol Fish,

    We survived while the best right back in the Premiersip was injured, we are surviving with Santi injured, we will survive while Mustafi is injured.

    I think we have a much better squad now than in the recent pass, don’t sell it short.

  22. Pistol Fish says:

    Orse
    Difference is those were quality players that we didn’t want to loose(apart from Big Nick.
    I don’t think there would be to many tears shed if we sold Giroud. Besides, I just don’t see any big clubs wanting him.

  23. Pistol Fish says:

    Orse
    I’m not concerned by Mustafi. We’re in good shape defensively.
    If we lost Sanchez or Ozil we’d be in trouble.

  24. Pistol Fish says:

    I agree about the squad. Best we’ve had in some time. Quality back up in every department except goal scorers.

  25. HenryB says:

    Oh, Orsey, at last things have changed for the better, as I have been quite concerned that your points of view have chimed with my own, recently, and that is quite disconcerting, but your comment agreeing with Maister Yogi about the past leaders of the FA, has put some balance back into my world, and thank goodness for that — I disagree with you, again. — and also contemporaneously with the lord and master, but do not tell him and he won’t notice. 🙂

    Now, I do not have any time for the people involved, and in truth I have not really read their letter of complaint or explanation for their stance, but I do recall reading of the problems of Dyke in particular in his attempts to restructure the FA.

    All the characters involved were at some time senior members/chairmen of the FA Board. So far so good.
    In addition, there is an Fa Council made up of the great and the good (in their opinion) who form the opinions and guidelines of the FA.
    Then there are a whole bunch of committees, with seemingly hundreds of members – all of whom seem toes themselves as God’s Own.
    The there is the FA Management committee who with the FA Board and FA Councils mentioned above administer and ‘run’ the game.
    Nearly there – but the tricky bit is still to come. 🙂
    Finally, there are the County FAs, mostly ‘well paid’ amateurs, who each have a vote when any amendment is raised by the FA Board and FA management.

    This whole structure is steeped in the 100 year old ‘gentleman’s’ procedure of running a now massive financial structure along the lines of a bucolic, amateur foundation.

    Nothing gets done without the agreement of all these characters, or a high percentage of them when any procedural or structural change is proposed. As there is no incentive for any of the FA Committee members or especially the County FA members to change the FA as that would be akin to turkeys voting for Christmas – they block every effort to change and improve the FA.

    The chairmen and the Chief Executives are powerless in the face of the member inertia, and Dyke in particular was refused an extension of his time in office as he tries to hard to make changes, lost the most recent vote, and was waved ‘bye, bye’.

    The old lags won again.

    So to break the impasse – the only recourse seemed to be to threaten them with government involvement to take direct action to force change through -except this runs foul of FIFA’s understandable desire to tell world governments to sod off and not interfere with football – or else.

    To castigate the the 5 el*erly, wh*te, m*n (I am conscious of your sensitivity in calling them what they are) 🙂 for not ‘making the changes whilst they were in power’ is harsh in the extreme.
    They were on a hiding to nothing as they simply did not have the power to achieve meaningful changes to the FA structure as the ones who would be hit by the changes had to vote for those changes — as if.

    You will have nodded off by now Orsey, but I am so pleased to disagree with you again – it was worth the typing for me. 😀

  26. YW says:

    H

    As my kids will attest, I see everything.

    There’s a division between the professional and amateur games which negates a lot of the old arguments.

    There was a very telling comment in an article I read which questioned why the letter had gone to Collins, the head of a committee that can only recommend, rather than the Minister for Sport who can ‘do’. Generously, some blamed Collins for manipulating the situation. A more sinister reason might be that the Minister is a woman; I don’t know.

    The key point is the subtle shift away from the focus on the police-led abuse enquiry to the FA’s other failings which ALL of the signatories FAILED to address satisfactorily, e.g. homophobia, racism.

    As I said in the post, this reeks of opportunism to minimise the grief the signatories will get or should get for their uselessness.

  27. Steve Palmer1 says:

    Evening all, Some write up there Yogi thank you,
    It wouldn’t be right not to mention a conspiracy that seems to follow the Arsenal around with draws. Most of the believers actually believe that the fixtures have been worked out before the actual draw, as lets face it what is not fixed on television.

    Reality Television is undoubtedly fixed the jungle the dancing Big Brother and even Pointless and Eggheads, after all who in their right minds vote to save Ed Balls and Anne Widlecomb. Ant and Dec tel us that the public have voted , Revel Horwood and his old pal Len will tell you its up to the public and then choose who has been picked out prior to the dance, what a load of old codswallop. They all know who is going to win before the last showing, so football is much the same. Sep Blatter and his old Ally Pratini, was found out and more or less sacked and no doubt another two corrupt figures will carry on, People moaning about the FA and calling for the |Government to get involved, can you believe that, the same people who are incharge of Brexit and six months later still haven’t introduced rule 50, you couldn’t make it up could you.

    I love football, and have played myself, and also watched thousands of games of football. And i have seen the better club lose so so often because the games are fixed. If people could check all the officials i bet they all drive posh cars and live in big houses, but i only know about football and what i watch every week.

    Wenger didn’t watch the draw not because of the pressure, because he knew who we would get and so did all you. Whoevers name has been picked out for this years winners, they will probably lift the trophy, will it be us, i doubt that very much unless they feel that after twenty years it would look dodgy if we dont win it soon, other than that we will get sendings off as we always do , so Wenger knows just take the prize money and say bugger all.

    Everton V Arsenal who will win, should be us easily but who’s name has been picked out and who is the referee, please dont tell me its that bloke who gives them a penalty every time he refs us.
    I will stick my neck out and say us by a mile.

  28. C says:

    Arsenal: Cech, Bellerin, Gabriel, Koscielny, Monreal, Coquelin, Xhaka, Ozil, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Walcott, Alexis

    Subs: Ospina, Holding, Gibbs, Iwobi, Elneny, Lucas, Giroud

  29. Orson Kaert says:

    HenryB,

    I wasn’t castigating anyone, I was merely pointing out that the previous incumbents had not exactly set the world on fire with their attempts to modernise the Football Association. Nonetheless they appear to be castigating those elderly white men who voluntarily help with the day to day running at grass root level.

    As I said in my initial comment the description is ageist, sexist and racist. At the risk of being labelled in those same terms, who’s to say that young, female and non-white appointees would be any better.

    The thought of handing the running of the FA over to the government fills me with dread.

  30. Bill says:

    Steve.

    It’s been a long time since we have had a real live conspiracy theorist in the comment section. IMO, The purpose of conspiracy theories is to give the team an excuse when they don’t live up to expectIons. Let’s hope that this season meets expectations so no one feels the urge to go down that path.

  31. Bill says:

    C

    I think we all probably expected an unchanged line up and it’s hard to argue against that.

  32. Orson Kaert says:

    The referee tonight is Mark Clattenburg.

  33. Welsh corgi cardigan says:

    Clattenburg is alright I think. There are definitely some names that fill you with dread when one realizes whom is gonna do the refereeing.

    Clattenburg is however not one of those names in my humble opinion. But what do I know?.

  34. Welsh corgi cardigan says:

    Chezzney saved a pen yesterday for Roma. It’d be nice if Cech could do that that once in a while (really awful stats for a top goalie).

  35. HenryB says:

    Yogi,

    There is no question that homophobia, racism and sexism is never acceptable in any walk of life, and thank goodness that legislation has been passed by Parliament to outlaw incidents of that nature.

  36. C says:

    Welsh corgi cardigan,

    Haha, I’m a huge Sczny guy but he needed to, he was the one who gave it up. Its was very Sczny, give it up then save it.

  37. Bill says:

    C

    I second that motion. A couple early goals for Theo and one for Alexis and Ozil to put the game on ice and get some subs into the game early on the second half.

  38. Ras says:

    Kos struggling does not look very promising. Hope he can run it off.

    Your looking at Holding if he can’t.

  39. Ras says:

    There has been very little attacking purpose down the right of the Everton defense.

  40. Ras says:

    Been very little attacking purpose down the right hand side of the Everton defense.

  41. C says:

    Interesting, I wonder whose man and run that was because Lukuka was attacking and Nacho dropped to mark him and Coleman seemed to sneak right in between Kos and Nacho.

  42. SV says:

    The equalizer was coming. A tired performance in ghe first half. If we do not raise our game, we’ll lose.

  43. C says:

    Ras,

    Are you asking rhe question, Where is Ox? Because I surely am.

    Perez or Iwobi for Ox.

  44. silvergunner says:

    3 words Blood And Thunder.
    2nd half will be a measure of how far we have come. Can Everton maintain this intensity?

  45. Ras says:

    Was Koemans rant to his Everton team a covert message to say ‘ Get in there Faces- Stik it Up em’.

    2nd Half is going to be FYAH. Must not lose our composure. Coq N Xhakia must stay calm.

  46. Ras says:

    C,

    Not been able to work out where Oxford is playing C. It’s been so lopsided a La gauche.

    They got there dander up with the equaliser. Theo was been to easily. The defence capitulated to easily.

    Got to be switched on from the 1st whistle of the 2nd half.

  47. Steve Palmer1 says:

    We started off slowly but fast passing enabled us to pressurise, but they have pushed us back with aggression, until we succumbed. Our closing down is pathetic and our front running is non existent, our boys do not like the physical side of the game and seem afraid to tackle. If they don’t speed up and close down quicker we will be overcome.

    Koeman has told his players to be aggressive as he knows we are weak trying to defend that kind of play. Wenger needs to fire the players up to show more fight than they are showing. our play has slowed so much we are encouraging their players on to us.

    This could well end up with a loss and injuries, we need to show our metal for the second half.

  48. SV says:

    Disappointed was slow transition and no attempts to get behind the defense. With that, any opponent will have a go in our half. I thought Wenger’s team has become better without the ball. Not today though.

  49. Bill says:

    C

    If the team is not playing well its supposed to be your best players who are the ones that need to do something to make the difference. Ox is a nice player but certainly not one of our impact players that you would expect to do something to change a game.

  50. Wavey says:

    Seriously, just bury it. How does Ozil miss that? Not quite on it tonight and letting their pressing rattle us.

  51. Ras says:

    Steve Palmer1,

    Mr Palmer I agree. Koeman has told his lot to be aggresive. It’s a night like this where will Show real aspirations or not.

  52. Wavey says:

    The ball was too close to the goalie to start with. Ended up as a collision between goalie and defender as the delivery was too far from Ozil. Worried that we are being dragged into their game a bit. Ox is in and out of the game a bit and Theo is completely ineffective. They need to get involved as we need to stretch the pitch again.

  53. Orson Kaert says:

    Time for changes, Ox and Walcott have been ineffective bring on Perez and Giroud.

  54. Wavey says:

    They are playing in our faces when we have the ball in our half and are parking the bus when we have it their half. Interesting that Monreal is more of a threat than Ox is. We need both our winger to work harder because they appear to have taken the night off at the moment. They could easily nick this.

  55. Orson Kaert says:

    Well I got the two to come off right.

  56. C says:

    I would have preferred Perez come on as opposed to one of Iwobi or Giroud.

  57. Wavey says:

    Ox can’t complain about being subbed tonight. He hasn’t stepped up.

  58. Orson Kaert says:

    Our passing has gone to shit in the second half. There’s not enough movement off the ball.

  59. Welsh corgi cardigan says:

    Everton being more Stokelike than Evertonians tonight. Nasty lite buggers aren’t they?.

  60. C says:

    That was poor marking from Kos and Giroud.

  61. Wavey says:

    Out muscled tonight. We really haven’t looked dangerous enough. Very disappointing that we have been done by a team willing to get in our faces again. Thought we had learnt how to handle that. Really haven’t done much to test their goalie tonight.

  62. Wavey says:

    Underestimated a team lower down in the table again. Do we just assume these teams will roll over? This isn’t La Liga.

  63. SV says:

    Wenger was again tactically outplayed by Koeman. Did not know what to do with the lead, how to keep balance when attacking. Disappointing.

    The only two persons who know what it takes to win this league are Wenger and Chech. It shows.

  64. SV says:

    Still no balance (physically too weak). Defence is mediocre. Top four in the best case.

  65. consolsbob says:

    Well, another chance to top the league, wasn’t it?

  66. Steve Palmer1 says:

    Players who feel that to wear an Arsenal shirt is enough, is not enough, Aggression beats our players on more occasions than not, our physical players were all on cards and the usual suspects bottle went. Walcott from early on showed he hadn’t the heart should have been pulled long before he was, why Iwobi when an experienced Perez was waiting.

    One thing beat us tonigh,t and that was a side who were expected to lose but knew if the showed bottle and fought hard Arsenals superstars would buckle, i could see it in the first half why couldn’t they.

  67. Sam says:

    the 70th min obligatory subs were poor and disrupted the way we were playing. If you bring on Giroud, then you need a player who can play to his strengths. Perez for Ox, not Iwobi. Alexis then started dropping deeper and giving the ball away.
    We had a lot of possession but v few chances on target.
    They scored from a corner, unopposed header. I can’t remember when last we scored from a corner (can anyone?).
    This week has been same old same old, with the Bayern draw, now blowing a chance to top the table. Chelsea will beat Sunderland and go 6 points clear of us.

  68. C says:

    SV,

    I thought the defense actually wasn’t that bad, we were undone by 2 crosses. I actually thought that our wideman and finishing let us down.

    It was strange because Everton upped their game after we scored and we kind of slackes off. I would also venture to say that Arsene winning the PL then is completely different than the PL now.

  69. Bill says:

    We looked really toothless tonight on the attacking end but you can’t score 3 or more goals in every game. However, the defense should almost always be solid and that is what really let us down tonight. Even the best attacking team is going to lose a lot of games if they concede 2 goals.

  70. Bill says:

    Some credit to Everton. They did not look like a team that has really been struggling. They certainly looked like a strong top half of the table team tonight.

  71. SV says:

    When was the last time we had a clean sheet?

    Wenger should remember that winning requires commitment in every game. He should lead and inspire.

    Letting a beatable opponent back into the game was frustrating. Wenger should have seen it coming and reacted.

  72. Adebanjo says:

    What o can’t understand is Wenger saying he can’t fault the spirit of the team. Am not sure he’s referring to the same team in the same game I saw. Absolutely no drive to make anything happen. Wenger should develop the backbone to change some of our top name players if they are playing well. Ozil was absolute baggage in today’s game.

  73. G4E says:

    Arsenal Arsenal Arsenal…….Ain’t no change in the weather, Ain’t no change in Me.

  74. jjgsol says:

    Have we not seen this many times before?

    A good run of wins and then a performance like today.

    Last year was it not 4 0 away to Southampton?

    It is so annoying how many times we concede a goal just after we have scored or just at the end of a half.

    It seems that they lose their concentration at those vulnerable times.

    We concede so many goals from crosses it is ridiculous.

    Add to that complacence and all the good work is undone.

  75. nicky says:

    Following our goal, only one team wanted the points and it wasn’t Arsenal. 😉

  76. G4E says:

    Things were going too good to be true……Then we pick Bayern Munich, we lose to Everton, by the time February is here, we will be walking down the familiar road again!

  77. Ras says:

    6 Points behind Chelsea. It’s the first Loss since the opening day of the season.

    None the less c soir we poor in giving away A soft first goal. We let them dominate the ball in the latter of the 1st half.

    Plan B did not work.

  78. thebigM says:

    I think the title challenge from Arsenal is non-existent really – We have had a good run against teams in the bottom half- but once we play a half-decent team we are struggling for win.
    We still have to play away:
    Spurs
    Liverpool
    Man City
    Chelsea
    Southampton
    How many points are we going to pick up here?

  79. Wavey says:

    The performance of a team who thought they just had to turn up to win. Typical complacency when we should habe been showing that we we have it in us to fight for the title. The other teams now know that we aren’t a real threat.

  80. Steve Palmer1 says:

    Bill,

    Sorry bill never saw your comment earlier, Bill tonight was no conspiracy theory, Everton won a home match because their Manager knows our main weakness. I honestly think football is fixed, having said that, it is very hard if not impossible to fix all football matches.

    Tonight i would say honestly, that science beat us. Pressure against weakness like a dam with a crack, the more pressure, and the crack gets wider until it gives way.

    Teams lose football matches the same as they have all lost matches, because somebody has noticed a weakness, one of Arsenals biggest weaknesses was worked out and targeted, we were done good and proper. But i will keep my eye open, for anything that looks like a conspiracy 🙂

  81. Bill says:

    The points in the first 2 games count just as much as points in game 16 or 26. We dropped 5 points in the first 2 games partly because we gave our critical players extra time off and don’t have the squad ready for the start of the season. You can only afford to drop a certain number of points throughout the season if you hope to compete for a title. Voluntarily giving up points early in the season gives you a lot less leeway to compensate for an unexpected loss like this one.

    How many of us really think that the extra week of summer vacation is helping us now. However, its pretty clear how much those dropped points are hurting us.

  82. Bill says:

    Fair enough Steve. I hate to admit it but I was half expecting you to find some way to blame the ref but I got that one wrong. Thats what I get for generalizing and making assumptions

  83. Orson Kaert says:

    We played well for the first twenty minutes, quick incisive passing, closing down the opposition when we didn’t have the ball, and then we scored. That was it, the players as a whole thought the game was won. They took the pressure off Everton and allowed them back in the game, then gave in to the aggressive tactics nobody tried any tackles, our pace dropped and our passes were picked off with ease.

    Wenger’s substitutions were ten to fifteen minutes too late, with Giroud on the pitch we needed someone to get behind their defence, the man to do that was Sanchez but as he tired he dropped deeper and deeper.

    I suspect two things conspired to bring about the defeat, complacency, after we scored, and fatigue. Sanchez was running on empty long before the final whistle.

    Just on a point of football law, can a player be punished for a reckless tackle that injures one of his own teammates?

  84. Steve Palmer1 says:

    Bill, the way our club plays football is basically for a top four spot. Our players are trained to play a defensive zonal system that reduces the amount of goals we let in, and against most teams this system works well, our players are trained to only to challenge when all else fails but it does keep away goals down.

    We also play a possession game if you have 70 percent possession it only allows the other side a 30 percent chance of scoreing which also keeps goals down,

    This system will usually keep you high in the table, but the teams that know that system we play and exploits it like Everton did tonight is likely to stop us winning the league but it has been proved over many years that it gets you in the money places.

    Football is easily worked out and Wenger with all his degree’s has worked a way of getting the best for our club 20 years at around 30 million a season extra seems to go down well with the fans and the owners but for people like me it frustrates the life out of me.

    Of course this is one of my theories, and i have many. 🙂

  85. Steve Palmer1 says:

    If it was intentional Orsey,

  86. Steve Palmer1 says:

    Got to work tomorrow, Night all.

  87. Bufallo says:

    I think this is great news, we looked dangerously like we might actually putting up a title fight and looking like things might have changed, but we can put to bed any prospect of such mad talk….don’t worry folks things are as they have ever been. Thank the lord i put my money on chelsea to win the league although turning nose up at diego costa to be top scorer at 20-1 might yet be a serious error. We are top four losers and will be out of the cl shortly. I really would like to feel we can win one of the major trophies soon but i dont and i just feel its not good enough and wasnt the deal when we left highbury. we are being harvested and not being repaid. look at chelsea…..not happy unless they are winning major trophies or attempting to…..listening stan you raider ?

  88. Bufallo says:

    i wish wenger would actually kick himself and some of these players up the wotsit….the whole culture is self conglaturatory yet we havent won anything that matters forever…..why on earth would ozil or alexis resign when there is zero chance of winning a major trophy.

  89. Bufallo says:

    we turned up thinking we were goliath and as usual were so busy congratulating ourselves we got sparked out by david. everton were in terrible form, phil j totally vulnerable and yet we totally and utterly air headed our way to a loss. we have one manager he is to blame for our failure to win a major trophy in years…..

  90. phe says:

    We missed Mustafi (He has not lost a game for Arsenal).

    The first goal was a typical Wenger weakness. Ping it the far left half way line accurately. After a pressing Arsenal attack breaks down. Get past one man. Hoist it immediately to far post with a lot of dip. Head it in. Goal. I call it the Mourinhoball. Andy Carol scored a few last year in one game. Sometimes do not even take player on just whip it behind.

    The second goal was a yellow card by Clattenburg for Koscielny when he won the ball. Then a foul when Giroud was pushed into Koscielny when heading out for the goal.

    Koscielny needed luck playing without Mustafi.

    I think the FA should remain. We should remember we play association football:

    ‘The Laws of the Game were originally codified in England by The Football Association in 1863’ in a London pub I believe. Politics should not interfere with this as it would like.

    They should however bring back Lilleshall:

    Andy Cole, Sol Campbell, Michael Owen, Joe Cole,Jermain Defoe, Nick Barmby, Scott Parker, Gareth Barry, Jamie Carragher in 15 years.

    There are a lot of CL winners and finalists. And premier league wins too.
    Put in place by WC semi finalist Bobby Robson:

    And it how the Barcelona Academy works:

    http://whitehouseaddress.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/the-way-forward-time-for-fa-to-re-open.html

  91. Jonnygunner says:

    Mornin’ all……….still gutted about last nights result.

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