Everton Review: New Boys Shine Against Toffees Puddings

Arsenal 5 – 1 Everton

As Saturday evening’s go, that was better viewing than anything Ant and Dec served up although the former’s divorce case is sure to occupy a few minds over coming months.

Everton came and were “crap” according to their manager. Sam Allardyce also said they copied Swansea’s formation and instructions. Either Carlos Carvalhal is more subtle than Fat Sam appreciates or something got lost in the translation of Allardyce’s gum-chewing, spittle-throwing instructions.

The Toffees were probably worse than Palace in the first half which is some achievement and after the first few minutes of running into cul-de-sacs, we played rather well until the interval. Not so impressive afterwards when we took our foot well and truly off the pedal. At least we responded with a fifth.

While Aaron Ramsey deserves the plaudits for his hat-trick, I’ll upset a few by declaring I was more impressed by Mkhitaryan’s performance. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy Rambo’s hat-trick, just Henrikh’s manoeuvering of the ball to create three goals on his debut is the sort of play we’ve been missing.

One game doesn’t an Arsenal career make – although plenty have done that in recent years – and next weekend will be a big test for us. However, there was a hint of Pires in the stretching of the defence from the flank, as well as popping up in the between the visitor’s midfield and defence to set Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s first goal for the club.

Yes, it was offside and the official got it wrong. Who says these things don’t even themselves out over a season. That was payback for Lacazette at Stoke. The footballing gods don’t care if it’s another player or a different opponent.

He Flicked to Kick

After Tuesday night’s debacle, the quick start was appreciated. We ran into Everton initially and then carved our way through at will. The speed of movement and crispness of passing was excellent which is easy when we’re in the mood with a compliant opponent. Serving that performance up at Wembley next weekend will be more impressive.

Aubameyang is the moneyman and his inclusion came at the expense of Alexandre Lacazette. I’m sure he’s ill and not 100% fit because holding him to blame for Tuesday’s capitulation at Swansea is petulant even by Arsène’s standards. That’s said, PEA found his way around the Emirates pitch a bit better than he did the back streets of Islington last night.

His flick for Mkhitaryan set the first goal in motion with Ramsey grabbing tap-in from the resultant cross. As Koscielny stooped to head home Mustafi’s flick for the second; he was in danger of becoming Arsenal’s Forrest Gump: on hand for all the great events of the game but never the centre of attention.

He rectified that with his first for the club but surprisingly didn’t take an earlier chance when set free of the defence. First night nerves, etc., as well as a good save by Pickford. I thought the youngster played well despite conceding five and of the goals, the only one I thought he might have done better with was Koscielny’s.

Talking of dodgy ‘keepers…Petr Cech’s wait for his 200th clean sheet goes on. Not sure what Sead Kolasinac was playing at when the cross came in but he didn’t try to jump to put Calvert-Lewin under pressure. And this from a player who was the best left-back in the Bundesliga last season…

First Blood…y Hat-trick of his Career

It’s been all about the new guys so far which is unfair on Aaron Ramsey. He should grab the headlines with the same fervour he took a well-deserved match ball. Each of his goals came as a result of a trademark late run into space. It’s why he’s in the side and his natural game. Wales get more out of the player because they play to this strength and maybe Arsène has realised this.

Rather than shoehorning him into the side to fulfil and unnatural role, he played his role and grabbed three. OK, the second was deflected but Frank Lampard made a career out of that.

Arsène was understandably happy with the result and performance. We all should be but let’s not get carried away with this. We’re in great form at home but followed the thumping of Palace with a shockingly bad performance at Swansea.

There’s no guarantee we won’t do the same next weekend in the north London derby. Wenger has some thinking to do about his line-up because Tottenham won’t be so compliant.

Until then, I’ll enjoy the victory and a football-free week in the lead-up to next weekend.

I nearly forgot. Theo. Looked bewildered as the goals flew in and was unfortunate to be substituted. One good chance when Everton capitalised on Ramsey’s loose flick but was surprised by Mustafi’s saving tackle. I certainly was. Nice bloke and probably at the right club but last night was one to forget for him.

’til Tomorrow.

96 thoughts on “Everton Review: New Boys Shine Against Toffees Puddings

  1. Well, decided that for the most part it’s easier to enjoy the good times – with a touch of reality thrown in – before the inevitable shitstorm next week. Not fussed that it was only Everton because that was the opposition we had to beat. Next week, we have to beat Tottenham and that is an altogether taller order.

  2. The studio controller did take every opportunity to go straight to ‘Theo cam’ after each and every goal – it was like a cruel game within the game. 😀

  3. Missed the first half, got home and my chromecast was playing up so caught the last bit – as YW says -you have to beat what is in front of you.

    Great day, Arsenal and Wales and my hockey team won…..Keep a good thought for the Eagles tonight !

  4. Thanks for the write up YW.
    I watched,with a glass of red in hand,the whole match smiling ear to ear for the first time in a long time.
    As Jonny referred to…poor old Theo….

  5. Morning all,

    A good run out for everyone and three easy points collected. Can’t complain at that . Funny to see some AKB support creeping in to FB again. The latest appears to be Stan out, but Wenger in. Hilarious.

  6. I see Sead Kolasinac is copping some grief for Everton’s goal, when in fact Cech should have come for the ball but didn’t due to his injury. The only reason he stayed on the pitch was in the hope of claiming his 200th clean sheet. He was quickly off after the goal. Selfish?

  7. Jekyll and Hyde home and away, that’s Arsenal. Next weekend would be a good day to start putting that right. Mkhitaryan made a good start on proving some of us wrong (including me) so long may that continue too.

    As for tonight as a Steelers fan it’s not much of a choice between the Eagles and the Patriots but I’ll be rooting for the Eagles.

  8. Great review YW.

    Is it Superbowl already? I’ve never figured out why Americans think it’s the greatest sporting show on earth when clearly, the final of the World cup is watched by more human beings…but I digress.

    Pleasantly surprised with Rambo. But for me, Mkit stole the show. I’m much more confident about taking on Spurs now, the Awesome Foursome with a point to prove. I also get the sense that not only is Ozil going to enjoy playing for Arsenal with his assists likely to bear fruit, but other players in the team will have to style up…Ah, well. As they say, let’s wait and see, we still don’t know what Arsenal will turn up at Wembley. Though saying that, we’ve won all the last 9 matches we’ve played at Wembley

  9. And just to stir things up a bit….

    Real Madrid conceded a late goal against Levante (17th in the table) to draw 2-2 and are 18 points off the leaders in 4th place. More worrying is that they are only 2 points ahead of 5th placed Villareal and haven’t kept a clean sheet in the last six La Liga matches. Pressure is starting to mount on Zidane with the fans expressing their anger and it would no surprise if he were sacked before the end of the season unless things turn round.

    Meanwhile, back at Arsenal, Wenger skips along his merry way having already lost 7 this season and not kept a clean sheet in 8 games.

  10. Wavey,

    Ah, but most clubs play by Queensberry Rules, where a manager understands he’s in a fair fight to prove he can keep his job by producing results commensurate with the club’s buying power, traditions, etc. We, as you will well know, play by Wengerberry Rules, where Mr Wenger berries any discussion of accountability for results.

  11. Afternoon, Wavey,

    I think Zidane is already a gonner — and who knows maybe a Gunner one day? ?

    What’s an FB? Football Blog, maybe?

  12. YW…you got the Theo thing wrong…Sam took him off when he did to get the ovation everyone wanted to give him. Classy.

    I would like to thank you for the quality, length and sheer stubbornness of your morning editorials through yet another absurd year. You are priceless to those of us in foreign climes watching more Wenger vanity explode.

    Three assists from Mic, most encouraging. And we need remind ourselves once again Ramsey, given his head in the right mix, has a priceless talent for showing up you know where. How this all fits in with Jack you tell me. But i want Ramsey.

    Thanks again YW…salut.

  13. Your superlative Posts are a major reason for my continuing to blog, and the interesting bloggers one comes across make the whole thing enjoyable too.

    Today’s offering is spot on and touches on all the salient issues pour moi, and I agree with all of your comments. 😀

    Thank you.

  14. blazon

    Got to be honest, hooking Theo with an hour played was probably not to get an ovation but an act of desperation of fat Sam’s part. I don’t think he gives a rat’s arse about Theo’s reception to be honest!

  15. I cannot believe Zidane is still in a job – this has been an horrendous season for RM.
    Mind you, pay aside, I don’t envy anyone the RM coaching job.
    The number of people making decisions around you, and for you, is notoriously nightmarish – too many fingers in too many pies. The team is not yours.
    And then you have to deal with the pampered egos on the pitch.

  16. Thanks YW,
    I miss the goals scored format you used to start the blog with. Especially with such an emphatic victory like yesterday’s.

  17. Jonny,

    To be honest I believe Real Madrid must be getting into financial dificulties. They’ve been paying astronomical wages to their Galacticos and some of the highest transfer fees for far too long.

    They have not been competing at the top end of the transfer market for a while now, Neymar, Coutinho, Sanchez, Mbabpe etc. We keep hearing that they are going to buy De Gea and Hazard but there have been no serious bids so far.

    They have also been selling some good players but not replacing them. again there are stories of Bale and Ronaldo being sold but no offers have been made perhaps because Real are forced into unrealistic pricing by their need to generate income.

    Zidane seems to be taking some flak, he dared to hook Ronaldo off in their last match, a two all draw with Levante, and other team members are saying he should go. But Zidane has a contract to 2020 and it will be expensive to pay him off. They will also have to buy out the contract of any new manager as most contracts run until the summer.

  18. Sunday papers are always more readable after a win.
    Good win.
    Özil and Myk…… will create plenty.
    Now if we can work on that defence

  19. Great post Yogi.

    I didn’t get to see the game but saw the goals and some highlights. Great start for Mk. 3 assists is impressive. Despite all the creativity in our squad we consistently struggle against decent PL defenses and we desperately need someone who can be make things happen when we play against teams that are better at parking the bus. Everton are 17th in the table in defense and we have scored 10 against them in 2 games so its not much of a surprise to take them apart at home. If Mk can be effective against better defensive teams then we have a real reason to be excited.

    The obvious hero is Ramsey. One of the fatal flaws of Wengerball has always been the idea that with enough creativity goals take care of themselves. Arsene loves to use creative players in 2/3 of our forward positions and while I don’t expect Rambo to morph into Frank Lampard, having a goal threat from our midfield would be incredibly valuable. Mk will need someone who can turn his passes into goals scored. All that said, Rambo has to show he can be effective against better defensive teams which he not been doing consistently for a long time.

  20. Even the best players in history hit the downside of their career arcs at some point and both Ronaldo and Benzema have both had a significant drop off in their goal scoring efficiency and Real has not brought in any new firepower. Modric and Sergio Ramos might also be running into the same problem. This happened to Chelsea when Drogba, Lampard and John Terry started to fade. I think Real needs to accept that it may be time to start rebuilding.

  21. Great result and good to watch, too.

    Thought that both Cech and the Management team were unprofessional in keeping a clearly injured keeper on the pitch. Just to get a clean sheet? Not professional.

  22. I Odumbe Kute,

    Americans (while I live here, I truly don’t believe that saying) make the claim because most don’t watch or like futbol and only watch the World Cup because it gives them a reason to day drink.

    Shame is, you would think they were as excited about thr Olympics and yet, while they watch, its only to follow track & field, swimming and basketball

  23. US soccer is growing fast and thanks in part to the changing demographics in the US it is only going to get bigger.
    MLS teams are now worth an average of $185 million -that’s up 80% from four years ago and the league is focused on getting kids to start young.
    Clubs have apparently spent “tens of millions of dollars of investment” in soccer academies.
    Plus, I understand that more and more kids are playing it whilst less and less parents wish their kids to play gridiron – as the health concerns continue to mount up.

    Good article on US soccer growth here – https://www.starsandstripesfc.com/2017/10/31/16567760/usa-us-soccer-youth-soccer-growth-usmnt-iceland-germany

  24. Evening all,

    Basking in the glow of yesterday’s game. Thank you YW for the excellent write up (as always 🙂).

    Gonna watch the pool spuds game now. Me and the mutt in the sofa (life’s good).
    Not sure if one should hope for a draw or a spud win (even though it makes you feel dirty).

  25. Excellent write up on the back of an excellent performance.

    I think more than anything, what our new signings have added was quality that we simply haven’t had in quite some time. Sure we had Ozil and Sanchez but now with Mhkitaryan, Aubameyang and Lacazette…I tend to agree with Darius, Ozil will enjoy his futbol because he knows he is passing to better quality players.

    Well done to Ramsey for taking his chances but Mhkitaryan and Ozil ran that game, he just happen to get on the end of things. Aubameyang got his goal and sure it might have been offsides but what a superb lil finish.

    Iwobi worked his socks off and while I still want Lacazette to join the other 3, Iwobi did well until the end product.

  26. Auba and the smell of danger….

    With Aubameyang on the field, I felt the same way when we had Thierry Henry on the field…..Danger!

    It’s that feeling you have when you know that guy is scary, he can score at any moment now. Same feeling Thierry used to give us in his best years and it’s the same scary feeling he used to give our opponents.
    I think Auba was much more reserved than his usual self, maybe it’s his first game, maybe he’s still testing the waters but the signs are there for a very good future.

    I also feel that Aubameyang is a mixture of Thierry Henry’s pace and physique and Adebayor flamboyance? But that’s just me being nostalgic.


    Does Micki feels more like Hleb rather than Pires? If I’m not mistaken, he plays with both feet, anywhere on the pitch but he may score more goals like Pires which Helb lacked.

    In any case, Micki was seriously an Arsenal player and his Man United move was a mistake. Unfortunately, it’s a mistake you have to make when a big club comes calling.

    I’m glad he decided to make the switch….


    For some reason and suddenly, I do not miss Alexis Sanchez…Weird but a good feeling, in a season when we sold 5 players to Premier league clubs, Gibbs, Oxlade, Walcott, Alexis, and Giroud.

    You’d think I would be up in arms, but I’m not. It’s like feeling bad for losing a lot of your old stuff in a garage sale, but now the house is clean and you have some beer money.

    I’m good with that….


    P.S. Alexis immediately looks like a dick-head since he switched to Man United…..It must be the shirt.

  27. Jonny,

    It is growing but I don’t think people will realize the impact of the US not being in the World Cup will have. The other intereating thing about the MLS is that while the clubs have risen in value, the pay of players hasn’t that much leading to some working other jobs in the offseason.

    I am excited about the growth as I also think a large part is the NBC carrying of the PL and Fox and Foxsports carrying more and more Bundesliga matches.

  28. Sod sancheese

    I don’t care the why’s or how’s he left. He left us for utd, which means he’s a shit.

    Bit its given us ooobaymeyang and mickey.

  29. The other thing that waa quite noticeable is just how much pace Aubameyang has, Ozil curled the ball around the corner instinctively and Aubameyang was clean through and it took a good save from Pickford to stop him.

  30. Silly goal to concede by spuds and a rather muted celebration by Salah! Was he wanted by another club that was his childhood dream?

  31. Spuds by far get away with the most fouls without getting carded. I mean Dembele just chopped down Mane and not even a talking too

  32. C,

    Yepp, there should definitely have been a yellow there for Dembele☹️.
    Surprised that the ref bottled it but also pleased as I want a draw or a spuds win (really feel dirty saying it).

  33. Alli yellow carded for simulation AGAIN and there was literally no contact. Its funny people constantly talk about the non-English players being the culprits but its actually English players in the PL who do it the most.

  34. How bloody lucky are Spurs? Wanyama has been on the pitch for 30 seconds and smashes one in from miles out. I know it would probably suit us to have it stay tight in the top 4, but I hate the idea of Spurs getting anything. Just love them getting so many plaudits whilst actually winning nothing. They haven’t even got anywhere near a domestic cup. They obviously have a great team ethic, but still like to screw it up.

    Can’t believe they now have a penalty.

  35. Welsh corgi cardigan,

    Assistant called offsides first but Moss overruled him which is strange because Kane doesn’t get taken out if its called offsides.

    Well done Karius, he has saved more penalties today than Cech has in his last 16

  36. Haha and on top of all of that, Dixon just said, ‘Kane dived and it wasn’t even close’ and they just showed the replay and my god did he dives.

  37. C,

    For some reason the linesman didn’t flag for offside. Moss talked to him, but I guess he decided the linesman wasn’t sure.

    Kane dived.

  38. C,

    I mean, I’m weirdly pleased with this. Kane bottled it, dived and was offside. So unbelievably unjust if he would have scored. Almost divine intervention here🙂.

  39. Wavey,

    I think part of the Spuds lovefest is not only Pochettino but the very English/British core they have in Alli, Kane, Dier, Rose, Trippier, and Davies but also previously Walker and that was supposed to be the core of the new English team.


    I know people will say De Bruyne, but I would cast my vote for Salah for Player of the Season.

  41. Wavey,

    Yea it was crazy cause the linesman started to put the flag up but didn’t and Dixon immediately said Kane dived and he sure as fuck did.

    Lamela just dived and got a penalty!!!!!!!

  42. Spuds just dived twice and were rewarded both times with penalty. Liverpool were absolutely cheated out of 3 points

  43. Hm, cheap strange pen. Lino called it and Moss really had no choice but to trust his Lino. Kane put it away.

  44. Didn’t he pull his foot out of the way? Was that a dive? Don’t tell me they dived for 2 penalties.

    So crooked. Got to hate Spuds.

  45. So it sounds like they are saying the linesman thought he may be offside, but wasn’t sure so didn’t get his flag up.
    DVD seemed to pull his foot back, but just caught the player. No way he made the kind of contact that was suggested by player’s reaction.

  46. C,

    I lived two years in New Hampshire (100 years ago) and went to high school there. A puny little Swede. Quite bewildered and rather silly I was handed a lifeline into school life by soccer and hockey.

    However, that did get me an affection for football and New England patriots. Go patriots🙂.

  47. Its interesting that the one thing that we have now is genuine pace with not just Aubameyang but Lacazette and Mhkitaryan on the flank. People don’t think Ozil has pace but he really does but he’s a glider.

  48. watching the highlights of the Liverpool Vs Totteham match… the referee should be banned, that 2nd penalty was diabolical, van dijk tried to dodge lamela, it was even lamela that was pulling himself into the defender… spurs players are wankers

  49. We’ve had the Three Stooges, the Three Degrees, the Three Tenors and now we have Alli, Kane and Lamella the Three Divers.

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