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Arsenal Versus Everton: How Can You Tell When A Drummer’s At The Door?

Last time we spoke I was wondering whether or not I ought to watch the match. Could I release some kind of reverse jinx hoodoo and help Arsenal overcome Bayern by missing it? Well, by now, unless you’ve been held against your will in some remote Gulag you probably know the outcome. Thanks to me giving up on all forms of superstition and just watching the match we triumphed. We trounced them. We out thought them, out manoeuvred them and out foxed them. Thanks, as I say to my not paying any attention to any silly nonsense about lucky charms and rituals. I suppose Nacho Monreal can share in the credit with me. Perhaps Arsène Wenger too.

The rest of this week has passed in something of a haze. I’m still recuperating after my unplanned aerobatics while nominally out mountain biking. I made the mistake of assuming that as the agony had all but subsided I could come off my pain medication. Needless to say of course the only reason I wasn’t experiencing the full warp factor ten discomfort levels was due to the very course of physic from which I had so recently abstained.

Consequently by Thursday evening I could be found staggering about like a flayed man in a cactus patch howling for codeine. I have since scored some pills which have an effect similar to that of a marquee erector’s mallet to the base of the skull and while my pain threshold has been suitably raised my coherence levels are experiencing a severe dip in the market. Cognitive function is through the floor and there are no takers for reflexes nor conversational sparkle.

I mention all this simply by way of explanation in case you feel short changed with this morning’s offering. I find my analgesically addled concentration drifts from the matter in hand to other matters and even on occasions to other hands. The most cursory of glances over the preceding paragraphs is evidence of this. The only reason I haven’t drifted from the point of today’s duel with the blue half of Merseyside is that I haven’t even managed to as much as get to the point in the first place.

I’ll have a go and see how far I get. Normally, and I think normally is the word I want, it might be usually, generally, customarily or ordinarily, to be honest they are all reasonably synonymous with one another, either way in the usual run of things, at least as far as this season goes, we would expect to find ourselves intrigued. Intrigued that is to discover how the boys can respond after a Champion’s League let down, a cup calamity, a European setback. How, we cry, will the manager motivate his charges, lift their heads and inspire them to give of their best on resumption of their Premier League duties? I have to say Arsène has answered any doubters in the camp with some reasonably emphatic post Euro faux pas performances.

This time we face a different dilemma. Whereas after Olympiacos the lads would have slunk back to their digs, collars turned high, hat brims pulled low and hoped to get off the N41 for Crouch End Broadway without any of their fellow passengers recognising them, the post Bayern binge must have been at least a two day bender. I should imagine they all had to train in bin bags to sweat it out yesterday. How Arsène will pull his bleary eyed boys back into some semblance of order and persuade them that the party is over and they need to get back to work I do not know.

The visit of Everton is not to be taken lightly, and the eleven who start and the three who come on for the final chukka will need to be sober, present and correct today. One of them at least may well have been surreptitiously bunging his tequila shots into the potted plants after Tuesday night’s epic match. The hugely unwelcome injury to Aaron Ramsey opens a door to one of the second eleven as we used to call them.

I’m firmly in the Oxlade-Chamberlain camp as I feel his inclusion offers the least disruption to the other positions and partnerships on the pitch, he has played there before and while it is true bad lack and bad judgement have dogged the defensive side of his game I strongly suggest that a run of matches would be the best antidote, next that is to a couple of well taken goals. We know the boy has phenomenal talent and we know that were he to really catch fire then an attacking three of him, Theo and Sanchez would pour ice down the jerseys of the most resolute of defenders. When one adds the guile, class and abundant energy of Mesut Özil, the understanding between Santi and Francis Coquelin and two of the best fullbacks in the league, then even missing the man who I think of as our most vital cog we ought still to have enough about us to continue our fine run of results.

I haven’t mentioned how good Per, Kos and Petr Čech are because quite frankly that is like pointing out that the Himalayas are quite a long way above sea level or that the moon is made of cheese – some things are taken as red and do not need reiterating. Or even iterating in the first place. I confess where Čech is concerned I had been worried. When I heard we’d signed someone from The Bridge, the Stew Black lip was seen to curl of its own volition. It is hard for me to warm for men from that area of Fulham but of them all the former first choice between the sticks seemed the most likeable. Also the man is a drummer and as such I thought I ought to at least have sympathy for him. We bass players do an awful lot of good work in the community helping drummers to fit in with normal society, covering their mistakes on stage and showing them what the fork is for during meal breaks in recording sessions.

My worries were more to do with his age and ring rustiness. Was he replaced by Courtois for a reason? Were we getting ourselves a rusting, beaten up old hulk of a keeper trading upon his past glories or did he still have enough of the right stuff to provide the final piece in our defensive jigsaw? His early games saw my apprehension rise. Handling errors like that made by David Ospina are entirely understandable and eminently forgiveable. We are all taught on our mother’s knee that to err is human. The positional howlers Mr Čech made in his early appearances were far more troubling. These were the type of mistakes that you did not expect from a man of his experience. Can I just state for the record that any residual doubts doubts I may have still harboured evaporated like breath off a scalpel after Tuesday night. In fairness he’s been growing in stature in every game but on the occasions – the perhaps inevitable occasions – that Bayern broke through, the giant Czech was the final rock in their path, the one they simply could not overcome. He was so good I would say he almost rivalled Nacho as my man of the match. It appears that he just needed time to get into the swing again. As with medication so with goalies – I should learn to be more patient.

We are the team to beat at the moment, top of the form table with five wins in the previous six. In comparison, Everton’s form over a similar period sees them in eleventh place. Like us they have only lost one of their recent half dozen but have been picking up a lot more draws. One warning note – they are unbeaten away from home having won two and drawn two on the road this season while we have only won 50% of our home fixtures. Do not be surprised if we too need to be patient this afternoon. This is a team which must have honest hopes of travelling back up the M1 with at least a point in their pocket despite our blistering run of form.

How do we make sure that we keep the pressure on Man City? It depends on how Martinez decides to play it. If he wants to do to us what we did to Bayern then he had better hope his forwards are quick and accurate when they get their chances and his defence and midfield have the game of their lives. We will need to do what Bayern did only do it better. Win the ball back quickly, put them under steadily increasing pressure and wait to exploit the cracks as and when they appear. If Everton come out and try to go toe to toe with us then we need to give them a taste of the medicine which Man United found so unpalatable here a couple of weeks ago.

One of the biggest lies told to the gullible is that Arsène doesn’t do tactics. That’s like saying MPs don’t do expenses or Captain Birdseye doesn’t do breadcrumbs. It’s just baloney as we all know. His sides are intelligent enough and flexible enough to adapt to the strategy of their opponents, to implement a careful and rigid game plan or to improvise when the opportunity arises.

Who we’ll see replacing Aaron will have maybe less of an impact than the way Martinez men go about the quest for their draw. Can the fans be as intelligent and adaptable and show the necessary stoicism? That is down to the psychology of the individual. You and I will float through the game in a bubble of serenity, smiling sweetly at each impudent flick and indulgently forgiving the occasional misplaced pass. Or at least I shall – as long as these pills don’t lose their potency before half past five this evening. Which reminds me, it’s time I had another hit, so I’ll say adieu for now, I’m off to get the spoon and the rope and stick the Velvet Underground on my turntable. Man.

About steww

bass guitar, making mistakes, buggering on regardless.

111 comments on “Arsenal Versus Everton: How Can You Tell When A Drummer’s At The Door?

  1. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.

    Ramsey gives this team more than anybody else. Can’t blame ox for having to replace such heavy duty boots.

    Ox will come good..arsene will see to it..I love ozil BTW

    Liked by 1 person

  2. left ourselves a bit bare at the back there, then Santi overhits a pass to ozil who had made a defense splitting run

    Like

  3. deliberate foul by Barkley and just like with Stones in the first half he can not be booked as he is English star now.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Still no booking for Everton. That’s 3 pull backs on Arsenal this match.

    Oops. Barry gets a card, at last.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. monreal gives away the ball and Barkley shot straight at Cech

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  6. 68 minutes Giroud powers a shot onto the bar from edge of the area

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  7. giroud now booked

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  8. No hesitation booking Giroud.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. so far AFC have 4 of 14 shots on target, EFC have 3 of 5

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  10. Mason might as well put on a blue kit, its getting beyond a joke.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Lukaku hit the crossbar with a header, Cech was no where near it, AFC need to up this again for the final 15 minutes of so.

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  12. 80 minutes, Ox off, Flamini on.

    A very in and out game from AOC, loses the ball far too much, but can cause havoc to defenses.

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  13. jeez it seems like everytime we win the ball, if the Everton player falls over he gets a free kick.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. that looked like it should have been a penalty for Bellerin

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  15. good chances at both ends, this is nerve wracking

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  16. 88 minutes Gibbs on for Alexis, Everton have brought on Kone for Coleman too

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  17. Ozil goes close from edge of the area

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  18. 4 minutes of added time to be played

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  19. unbelievable to see so many AFC fans leave early

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  20. Barry off for a second yellow with half a minute left to play

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  21. FT: Arsenal 2-1 Everton

    top of the league.

    Liked by 3 people

  22. Peter Dreary claims Arsenal just about haunt on. He must’ve been talking about chances created by Everton’s 12th man. You know who.

    Really well played Arsenal.

    I’ve gotta mention le Coq for the most mature display following the yellow card.
    Čech was magnificent (thanks, Steww for alerting me to the upside down joined up umlauts thingy), and, well, everyone.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. The only other larf I can think of is a Russian looking for his pen

    Liked by 3 people

  24. overcoming adversity in form of the 12th man is the arsenal way… TOP OF THE LEAGUE… NICE!

    Liked by 2 people

  25. Almost as exciting as Tuesday night but for entirely different reasons. The Bayern game must have taken a lot out of the players as a few were dead on their feet at the end of the game. But the crowd were excellent today and I have to say those last 10 minutes we carried the team across the line. The Emirates supporters finally fulfilling their role of 12th man. We won in spite of the best efforts of Everton’s 13th man. I was wondering what a man in blue had to do to get booked. There were at least 3 unpunished dives and countless other misdemeanours. Poor old GB thought he could do as he pleased, but found out that even Mason’s cheating has its limits. I was very disappointed by Everton’s tactics – foul and dive at every opportunity. I always respected them previously but I was not impressed today. In the end they got what they deserved and the good guys won.

    Liked by 4 people

  26. I am sorry but I’ll pick 2 men of match today. Ozil and Giroud. Top class. Our defense is just killing it though..Kos celebrating was a joy to watch. Gabriel celebrating after that tackle was bliss.

    I love Arsenal!

    Liked by 2 people

  27. I’ve got to admit, Ozil’s consistency has shut me up (I’m happily not ashamed :))

    I believe Arsene did have something to do with it. Anyway credit where credit is due, Ozil take a bow!

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  28. I just cannot get enough of Ozil..he is everything a footballer should be.

    what a pass! what a joy! what a player! He knew exactly what was going to happen. There were a thousand things he did so majestically perfect tonight..what a player we’ve got..If he keeps this up through the season, I can’t see us not winning the big trophies. I think he is more than capable of doing it..exciting times really.

    Liked by 2 people

  29. Well,Özil is almost everything a footballer should be – he’s not a scorer of goals and I doubt he will ever be, given the gilt-edged chance he missed today. Yes, I know the ref blew for a (non-existent) foul by Larry but it should have gone in. But I’m not complaining while he keeps setting up goals for others.
    I’m a bit surprised by the criticism of Ox. I thought he did well. Yes, he lost the ball a few times but not as many times as Alexis. I thought he gave ‘ector good support too. He maybe needs to sharpen up on his decision making but I think today will stand him in good stead. I’ll put money on him scoring more than Mesut.
    I loved Gabriel’s reaction when he made that fantastic tackle on Lukaku in the last few seconds – fist clenched and a roar. Yet another Wenger bargain – shame Arsene doesn’t do defence very well, isn’t it? He’s going to be enormous for us. We now have 3 first rate centre backs with a youngster in the wings.
    Per got a full rest as did Theo – Tuesday’s team will make interesting viewing. I’ve just seen the match is live on TV over here.
    I think I’ll stay up all night drinking whisky and looking at that league table.

    Liked by 3 people

  30. Top post, steww. Velvet Underground has to be about as close to codeine as you’ll get musically speaking. A little bit of both of those and you’re set. Always a favorite of mine to get a little low to.

    Anyhow great game of football today. Two proper goals that we just simply took from them with our clearly superior strength and physicality. That’s the Giroud I like to see. That’s the Giroud that made Kompany look like a u 17. I really love how Gabriel just steps right in and bosses it. Unlucky on Ox as I’ve pointed out before I’ve never seen a player punished so swiftly it’s really quite astonishing. He will get through it though that ball he sent in low to Giroud toward the end was pure quality.

    Liked by 4 people

  31. Great performance under the circumstances. Unfortunately one of the worst refereeing performances I’ve seen in a long time, its difficult to believe sometimes that these performances are just inept and really are something more sinister.
    Anyway away from that we were excellent to keep going when everything is going against you and your visibly tiring is the stuff … well you know the saying.
    The Ox looks like he couldn’t pull in a brothel at the moment but he is a talent and he will come good. He’s looking class in places and looks like me in others, such extrems will iron out and his class will show through to further improve the squad.

    Liked by 2 people

  32. Im scared for the other teams when we get Welbz, Jack, and Lil Mozart back. I’m just now able watch the Bayern game so I’m off to go check that out. Sounds like it was a great performance

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  33. Excellent performance, especially when you consider who we played mid week. And Chelsea look to be imploding, or at least their manager does…..which is nice.
    As for the ref, he didn’t seem too even handed to me, Everton fouls, pullbacks, dives unpunished until the very end , yet our players booked first offence. Coq really had to put himself under manners after that early booking, which looked harsh to me at least. If recent history is anything to go by, the more of a threat this team are, the worse the refereeing becomes. Wonder when they will next dare put Mike Dean our way……my guess, pretty soon. But it’s not only Dean……

    Liked by 5 people

  34. There are fans who had doubts about Jon Moss – doubts about his loyalties – doubts about his eyesight

    I say he has been outstanding this year – never put a foot wrong – and today may have produced the refereeing display of the season to send a manager clutching the edge of the precipice

    O
    V
    E
    R

    T
    H
    E

    E
    D
    G
    E

    Liked by 5 people

  35. well ianspace an old time ref once told me that its only inept if the ref is making the same mistakes on both sides, if its one way traffic then there is a lot more to it.

    well its laughable how the Ramsey haters are trying to claim Ox was great today and that our performance shows how wrong Wenger has been to pick Ramsey ahead of Ox all season.

    On the subject of our idiot fans, well did Lukaku show us how far superior he is to Giroud, or was it that all he showed is that he runs a bit faster, but in every other aspect of play he is behind our big hansom french man.

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  36. I just read a comment on the Guardian blog from a Toffees fan who was also complaining about the ref – but for being biased in our favour.
    It just depends on which pair of specs you have on.
    I wasn’t particularly outraged by Lee Mason today – yes, he could have had a word with Deulofeu and/or with his captain, but it’s not a big deal in my eyes.
    And I don’t buy these conspiracy theories. More of a believer in cock-up theory. Or Murphy’s Law. Or Sod’s Law. Or other superstitions.

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  37. I nearly forgot to mention ‘that’ Gabriel tackle in the box and his reaction! The crowd went mental, it was as good as a 3rd goal and got the roar it deserved. I was especially pleased for him as it cancelled out an excellent opportunity for the opponents and made up for him having inadvertently turned the Everton goal into our net.

    Liked by 6 people

  38. The boss on victory, Ozil and Giroud

    If you love football, you love Ozil

    Arsène Wenger faced the media after Arsenal’s 2-1 win against Everton at Emirates Stadium on Saturday. You can read a full transcript of his press conference below:

    on the win…
    We had a massive game on Tuesday night and after that it is a good test for your squad and the hand off to your players. I think we played with the right focus and desire. We were a bit unfortunate in the first half we got caught with one minute to go so it was 2-1 and created a bit of insecurity in the squad. In the second half we continued to dominate but could not get the third goal and then we were a bit exposed on the counter-attack once or twice. Romelu Lukaku had the header on the bar and Petr Cech made a great save with very little time to go and that got us three massive points.

    on starting Olivier Giroud…
    I have confidence. He recently made the difference coming on and today he made the difference by starting. I have interesting options, I just have to be wise enough to use them at the right moment.

    on picking his striker…
    We have to put our energy all together to do well for the team and the club so I do not make too much of a individual case for the players. Theo Walcott can also start which makes it easier. Let’s not forget they can play together.

    on if Arsenal mean business this year…
    I believe that we will keep that solidarity, that desire to do well and I think we are well focused to do well and together we have improved on that front. We know that when we have the ball we can create goal chances. We went to Watford and won 3-0 and beat Bayern Munich 2-0, and beat Everton in one week. It has been a fantastic week. It is not easy.

    on Mesut Ozil…
    He is a top-class player, honestly. I think rather than talking about him I would rather watch him play again. If you love to watch football, you love to watch Ozil.

    on why Ozil is so special…
    It is a combination of quality of the touch, intelligence and team attitude. He is a real team player, I said that yesterday in the press conference. He puts his talent at the service of the team and he wants to help the team with everything he does. That makes him efficient.

    on being top…
    It is 24 hours, but we still don’t know. After the first game against West Ham United nobody would have predicted that. That shows that we rely on our attitude, our togetherness and our desire to do well. After 10 games we are there, that shows we have made some ground up. Let’s keep our togetherness and fight for the future games, that is all we can do. It is very early in the season but we are happy to be where we are.

    on if he thought Arsenal would be top…
    I thought after 10 games, no. Honestly. I thought it would take much longer because Manchester City started with five wins so it was difficult to envisage that we would come back but we had no choice. Last season after 10 games there was a big difference between the top teams and us, today no. Let’s continue to work together and continue to improve. There are still many aspects to our game which we can improve and therefore let’s not focus too much on the position and try to be a better team.

    on having a perfect week…
    It is a perfect week and it is not easy to have that. The only negative is that we lost some players through in jury during the week, but I will have to rest some players Tuesday night against Sheffield. I think for some players it will be one game too many for them.

    on what it takes to stay at the top…
    We need to keep the togetherness, the concentration, the humility and try to play better football game by game and try to focus on that in training as well.

    on the importance of Giroud and Walcott…
    We just spoke about Ozil and Cazorla. I think what makes us efficient is that we play like a real team. When you watch us play you see a team that plays football, not one player that makes the difference. Our results at the moment are of team effort rather than individuals.

    on Koscielny scoring…
    We know to fight at the top we need some goals from set-pieces, between eight and twelve if you want to fight at the top. I believe on that front we are a bit short and the fact we could score today will give us belief we can score more.

    Copyright 2015 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to http://www.arsenal.com as the source

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Chelsea the most consistent team in England

    One Win in August

    One Win in September

    One Win in October

    Liked by 4 people

  40. Tim Stillman ‏@Stillberto 2h2 hours ago
    Credit to Mourinho. I openly doubted that he could ever make Chelsea entertaining to watch, but he’s proved me wrong this season.

    Liked by 3 people

  41. Just watched MotD for the first time for ages.
    How could it get more boring? Unfathomable. It’s needs a complete revamp. Lineker past his sell by date. Nice to see Wrighty giving Giroud some credit though.

    Like

  42. Agree on ref Jon Moss, a very brave performance and he seemed to get things right. It seems this year, Chelsea are getting some just rewards for their general behaviour, mike Dean apart of course.

    Liked by 3 people

  43. In the words of a great New Yorker
    Gabba Gabba hey!!

    Liked by 2 people

  44. Tanks Sddy
    That’s one of the best things I’ve seen An Arsenal player do in years.

    Like

  45. Eddy @ 10:17 pm
    Who are these anti-Ramsey idiots on twitter that that so frequently anger you? They never appear on my TL. Could be you are following some abject trolls. Only an idiot would be making comparisons between the Ramsey and the Ox. The former is a superstar, the latter is 2-3 years away.

    Liked by 1 person

  46. Kaplath.

    Like

  47. shotta its not refined to twitter, its on a number of blogs too, match threads are a favorite for many of them. For some its long term dislike for Ramsey, others it due to their love of Wilshere, which seems to mean they can’t rate Ramsey, and for others its the “what the fuck is Wenger doing playing Ramsey on the right”.
    Giroud being on such a good scoring run seems to leave Ramsey as the main target for the boo boys, they can’t even whinge about Ozil these days.

    Like

  48. Perhaps we were right all along. No end of any era in sight.

    Liked by 5 people

  49. as one of the Sunday Papers headline says

    Where’s Wally

    Liked by 2 people

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