Good morning Positives,
A sumptuous Sunday lunch served up for Arsene’s birthday by the players yesterday and enjoyed by all who attended. I think that sums up our collective experience of the game yesterday – what say you ? Even those home supporters who had the mental strength to stay to the end will have seen football played with a quality and at a speed they have not seen in their ground before. It may have been an unpleasant experience for them, but The School of Science will have picked up the lesson.
The four horsemen of the Evertonian apocalypse were Sanchez, Lacazette, Aaron and, standing tall in the saddle, Mesut Ozil. The point is made that this is the first League game that Arsene has been genuinely able to call on all our best players and start them on the pitch together, unimpeded by injury or fatigue. The first thing I noticed was that ball was moved forward much faster yesterday, and the players were moving faster, to my eye at least. The second thing I noticed was that there was always a player open to take a pass in the final third of the pitch because of that sharper movement, and because the home side had a second less to set their defence in place and ensure their lines were fixed. Lacazette’s movement and ability to find a yard in the box stood out, Alexis and Rambo were both on the front foot and one or the other offering themselves to the passer. Mesut was the puppet master of the ensemble. He rarely wasted possession of the ball. Each pass was picked with a purpose. The only mis-controlled pass he made all afternoon was when he had slipped over.
Elsewhere on the pitch Sead and Hector were rampant. Absolute corker of a goal from Nacho – and I admit until it went in I was a bit nervy. I was delighted that Granit did not let the setback of the first Everton goal put him off his game and he dominated the centre of the park. Did you notice he stayed on his feet for every tackle yesterday ? And for an old guy who already has said he intends to stop playing in May Per put in a hell of a good performance.
Best goal of the afternoon ? Mesut’s header. Ticked all the boxes.
Of our opponent’s then Pickford flung himself around with commendable effort to ensure the thrashing did not move into the territory of total humiliation. Sunlun last season, the Toffees this season. He does like a goalkeeping challenge that lad! I rather liked young Vlacic as well, but I cant really explain why (?)
No complaints on Pawson and a reasonably clean game. Gueye was never going to last another hour after his first card and I think even he knew that.
So with that gushing waterfall of clichéd and purloined prose I shall bid you auf wiedersehen for the week as I head up to Windermere.
Nelson has brought his lead so I shall not be too lonely wandering as a cloud.
Enjoy your week.