37 Comments

Can Arsenal Overcome The Everton hurdle ?

download (10)
Good day one and all.
Arsenal are at the Merseyside this afternoon to take on Everton in today’s only Premier League fixture. We go into the match on the back of five wins and a draw from our last six league outings, looking for vital three points to put us in the driving seat in the race for top-four places.
This trip could be somewhat tricky though as the Toffees is one of the league’s current in-form teams with just one defeat in their last five matches (W3, D1); a very decent run that include a goalless draw vs title challengers Liverpool and having outplayed Chelsea for a 2-0 victory in their last two home fixtures. With four clean sheets in those five games to boot, the Goodison Park faithful will have cause for optimism that Marco Silva’s boys can continue their purple patch as they eye a third consecutive PL win.
With recent sizzling performances Arsenal put down their marker as favourites for one of the two available Champions League qualifying spots, if you combine it with fixtures in the run-in.
However… that caveat of our eccentric away form.
I know better than to deny the Gunners are a better team this season than they were last – 63 points already. Now while Unai Emery has certainly brought a measure of resilience, there’s still an over-reliance on home results. So with only two of our seven PL games under home comforts it is time to take that Emirates form with on our travels, because at this definitive stage of the campaign there’s no room for complacency.
This is the game in hand on both Spurs and United, so the players will know they cannot pass up the opportunity to go two and five points clear of those respective rivals in this very tight mini-league we find ourselves in.
Few selection concerns as Xhaka, Koscielny (both short of fitness) and Torreira (suspended) are not available, but with the same matchday X1 from out last outing we shouldn’t be too apprehensive.
Everton have done well recently so we can expect it to be a big test, but I back Arsenal continuing their run if we learned from our hosts last two visitors’ mistakes.
@LaboGoon

37 comments on “Can Arsenal Overcome The Everton hurdle ?

  1. Big day people. Big game. Big test. Big nervousness.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I would like to think we can and I’m keeping my fingers x’d that we score more than 2 goals.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Big draw coming up, I’d say.

    But to pick up on Labo’s point on our team development, if we start picking up 3 big points at places like Goodison, then we’ll really know we are on our way, with literally everything to play for next season.

    Feeling very optimistic.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. As it gets closer to kick off and the butterflies are going.

    “Season defining” game for the Gunners as whatever happened today will be at the forefront of our minds on our next away trip to Watford.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Really nervous. The points on offer feel gigantic and on top of that there’s this issue of away form.

    Play well and win and it will provide optimism for the other 4. Play poorly and lose and it will look ominous.

    Amazingly, it seems we have only played the three away games in premier since the Jan 12th loss to West Ham- City, Huddersfield and Spurs. Additionally we played BATE and Rennes in Europa.

    It’s nagged away at me that this good period has relied extremely heavily on what we’ve been doing at home, meaning we don’t truly know where we stand, other than being very formidable at home.

    Anyway, we start finding out today I guess.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. There are 23 persons on the field of play and only one has a whistle and the power to decide what is lawful or unlawful. Lets demand Kevin Friend referee the game fair and square. Ultimately the man has a lifetime of refusing to send off players for 2nd violations of offences that demand a caution (one in 50 games is by far the worst of the top-referees). Like most referees he is a homer and the decisions will tend to go Everton way but knowing that some of us Gooners have the spotlight on him he might behave himself. If so, Arsenal will be OK.
    By now you know the details from my blog: https://uniteforvar.com/?p=1915#comment-579

    Liked by 1 person

  7. shotta be careful what you wish for, as I would not be surprised to see Kevin Friend find his second yellow for an Arsenal player today, after all Utd and Spurs are in danger of missing out on top 4, and the PGMOL game managers would not be pleased at that prospect

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Arsenal FC
    ‏Verified account @Arsenal
    1m1 minute ago

    🚨 TEAM NEWS! 🚨

    ◼️ Elneny, Mkhitaryan come in
    ◼️ Iwobi, Ramsey move to bench
    ◼️ Xhaka, Koscielny out with injury
    https://pbs.twimg.com/ad_img/1114861186082902016/u1d3hOTE?format=jpg&name=orig

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Having been there to witness what Anthony Taylor tried to do in the Newcastle game, I have zero faith in the PGMOL giving us anything like a level playing field in the remaining games, especially those away against physical opponents.
    If we all have a pretty good ideal where Mike Riley’s allegiances lie, we can be sure a ref anxious to impress within the PGMOL will also know.
    Expect Spurs, Utd and Chelsea to be given every assistance , Utd for brand and Riley reasons, Spurs, to maintain the nice cosy media narrative, Chelsea, we can speculate but they are clearly getting help when needed.
    But, our team are good enough to overcome this today given the smallest chance. They also have a good spirit about them, which I suspect they may need today as Everton resort to the dark arts and by and large, get away with it.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Be interesting to see which side of Lacazette Ozil and Miki start from. Rambo not fit to risk from the start but strong attacking options on the bench if needed.

    Everton have a good team. But so do the Gunners!
    COYG!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. everton take the lead after a scramble at a corner

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Yet again, the curse of the clogger who never scores against anyone else

    Liked by 1 person

  13. the 40th goal we have let in so far in the bpl this season

    Liked by 1 person

  14. what an awful back pass from monreal there

    Liked by 1 person

  15. so sokratis is going to get booed by the everton fans for the rest of the game for getting a kick from an everton player

    Liked by 1 person

  16. stupid foul by sokratis sees him booked

    Liked by 1 person

  17. our passing and decision making going forward is way too slow

    Liked by 1 person

  18. why isn’t Kevin Friend in Everton kit

    Liked by 1 person

  19. HT: Everton 1-0 Arsenal

    apart from a good shout for an early penalty which of course was not given, Arsenal have been poor, far too slow in passing and decision making, you could say that its clear our lads have not been up for the fight with this dogged Ref and his assistants.

    we need a much better performance in the second half if we are to get anything out of this game, let alone a win.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. COYG.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. There are games you can’t win if the Ref allows physicality from one side but not the other.

    Liked by 3 people

  22. We were poor but looks like another ref under orders. Expecting death by yellow in the second half

    Liked by 3 people

  23. I warned before the game that the PGMOL would not want Man UTd and Spurs to miss out on top 4, we can expect this in more of our coming games.

    Having said that, we were shit, with so little fight, and even less good play. The performance was like so many we have seen over the last two years away from home, just didn’t look up for it at all.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. It’s strange how a team can be so different at home and away from home.

    Like

  25. I better wait until tomorrow to do the blog.

    Liked by 2 people

  26. It’s absolutely unfathomable to be one of the best teams in the league at home and one of the worst in the league away from home.

    Like

  27. Why is a clear foul after the ball has gone not a penalty?

    Can any of our referee colleagues explain that, please?

    Their goal was almost identical to Liverpool’s first goal a few weeks ago.

    A lucky rebound from one of our players straight to an opposing player standing in front of an empty goal.

    I only watched the first half and was pleased that my son brought his daughter to see us so I could not see the 2nd half.

    I thought from early on that our weakness was the central midfield, from which very little was being created in attach and which has having little or no impact on their midfield when were defending.

    Hopefully, with Torreira and Xhaka back, we will improve.

    If they had 23 shots and we had 7, that looks pretty poor.

    AS someone said, you get what you deserve and we got nothing.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. just a minimum of 5 more away games left this season, now thats something to look forward to

    Like

  29. odd that we don’t see the web full of tweets asking “why can’t Emery inspire them to perform, after all its the managers job”,

    Like

  30. Sounds like I didn’t miss much…..

    Like

  31. Charles WattsVerified account @charles_watts
    22m
    Unai Emery on the top four race: “We know it’s going to be difficult, we know we need to take opportunities like today – it was a good opportunity to take the points and go third.”

    Emery on why Ramsey didn’t start: “He was better and his idea was to play. But after speaking to the doctor we had doubt he could play 90 minutes, we decided not to start but he could play like a substitute.”

    Emery on Xhaka and Koscielny returning on Thursday night: “I don’t know. We were waiting maybe on Laurent to play today but yesterday morning we knew it was not possible. I want to be positive for Thursday but we see how they are progressing, they are going to be doubts.”

    Like

  32. seems like that stupid and needless yellow card for sokratis means he misses our next two BPL games as it was his 10th booking of the season, good job Mustafi wasn’t the one getting himself needlessly booked or some would have had a melt down.

    Like

  33. 12 away games in all competitions since start of December has seen us win just the 2, Huddersfield in the BPL and Blackpool in the FA Cup. we have lost 7, Southampton, Liverpool, West Ham, Man City, Bate Borisov, Rennes and Everton, drawn 3, Man Utd, Brighton, Spurs

    we have 4 league games away to play, and Napoli away in EL, if we don’t soon pick up in performance and results away from home our season is going to be ruined by our away form.

    Like

  34. Baffling, but sadly predictable, we’ve seen it all before. Making a team that often resembles Watford circa 1985 look like Brazil 1970. Technically gifted artists cannot make a five yard pass, throw balls out for a goal kick, cannot take a corner, defensive duties neglected when playing away, yet the same players tear teams apart at home.
    As with most problems, suspect there are a few issues going on.
    Maybe part psychological, confidence, maybe just a continuation of a 2-3 season cycle that hasn’t been dealt with for whatever reason.
    I suspect refereeing plays a part, this ref set out his stall pretty clearly, and I have no doubt we would have seen worse from friend had our players posed more threat. I live in hope Raul may be a little less passive than Gazidis appears to have been on this issue, but we shall see.
    Emery clearly tried to rotate, I am sure for very good reasons, but it did not work, our central mf was neutralised unhinging the whole team, Gwens booking did not help, nor did elnenys lack of game time.
    We were missing players willing to run at opponents in this game The only time I saw suares, in the Bournemouth game, he did just that while he was on, but presumably he is a long way down the pecking order, a strange one.
    Also, I have suspected emery really doesn’t trust this squad in raising themselves properly for certain away games, the Ozil situation earlier on being just one manifestation of this. I also wonder if Emery sees the EL is our best chance this season, if so, wonder if this has filtered through to some players. Napoli and probably Chelsea are better teams than we face in the league, but perhaps there is the hope they will raise their game to greater levels away in the EL than in the league? I certainly hope so or they will take a serious beating in Naples.
    The league campaign should not be given up on, a couple home and away wins could pay dividends, although it is clear we are up against teams who will be clearly favoured by the media , refs, and probably the football establishment. It will not be easy.
    Not sure what the solution will be to our regular woeful away performances, suspect Emery will bring in the odd grizzled tough guy who can play a bit this summer- we know the names mentioned, but he also needs to account for the PGMOL, and not damage our excellent home form that our artists can produce.
    Emery has his work cut out.

    Like

  35. Down in dumps after that. At same time, can’t see justification for extreme reactions or rather big swings in overall mood/ opinion.

    It was comfortably within our normal range of away performances.

    Think we’ve made slight improvement on that front from last year, but it’s still been poor and won’t be enough for top four.

    Might not sound like it but I’ve still got hope we can pull it off. Just not based on performances really.

    Meanwhile this conundrum of almost inexplicable difference between home and away capabilities? I know without doubt refereeing plays a sizeable role, but how much is impossible to say.

    This elusive formula we need for the future needs to be robust to refs letting a lot go against us, including constant fouls when we release ball; likewise yellow offences going unpunished, with someone like Gomez allowed to amass an impressively diverse array of fouls for his one card.

    Fuck knows how you make yourself robust to that, though. It’s not just the individual decisions but the psychological toll it must take. Think it’s 2nd game in a row we were booked for dissent and players looked exasperated by it today.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: