46 Comments

Toffees On The Carpet

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Arsenal is hosting Everton at the Emirates Stadium this evening for their Premier League clash; with both teams on relatively good runs-of-form at the moment.

The Gunners come into this match on the back of a nine-match unbeaten run in all competitions, whilst the Toffees have just one defeat in their last 11 league outings (W6, D4) to give them a two-point advantage over us in the league standings.

Since taking over the reins at the Emirates Mikel Arteta has made Arsenal a difficult side to beat. Our defenders, who were much derided for their inability to keep clean sheets prior to his arrival and even labelled “uncoachable” by Gary Neville, have really stepped up, and at a time we are missing quite a few through injury.

We went from a team not knowing where their next clean-sheet is coming from to having five in nine matches since the turn of the year, including three on the bounce in our last three matches.

This give credence to the opinion that we have a talented group of players who were either just under-performing or lacking the right guidance in recent times. And with the Arsenal faithful now starting to feel hopeful about their progression under Arteta’s care, concerns about his “lack of experience” has all but fade away.

Our attack still need to improve though, as too often their lack of finishing seems to undercut the efforts of our defence. That’s why it was so good to see Alexandre Lacazette ending his goal drought to score in successive games. If we can get a good spread of goals amongst our attackers, we should have a good chance to qualify for one of the European competitions next season.

Everton head to the Emirates in decent form, however, north London hasn’t been an easy place for the Toffees with their last victory away at the Gunners all the way back in January 1996. Something Carlo Ancelotti will no doubt hope to change.

Whilst defence remains an ongoing issue for the Italian, as their wins mainly comes from them having to outscore the opposition, there’s no doubt about their improvement since the days of fluttering above the drop zone under Marco Silva. Their leading goal scorers Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison, with 20 goals and four assists between them, even caught the eye of some Europe’s top clubs.

Team News

Mesut Özil, Hector Bellerìn and Lucas Torreira all missed the trip to Greece but are expected to return; the former two to the starting lineup, the latter on the bench as Dani Ceballos continue his midfield partnership with Granit Xhaka.

The front-three could be the dream team of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Nicolas Pépé and Alexandre Lacazette, with the latter leading the attack.

Sead Kolasinac could replace Bukayo Saka, for some rotation to give the young ‘un a rest ahead of more games to come. Pablo Mari may be named on the bench, with Cédric Soares and Sokratis missing out.

Prediction

The last time these teams met the match ended 0-0 as both coaches watched on from stands, but Ancelotti will fancy his teams chances this time round.

However, Everton’s good form is mostly at home with them somewhat inconsistent on the road. If you add their miserable history away to Arsenal, it certainly doesn’t look for the visitors. Ergo I think the Gunners may just edge this one, even if it could turn out being a very competitive match. COYG!

@LaboGoon

46 comments on “Toffees On The Carpet

  1. Thanks Labo: top preview as always, so thanks yet again for taking the time to set the scene. My instinct (entirely un-backed up by factual research) is that, yes, Everton have been playing better and getting results since Ancelotti took over, but these have been largely gains from matches that they probably ought to have been doing well in anyway. I have felt that a lot of the fanfare about him and them has been thinly-veiled criticism of Arsenal for not going for an established steady hand, but instead turning to an untried lightweight rookie. Today will be a stern test for both sides, but sterner I think for them.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great preview LG,
    I think the remainder of the season the goals are not just going to have come from our forwards but we are going to have to score goals from all areas. The midfield have not contributed properly since Arsene left and even the defenders are scoring fewer goals now.
    Todays game is the biggest of Arteta’s reign even biggar than the games against chelski. We have reached a consistency and we are now playing against a side in form and against a manager who has the experience to change things several times in a game. We also have to be mindful Alex will be trying his best to prove a point against us and we all know on his aday he is extreamly talented.
    This is another game of which I have no idea of the line up showing that after a couple of months of Mikels tenure we still haven’t been able to field our first eleven.
    There are obviously players Mikel favours but at the moment the team is only half built even without other players coming in.
    Winning today will be a massive step for confidence and as a platform to attack the back end of the season COYG.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you Labo, great stuff.
    Let’s hope the boys continue the momentum, teams are their to be caught.
    And let’s hope they are given a level playing field from Atwell on the pitch, and , erm, Pawson in VAR, but not holding my breath. That said, surely even the unaccountable PGMOL cannot afford any more screw ups this weekend?

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Another United penalty (some would say it was a clear dive to win it) – and look who is in the United Directors Box – yes indeed, our old friend Mike, very literally enjoying the life of Riley

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Totally blatant. It’s like s big fuck off we will do what we like. Ferguson the instigator and Riley put in for service as usual

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Arsenal: Leno, Bellerin, Mustafi, Luiz, Kolasinac, Xhaka, Ceballos, Ozil, Pepe, Aubameyang, Nketiah.

    Subs: Martinez, Sokratis, Lacazette, Torreira, Nelson, Guendouzi, Saka.

    Everton.Pickford, Sidibe, Holgate, Mina, Baines, Delph, Schneiderlin, Sigurdsson, Iwobi, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin.

    Subs Stekelenburg, Keane, Bernard, Gomes, Coleman, Davies, Kean

    Liked by 1 person

  7. His boot was next to Luiz’s head. Why was that not a free kick?

    Like

  8. Disallowed and yellow card if us. High boot catches head.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Raul, just pay Saka what he asks

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Henryesque!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Why just a yellow and not a red by richarlison?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. HT: Arsenal 2-2 Everton

    went behind with less than a minute played, lost kolasinac to injury and his sub Saka set up Nketiah for our first and a few minutes later David Luiz played a peach of a ball to set up Aubameyang to give us the lead. Everton should have had Richarlson sent off for a reckless tackle, and late in injury time he leveled it, both everton goals could and should have been ruled out for high or dangerous foots. PGMOL are a disgrace

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Can’t help but think the challenge on Saka would have been a penalty for many sides.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Richarlison definitely yellow and no more according to comms. Yet in reality sure it was plenty worse than either of Xhaka’s, which they were happy to be reds, and the same or less than Kos’s against this lot last season, which again they’d have been sure was red.

    Neville excelled himself meanwhile by insisting Sidibe right to lead with elbow to protect himself, and that what Kola did was ‘reckless’.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Atwell and pigmob a disgrace as usual.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. how many more times are we going to see an opponent who should have been sent off then go on to score against us.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. ozil to pepe and his cross in headed in by Aubameyang 3-2 to the Gooners

    Liked by 1 person

  18. The pricks probably get extra points in their fantasy fuck Arsenal league for goals by non ref carded players.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Saka after giving away the ball 3 times in the last few minutes, needs to sharpen up

    Like

  20. not making the best of possession when we have it

    Like

  21. 75 minutes Ceballos off, Torreira on,
    ceballos had a fine game

    Liked by 1 person

  22. leno with another big save for us

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Everton getting at us far too easy

    Liked by 1 person

  24. 81 minutes, Ozil off, Guendouzi on

    ozil with another fine game

    Liked by 1 person

  25. eddie hits the bar with a good powerful shot

    Liked by 1 person

  26. leno with a vital block ten yards outside his area after torriera gave the ball away

    Liked by 1 person

  27. at least 4 minutes of stoppage time to be played

    Liked by 1 person

  28. FT: Arsenal 3-2 Everton

    a win is a win is a win

    not at our best but after a first minute set back we did well to take a 2-1 lead but then conceded very late in the first half, but we only had a matter of seconds to wait in the second half before taking the lead again, and despite Everton have some near misses we managed to hang on and win 3-2. Aubmeyang with 2 and Nketiah with our goals.

    up to 9th, seven points off 4th, four off 5th and 3 off sixth, all to play for yet.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. That’s a relief, up against a motivated, very decent, and probably fresher team today, some of our players were tiring towards the end.
    But they deserve credit, first minute goal from Everton, conceding another goal just before half time, responding so well, and riding out some serious pressure. Leno very impressive.
    Don’t think we are getting relegated this season now, no matter how hard Emery seemed to be trying

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Hard-earned win against one of the league’s form teams. Some pretty iffy decision-making across the pitch in the last 25, but thought Ozil was our best player overall. Before that there was some lovely football.

    I think in an ideal world Arteta would want more control than you get from two out-and-out strikers and a wide forward, but we don’t have the personnel at this point.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Well I think I kicked and blocked every ball throughout that second half. Feel wrung out and harrowed so heaven knows how the players feel. What a brilliant result and for once luck ( if not decisions) seemed slightly on our side.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. For a change the luck was with us, but there were some tired looking players out there at the end. Hopefully they’ll be sufficiently recovered to go again on Thursday

    Liked by 1 person

  33. For a team that played 3 matches in 7 days including a long trip its a great result

    Few mistakes here and there but overall imo as a unit there is considerable improvement in what went before in this season

    Liked by 2 people

  34. Luck was with us late on but am happy to regard last 30 mins as being hugely influenced by energy levels. Apparently they’d had two weeks and day off, in contrast to this being our third in seven days. It looked it.

    Before juice ran out, though, thought we played some good stuff again today. A game again embellished by a lot of nice stuff from Ceballos and, especially, Ozil. With Pepe continuing to look much better than mostly did in early months with us.

    It was Saka I thought the tiredness was most evident in. Found his groove pretty quickly first half. Immense cross and looked like could be more of that in him. 2nd half looked to be totally gassed at one point, maybe mentally as well as physically. passing and decisions went very wonky for a period. Kola injury therefore doubly unwelcome.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. yeah there was some bad reffing todat but our game management was baad as well.
    From Sead at the first corner to Mezut’s decesion to chip the ball up the line with only a minute and a half to go to the end of the first half. After 15 minutes of the second half we started conceeding ground as well as posession and we wern’t winning any of the second balls. The longer it went on the more we needed an extra midfielder and the fact the change didnt ccome nearly cost us. When it did come a midfielder for a midfielder was the wrong choice, although Mikel said after the game players were cramping up so maybe that was it. Anyway when Matteo came on we finally started giving them some problems although we were still sitting really high.
    After three games in a week, all the travelling and going a goal down after 49 seconds we did play some excellent football and on another day we would of scored more and controlled the game for longer periods. This was a really big win and being only seven points behind chelski has me dreaming.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Arteta’s after game comments from football.london

    Arteta on the game
    “It’s not easy to play three times in seven days and we conceded early but the team reacted straight away.
    “We started to dominate the game again but in the last 20 minutes the levels dropped as there were some problems with the players on the pitch.”

    Arteta on Saka
    “I’m never happy when something like that happens with Kola.
    “It was a great contribution offensively (from Saka) but he showed that there is a great margin for improvement and he has to keep his feet on the ground.”

    Arteta on Auba
    “I’m so happy with him because as a captain he is a great example to everybody else. To work the way he works defensively, he is a very good captain.
    “Other clubs a right to want him but hopefully we can convince him this is the right place for him.
    “He is very much part of what we’re trying to build and he is of this mindset.”

    Arteta on his Auba questions
    “Once I knew physically he could do it, it was just about him doing it every three days.
    “He has big expectations and we have to support him as a club and that’s the challenge we have.
    “He needs to feel fulfilled. We are not that good to allow some players not to do that (not work defensively)“.

    Arteta on travelling back late from Greece
    “I like us all to stay together, eat well, sleep well, talk about the game and then have fresh minds.”

    Arteta on Ozil
    “I am very pleased with him. He needs the right structure for him to flourish. Sometimes it’s not his fault (not influencing games).”

    Liked by 1 person

  37. From what Arteta is saying, sounds like there is a chance Kola has a dislocated shoulder…tho he doesn’t know yet, .what are the chances of two players, both LBs out with that injury?
    Need Tierney back soon, Saka is brilliant , but tired

    Liked by 1 person

  38. Tierney is back in full training, not sure how long before he can play in a game

    Liked by 1 person

  39. It was a tough match as Everton under Ancelloti showed good character but Arsenal under Arteta matched well as the boys bounced back after the early shock.
    Ozil Mustafi Xhaka all had a good game.

    Though we lack the control of the match as we usually had under Wenger at the home soil we still showed some good passing skills.

    Last but not the least with the club taken over by the Wenger boys once again as we see Edu Arteta Bould Metersacker Freddie at the different level of Hierarchy may I ask the WOBS who said Wenger left us with the club in decline do they have any ounce of dignity to say sorry to Wenger and the bloggers at PA UA and Uncensored who defended Wenger for his services to the ARSENALS.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Did Jose really check Peter Crouch’s availability for striker cover, or was that a joke?

    Like

  41. ‘I was livid with him during the Chelsea match. I wanted him gone.

    But fair play to him he’s slowly starting to redeem himself under Arteta.

    Just needs to keep his concentration. We can’t afford another game-costing mistake.’

    Noticed on twitter Mustafi liked this tweet someone wrote about him. His business of course, but I get sense, from tweet, this was probably by someone who has spoken a lot of crap about him in past and who will do so again before too long.

    It feels like the set-up is there for a number of good games to count for nothing should you make a mistake.

    Liked by 1 person

  42. Mandy, sure that one was a joke. Though Jose might have liked the opportunity to whine , ‘look at how bad it is for me. Only player I have is a retired Peter Crouch.’

    Liked by 1 person

  43. Hope it was!
    But you raise a valid point, Jose might not be too happy with Levy, unless he is given several hundred million this summer

    Liked by 1 person

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