Three Points Dropped, One Rescued

– During a season, there is a big emphasis placed on beating teams that you should beat. For the Big Four, this basically means that you should win all your home fixtures against teams that are not in the Top Six. Everton are currently not there, but they certainly could be by the end of the year. After defeating them 6-1 earlier this year at Goodison, nobody could have expected a waltz, especially when you factor in the terrible weather.

– That being said, we were slow to start the game once again. I don’t know why this happened yet again, but it made me wonder if Wenger was going to unleash another tirade at the team. Allowing Leon Osman, the smallest figure on the pitch, to score off a corner is not acceptable. Earlier this year, much was made of the odd stat that we hadn’t scored a goal in the first 15 minutes (which ended when Cesc scored against Burnley). That stat makes perfect sense to me. We’re frequently slow starters, and frankly it’s getting increasingly annoying.

– Both are goals were technically “lucky”, but they were the result of slick passing moves. Why don’t you tell me how many of these “lucky” goals that Frank Lampard scores every other week? You don’t have the British media stuffing the word “lucky” down our throats when he does that, do you?

– Manuel Almunia was atrocious once again. He almost got Sagna injured when he threw a ball to him and Pienaar quickly tackled Bacary in an attempt to try to win the ball. He collided into Traore when it appeared that Armand had it covered. He flapped out a cross which made him effectively concede an open net. He went down to ground far too early and allowed Pienaar to chip it over him with ease. He failed to communicate to Traore that nobody was near him, allowing us to concede another corner. He made a decent 1 v. 1 save against James Vaughan, but did little else. How many times does he have to be told that a goalkeeper’s duty is not to start attacks but to relieve pressure? How many times is he going to toss a ball to one of our sidebacks when they’re not ready to receive a pass?

– The James Vaughan 1 v. 1 was created in a moment of incredibly poor sportsmanship by Everton. Denilson was on the ball and suddenly crumbled to the ground. He was not tackled or put under pressure by an Everton player. We were down by a goal, so this was no attempt to stop Everton’s momentum nor was it time wasting. Now I understand that you’re supposed to play to the whistle, but they should have kicked the ball out. Instead, they launched an attack and created a massive opportunity for Vaughan. After that chance died, Cahill kicked the ball out of bounds and the commentators saluted Everton for their sportsmanship. That’s frankly ridiculous.

– Andrey Arshavin was a peripheral figure, as were our other forwards for most of the match. Nasri linked well, but we created very few chances during the match. We need to get Andrey the ball more. The fact that Landon Donovan, who gave Traore a torrid time, had more of the ball than Andrey is a galling fact. It’s both Andrey and the team’s fault.

– Quite honestly, without Cesc and Alex Song, our midfield was light and it was always going to show. After a couple of sparkling displays, Ramsey added nothing to the match other than some tidyness. Denilson was effective, but we failed to control the game for large patches of it. Everton were simply the more eager side, closing down on our players fast.

– At around half time, I wondered how fair it was that we were playing in such atrocious conditions, when most clubs didn’t even try to get their matches off. Fulham, also in London, postponed their match. There are not as many scheduling conflicts for teams like Hull, so why would they try to get their match in?

– At 1-1, I thought to myself, with this weather, we need to score soon. Anything could happen, and when Rosicky gave away the ball, they scored. At 2-1 down, conceding two corners in a row, an equalizer and a point was most welcome. The fact is, we could have scored again after the second goal and we really did go for it.

– The elimination of thinking that “a draw is a good point” is what led to us conceding the second goal. Throughout the year, we’ve been going for winners more frequently than in past seasons. That’s both a good and bad thing, but in this case, a draw really is a decent point.

– When Gallas, Vermaelen, and Denilson all went down during the game, I feared for the worst. Apparently, the central defenders are both fine, but how much longer can they continue to be durable?

– I’ve been reading a lot of reports saying that Everton were robbed of the three points. While we were outplayed in the first half, we largely dominated the match in the second half. The only reason we went down is because we were aggressively trying to go for the winning goal. We had 65% of the possession. Just because a smaller club comes and frustrates a club like ours for large stretches does not mean that they deserve three points. It just means that they competed. A draw was the correct result.

– As it stands, a draw means we are now three points behind Chelsea. That still means that we can beat them at Stamford Bridge and be ahead of them. That is why the single point has value. This is the opposite of when we threw away two points at Upton Park. As disappointing as the performance was, an actual loss would have stunted our momentum. We prevented that, and Rosicky atoned for his earlier mistake by having a huge hand in winning us the point that moments earlier seemed gone.

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2 Comments

  1. Poor Sportsmanship? Haha mate you support Arsenal, your club along with the “sky four” were built on poor sportsmanship, get a grip mate…Everton a small club? Have a look through the history books mate, of all the people an Arsenal fan certainly would know, we’re no small club.

    • Historically speaking, Everton are not a small club. Good luck on the rest of the year, if you continue to battle on after getting Arteta back, I’m sure you’ll fight to finish in the Top 6.


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