Match Reaction: Everton 1-1 Arsenal
By Karl M. Tinsley
MY 3 STARS
Really weren’t 3 STARS for Arsenal today…but for the sake of the format…here goes (holding my nose):
#1. ROBIN VAN PERSIE: It is scary to think how far down the EPL Table we would be without Rockin’ Robin’s sublime play the last 2 months. Can you imagine the goals he’d have if he actually had someone in the midfield to actually feed him the ball with time and space!?!?. He had to play with his back to the net all match, but still delivered some quality passes (to Denilson late jumps out at me) and fought hard all match. The goal was all Robin…the exquisite first touch control of a long ball heaved in his general direction, the pivot, the quick heads-up assessment of the keepers position, the clinical strike that demonstrated his sublime technique. Jah Bless Robin and his Left Foot!!
#2. WILLIAM GALLAS: Was his first game back in 3+ weeks. Kept his nose clean and his area of the pitch clear of danger. Showed good pace charging forward late to help the attack and then haring back to get in position. The goal against us had nothing to do with him…that was all on Sagna and Clichy. Had some rust in his passing game…but 3 week lay-offs will do that. I thought his hustle was a rare commodity on a team that looked lackadasical all night.
#3. Johan Djourou: I felt he defended the big Everton forward Fellaini very well. Used his size and power to neutralize Fellaini in our box and block his shot. Nothing spectacular, but kept his gaffes to a relative minimum. On a dismal night, he showed promise.
BACARY SAGNA: Was letting crosses in down our right flank. Was directly responsible for the Cahill goal when he left his man Baines alone in the corner in order to chase the ball which was subsequently knocked immediately past Sagna to Baines who had AGES of time to pick out Cahill and lob a floating cross into the box. Brutal decision by Sagna…what was he really thinking?. Wenger was right to sub him off immediately afterwards because Bacary had clearly lost the plot by then.
GAEL CLICHY: Getting tired of seeing him getting out-muscled for the ball by smaller men (Palacios, Mendy, Cahill). Not like it was a wicked bending dipping cross that Cahill laid out for to stab home with a diving header. It was a lazy floating cross that should have been dealt with easily by Clichy who had inside position on Cahill. Piss Poor reaction by Clichy.
SONG, DIABY, DENILSON: Just garbage last night…total PANTS. Where do i begin?…The lack of concentration, the pedestrian approach to pushing the ball, the trash crosses, lazy fouls, poor shooting, complete lack of creativity and imagination, sagging back in our 18 yard box instead of getting out and challenging Everton’s midfielders, inability to hold the ball when necessary to buy time for strikers to move into open spaces.
Ummmmm…still recovering from that disgrace of a performance i witnessed earlier this morning. I can’t quite believe the level of ineptitude that was turned in by the squad. It gave me a glimpse into the future without Francesc Fabregas and it scaaaaaaaaaared me badly. I feel very lucky to come away with a point BUT I still feel gutted though. So much for the quite optimism the club was building. Wenger has got to blow up this midfield in the summer, sign a world class CDM and get proper cover for Cesc (if he gets knicked up or needs a blow next season). I am sorry but Song, Diaby and Denilson are not The Arsenal quality for starting positions in the EPL and CL. Wenger is fooling nobody by relying on this type of player to supply our world class strike force of Butta-legs (Adebayor) and Robin Van Persie. It is unfair to both of them and for the supporters to have to suffer this blight in the midfield. On the bright side we stretch our unbeaten run to 9 games and have 2 matches in quick succession to make amends for this travesty. It was a tie…but a real smash and grab point nevertheless.
GUNS IN GUNS OUT!