By 1970’s Gooner
It was the first game without Song and against decent opposition who recognised that Arsenal’s key weaknesses were in midfield and at left back.
Everton’s tactics were spot on. They did not show respect and took the game to Arsenal by pressing up field whenever Gallas and Vermaelen had the ball.
Poor people couldn’t find an outlet to pass to as there was no Song who is very good at shielding the ball, turning and passing forward.
There was of course no Fabregas who in his own clever way can take the ball and go forward with it.
And there was no tall centre forward to offer the long ball outlet either.
There was instead Ramsey, Denilson and Diaby. Ramsey has been hyped up recently as the next Fabregas but of course he is not. He was outplayed today and failed in his playmaking duties.
Denilson is Denilson and Diaby failed to take hold of the game (apart from his assist for the late equaliser).
So whenever the ball eventually found one of our midfielders they were quickly pressured by Everton’s midfield which was augmented by Cahill dropping back to add assistance.
As Arsenal’s midfield lacked creativity so did the forwards.
Eduardo although a little bit better today still looked out of place, Arshavin was trying his best but had no support to play with and Nasri kept coming inside to help with the playmaking.
In my opinion Ramsey should have been rested today and Nasri brought into the middle to add some creativity. As Rosicky was not 100% ready Vela, who had a decent game at West Ham, should have started on the wing.
Keeps making mistakes like when he came out for a cross which eluded him only for the header to be cleared by Gallas in front of goal. Or when he came out of his goal unnecessarily in the second half knocking poor Traore out.
And for their second goal he could have stayed on his feet for longer instead of going to ground thus offering the opportunity to Pienar to chip him. 5
Had a decent game and got forward a lot in the second half. His performances are at least consistent. 6
Had one of his worst games. Donavan had the better of him and generally he couldn’t take the correct positions and often found himself on the back foot. 4
Another steady performance. God knows what will happen if he gets injured or suspened. Silvestre is a liability and Senderos hasn’t played at all yet! 6
Another strong performance. He stationed himself in the opponent’s area late in the game to try and get the equaliser. He wasn’t really to blame for Everton’s first goal as Osman ran unchallenged into the area. Someone from the midfield or the front players should have picked his run up. 6
He played his usual game, retrieving and passing. He was however outmuscled on occasion. The good thing about him is that he is getting amongst the goals and this is a good sign for the future. 6
Too much is expected of him and the poor lad is still learning the game. Everton’s tight pressing in midfield did not allow him to perform as well as he can. 5
He should have taken the game by the horns today but he didn’t really. His only good moment was the vital equaliser he created. Otherwise he was outplayed in midfield loosing the ball too often. 5
The only creative player on the pitch and he did try to make things happen by coming inside. 6
I have to partly fault him for his wrong pass to an opponent which led to Everton’s second goal. The correct pass should have been to Sagna on the right who was free but he chose otherwise.
However he was there to score the equaliser and I think his quality and experience will be vital in the coming games. 6
Was fairly inefficient today but had no support really. 5
Getting better but still not good enough. The problem is that he is not a winger and as Nasri likes to come inside the pitch gets narrow for Arsenal.
This is mitigated by the full backs coming forward but this is dangerous as too many men are committed up field and there is bunching up in the opponent’s area. 5
With Manchester United dropping points the bitter pill of our draw is a little bit easier to swallow.
If we can hang in there with the leaders until Song, Fabregas and Bendtner return along with a new signing (hopefully) then we have a chance.