Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Friday, December 28, 2007

It’s not what Everton can do but which Arsenal will turn up

By 1970’s Gooner

I was very impressed with Everton’s display at Old Trafford. It was characterised with tenacious marking coupled with positive forward play. They played two forwards in a 4 4 2 formation away at Old Trafford which shows their self confidence and belief that the best way to tackle these “big boys” is to stand up to them.

And stand up to Manchester United they did. Matching them in every department knowing that in Tim Cahill they have a demon who can not be exorcised however hard the opposition try.

He has a knack of scoring in big games as he showed against Manchester United with a beautiful header at the far post rising above Evra to equalise Ronaldo’s earlier deflected shot. And a last minute audacious overhead kick to get the equalizer against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Everton will not restrict their aspirations to just getting a point like Portsmouth did. They will be gunning for Arsenal full of confidence that their form is up there with the big boys but also realizing that Arsenal’s recent lackluster displays mean that they are there for the taking.

Having watched Arsenal’s recent performances I would find it hard to argue with this sentiment. Arsenal have found it difficult to repeat their early season scintillating football.

It started just after that away Reading game where the whole of Europe were rubbing their eyes with Arsene Wenger’s brand of 1970’s Ajax “Total Football”.

For the next four games (Wigan, Aston Villa, Newcastle and Middlesbrough) Arsenal were deprived of their creative midfield players of Fabregas and Hleb (the latter only played for 60 minutes against Villa).

The players also looked jaded unable to find that quick rhythm and precise passing that has been so characteristic earlier in the season. As a result the team struggled to find their rhythm and a way round the hard pressing adopted by the opposition. Points were dropped.

In the next games victories over Chelsea and Spurs were secured partly due to uncharacteristic errors by the opposition but Portsmouth held out for a scoreless draw.

The creative midfield players had returned for these games helping to restore some of the creativity that was not there before but unfortunately not the sparkle, precise passing and more importantly movement off the ball that is so vital in a “ball to floor” type of football that Arsene Wenger’s teams play.

What was also obvious was that the player designated to support Adebayor in the forward positions was more occupied in doing Fabregas’s job in the centre of midfield. The double negative effect was that Adebayor and Fabregas were rendered that much less effective.

There is not a lot that Wenger can do to restore the freshness other than resting some players; but he may be loathed to make wholesale changes. He can also twig somewhat with the formation and the deployment within it so as to increase the team’s overall efficiency.

In this respect he should consider bringing the 4 4 2 system back so as to give some real support to Adebayor. This he should do even if Van Persie is not fit to return.

Maybe he was reluctant to do so having tried Eduardo there for a few games which didn’t work mostly due to Eduardo’s need to get acclimatized to English football.

But now Bendtner has shown that he is more than ready. When he came on at Portsmouth he helped create two goalscoring chances during a relatively short period of time.

At the same time Hleb should be told to keep to the left of midfield and Rosicky on the right so as to let Fabregas run the show again.

We more or less know how Everton will approach the game and what they can do. The result however will largely depend on which Arsenal turn up.


Anonymous said...

Agree with your analysis. 4 4 2 should come back but most of all we need our energy back. If that returns then we can get a result vs everton

Anonymous said...

Fabregas needs to come back to his best if we are to find our rythm again. If this needs Hleb staying a little bit back then so be it. Adebayor should be paired with another forward either Walcott or Bendtner so that we can pose a threat again.

Anonymous said...

Couldnt agree more with your analysis. We must go back to a 4-4-2 because Hleb is causing both Ade and Cesc to under preform by wandering into the middle when he is supposed to be playing upfront in the 'Bergkamp' role. PLEASE AW START BENDTNER UP FRONT WITH ADEBAYOR!! If we do that I think we will win, if we stay with the 4-5-1 then unfortunately I fear the worst.

Anonymous said...

Everton fan here...

Arsenal have been playing some wonderful football this season but so have we, only we have had less publicity in the papers. But don't be fooled, we have the team that could quite easily shock you and the other sports writers into giving us a little more respect.

Its going to be a really good match and im really looking forward to the match up of two of the teams of the seasons so far....

Anonymous said...

Although i do agree that the match will be largely affected by which Arsenal shows, i believe that Everton have enough quality even if Arsenal are at their best.

Fabregas needs to take the game by the scruff of the neck and dictate play for you guys. If that happens then i expect Arsenal to be ok. If you allow Pienaar, Arteta and Yakubu to run at your defence, then expect us to really give you a game.

Best of luck

Anonymous said...

Agree with most of your comment, except Adebayor. The two up front should be Bentner and Edwardo.

Anonymous said...

to the everton fan

evrton is on form right now but dont underestimate the capabilities of the young guns. Expect a very strong reaction from the boys and a very hard game with our skill coming out on top in the end.

Blue Tower said...

Good Analysis - The Same Applies to Everton though !
If Hibbert plays - Arsenal Will Win !
Keep an eye on Pienaar - What a Silky Player - He would easily Grace the current Arsenal Team.
Carsley and Lescott are the other 2 players that will shape the result from an Evertonian point of view.
Good Luck for the games that follow tomorrow with the exception of the Carling Cup Final and the second Last game of the Season - Saturday, 03 May 2008.

Anonymous said...

To blue peter
Thanks for your kind words its refreshing to see opposition fans being polite Good luck to you also esp against the other big teams!

p.s lets hope we meet in the final of the C Cup

Anonymous said...

Sorry i meant blue tower!!!

Anonymous said...

The game against portsmouth was fustrating we were a bit dimentional and we seemed to have no plan B. Ade had a poor game as alot of his touches were poor. Fabagras had a poor one too compared his usual standards.I think we made some changes earlier than we did. Lets hope we can get a winning result at everton its not going to be easy and we will have play to a high standard. Ade comes to one of our stores regulary to top his phone I will ask him to pass the ball more often.

Anonymous said...

If Wenger plays the 4-5-1 once again I half hope we will lose badly if it will mean that Wenger will stop raping his own team and go back to the 4-4-2 for the rest of the season. To be honest 3 points dropped now from that stupid formation could be more favourable than all the points we'll keep dropping if we steal another crap win via a Gallas header in the last minute and carry on with this pointless formation.

Anonymous said...

Norman Ade and Bendtner are the only strikers who traveled to Mersyside.