Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Arsenal win, Everton hapless

Last night Sol Campbell headed in 2 goals from set pieces against Everton to secure a win and maintain chase against the Premiership’s only unbeaten squad Chelsea. Arsenal have 9 points and sit in 7th with a game in hand.

Far from unbeaten is Everton. All summer caution prevailed in the Goodison Park camp with a lack of transfers making no impact on the makeup of the squad. Sadly, Everton were knocked out of the Champions League even before the competition proper began, foreshadowing their poor start to the Premiership season which sees them harvest only 3 points from 5 matches, the second lowest total in the league.

Arsenal, on the other hand, looked sharp. They dominated possession and deflated the Evertonian spirit early on as a foul on Jose Reyes enabled Arsenal to bring their central defenders forward. Everton paid dearly as their defense had no answer to both the quality of the cross and Sol Campbell’s header. In fact, Everton looked vulnerable on virtually every corner and free kick.

A goal down, Everton failed to push forward, relying on long balls and a stroke of luck. Neither materialized. Marcus Bent, replacing the injured James Beattie, was totally abandoned up front. You know something is wrong when Mikel Arteta dictates play. No offense, but against Arsenal, it’s a recipe for failure.

I’m dismayed at how many undermanned sides use the long ball tactic against Arsenal. It simply doesn’t work. Arsenal are an attacking side that adore possession and don’t handle sustained offensive pressure from the opposition well. On top of that, they have 2 big, strong central defenders to clean up long balls.

For Arsenal, nobody was a standout performed but nobody needed to be. What kind of team goes 2 goals down and sits back soaking up pressure, hoping for a counter attack? That’s a lack of belief coupled with some poor coaching decisions by Everton manager David Moyes. Why did he wait so long to bring on a striker? And then on top of that replace Marcus Bent for Duncan Ferguson? 2 goals down and you replace a striker with a striker, staying with 1 man up front? To do what? Head balls on to nobody? It was time to take a risk, so what of you lose 3-0, at least show your players you have some faith.


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Blogger Begeegs said...

Moyes didn't substitute like for like with Bent and Ferguson. He took off Cahill and brought Ferguson on to team with Bent and went 4-4-2, which was a little better.

The next change was the one which helped. Bringing on Kilbane, who should have started. McFadden looked better as a striker.....

9/20/2005 1:09 PM  
Blogger Cathal Breathnach said...

Everton have changed for me over the summer becuase I don't believe that they have the same team spirt as they had last year.

9/20/2005 1:13 PM  
Blogger Football Commentator said...

Bent and Ferguson played together on the pitch for 10 minutes. How can that be of any use??

9/20/2005 1:16 PM  
Blogger Begeegs said...

That isn't what you wrote - you wrote this - "And then on top of that replace Marcus Bent for Duncan Ferguson? 2 goals down and you replace a striker with a striker, staying with 1 man up front? To do what? "

He didn't do this. He went 4-4-2 at 67 minutes, but I agree that his substitutions were crap. Cahill is his most influential midfielder and he took him off. Arteta was anonymous and not playing well.... McFadden was a waste up the wing. When Davies and Kilbane came on, they looked more lively, but that was around 85 minutes - idiotic substitutions....

9/20/2005 1:23 PM  
Blogger Football Commentator said...

Your right, I didnt phrase myself well. I also agree about taking off Cahill. He's Everton's best player.

9/20/2005 4:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Arsenal looked average to me

9/20/2005 6:45 PM  
Blogger jon said...

After we paid for our kids summer dance camp we found it tough to recover! I totally agree with you!

10/03/2005 1:56 AM  
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