He's so happy

Everton 1-1 Arsenal: I did my best, but I guess my best wasn’t good enough

“All I ever ask is that Arsenal give everything” is the rallying cry of the despondent Gooner after every game in which Arsenal listlessly drop points to a fierce opponent. And on those occasions it’s usually followed by “tonight they didn’t give everything. It’s the manager’s job to motivate them and he didn’t, again. Perhaps it’s time we look at a new manager.”

But what about games like last night’s match where both teams clearly did give everything but fell just slightly short in the face of fierce opposition? In those cases we shouldn’t we praise the team for their effort?

I am.

Goodison is always a tough match and it was made tougher by a well organized Everton side who are playing at the top of their game and who know Arsenal’s weaknesses and sought to exploit them. But Arsenal fought back and but for a few careless moments, which happen in nearly every game to every team and every player, could have even earned all three points. In the end, the draw was the right result.

Arsenal started brightly and Theo Walcott took the ball from nearly the first kick of the game and drove straight at Everton’s back line. Jagielka didn’t do enough to stop Theo and his attempted clearance bounced off the Arsenal man and he was free in acres of space. Theo then played a nice ball to Ramsey who did very well to hold up play and slip the pass back to Walcott who had made a run around Ramsey.

Theo side-footed the shot, which maybe took a deflection but was almost certainly going in on goal regardless, and the ball sailed past Howard and nestled into the side of the net. It was the perfect start to the game and from there Arsenal wanted to play with patience and hit Everton on the counter using Walcott’s pace.

Everton’s Scottish manager, David Moyes, countered by using Fellaini to mark Arteta out of the game which is a tactic we have seen work well against Arsenal a number of times this season. Wenger countered that tactic by playing Wilshere next to Arteta in a 4-2-3-1 and Wilshere did a fantastic job carrying Arteta’s water: Wilshere led Arsenal in passes and completed long passes playing more of a deep lying midfield role while Arteta was there to help him recycle the ball. The front three in Arsenal’s system were literally all over the  place, swapping sides, dropping deep, playing in crosses form both sides, making runs, on and on. Despite a few gilt-edged chances, nothing came off for the Arsenal.

Despite that sort of feverish approach to the front four from Arsenal once the ball got out of the Arsenal midfield is when we saw a second tactic from Moyes: targeting Aaron Ramsey. Anyone near Ramsey pressed instantly and the most notable instance came just as Arsenal were trying to kill the game with possession.

Jack played a pass to Ramsey who took a touch casually and straight into the onrushing Steven Peener. Peener, took the ball, and skipped over Ramsey’s clumsy attempt to win the ball back with a tackle, dribbled past Wilshere who didn’t even try to tackle and then played a nice diagonal in to the box. Jelavich had run past Sagna but the ball was just too close to the keeper and Szczesny slid out quickly and claimed.

From there, things should have been ok, as Szczesny rolled the ball out to Sagna who had acres of space and time and Arteta to his left. Unfortunately, Sagna played Arteta a hospital ball and Peener just took it from him but his tackle gave the ball back to Sagna. Under pressure from Peener, Sagna rushed the clearance and hit the ball across the D, right to Fellaini who controlled and curled in an unstoppable shot past Vermaelen.

Twitter lit up with blame for that goal, on Aaron Ramsey’s give away a minute earlier. Ramsey was to blame for a lot of things in that game, he was dispossessed 6 times, and it is frustrating to watch Arsenal’s attack break down time and again and see an Arsenal player easily harried off the ball. But Ramsey was only tangentially to blame for the Everton goal. If you want to blame an Arsenal player, blame Sagna. Sagna let Jelavich in behind him. Sagna made the terrible pass to Arteta. Sagna made the poor clearance. And Arsenal fans can say that was either a goal created by Peener’s hustle, or a goal conceded by Bacary Sagna’s terrible defending, but blaming Ramsey is plumbing new depths of self loathing.

Ramsey is a decent player but he does have an Achilles heel in that teams who pressure him can get him to cough the ball up easily. It’s also a fact that the referees don’t afford him any protection and that yesterday’s referee had no compunction allowing Everton to go through Ramsey’s back time and again but call a foul when an Arsenal player tried to do the same.

In the end, though, both teams fought hard for the win. Looking at the stats we see both that Arsenal lifted their performance from the listless draw at Aston Villa and battled hard for the point. Arsenal matched a hard-edged Everton side, at Goodison, where they haven’t lost for 10 straight, tackle for tackle. Arsenal matched them pass for pass. Arsenal matched them header for header and clearance for clearance. Both teams had chances to win the game but spurned those chances and in the very end it was Arsenal’s keeper, Szczesny, who made two important saves that ensured Arsenal a share of the points.

It’s just about what both teams deserved and while it wasn’t the most flowing match from an Arsenal fan’s persepective, the very least you have to admit is that Arsenal gave their all.

Which is all we ever ask for, right?

Well, that and getting 60,000 Gooners to sing “Just Once” by James Ingram. Come on, let’s make this happen.

Qq

53 thoughts on “Everton 1-1 Arsenal: I did my best, but I guess my best wasn’t good enough

  1. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1czarsenal

    Praise?

    My dear god, that is _not_ the job of an Arsenal supporter. We leave that up to admirers from other clubs to do.

  2. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1fazza

    It was our self destructive tendency to try and continue short (somewhat high risk) passing deep in our own half that led to Fellaini’s equalizer.
    One thing I feel we have not been able to master is the
    timing of pumping a long (but targeted) ball to relieve
    pressure. It was always expected that time and space would be denied and by doing so they could reasonably expect to make us pay (much like the turnover that led to the Fulham penalty after Arteta was dispossed by Ruiz when he received that short pass from Cazorla a few weeks ago), this is not to say the Everton were not able to fashion chances for themselves it was simply one of our flaws which the opposition time and again target and more often than necessary benefit from. I do agree that a draw was not a bad result considering how good Everton actually were on the night. Fortunately for us with the regards to that “top four” trophy the teams that were above us are also pushing their own self-destruct buttons, that it does not yet seem impossible for us to reign them in.

    I am an eternal optimist but in the dark cold misty morning on my way to catch the train this morning I got hit by a sudden bolt of clarity and have come to the realistion that Theo is “outta here”. The money has been put on the table and whatever else they have offered the young lad but he still won’t sign da’ ting!? So the question for me now is not “will he stay?” it’s where does he go? My bets are on UNITED with CHELSEA second and CITY a very distant third. UNITED clearly have no use for Nani and his dodgy statues (to himself) and RVP has already started something that will continue to erode at our scant credibility, so it won’t be that much of a drama if he ended up there as the pioneers have pioneered. CHELSEA already have a few speedsters on their books so unless it’s still a game of monopoly for the oily Roman he won’t be following Ashley-I-can-throw-up-in-cabs-and-baulk-at-an- extra-five grand-a-week Cole, as for city they already have Sinclair and countless other mercenaries who won’t even want to be shifted despite protestations otherwise.

    1. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1Eurazian

      File “short passing out of defence” under “stupid self-inflicted ways Arsenal repeatedly concede goals”.

      Note that Sagna was not under any pressure when he made that hospital pass. It was just Arsenal-drilled instinct to play a pass like that.

  3. -4 Vote -1 Vote +1mark

    good article although it shows arsenals decline that all you ask for is “their best” dont really agree with the referee comment you make, the referee as well as not giving everton a clear penalty gave arsenal free kicks any time fellaini came within 2 feet of any arsenal player where as it took 70 minutes for a foul to be given against an arsenal player on fellaini.

    one more note, any chance you could spell just one everton players name right? i know you arsenal an all that but come on mate its written on the back of their shirts!

    1. +1 Vote -1 Vote +111cannons

      Methinks you’ve been trolled. Fair do’s on Jelavich [sic] but the others bar Peener [which is intentional] are right you nitpicking keyboard bully, you.

      Fellaini won a free kick off Arteta on 35 minutes [http://espnfc.com/us/en/commentary/345721/commentary.html?soccernet=true&cc=5901] and commited 5 or 6 fouls without getting booked.

  4. Vote -1 Vote +111cannons

    Good balanced view Tim. I wasn’t overly disappointed by the Villa draw to be fair, it’s not the happiest hunting ground for us. I thought we were crap that day but the conditions were awful and sides up and down the league appeared to have difficulty based on the weather.

    As for Everton, it’s a tough place to visit as you point out and I think we’ve enjoyed a bit of a purple patch at Goodison in recent years. It’s a good point and now our trickiest away ties remaining are in the capital [Spuds & Chavs].

    It seems in both these matches Wenger is very much about not losing more than going whole hog to win. It would seem a long term strategy to build confidence and momentum and one that could pay dividends in the upcoming run of games.

  5. -3 Vote -1 Vote +1hmmmmdinger

    Nice article but the bit about referees not protecting Ramsey was a stretch, i thought the ref had a poor game all round and both teams were on the receiving ends of some bad decisions, to suggest it was only one way seems a bit unfair

    1. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1santori

      Ramsey playing better than Jack is a stretch.

      Ramsey is good going forward. Problem is he is suspect defending. Where as Coquelin loses the ball just as frequently, he will have the tenacity to win the ball back. If Ramsey can improve this part of his game with a bit more aggression, he will be a fantastic player.

      That siad, if Ramsey loses tha ball that easily, I’d much rather we play Arsharvin. he has better vision and distribution.

    2. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1santori

      I’m not advocating that Arsharvin is the solution to our problems at the moment but I do think we are not maximising our assets and that our squad is not as ‘thin’ as it is conveniently made out to be.

      Nor does playing Arsharvin necessarily mean it is at Ramsey’s expense.

      What I do feel is that as good as Walcott is, he went missing for large spells against Everton principally because he was plying his trade too far up and at expense of his more effective wide position.

      more importantly, although his first touch has improved, he is not a creative player.

      Thereby Santi seems to should er much of the burden creating where Jack is not up to top form.

      Again, I’m not advocating playing Andrei for the duration of the match (I don’t think his sometimes suspect attention span may hold up) but we should at very least play him for a good 30 minutes, this especially with Gibbs back in.

      …………………..Giroud……………..
      Arsharvin……….Santi………….Walcott
      ……………Arteta…….Jack……………..
      Gibbs……TV………….Per………..Sagna

      In fact I thought Wenger could have been a bit more bold with his tactics by adding variation to counter Fellaini’s threat. Instead we seem to defend zonally and allow the giant Belgian free reign to pick out where he could exploit from a corner or set piece. Where he had a clear header at Szsc, he had opportunity to pick out a position where we had less strength in cover aerially.

      One option for us yesterday may have been to opt for a 3-5-1 or 3-4-2 formation with wing backs to counter higher up and in particular Vermaelen ina traingle ahead or per and Koscielny to pick out and limit Fellaini much like Diaby was used to good effect against Crouch and Stoke.

      Arsharvin…………………Giroud………………….Walcott
      …………..Arteta…………………….Santi…………………
      Gibbs…………………….Vermaelen………………Sagna
      …………………Koscielny……….Per…………………….

      In this case, the wingbacks are better in touch with the wingers with support from Santi and Arteta.

      Fellani through the middle (knock downs) get challenged by Vermaelen and we still have Koscielny and Per to match Jelavic.

      I’m not saying it will work but there are obvious permutations that may lend strengths toward our current composition that we are not trying and particularly, players that could lend better creativity to our paucity in invention that we are not using.

      All things being equal, this whole thing about lack of depth is a convenient excuse. Bar maybe City all teams have depth issues somewhere. Chelsea have their own limited options up top. They may be running away with it but speak to any United fan and they will tell you their deficiencies in midfield. West Brom are not exactly a team packed with talent but they are gunning it at the moment.

      The key is to get the most out of this current team. Yes we need a couple of additions preferably but for the moment, we have ability in the team that is not properly realised. we must get the team dynamics right.

      Which is why all this silly defense of Ramsey gets me. I get he is a talent but is he adding the best dynamic to our team at the moment. I think we can do better.

  6. -4 Vote -1 Vote +1Barney c

    Good balanced article, but then ruined at by commenting on refereeing decisions, neglecting to state that Arteta gave away four free kicks within the first 30mins, without a word from the official, so look at your own players before comment icing on others.

    1. +2 Vote -1 Vote +111cannons

      I really do love when supporters of other clubs come onto Arsenal blogs, fora, etc and start preaching to Gooners about how they should write about Arsenal.

      I would not even know what an Everton blog looks like because I could not give a popcorn fart let alone a single shit what your lot think about your own club. But based on just this single article alone I can tell that there is a distinct percentage of Everton supporters that permanently have the hump about refereeing decisions.

      Funny you should mention Arteta with respect to fouling. Any idea where he spent his last 6 years of football prior to joining us last season?

  7. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1Bunburyist

    Good report, Tim, and I can’t say I’m disappointed with the result. However, I am disappointed that this Arsenal team is now a team when we say things like “we gave everything at Everton and deservedly came away with a point.” Not long ago, if we had given “everything” at Everton, or Aston Villa, or you name it, we’d have emerged with 3 points instead of 1 or 0.

    I can’t decide whether to adjust my expectations according to the glaring reality of this distinctly average Arsenal squad, or to keep fighting this adjustment because I see it as a slippery slope to accepting mediocrity…which for some reason I believe will be transmitted to the club and remove the incentive to improve. I know the latter sounds bizarre, but what do decision-makers do if there’s no pressure from fans? Maintain status quo?

    1. Vote -1 Vote +1santori

      You mean you haven’t altered your expectations yet?:D

      We are not at the races.

      Not sure why everyone is harping on about getting a good result at a difficult place. It was a poor result particularly in context with Villa and where Chelsea have open a door for us over two games.

      Whilst I don’t think our squad is complete, we should not be making excuses. West Brom is no better a squad than us (how much did they spend?)and they are well put together this season.

  8. +8 Vote -1 Vote +1Tim Post author

    First, that referee showed Gibbs a yellow card for a foul that he not only let Everton get away with serially, but which he never once gave back to Everton whenever they were called for the exact same cynical foul.

    Second, I felt like Ramsey (and Cazorla) was targeted for rotational fouling. I always feel like that people who are targeted for rotational fouling deserve some measure of protection from referees. But alas, that makes me an oddball in the football world and I accept that criticism.

    Third, Jelavic (sic) has an ć at the end of his name, which is a “ch” sound. In that case “Jelavich” is at least as proper as “Jelavic” because neither are actually correct and probably more proper because it’s at least phonetically correct.

    Also, I often spell Andrei Arshavin’s name with an “ei” instead of “ey”. Sue me.

  9. +3 Vote -1 Vote +1SG_Gunner

    Tim, it is amazing to read how quickly this team which was being hailed as the best in recent years (when we won against Liverpool, beat Soton and held Man C to a draw), balanced better than last year and having quality players for each position has so quickly become a mediocre/average/crap/gutless/timid/pansies/”put any other abuse you like” team.

    I wonder if the mood has worsened on your blog since the publication of the series on Arsenal Players. However, it is not just your site. Even other Arsenal blogs where rational discussions were the norm are now being filled with lot of negative posts. I obviously does not bode well for Arsene when even people who supported him for so long are finally giving up on his ideas and ideals. I have been his fervent supporter over the years despite not agreeing with lot of his decision making as I feel nobody is perfect and as a manager, Arsene needs to have a strong vision even if us supporters may be at odds with the vision.

    However, this season has just been so bipolar. On one hand, I understand that lot of the players in the team are trying to learn to play to the system and maybe this team needs more time to click. At the same time, lack of rotation frustrates me and makes me wonder why Arsene keeps talking about a big squad if he intends to use mostly 11-14 players all season. Then the comments about lack of players due to injury and all the whining about International football (which i happen to actually like) seems so ridiculous.

    This kind of duality has sown seeds of doubt in my mind about a happy ending to Arsene’s career at Arsenal. It is a bloody shame that it has painfully come to this point at our club. If Wenger has decided that he will keep Arsenal in top 4 with least amount of money spent and bow out at the end of his contract to leave the new manager with a decent team and a big hoard of cash then I can understand all the convoluted logic. If it is mainly due to financial restrictions, I can even accept that.

    I hope we rediscover the joy of watching Arsenal play exciting football. I for one thought that Arsenal played quite well but the team did not play to Giroud’s strengths.

  10. Vote -1 Vote +1GoonerNC

    I was only ever able to watch the game after the fact and I was amazed at how many nearly moments there were for Arsenal. In games like the one against Villa, it was just a lot of boredom. But there were real opportunities yesterday and they just didn’t happen. I’m bitter about the result against Villa. Not so much this one. There was effort and ideas and threat. Yes, I hate that Arsenal is no longer the assumed winner of every match. But that’s not this squad’s fault. Nor is it the manager’s. I have to take what I can get right now.

    1. Vote -1 Vote +1santori

      Not half enough.

      Toffees had the better chances and were more efficient.

      clearly something is wrong with our approach.

  11. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1SG_Gunner

    GoonerNC.

    Lack of finishing has cost us wins against Sunderland (Giroud), Man C (Gervinho), Fulham (Arteta) and Villa (Kos). We also should have drawn against Chelsea (Giroud). That is nine points.That would have had us at 3rd instead of 7th currently. In all of these games we missed real scoring opportunities and whether we like it or not, we have to accept that we need more efficiency in front of the goal. That is a difference between good and great sides. There is a reason Man U find those last minute goals most of the time. It is because they have better finishers in the team. Until we can replace Henry and RVP’s efficiency in front of goal, we will struggle.

    1. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Eurazian

      Fair point SG Gunner, although I don’t know if Kos’ miss at Villa was any more than a half chance… plus he’s a CB so we shouldn’t expect clinical finishing from him.

      Far worse than bad finishing though, is ridiculously stupid defensive errors that are totally preventable. Just off the top of my head, I’m counting Sagna at Everton, Vermaelen at ManU, Vermaelen/Kos/Mannone at Chelsea, Arteta/Cazorla at Fulham, Santos/Mannone at Norwich. There’s probably more than don’t spring to mind at the moment, but that’s 10 points right there which are all from shit-for-brains errors that no team with any aspiration should be making so regularly.

    2. Vote -1 Vote +1santori

      Lack of invention.

      We could have done with some added creativity on the park to match Santi (if anything take some of the focus off of him)

      Plus, Walcott played himself closer to Giroud very high (like a Michale Owen) which I thought was a disservice.

      He did not show enough as an outlet and did not help sufficiently with Sagna in closing down Peinaar and Baines.

      Again this is a tactical mistake with little recourse from Wenger.

      1. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Eurazian

        Honestly, if we have 4 “creative midfielders” on the park in Cazorla, Arteta, Wilshere and Ramsey, and we still “lack creativity”, then there is no hope for us.

      2. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1santori

        Not necesaarily.

        Arsharvin is better than Ramsey (and arguably Santi) in picking passes, technical distribution. He would have given us better service to Giroud from out left.

        Ramsey is creative but not at that standard yet.

        You can argue about Andrei’s defensive application but Ramsey isn’t much better so why not play the more creative player?

      3. Vote -1 Vote +1Tim Post author

        Arshavin is more technically adept than Ramsey but he won’t work to find space to receive the ball, won’t defend, and has a tendency to give the ball away in the attacking third.

        Unlike Ramsey who can sometimes hold on to the ball too long, Arshavin tries to give the ball away too quickly and his little flicks and cute tricks result in more turnovers than Ramsey.

        That’s why he was dropped years ago. That’s why he won’t play for Arsenal.

  12. Vote -1 Vote +1SG_Gunner

    Also, lot of gooners don’t give much respect to AVB but very quietly Spurs are 2 points ahead of us. Of course it is early days yet but I for one will keep a watchful eye on them. I don’t see them losing too many games this season (if they keep their squad fit). How would we justify to ourselves if Spurs end up one spot above or below us this season with a wage bill which is 50% less than ours. We Gooners are very quick to point out that we have maintained our position at top 4 below the top teams with much higher wage bill.

  13. Vote -1 Vote +1Gerry Lennon

    Funny, I too, only saw the match on the Player, having previously followed the live commentary. I then went to decide my choice for MOTM and thought it would be too tedious to watch it all again, and anyway, there was no point in the elimination process to put the blame on any one player, as they all had there good moments as well as poor ones.
    Take the draw and move on was my final thought .. after giving Per the vote, narrowly over Szcz.

  14. Vote -1 Vote +1dy

    when you realize that you’re the underdog, you try harder by concentrating on your effort, run harder and try to overcome the handicap. But when you believe you’re better than your opponents, you become a bit casual and careless and before you realize it, the momentum and initiative is gone. In any sports, that kind of mentality can all too often ignite or kill the spirit and will to win. Mediocrity bleeds mediocrity and there’s no way back.

  15. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1Yan

    Well, I think that some Gunners aren’t giving the due credit to Everton. A professional, well oiled machine that has what we haven’t got in a long time, and what almost everyone is crying for: squad continuity. That plus tired legs and some poor playing are to account for yesterday’s result.

    Let’s bring the youngsters!

  16. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1Barney c

    In reply to “11cannons” if he wasn’t too blinkered he would go on other teams sites, as I mentioned this was a good balanced argument which was spoiled by the refereeing comments. I couldn’t forget where Arteta played the best years of his career, and hope he can still perform the same for you. My point as a retired ref. is not to pick out of a game the points which suit and ignore the points that don’t. Good luck to you Gooners for the rest of the season. Hope to be fighting it out at the end of the season with you, for maybe 3rd or 4th place maybe.

    1. -1 Vote -1 Vote +111cannons

      Yeah, I guess between working on my own Arsenal blog, a football art exhibition, graphics for this very site [which are seriously going to kick ass], and going to China every six weeks for my job as an architect [we all know how much free time they have], I should go troll some Everton site to see a whinge-fest about refereeing decisions, especially since every single Everton match I’ve seen over the last decade has involved the full XI maximizing every single opportunity to get a free kick in an attritional attempt to suck the very life out of the 90 minutes meant to spent actually playing football. Sounds great, I’ll squeeze it in.

      While I’m doing that with my galactic-sized shoehorn, care to rebut on how Gibbs picked up a yellow for doing what when unpunished by several Everton players as Tim points out? Thought not.

      1. +1 Vote -1 Vote +111cannons

        And since we’re not reconstructing history or skewing facts to suit our bias, I’ll remind you that Arteta committed his THIRD foul on 35 minutes and only got to his fourth in the 77th, ten minutes after Fellaini had already collected four of his own.

  17. +1 Vote -1 Vote +11NilToTheArsenal

    I was sorely disappointed after the fact. I thought your take was overly generous to the club, but you’ve proved yourself over and over as an astute analyst, so I went back and watched portions of the game again (PVRs – the next best thing since sliced bread), keeping in mind your comments and “By the Numbers” post.

    It’s a sound conclusion. Everton and Arsenal are peers this season, in the same class, which is clearly not that of the Manchester teams or the big continental sides. To come away with a point away under the circumstances is not a bad outcome.

    We are nearing the halfway point now and as we enter the 2nd of half the season in the new year the also-rans and Cinderella stories will inevitably fall by the wayside (West Brom, I’m looking at you).

    They don’t have Giroud or Wilshere or Rosicky or the kind of mercurial quality which if it can steady itself, can make the difference.

    Anyway, that’s what I’m telling myself. What’s bad is that your post feels like a drug. And I feel like Lance Armstrong right now.

  18. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Ras Dam

    This is fast becoming my favorite Arsenal blog. I agree entirely with this post. I left the match without a bad word to say about any of the players, bar Sagna and his unusually poor crossing.

    The players gave their all and should be praised for that. I wouldn’t say the same of Wenger though. As hard as this team tried I don’t think it was the best side we could’ve fielded to combat the threats Everton posed us. I knew that Cazorla would struggle to make an impact in this match and I doubt I was alone in thinking that. Everton played old man Hibbert at right back like expected and we didn’t have any game plan to try and expose his weaknesses, unlike what they did by targeting Ramsey like you pointed out. It may have won us the match, it may have lost it for us. We’ll never know. But I can’t shake the feeling that we didn’t put out the best team we could have for the obstacle that Everton presented.

    Guess it doesn’t matter now.

    1. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1Tim Post author

      I really appreciate that Ras. I respect your opinion so if you want to drop some criticism on me, please feel free.

      I also still want to do a weekly photo feature of your shots from all the away games. My readers are part of the Arsenal diaspora and so shots of Gooners before, during, and after games are like mana from heaven for us.

      Anyway, I plan on going to Sunderland in Feb, I’ll buy you a pint and let you chew me out in person. Cheers.

  19. Vote -1 Vote +1JV Mauer

    Hey Tim. Big fan, as always. Just one question though… I know we’ve been through a hurricane and all, but it’s still November here in New York. What month is it in the rest of the world? Is it May already?

    1. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Bunburyist

      You’ve been asleep in a boat, Boatswain. The storm was a magical device. Don’t worry, though. Miranda and Ferdinand are to be married, and Prospero and Alonso are reconciled, all returned to their proper kingdoms and offices. You may resume your normal responsibilities.

      1. Vote -1 Vote +1JV Mauer

        Phew, that’s a relief. Thanks, Bunburyist! For a minute there, I thought I’d slept through about five months worth of the season and it was all almost over.

  20. -1 Vote -1 Vote +1jaymin

    we’re now at the ” ‘A’ for effort” part of the decline. Charlton Athletic is the model now! I think our tickets cost a princely bit more though. I have noticed on all the podcasts i listen to that the money-paying english Emirates regulars all do talk about how “good job, good effort!” to borrow a popular american meme, is really what they want to see. they’re far more enlightened than i am. i just want us to paste teams i perceive to be lower in stature than the Arsenal. I don’t want to watch a team of tryers vainly getting spanked for the next ten years because the ownership thinks this is the NFL and every team has a chance at the beginning of the season.

  21. Vote -1 Vote +1santori

    I get you feel compelled to try and defend Ramsey because of all the negativity surrounding him at the moment. I agree he is a good player.

    BUT honestly, you are stretching it by trying to prove his worth and picking holes in other players.

    Simply put, Ramsey is decent but he is not the best option and is a liability in some respects.

    1) He is not a natural wide player (not saying he isn’t trying to do a good job). he cuts in frequently and crucially loses the ball in key areas. This does not exonnerate the other players (Sagna, Santi who were below par) BUT Ramsey does not bring anything extra to the team.

    2) We are not bereft of options. Liability as he is defensively, I would much rather play the technically more gifted (and crucially experienced) Arsharvin if they are both going to lose possession. Particularly, where Andrei has shown great (rare) tenacity in winning balls back after losing them, Ramsey can’t.

    3) Again you obfuscate your judgement by trying too hard on Ramsey. Yes I get it. he isn’t half as bad as everyone-else may be saying on tweeter and he is showing improvement, but he is not as good as Jack at the moment or as crucial to our game.

    I’m not saying we have to not play Rasmey. What I am saying is that you are distracting yourself from our other options if you think Ramsey is the only choice at the moment to compensate for all the negativity thrown against him.

    1. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1alabamagooner

      I thought it was a pretty balanced assessment – not a defense. Ramsey did some things wrong, he did some things right, he didn’t cause some things that he got completely blamed for. Discuss whether you think he is the right choice to play, but Tim was reviewing his performance in a game where he actually did play – not arguing whether or not he should have been fielded. Besides, as I’ve already said, defending Ramsey is my job – I’ll keep doing it. :)

      1. Vote -1 Vote +1santori

        But is playing an improving and developing player the best choice for team dynamics?

        I would suggest we have other options not used.

    2. +4 Vote -1 Vote +1Eurazian

      We all know how much you love Arshavin, Santori, but that ship has sailed, for better or worse. Wenger clearly doesn’t trust him to do more than make a late cameo when we are chasing the game.

      (For what it’s worth, if I was Arsenal manager I would have been giving Arshavin an extended run long ago behind the striker, to determine if he was truly good enough in this role. I suspect he would have been quite good, although that would have led to a more mercurial Arsenal team that scored more and conceded more. But I’m not Arsenal manager, so I don’t see much point in speculating about Arshavin since he doesn’t appear to have much future at the club.)

    3. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1A different Greg

      I thought Ramsey had quite a good game, particularly in comparison to Walcott.
      The abuse he suffers is astounding!
      I think he’s just short of confidence in front of goal, and unfortunately it looks like the other players are aware of it.
      To my mind he could have been played through on goal when countering (I have no idea where Theo was at this point) a couple of times.
      He found himself in shooting positions around the box more than any other midfielder.
      I couldn’t see his assist because it was up the other end of the pitch but it got the goal.
      What I did see was an awful ball to Giroud for THAT miss from Gervinho by Walcott. A properly weighted pass and I think we could have scored.

      Yes he does give the ball awy too often. And yes I am criticising him by comparing him to another player -fans favourite Walcott, who wont effing sign up and who inexplicably scores despite a lack of ability (much like Gervinho who suffered the ‘shit for shit’ chant along with Ramsey)

      1. Vote -1 Vote +1santori

        Not denying abuse against Ramsey is unwarranted.

        Just don’t think we have a ‘lack of options’.

        not suggesting Arsharvin is cure to our ills either but he is available. Why aren’t we using him?

        seems daft.

      2. Vote -1 Vote +1santori

        For the record, I hope Ramsey continues his upward trajectory.

        he is next in line IMO to replacing Rosicky end of season (With competition from Eisfeld)

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