4 Talking Points From Arsenal’s Disappointing 3-0 Loss To Everton

By on April 7, 2014

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Arsenal slumped to another disappointing away defeat, this time it was Everton who took the Gunners apart to run out 3-0 winners on Sunday. Here, Gunner333 gives us four talking points from the game.

Following on from a 1-1 draw with City last week, which looked to solidify hopes of fourth spot, Arsenal turned their attention to the vital clash with the Toffees. Title hopes now all but diminished, this game incorporated the two sides vying to fill the remaining Champions League spot and proved to be the most important amid the remaining fixtures for the Gunners.

It was no surprise to see an electric atmosphere at Goodison Park, with home fans desperate to see their club be the first to knock Arsenal out of the top four since the start of Wenger’s reign.

After Flamini unravelled a rocket at goal which was gathered by the Tim Howard, the home side executed a fine response. Baines found Lukaku with a low cross, who’s attempt rebounded to Scotsman Naismith, who buried the chance comfortably. A chorus of ecstasy was unleashed by the Everton crowd, with the already tense atmosphere making this a tough ask for the Gunners.

Both sides forced chance-after-chance. Mirallas stung the paws of Szczesny, before young John Stones was called into action to deny Frenchman Giroud with a half-chance. However, some shambolic defending called for Everton’s second. Spaniard Arteta left space open when he slipped in the center-circle, which was used well by Mirallas who slipped the ball through to Lukaku, the Belgian was allowed to cut inside before firing home past Szczesnye.

Frustrations did arise from the Arsenal camp though, with the second goal resulting from a tactical block of vision by Naismith on Szczesny, the Scottish forward straying in an offside position and was clearly interfering with play, but the goal was allowed to stand.

Just past the hour-mark any faint hopes of an Arsenal revival were eradicated in a flash of calamitous play. Arteta slid into Mirallas after the ball fell at the Belgian’s feet, with the Arsenal player’s trailing toe getting the final touch on the ball which trickled into the net. Now game over, Arsenal were just looking to prevent this poor defeat into another humiliation.

A rare scene of Arsenal cheer came upon arrival of Aaron Ramsey to the field of play. The Welshman returned after his early scintillating form was cut short by a lengthy injury woe. But It was evident it was not Arsenal’s day when a promising chance for Oxlade-Chamberlain rattled the bar, before Sanogo had a goal wrongfully disallowed in stoppage timer. Full time and 3-0 it had ended, yet another away harrowing to a top-side.

Here I will now analyse four talking points from the game:

1) Loss Of Hunger

As with anything in football, repetition of success can often lead to a side depreciating the importance of it. This is certainly evident within Arsenal’s play at present, as we are approaching games in the manner that fourth is practically secured. This is clearly not the case.

Right from the starting whistle, we played on the back-foot and Everton approached the game with a lot more hunger. The combined atmosphere and importance of the game gave us stage fright and our normally fluid passing football spread across the field was changed to rigid, robotic movements and we seemed to become more grouped together in the centre, as the game progressed.

Ahead of the incredibly important game with Wigan in the FA Cup semi-final on Saturday, we must hit the ground running and not have a repeat of Sunday’s embarrassing showing. It is paramount also not to underestimate the quality that Uwe Rosler’s side possess.

2) Sluggish Sagna

Many of Everton’s attacking opportunities were sparked from their left-hand side. The focal point of the defensive disarray in this area was Bacary Sagna, who was consistently caught out of position. The runs of Barkley, Mirallas and Lukaku proved too much for our experienced full-back, leaving us with concerns about a frail-looking back-line which was previously remarkable.

Hopefully we’ll have both Laurent Koscielny and Kieran Gibbs back for Saturday’s game, so we can have our first-choice back four playing again, as the quartet who started on Sunday were all over the place.

3) Rambo Revival

Within a time of woe, you instinctively seek the positives and undoubtedly the positive from yesterday was to see the return of Welsh Wizard Aaron Ramsey, who was introduced mid-way through this game’s second half. He was sensational in the early stages of the season and we’re certainly going to need him during the closing stages.

Jack Wilshere is still out and the combination of Arteta and Flamini in the middle of the park clearly doesn’t work. Therefore, the arrival of Ramsey will give us some freshness in midfield.

4) This An Insight?

There is no hiding it, this game was a massive set-back. A win would have silenced Everton’s hopes of fourth and perhaps stunted their momentum, instead our rollicking at the hands of our direct competitors has left us in a dire position going forwards.

We may have the easier run-in on paper but the combined poor form and FA Cup focus could lead us to a stumble, so it’s down to Arsene Wenger and his team to ensure the players pick themselves up and respond against Wigan on Saturday, but not let the FA Cup become a distraction. Ending our trophy drought is vitally important, but so too is maintaining our status in the Champions League.

Thanks for reading and feel free to comment below.

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8 Comments

  1. Peter Obicci Adoko

    April 7, 2014 at 2:36 pm

    Thanks for your wise counsel. I hope stubborn Wenger will not play Arteta and Flamini again in the remaining games.

  2. Dominic

    April 7, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    Flamini will miss the next 2 games anyway. I really think Arteta needs a good kick up the arse. He is responsible for slowing down so many of our attacks by constantly playing the ball sideways or backwards.

  3. Panther

    April 7, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    The author of this article clearly hasn’t got a clue if he’s digging Sagna out for criticism. Sagna was Arsenals best player by far, with a bit more analysis it is clear Sagna had no defensive cover from Rosicky or Cazorla, who interchanged around that area of the pitch. Monreal and Vermaelen were terrible and not for the first time. If Wenger stays, the first thing he needs to do is play to Mertesackers strengths, which means playing 15 yards deaper reducing the space in behind. Second thing Wenger should do is get rid of Vermaelen as he has no positional awareness and is very clumsy and error prone, a bit like Clichy was. Arsenal need a Strong fast competent centre back, 2 specialist defensive midfilders and a top top quality centre forward, with pace to turn opposition defenders around.

    • paul35mm

      April 7, 2014 at 6:00 pm

      I agree with the core of what you say. Monreal has struggled against quality opponents all season, however it was Podolski who left him all alone on the left. Flamini and Arteta just do not have the pace to defend int he space in front of the back four and a high line is disastrous when the opposing team has pace because without Koscielny, our back line has only Sagna. I don’t think Vermaelen was any worse than mertesacker; the problem is, they are the same player. The difference is, Vermaelen wants to push up the field but lacks the pace to get back; while the BFG knows he’s slow and does a better job compensating.

      What the gunners need is; Eliaquim Mangala in the middle, Ricardo Rodrigues on the left of the defense, a quality holding midfielder like Lars Bender, Maxime Gonalons, or Fernando (my favorite) and a quality back up for Sagna (Serge Aurier or Calum Chambers) who could then be moved to where he’s needed to react to opponent’s strength.

      Add in fast left and right wingers (Draxler/Griezemann & someone like Nani or Angel DiMaria) to put pressure on opposing fullbacks to keep them out of the attack (Seamus Coleman was a handful for Sagna)

      I hope I never see Yaya Sanogo sgain. Ever. Please! There’s one good Yaya in the PL and his last name is Toure.

  4. Pingback: 4 Talking Points From Arsenal’s Disappointing Loss - FANatic

  5. Emmanuel

    April 7, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    You see, some of us love this club so much that we don’t want it to slip down to a mid-table club. As Winterburn, a former Arsenal player remarked somewhere today, this Arsenal team is not very far from the other top teams. What needs to be done is very simple. Arsene Wenger should discard his stupid stubbornness and go out there and strengthen the squad adequately with some good quality players, especially in the striking and holding mid-field positions. If someone, a reputable manager like Wenger is very much aware that his squad is very thin and at the same time prone to injury more than any other team in the Premiership, and stubbornly refuses to take care of this during the available transfer windows, then something serious must be wrong. Should we really wonder why Arsenal always collapses every season between February and March.

  6. Jim Bowen

    April 7, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    crying at the excuses in this –

    the second goal resulting from a tactical block of vision by Naismith on Szczesny – what? watch it again he may have been in an offside position but was at no point in front of the keeper, if anything blocked his vision it was the statues masquerading as an arsenal defence.

    Both sides forced chance-after-chance. Really? I remember Howard making a save from Podolski after he volleyed it into the floor but that was his only proper save of the half.

    it was not Arsenal’s day when a promising chance for Oxlade-Chamberlain rattled the bar – watch it again, save of the season from Howard nothing to do with luck

    • paul35mm

      April 7, 2014 at 6:19 pm

      Arsene hates to manage big squads. I think that’s obvious. He likes his players to play. He is not ruthless like Mourinho (I’m not entirely sure that’s a bad thing BTW.

      Mourinho arrives, gets boatloads of money to build a winning team then leaves one step ahead of the noose the people at the club would like to put around his neck.

      Arsene has build a club. An organization with a sense of itself structured around fiscal responsibility and sustainability; dedicated to developing players into champions. He’s done really well. The problem is, in an era where his rivals spend hundred of millions of pounds and euros to fund Mourinho-like team building projects (PSG, Monaco, Man City, Chelsea, Bayern-Munich) it can be difficult to compete for the very best players. Mourinho spend a hundred million in January to fund his team’s resurgence.
      He sold one of the team’s best players (Mata) and he brought in Nemanja Matic & Mohamed Salah, two key players in his charge to the PL lead.

      This is on top of signing Willian, Eto’o (no fee but huge wages), Schurrle, and van Grinkel.

      In that kind of environment Arsene needs to be more aggressive in the transfer market.

      He needs to get his big signings done early, get the players in and acclimated during the team’s preseason, and then hunt for bargains or surprise targets as the window closes.

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