Saturday preview: Everton vs Arsenal

Welcome to the GunnersoreArse blog. Being blogged 918.74 kilometers (in a straight line) from the Emirates Stadium.

Goodison Park this evening. It only seems like yesterday that we were battling with the Toffees for fourth place last season. They gave us a good run for our money and I see them as a real threat again this season as well. Last weekend when we were slogging it out to get a result against a Pulis free Palace, they were just about getting a draw at newly promoted Leicester, conceding two goals in the process. They are beatable but Lukaku will be an ongoing problem for our defence and I have doubts about us keeping a clean sheet.

Mertesacker will hopefully be back in the team next to Kos and with Arteta injured I would like to see Wenger putting Chambers into the DM role. From what I’ve seen of him so far at CB he has shown that a move slightly forward into mid-field would not be a strain on him. He has shown a very mature footballing brain in his first few games. He is confident and quick into the tackle, he is good on the ball and he moves forward and passes with intelligence. Up front I would really like Wenger to change things around and go for a pacy, attacking front line of Sanchez, Oxlade and Campbell.

For me, after his last two performances, I’d want Giroud dropped to the bench. Why people are saying he isn’t match fit I’ve got no idea. He was at the World Cup and has been back in training and participating in pre-season. I see no reason for the excuses but perhaps it’s a mental thing, on Tuesday night in Turkey he appeared to have no energy and hardly made any movement off the ball. He was puffing and panting like a 40 fag a day man, and the French do like their fags! It makes me wonder what he was doing on his two-week holiday to make him so unfit. Another who needs benching is Carzorla, in the last two games he has failed miserably on the left wing, it just isn’t his place and he has been woefully inadequate, continually moving into the middle and congesting the central mid-field. Sanchez (Alexis) has shown he has the energy and the motivation, moving about the pitch with ease but his final pass has been left wanting on a few occasions, I hope it’s just him adapting to the team and how we play.

Everton will be playing a much more open and free-flowing game compared to Palace last week. This will give some of our players, Ramsey and Ozil for instance, more room for creativity. And with Sanchez, Oxlade and Campbell up front, the chances of a quick break will always be a threat. Furthermore, they will be without Barkley, who would normally be trying to boss the midfield.

Along with Lukaku, Everton have Naismith up front as well. He scored last weekend and could be a threat but against Leicester they conceded on two occasions when in the lead, so they are vulnerable. I don’t see a repeat of last seasons result, I would go for a draw, 1-1 or 2-2.  Out of our last 15 league and cup games with Everton, last season was our only defeat. Out of the last four games, three have been a draw. Everton don’t have a strong defence and can easily concede, whereas we have a strong defence and therefore should try to capitalise on their weakness with pace up front, but without the gung-ho start which saw us crucified in April. My team selection is below, but I don’t really see Wenger going for this. It is my selection but my naivety with regards to tactics and team selection is renowned throughout the bloggosphere so get ready for Wenger to pick something totally different. I just enjoyed playing with the team selection widget thingy-me-bob.


submit football lineup

Bench: Martinez, Bellerin, Flamini, Rosicky, Wilshere, Giroud, Podolski.

I would see Campbell and Sanchez exchanging the central role during the match and Sanchez and Oxlade swapping on the wings. With Debuchy and Monreal making runs along the wings the attacking format could be explosive on the break. However, in our last encounter at Goodison Park, our opponents took advantage down our left flank and Monreal was often left exposed. If Santi plays on the left-wing today then that weakness will not be covered. If Lukaku is deployed down our left side then we could be punished once again, this is why I’d like to see the Ox or Sanchez out on the left-wing.

There you go, my first match preview to show the whole Arsenal world what a muppet I am when it comes to tactics and football in general. It’s the team I would pick if I were manager, so perhaps it’s a good thing that I’m not and just sitting in my armchair, playing fantasy manager and drinking a glass of wine. I can leave the headaches of team selection and tactics to Arsène Wenger because he knows best. I just hope we don’t get Toffee’d.

Enjoy the match wherever you are watching it in the universe. COYG’s.

Right, time for a glass of wine and some spicy chorizo……. hope you enjoyed your visit. Until tomorrow when there will be my normal Sunday supplement.

à bientôt

GunnersoreArse…  the final frontier, blindly going forth where no blog has ever gone before, exploring new ways to fuck up tactics and team selection. “It’s an Arsenal blog Jim, but not as we know it”


52 thoughts on “Saturday preview: Everton vs Arsenal

  1. FIRST 🙂

    I’m off to have lunch with ex-wifey No 3 today. So get your fucking insults about my preview in early so I can savour them before I get home later too drunk to care. 🙂

  2. bollox, i just wrote a long comment on the previous post.Your 9.00 a.m. is not mine :
    Anyway I will copy it in here.

    I like your team but doubt Campbell will play CF.

  3. Morning all

    I had to have a rather unpleasant procedure in hospital yesterday and just getting there was an ordeal as you NB know,but at least I didn’t have to stay in overnight.
    I have just read your debate with Shard on AA and someone should have moderated some of those comments. AA is a football blog but with usually an early morning bit of banter which is quite harmless but politics and religion shouldn’t be debated on there IMO.
    It’s not a very nice world we live in and the angst is spreading.
    I would just like to say that Malky Mackay knew exactly what he texted and unfortunately a lot of people think one thing privately but actually say the opposite publically, and he being in the limelight it has been exposed.He doesn’t need councelling as I am 100% sure especially at his age he will never change.
    Right back today.
    Late Saturday night football is not one that we do very well generally especially away and Rambo will be a huge miss as he and he alone would be the most likely to score on players available.
    Everton have a formidable defence and I wouldn’t read too much in their opening game draw at Leicester.
    Will Pers play and Chambers be benched or will he keep the same team as the last game but with Flamini coming in for Arteta.I would like to see The Ox start but not sure for who.Hopefully Kos is fit as it was 50/50 that he would start in Turkey.Anyway I will wait to read what NB previews.

  4. Morning Kels

    I was just about to ask where you had heard that Rambo wasn’t playing 🙂

    I just quickly went through the AA stuff and didn’t find anything too heavy… or perhaps I flicked over it too quickly. Anyway, my pub is always peaceful and calm, no politics or religion unless it is football based. And no talking to drunks, which means you have to ignore ME 🙂

  5. Morning All
    If Terry is a financial advisor, I reckon he would advise them to put their money on the exact opposite 🙂
    Seriously I don’t think there will be much change from tues…Per back, Flamini for Arteta and if Kos is out Chambers in. Not too exciting is it?

  6. What do you think about Mackay purely as a football manager should he really be pleading innocent and that it was a bit of banter.Don’t answer if you don’t want to.

  7. What I like about this pub is that I get an instinctive urge when I enter to burp and hurl abuse safe in the knowledge that it will be received as terms of endearment!

    I like your team NB, an exciting line up! I’m more confident that last year. I think we are more likely to win….tight, yes….

  8. I cannot believe people write such offensive stuff in private without actually believing it….I thought Malky was a great prospect…it might be difficult for him now. If you are a black footballer in his next squad what will you be thinking?

  9. Morning tossers……… and georgaki 🙂

    This Malky malarky…. I think many people in football unfortunately have similar views but don’t express them in e mails. What can be classed as mild racist or sexist banter on a blog such as this and others, is different for someone in the limelight like a manager or a player. They will be held accountable and be held up to the world as a sacrificial lamb. The people doing the accusing perhaps need to look at their own views as well.

  10. Morning all, Nice one NB,

    I too like your set up for today, and i wouldn’t mind seeing that played out. I may say i like the way you have set your blog up, and the way you write your post’s . I like a post to sound like anybody can understand it and also how you know that Arsene will do the complete opposite.Maybe Wenger knows better and will set up much the same as last time, and with a bit of luck he may get a win.

    Personally i think if he does, we will come away with kicked arses, so would prefer an NB line up. Keep up the good work Gooner, and blinding read mate.

  11. Thanks steveP

    AW must be thinking about how it ended last season. Lessons learned and all that. Take it easy for first 20 or so minutes, get settled in defence and then explore going forward on the break……. even if Giroud plays we could do that with Ox and Sanchez on the wings. 🙂

  12. For me the crucial decision iis in defensive midfield. Flamini will be a risk, yellow card guaranteed and possible red… I’d prefer chambers, cool head, not impulsive. Reads the game well and could cover Monreal when neccessary.

  13. steve

    I wrote a post only a few weeks ago about AW “Does a leopard change his spots” and got a mixed reaction.
    I like competition for places but I often feel whoever plays that we are predictable and that Wenger will never change.We do have funds but obviously not in the same league as Chelsea and City but signing Ozil was not his first choice though I do believe he will be a huge asset,but how many ball players does a team need.As you said we need more of a physical force in defence and in midfield.
    \We have the smallest team in the Pl averaging 5″9″,Chelsea are 6″1″.

  14. Right you load of shirt-lifters, I’ve got to shave, shower and clean my smelly bits. I never know with my ex-wifey…….. sometimes she’s up for it and sometimes she’s not 🙂 her menopause what-sit is a bit unpredictable.

  15. Not seen The Ox and Sanchez and Campbell together yet, and that little trio excites me, with Aaron doing his thing and Ozil and Chambers running things sends shivers down my spine. I just wonder how long i will have to wait for a line up like that, Throw in Theo and bingo it could be housey housey. But will Wenger see that Nooooooooooo.

  16. That a boy, good stuff North.

    I agree with your lineup except I would use Flamini because if he isn’t used now then no point in him being in the side. Everton could provide problems but I do think we will win. Completely agree about Giroud and his match fitness, if he isn’t match fit at this point then there are serious problems especially when you see players like Benzema, Kos, Pogba and others who were at the World Cup and played much more than Giroud fit and firing.

    Lunch with the 3rd Mrs. North, enjoy that!

  17. Hi all,

    Your tactical nous is fine but I doubt AW will start Chambers as our main striker. Sanago appears to be fit – so he would be my choice. In the WC I liked Chambers when he was on the right wing cutting in, his speed was a big asset for Costa Rica.

    I’m a tad apprehensive about our chances against Everton they are a strong and well managed team who will be challenging for the top 4. A point would be a good result and a win would be incredible.

  18. Yea Georgaki – you are right on that, but wrong on the drink. I prefer single malt scotch or red wine and I rarely touch alcohol before 6:00pm (except in a virtual pub) and it’s still only 10:20 am here in London, Ontario.

  19. I like the look of that team Necrophilic Bastard `69 !. 😀
    A question for Kelsey !……..yesterday you said Arsenal have only spent £14M net on transfers, please give me the break down on this total involving the likes of Cesc and Vela as I had it at a conservative spend net of £30M and I would love say it is £14M on another site to wind up Stretch , so give me more details so I can back it up and thrust the Doom Dagger deep into deluded bastard !. hahaha!.

  20. I’m home and very disappointed. 38c here in Provence and I’m sweating. Not from the heat but because when I arrived at Mrs NB the third’s, there was a massive geezer, and I mean MASSIVE, sitting at the kitchen table. Turns out that MrsNB III has found a new ‘beau’…. the slut. So I had lunch and left as soon as I could before a threesome was suggested 🙂

    So now happily I can concentrate on the match and according to GN5, we have just bought a new CF called Chambers, who apparently played for Costa Rica… I don’t remember him in the WC but there were quite a few blokes in the WC when I went in there 🙂

  21. Team announced:
    Chez, Daybooshy, chambers, mert, monreal, flamini, jacko, rambo, sanchez, oxlade, ozil.

    A bizarre set up but has AW finally started to think pace, creativity… at the moment I can’t think how that will line up. We seem to be a winger short???

  22. The only way I can line them up:

    Daybooshy….. mert…..chambers……nacho

    with daybooshy and Monreal being used as wing backs. Can any one suggest different?

  23. NB
    Looks like an improvement to me, dare I say it flair.
    Probably get put in my place soon enough though. A narrow win for me.
    Ps maybe it was Henry 🙂

  24. It does Michael….. lots of flair. Lets hope it works, but even if it doesn’t at least AW is perhaps going in the right direction.
    I think it’s a 4-1-4-1… exciting. Can’t wait. 🙂

  25. What did I say about exciting………. why have pacy forwards when we continue to tippy tappy around midfield and then lose possession. Second goal was defo offside… very bad from the linesman… he was in line with it and still didn’t call it. Very poor from the officials. bugger bugger bugger. Arsene should have gone with my line up 🙂

  26. AW needs to make substitutions now and not wait till the 70+ minute. Bring on Campbell, drop Ozil back into the middle with Ramsey, and play Ox, Campbell and Sanchez up front. We have nobody in the middle when passes are put into the Everton penalty box… fuck sake, even I as a muppet football manager can see that.

  27. Excellent result, we toughed it out and never gave up. It was good to see how Giroud responded to all of the criticism he has received – if he had scored on his 1st shot we may well have gone on to win.

    I still continue to wonder where the goals will come from, in the 1st half we were toothless without a front man target – Giroud made the difference.

    I watched the game with my 5 year old grandson, he is the 6th generation of Arsenal supporters in our family – our support goes back over 100 years.

  28. You have to wonder if Giroud would have had the sme impact if he had started? Being benched clearly gave him some motivation to make his point. Campbell coming on also made a big difference. And Santi, had some influence when he came on. Just goes to show that competition for places gives everyone a kick up the sorearse. 🙂

  29. Missed the 2nd half but ill take the result. I thought we played well by and large except for goals. A big improvement, that Martinez is no mug.

    Arnie this is for you. Jack looked better today 🙂

  30. Great stuff, NorthBank. 🙂 I read your post in the morning and thought I will join in the fun a bit later. Wrong idea. The day was taken over by small errands. Even missed the first half of the game, for that reason had a fight with Mrs, watched the second half in a pub in Edinburgh and then attended a concert by the Czech Philaharmonic. Enjoyed our comeback and then the concert.

    Michael, interesting you thought Jack improved. I had the feeling he was flat. Anyway, we got out of jail thanks to Rambo and Giro. Have to say I am reasonably happy. 🙂

  31. Kelsey. Hope you are feeling better. Will give you a call later today.

    On the AA stuff, I was unnecessarily scape goated. The whole matter was instigated by others. Anyway, I have my own views, but I respect diversity of views. However, I also recognise that there are many super Gooners who also happen to belong to different religions. In my view, like the club is inclusive towards people of different orientations, so should Gooner blogs. I feared some may feel marginalised and leave AA, and this is why I reacted the way I did. I regret having done so, but this is in my nature.

    Unfortunately some people try to use such blog sites to advance their world views. I do not give a flying fig to that. However I feel sad when I vie their actions as mitigating against the good work done by others in developing and sustaining such sites. 😦

  32. Arnie,
    I know what I mean, just don’t write clearly. 🙂
    For me the improvement is this season. I didn’t notice him on his bum looking for a free kick after holding the ball too long, that really grates me….so small steps.

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