Everton v Arsenal, the pre-match.

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Northbank1969 gets a day off today, here is a guest post from Norfolk Gooner.
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Lunch time today sees us kick-off the first of nine games that will more than likely determine the direction in which the club moves in the near future.

Nine games which in a normal season we would expect to comfortably win eight of.

But this is not a normal season by any means.  This is the season where any team can beat any other team and every club must expect the unexpected.

A maximum of twenty-seven points on offer, we need to win a minimum of twenty of them for the season to be judged average.  That is a reasonable run in the FA Cup, last sixteen in the Champions League and third or fourth place in the Premiership with European qualification our usual “trophy”. Even winning all twenty-seven points wont guarantee the Premiership title which is the only thing that can lift the season to above average.

Failure to Qualify for the Champions League will lead to even louder calls for the heads of both the board members and the manager.  More importantly, it could lead to a downward spiral where it becomes difficult to retain our best players and recruit top quality reinforcements which will almost inevitably lead to a slide down the league.

We start the final nine away to Everton, a team that we beat 2 – 1 at home in October, one of those “expected” results.

Without in any way disrespecting The Toffees, they are seen as a second tier team in the Premiership, perhaps slightly underachieving  but working under a good young manager and with brighter prospects following the arrival of new majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri.

Everton have a good mix of players with a solid looking back four some good experienced midfielders and a striker in Lukaku who can be deadly on his day.

It will not be an easy game.

Our manager has a job on his hands to lift the squad following a disastrous few weeks culminating in being dumped out of the Champions League by Barcelona on Wednesday night.

The players have to put all of that out of their minds and concentrate on playing well, doing their best and sticking to the plan.

For Arsenal there are a number of question marks over the choice of starters, the one certainty is David Ospina in goal.  Hector Bellerin and Nacho Monreal should fill the fullback slots and despite two glaring mistakes by Koscielny on Wednesday I expect him to be paired with Gabriel in the centre of the defence. With Flamini apparently injured, there should be no fear that he will be chosen ahead of either Coquelin and Elneny in central midfield.

With Ozil to pull the strings behind Alexis, Welbeck and Iwobi.  I’m sure Ozil will provide the ammunition, we must just hope that the front trio can bury a few of those chances he provides.

Win today and we give ourselves a chance of saving our season, lose and…………..

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Come on you fucking Gunners.

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32 thoughts on “Everton v Arsenal, the pre-match.

  1. Thank you Norfolk for the pre match….. I’m doing a bit of reverse psychology today, whenever I predict a win for the Arsenal we fucking lose, so today I’m going with a Lukaku hatrick and we lose 4 – 1

    Good morning Doomers, realists, dreamers and wankers 🙂

  2. Nice pre Match Norfolk.

    As you say an extremely important game today. IMO, and many others, a MWG.

    If we can manage a win today it might just spark a revival and help us with our confidence to push towards the line. Whether it will be good enough to win the premier ship will depend on others.

    Although I have been super critical of our manager lately,, it would be nice to get a win under our belts and put a smile back on his face, after all, he has been totally loyal to our beloved Arsenal.

    Come on you Gunners, not only for the supporters but for the manager as well.

    Squeaky bum time is an understatement.

  3. Not sure at the moment VCC….. waiting for a West Ham mate to call me, if he’s up for it, we’ll go to a bar, watch the Gunners and then watch the Hammers v the Chavs

  4. Bonjour mes amis, a lot going on today,

    Apart from our game at Everton, and France/England for the Grand Slam my enough feel and I are celebrating our Golden Wedding anniversary. 50 years of married bliss.

    It just goes to show that Arsenal fans can get along with Tottenham fans.

    Enjoy the game.

  5. Morning Norfolk

    For a marriage that’s 50 years old, ‘Not enough feel’ is probably a good description ha ha ha
    Happy Golden wedding anniversary….

  6. Have a great day Norfolk. Enjoy the two games today and then a nice evening meal no doubt.

    Im sure your wife is worth spoiling although she is a Yid. 🙂

  7. Morning all, Thank you Norfolk for a very frank and honest post.
    Can we win today, well of course we can, we are back in with teams that are on our level, Everton have been classed as you rightly said second tier side, but we are probably classed by many as the same standard.

    Gone are the days when Arsenal were classed as a top team, how can they be when they finish every season clutching for that 30 million lifeline. We are playing away so i would say we need a super effort to win all 3 points. Seasons past i would have predicted a win, but our form of late, and the moral of the team a draw would be a reasonable result.

    We are coming off a loss. Many supporters must be feeling that we stand a good chance, but with how we have conducted ourselves of late doubt must be in their minds, i know i have doubts. Arsene Wenger of course will try and lift a side that have had a lot of disappointments, but of course its his job to try and motivate us for that lucrative 30 million that we crave.

    Previous seasons we have still been challenging for a cup, but sadly we have been knocked out of everything early this season.. I have to say that although mathematically we could still win the league this season, i don’t believe it could actually happen, When the title is in other clubs hands means that we haven’t been consistent enough.

    In a season where the usual high finishers have struggled, we have followed suit and also had a disastrous time as well. Today will show if we still have what it takes to fight our way to the end of the season, Everton will also feel the same.

    I want us to finish well, as the extra money in a top 4 finish may just help with next seasons signings..On our day i feel we can do well, hopefully today is one of those days. COYG’s

  8. Thanks guys, we’ll enjoy the day.

    A very profound comment from our manager. When asked how the Premiership can possibly bridge the gap to the big European teams, he said “I believe that with more income in England the best players will slowly all come to England and that will be the answer”.

    To which I reply “only if you actually spend the extra income on top players Arsene”.

  9. Norfolk, 50 years of married bliss – sounds like your wife needs a medal of some sort 🙂 🙂

    NB recently celebrated 50 years on the piss 🙂 🙂

    I’ve been married for 55 years – and I’m still not used to it 😦 😦

  10. Can’t ask for more than that, a good win but most importantly a committed performance.

    A pity we now have a wretched interlull but it will give those with injuries a bit of time to recover.

    One down eight to go.

    Keep it up Gunners!

  11. Afternoon, A very good result, and a good performance, Wellbeck and iwobi played well up front, Coquelin and Elneney showed that they can graft when they need too. Belerin and Monreal showed commitment while Gabriel and Koshielney did very well against an awkward Lukaku..

    Supporters want to see players committed, today they saw that. We do battle well when looking for a top four spot. Sanchez is still struggling in this side, while we have Campbell who has played very well recently. Not many passengers today but we could use our inform players.

    3 points was our goal and we got them, 8 games left and we have to keep this momentum going to secure our spot at the end, Well done the team. and Arsene. 🙂

  12. Steve it was encouraging to see that Gabriel and Koscielny are forming an understanding at the back while Elneny and Le Coq are doing the same in front of them.

    I’d like to see both of those two combinations used on a regular basis for the rest of the season as with only one game a week fatigue shouldn’t be a factor.

  13. Good performance from the boys in yellow.

    Whole team looked up it. Promising signs for the run in.

    Wenger will enjoy his Vino Tinto tonight. 😀

  14. Shocking display from Clattenburg today. Wonder what his agenda was? That’s why I say referees should be interviewed after the game. Would be nice to hear his take on several of his decisions in that game.

  15. The referee was terrible, we seem to attract them, Coq i am pleased kept his head, the young man is progressing well.

  16. Sanchez was tripped no mistaking that, but he stayed on his feet and dived late. Personally i go with N5 a foul is committed and a player goes down like a dyeing Swan, and gets a penalty a player who stays on his feet and dives after is cheating. I do not feel that is the way football should be, had he gone down on the tackle i would say a penalty after seeing that a few times i feel he lost control and then dived. No penalty

  17. Video replays will make no difference to decisions like Alexis today or Iwobi’s on Wednesday. In both cases the ref made his decision and play went on. As the only person allowed to call for a replay is the ref video cannot be used.

  18. Just finished watching the game…………………why oh why haven`t we played like that since the Spud home draw apart from a few games ?
    Only winning our next 8 games will give us a chance, every game is a MWG. My main hope is that Spuds dont win it, if they can lose a handfull of games then I will go back to hating Leicester .

    Great to see that I`m not on my own in seeing the real threat to our future !………(as much as I love Stretches misguided optimism, we will never win a the league or CL as long as the Kroenke Klutz Klan have the majority shares)……….although I would have prefered a song more along the lines of Kroenke and an agonising death !. hahaha

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