Arsenal vs Everton preview: The chance to go second

First things first, a quick apology for the lack of posts this week.

The combination of a two-day music festival and having to move house meant I had very little time this week for the Arsenal, although with the postponement of the Bolton game it hardly mattered.

Thankfully this afternoon’s match with Everton has been given the all-clear, despite six other fixtures being canceled over the weekend. Among those games not being played is Hull vs Chelsea, which means a win tonight means we would go within one point of the league leaders. Meanwhile Manchester United are away at Birmingham and given the home sides current form I wouldn’t be surprised to see us occupying second position by the end of the day.

The enforced break midweek means team news for today is excellent.

Tomas Rosicky is completely back while Denilson was able to enjoy a few extra days to recover from his back problem. He should come straight into the team as the defensive midfielder to make up for Alex Song’s absence. While Cesc Fabregas and Nicklas Bendtner did not make the squad the good news is that the pair will return to action shortly.

Today’s team picks itself: Manuel Almunia will play in goals behind the back four of Bacary Sagna, William Gallas, Thomas Vermaelen and Armand Traore, the aforementioned Denilson will slot in beside Aaron Ramsey and Abou Diaby in the middle of the park while Eduardo, Samir Nasri and everybody’s favourite snow bunny Andrey Arshavin should complete the top three. Rosicky is an outside chance to start while Theo Walcott and Carlos Vela will provide good options off the bench.

While it won’t be an easy game – particularly with the weather – I really fancy us to win today. Everton are a good side but even without Song and Cesc in the middle of the park we have a team more than capable of showing both the grit and quality to score a couple of goals in the cold weather. Diaby has been in particularly good form while the postponement of the Bolton fixture will have given Gallas and Vermaelen a well-deserved break that will see them at the top of their game.

We smashed Everton 6-1 under very different circumstances on Day One of the season and although I don’t expect a similar scoreline, I do expect us to get the job done.


Have your say on Arsenal v Everton by leaving a comment.



  1. Yeah, despite the rubbishness of no mid-week football, I think the break will work to our favor. Everyone got a little bit more rest, Shava is back from his foot injury, Denilson is back, Rosicky is back, Theo is back…it’s all good.

    OK, so, second half of the season is about to kick off. We’re right in the thick of it for the title. I expect Arshavin to really step up his game now. We’ll still have him up front, but I just have a feeling that he’s like a horse at the starting gate. He’s been doing the “lunch pail” work these last few weeks by playing out of position and getting his butt kicked quite often by CBs who’re taking obvious advantage of the size difference (and rightly so to them…we’d do it too). And his professionalism shines here in that there’s never a word of complaint from the lad in taking on this role. He’s giving up goals and his body for the good of the team. But I think he’s ready to kick off over the next month with some real quality.

  2. We would really enjoy ourselves in the 2nd place if we kill the game which is a must n man u falters.Anyway boys 2 watch-nasri,ramsey,arshavin n diaby.te score 4 n above.

  3. GIGNAC is too expensive!!!!!!!!!!!! is arsenal broke or something????

    C.COLE will not be coming says wenger!!!!!????

    CHAMAKH only a summer target says wenger!!!!!!!!!

    if we can’t get the money to buy gignac, then we can dream of geting HIGUAIN and ZARATE.

    maybe we should sell CESC… he is a genius and all, but HIGUAIN is asswell, and we would get VAN DER VAART who is in great form and can score and pass (very similar player to cesc, maybe more ofensive).

    WHAT SHOULD WE DO??????????????

    we need a striker who can bring titles and will make a quick impact!!!!!! even if bendtner comes back another one like eduardo or vela will get injured as always….

    WE NEED A STRIKER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    P.S: CAMPBELL you are welcome.

    lets beat the crap out of evrton!!!!!!!!!

  4. Footie day! Not to sure who Wenger is going for in the transfer market. Doesn’t seem like one of the usual suspects. Also Wenger will never sell Fabregas

  5. Good news to hear that Walcot is back and the game is cleared for take off Good luck lads

  6. Everton will do what all lower teams do, they’ll try and stifle Arsenal’s natural passing and movement. They’ll get physical and i wouldn’t be suprised to see a few of our players injured after this match. But the funny things is that even though we have shown we can cope with physicality, teams will still try it because it’s the only tactic against Arsenal that might work. Teams are running out of ideas, the reason i think for this is because with Arsenal’s way of playing is nearly impossible to stop them attacking. They don’t play individualy but the team work and cooperation brings out the best in all our players. That is the reason why so many Arsenal young players have developed so quickly. Because unlike man u, where rooney’s shoulders must be sore because he has to literally carry the team himself, Arsenal make everyone play together without burdening an individual. So one player plays badly that doesn’t mean that all is lost, there are still 10 players perfoming well.

  7. i am sure some arsenal fans are frustrated with arsene wenger bcoz of lack of signings….we hav to consider arsene is the main reason we are where we are……competing in all 3 trophies….bentner will be back in two or three weeks then we will hav some options up front…..anyways the fixture list in the coming weeks is really exiting ……we play villa,liv,man u,and chelsea……this period will determine our season ……if we can win3 and draw the other we will be in a strong position to take the title homee….anywayz first we hav to get the job done against everton which i think will be a tough and scaraooy game…..hope we will win

  8. Have you heard the news!? Real has made a 43mil bid for Arsenal Captain Cesc Fabregas! But i believe that Cesc will not leave Arsenal!

  9. @ Rocking Guns – The Spanish papers are biased towards Real Madrid and Barcelona and print whatever they want to destabilise other players. There’s no point believing what comes out of the Spanish press – what’s the point of not believing Cesc when he keeps coming out and saying he won’t leave?

  10. I will be very interested to see how Landon Donovan does today. I’ve never found him to be particularly likable, but he’s matured a lot on and off the pitch in the last year or so. Here’s hoping his debut is promising, but fruitless and disappointing for him and Everton.

    C’mon Arsenal!

  11. I’m fucking unhappy about Arsenals predictable game today.They’re always exposed when they’re on the attack,and it will cost them their title challenge.Wenger should buy two more world class defenders now!!No more attackers please.

  12. just watched the last 20 minutes, I had the impression that the ground made the ball very slow, Arsenal couldn’t cope with that very well I think, but only an impression, they are used to a fast running ball, 😉 thanks god a draw, it must have been awful cold 😎

  13. Just not physical or strong enough where it mattered. What a chance to close thing up. Song was really missed in the middle. Seen it before though.

  14. Rockingun, because he is not for sale at 9m. Try closer to 15m and we might consider thinking about it. Up de ammers.
    Your boys ave just dropped 2 points and there is no one making comments about the performane whats going on out there. Birmingham have just scored against Manpo against the run of play. WHERE THE FUCK ARE YOU GOONERS. GET ON THE BLOG. IM HERE ALONE FREEEEEEEZING MY NUTS OFF.

  15. I thank God that we drew the march. But it is not too good for us. We are still in the contenders list.

  16. didnt get to catch the game but followed it on skysports udates and sounded like we wer lacklustre and lacking power,and everton deserved to win. im glad thomas popped up with that equaliser after signing during the week hes already shown his worth.from wot i gather deni was exposed as lackin the ability of song in the role he played today,not good enough there IMO hes been much more effective in getting us forward and making us tick…..
    only a matter of time before the goals dry up in midfield,you cant expect deni,nasri,abou,arsha and cesc to keep up the scoring rate of the 1st half of the season.i think we hav the best combined result of goals scored from midfielders,in fact id say wer double any1 elses,its obvious to all wot we lack is a drogba,torres or a rooney,lethal and more importantly, hungry goalscorers,i mean they cud hav got 3 and they still want begging you now arsene just buy 1 ruthless goalscorer,i dont just want to see a signing for the sake of it,i think the lads hav exceled so far but we need a different option or dimension so that when teams park the bus wer not restricted to like-for-like swaps or substitutions
    2 deflected goals from 2 midfielders at home vs an everton team missin 12 thru injury….i dont wanna be negative because all the players hav been brilliant of late but i think its time the manager reinforced our options

  17. The icehammer, u seem to know more about arsenal than u do of ur plastichammers who cant play football. So we drew, did u beat Everton when you met them? Can you even draw against them? How many wins/draws/losses is it now for u ‘downmmers’? Lucky 2 b out of relegation zone 4 a while right?Keep meddling in other’s affairs and u go the way of Newcastle, West Brom and Boro by the end of this season!
    U spoke 2 soon hammer, I feel sorry 4 u and yr sorry team when u come 2 d Emirates…double hattrick 4 sure!As 4 Cole being bought, IF (and that’s a big IF), Arsenal do eventually buy a striker, he will be someone the entire EPL end up gasping and groaning with envy for cos, he will be far above the levels of yr Cole…check out AA and TV5 and u can guess d quality we go for.
    And pls keep yr ‘foulmouthed trap’ (mind) away from this Arsenal blog!

  18. Man, lay off ice hammer. He’s a great guy to have around this blog and is always entertaining.

    I got called in to work missed the game. Not particularly thrilled with the results. Looks like we got a bit lucky. I wonder how our midfield looked without Song.

  19. very disappointed with today,s performance the lads had the chance to turn the heat up on chelski and manure but struggled to break everton down in the final third an all too familar scenario.2pts dropped not the end of the world but regardless of how many goals we,ve scored lately still not happy with the forward line too many powder puff strikers except b52.

  20. there was no creativity in the midfield today… i think ramsey had a bad game….. rosicky should have been in the startin line-up….. we were fortunate to get a point IMO,,, i feel we shud go buy a striker… eduardo is not good enough..

  21. @S
    icehammer is a longtime,well informed blogger in here and aswel as being an arsenal admirer his son plays in our academy….dont get offended because hes a straight shooter with an objective opinion and dont make threats bout us givin them a hidin when u cant guarantee it….we wer lucky to overcome their backup squad in the fa cup
    once again utd hav picked up a point due to an own goal….dats bolton,sunderland and now birmingham…

  22. Arsenaltww, part of what you say is true but every team need someone to take the game by the scruff of its neck when necessary. No one took that responsibility. It was also one of those games when the front players would not shoot. I still say u need a striker.

  23. Laninja, why is that. Not that i want him to go to Arsenal. Dont you rate him, is he that bad, if so why. How is Bendtner that much better. Just interested mate.

  24. @ s take it easy on icehammer more often than not he makes a positive contribution to the blog and from what i gather his son has/had connections to the arsenal youth team so i dont think he,s being disrespectful.

  25. S, all those who know me would never come out with the crap you just have. I think we would have had a wanderful season if we are lucky enough to stay up. I know about yr team only because my son is at yr academy at hale end for the undr 14’s and i get to see at least 7 home games a season because of it. Now stop talking shit by wasting time talking about how unfortunate we are because everyone already knows the history and future of the great ammers. You still need a striker to make the diff in games like these. shiiiiiiiiiittttttttttt!

  26. we were lucky to get a point… arsenal sadly showed again that we can’t play under pressure.

    we need a striker… eduardo played good, arshavin is better on the left wing, a tall goalscoring striker must come before the next game.

    i heard that SAHA is a target!!! i think he is class, expirienced, 10 goals so far, can play alone upfront, tall and short term (wenger doesn’t want to buy a long term player, i think because of chamakh in the summer).

    c.cole, darren bent would be great too.

    can anybody tell me anything about DENILSON’s injury???

    if we lose him we need another midfielder. VAN DER VAART on loan would be ideal!!! or maybe rather a defensive midfielder because of song’s departure. felipe melo, scott parker…

  27. rocknroll, Dennys injury reminded of J Faubert some seasons ago for the ammers when e collapsed and died on the pitch. He was touched by no one just like Denny. How the ref didn’t stop the game i will never know. Everton taking advantage of the situation was out of order. I thinik i would have stopped.

  28. Sorry to say this but Arsenal’s defends sucks! Our midfielders were struggling , while our forwards was really suckish! If Arsenal continue to struggle like this, Arsenal will maybe not win the title race! But i have good news, Defending Champions Man Utd, were held to a draw with Birmingham.

  29. Who Arsenal should buy :

    1. Carlton Cole/ Louis Saha/ Bobby Zamora

    2. Van Der Vaart/ Duff

    3. Campbell

  30. Despite all the usual wailing and gnashing of teeth when we fail to beat a team 5-0 there actually are positives to take from this game. We were second best to an Everton team more up for it than our guys (notice they were all in short sleeves!) yet still managed to fight out a draw. Almunia, so often criticised, saved our asses with his save from Vaughan. He did everything right for that one. Diaby had another good game, as did Rosicky when he came on and you might say that was a smart substitution by Le Boss. Traore, although struggling with Donovan, otherwise also had another good game. There were plenty of areas where were not playing like we know we can and AW knows that too which is why I think he was smiling at the end.
    I heard that Denilson was up an walking about no probs later.
    My own gripe is Nasri. He had a very poor game in a vital creative position for us. Had lots of ball and achieved nothing. We also need to shoot more. Look what happened when we did.
    Up the Gunners!!

  31. PS – re: S’s comments on icehammer. Fair enough that icehammer’s a regular contributor but if you’re a West Ham fan coming on an Arsenal blog criticising our players you have to expect some verbals. What kind of response would I get on a Hammers blog saying ‘so and so is no good.’ ‘You need this’, ‘you need that’ etc.?
    (not that I’d waste my time going on a Hammers blog):)

  32. I’ll just copy+paste a couple of comments I left on Facebook:

    “Congratulations to the Arsenal boys on a gritty point gained in ridiculous conditions. There were many, many things we didn’t do well in this game but the determination to get back into it twice and the overall attitude was magnificent. Hats off.”

    “I just think the weather played a much bigger part than perhaps is being recognised. You could see how difficult it was for us to play our passing game but the boys stuck at it, didn’t complain and didn’t shirk away from the physical fight. As I said, some big defensive problems but for me this can be chalked off as a one-off because of the insanity of the weather.”

  33. nasri needs a hot poker shoved up his arse pre kickoff in both halves….so much ability when he fancies it yet moreoften than not i find myself lookin for him or his contribution and end up scratchin my head….maybe if we erected a pic of looney stephen hunt in the dressing room it would fire him up

  34. Why was Almunia so stupid? We can see clearly that Traore got it all covered! I think the Arsenal vs Everton match was the worst lack of play against a lowly side!

  35. The reasons why Arsenal struggled to win the match :

    1. Arsenal’s style of play is passing on the ground.

    2. Arsenal are not really used to play in extremly cold conditions.

    3. Everton’s style of play is on air.

  36. We should praise the ability of our young team for fighting back under the circumstances. We keep losing one important player every so often and were supposed to play fluent passing and beat everyone 4-0? Wenger brings players that he has been working with to make up for the missing knowing very well it would take time to adjust. When we play well and beat the teams silly we all jump up and down claiming we have already won the title. But, when a team comes along with a plan to stop us by whatever means possible, we cheer them for being big and strong and know how to play real football. And, all of the sudden we need to buy all these players on the planet. Names start flying, including anyone who can punt the ball in the air. Therefore, I have a suggestion to Arsene. Here in the US we have 6ft6, 6ft9 basketball players. Even stronger players in the NFL, like 250 to 300lbs. If he gets the combination right, we can win all the high balls and destroy everyone on the pitch.

    It is so predictable! I actually check the blogs after every game just to have a laugh at some of the reactions. Off course it is in the name of telling it as it is. It’s really getting boring.

    Let’s not despair though as there are also very good and reasonable analysis too. I say, thank god.

  37. A draw is better than loseing it under the conditions still 3 points behind Chelsea thats ok. Happy New Year to you Andy and all Arsenal fans everywhere.

  38. first of all ,happy new year to every one out there,what a chill we having out here,secondly,the weather was more to blame than any player,the surface with the snow,made it difficult to play our normal style of football,which is, slick passing.In line of that i still think we played well and responded well,when we concede a goal,a far cry from the days,when the team was lacking in self belief,and do not forget,no less than five players,that were in that 6-1 drubbing last year are all out from injuries,so lets give credit where its due,it could have been worse.Denilson almost made it an impossible hole to come out from,i mean how was the ref supposed to halt play when there was no foul,deni should have kicked the ball out of play,i can´t understand why he would take the ball, have the strength to move a few steps and fall in a heap without getting rid of the ball,men,i´m already missing song,i honestly don´t think denilson can play in that position,week in week out,went to ground too easily yesterday,IMO,we need re enforcment to the team,a striker is really needed. @ S,lay off the iceman,mate,you seem to be a newcomer here,or else you won´t say something like that.

  39. HayNonnyMouse, fair comment, but next time tell him to face me like a man, not from a passing car, the b. i tch. Another thing….. say if so and so was shit,,,,,,what then, and say if you did need this or that and i was correct as concured by other real football supporters, what then. ANOTHER THING….when did i ‘just criticise.’ ask that plastic back on and get him to make some constructive comments. The punk mother fucker, ill cap his arse to rarse. Dont get me started here. Make comments worth reading. I can take verbal all day long as long as its worth reading or has some form of banta or a message. Also if he has ingenuity or verbal skill that has the power to evoke laughter. If my team had deficiencies and it was made apparant to me by the man from Mars, i could accept it because it was true and evident and clearly revealed to my mind and sense. I wouldn’t just bury my head in the sand. Nuf said on that topic.

  40. Overall, it was a poor show from the gunners, the pitch is only an excuse. Everton did ever so well to close us down and got very physical with us, especially Fellaini and Saha (robbed Denilson a couple of times). And, it was definitely a point gained. I think the MotM is no doubt Fellaini because he allowed Everton to absorb all the pressure and play on the counter. DIaby was also Arsenal’s best player on the day.
    However, remember on the 1st day of season when we thrased them. You know why we thrased them? Well, it was becasue we won all the 50-50s in the air especially Vermaelen against Fellaini. Yesterday, we virtually lost all the 50-50 challenges, especially in our own box (this is turning up to be our Achilles Heel).
    I was also alarmed at how quiet Arshavin was, he only livens up when Fabregas is on. Going on like this is not the way. We need an imposing Adebayor-type striker fast if we are going to tide over the daunting fixtures coming up (Villa, Man Utd, Chelsea and Liverpool).
    Well, its better to slip up now then to slip up then. We tend to slip up and bounce back. Remember Manchester defeats and the Sunderland-Chelsea defeats. After those defeats we bounced back in emphatic style.
    It must be said that if we manage to get a 2 digit pointer from those 4 daunting fixtures, we must be firmly on track to win the title. If you take a look at our run-in to May, the fixtures are pretty easy.

  41. Rockingguns, dont u think Wenger should ave a plan for yr boys if it is clear that the passing game might not be as effective as normal due to the weather or godly elements. Just an innocent observation from a hammer who should not be on a gooners website. I would be immensely gratified if you could give me an answer. If its ok wid you S. By the way whats S for. Let me think……snake. Sorry im still pissed as you can see.

  42. Getgunmn. Much of what u say is true but dont you sometimes sit there knowing the type of player yr team might need when its quite clear that the usual plan of passing is not quite working. It might be the wether or the pitch or the fans or the ref or..or..WHAT EVER, but you can see it. Yesterday was one of those games. And aving that player could be the diff. Whats so wrong about putting the odd ball in the air any way.

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