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Everton vs. Arsenal

Goodison Park

28/1/09

20:00

Everton v. Arsenal

Once again football gives a break from the most frustrating transfer in history. I envy the people that don't get too involved in these ordeals, as it is causing my to start pulling out my hair every time I log onto my computer.

Wednesday Arsenal travels northwest to the blue half of Merseyside to take on an Everton team that is literally done to its bare bones and in the attacking department, one could argue they are even missing some bones in their exposed skeletal system. This being considered, their defense held up brilliantly in both trips to the unparalleled, mammoth atmosphere that is Anfield. Arsenal will have trouble breaking down Jagielka and Lescott, who are in the form of their life.

Vital Quotes:

Arsene is ruminating over his centre back options. "Gallas is likely to be involved tomorrow," said Wenger. "I have not picked the team yet but he will be with us of course.

"It will be at the expense of who it will be. That depends on the games and what kind of opposition we have.'

Wenger was also full of praised of Everton's stand in striker, Tim Cahill. "He's a striker now and they are doing well," said the Frenchman. "I think they are on a similar run to ours and that's why it will be a very decisive game tomorrow.

"He's the kind of guy who likes to come from deep and he is good in the air and can always come up with a goal."

The Boss also commentated on the title race. 'We are in a strong position in the Premier League, the Champions League and the FA Cup - so let's take advantage of that and let people talk.

'Our job is to focus on what we want to achieve. We got fair criticism this year, but we have overcome that and we are now hungrier than ever. It is a good opportunity to show that on Wednesday.'

Everton Team News:

As stated above Everton are missing many key players. Arteta has a 50-50 shot of playing a part after missing the second match at Anfield with a rib injury. Saha, Vaughn, and Yakubu are all out. Fellaini will return from suspension fresh and ready to go for this one.

Player to watch: Steven Pienaar.

After watching this South African on several occasions, I admire his talent and ability. On the wing, he cuts in and can place a pass as good as anybody. Look for him to cause Arsenal trouble in this one.

Arsenal Team News:

Nothing new to report here, except that Wenger plans to use Gallas instead of one of the starters at Cardiff. I expect Toure to be dropped to the bench, further hampering his thriving relationship with Billy G.

Wenger has set a date for Eduardo's return, but unfortunately his competitive debut will not be with Arsenal. Instead he will line up with Croatia before he joins his first team Arsenal mates on the Emirates pitch. Rosicky, Cesc, and Walcott are all still out.

Possible Starting XI: Almunia, Sagna, Gallas, Djourou, Clichy, Eboue, Diaby, Denilson, Nasri, van Persie, Adebayor

Player to watch: Denilson

He was praised by Arsene last week, then was rested in the FA Cup against Cardiff on Sunday. I see him having a good game tomorrow as he has needed a rest for a while now.

Match Facts & Stats

Home and away

League (inc PL): Everton 54 wins, Arsenal 85, Draws 36

Prem: Everton 5 wins, Arsenal 21, Draws 7

at Everton only

League (inc PL): Everton 38 wins, Arsenal 26, Draws 23

Prem: Everton 4 wins, Arsenal 7, Draws 5

Sagna will make his 50th start in an Arsenal shirt.

Arsenal have beat Everton three times in a row in the Premier League.

Arsenal is undefeated in eight EPL games.

Ref Watch:

Andre Marriner will be the head official for this tie. He has managed 15 matches this season brandishing 4 reds and 56 yellows, giving him an even four card per game average.

Match Prediction:

Honestly I cannot see Everton causing us much problems in the attacking facet of the game, but their defense will be very stingy. Not more than one goal will separate these sides. 1-0 or 2-1 to the Arsenal.

Next Fixtures:

31/1 (Sat)- West Ham (H)- Premier League

3/2 (Tue)- Cardiff City(H)- FA Cup

8/2 (Sun)- Tottenham (A)- Premier League




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The Journalist

Writer: Brice Coffer Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday January 27 2009

Time: 4:56PM

Your Comments

"but unfortunately his competitive debut will not be with Arsenal" -- yes it will be, as the Croatia game is a friendly.
jaelle
To me friendlies are still first team competitive International games, but maybe I should of said initial first team game
gunnerkid107
I hope that's American dry humour re Toure's thriving relationship with Gallas!
shewore
Yes the 'hampering a thriving relationship' was irony lol
gunnerkid107
Don't share your optimism, I can see Everton taking all the points as they score many headed goals and our defence is not programmed to defend high balls at all in fact I think they get a maximum club fine if they try to.
Armory
But we can score goals. You forget that for some reason.
Tom14
If we have Felli and Arteta back I think we'll win. We may not have strikers but with Cahill, Arteta, Fellaini and Pienaar I'd still back us to score, take any of them out the equation however and we'll lose or draw at best - If Castillo plays we'll lose by a couple. We're looking quite solid at the moment so we should be ok at the back, so long as Howard remembers he has feet for this game. I'd go with 2-0 to us if Mikel and Fellaini play, 1-2 to your lot if one of them misses out, and 0-4 to your lot if Castillo plays.
EvertonMike
"I think they get a maximum club fine if they try to." -- LOL!! Wouldn't surprise me. I'm trying not to think about this game because I can see us easily losing it. Everton are just too defensively strong and we are woeful at breaking down teams like that. Yes, we've improved defensively but we're still making stupid errors and Everton know how to nick a goal, often a very good one. Best I can hope for is a draw.
jaelle
a bit annoying its a midweek game as i would of been up for this one. Dont really fancy taking time off to go to liverpool for a late one getting back at 3am.
paul_ownz
also this game has draw written all over it
paul_ownz
Like Tom said Mike, we are the second highest scoring team in the league this season, and you do not have an imposing physical striker like Yakubu which is the kind of player we usually struggle with. Cahill at striker will not cause Gallas and Djourou many problems.
gunnerkid107
Perhaps Cahill on his own wouldn't. However we have a super secret weapon back from suspension, you probably won't notice him at first - he's the guy taller than Crouch and with big fuzzy hair. Which allows us to play a very effective system, Cahill and Fellaini bust a gut to be in the box, and then the other 4 members of our midfield cross the ball in and bam, you better hope you've marked them both - and even if you have, Fellaini would still beat whoevers marking him and win the header, the best you can hope for is to foul him and hope it causes him to miscue his header. It increases our threat level tenfold having them both in there, and even without Felli we still scored from 2 crosses in 2 games against Liverpool. And with Arteta back we'll also have a good delivery from set plays, and any free kick given away on the edge of your box, your keeper will be picking out of his net seconds later. Our system is innovative and we're still learning it ourselves, it's pretty ineffective with just Cahill, but with both of them in there you won't keep a clean sheet. Unless Castillo plays, in which case we'll never get the ball past the half way line without him giving it away.
EvertonMike
I must have forgot that Fellaini is superman. You are seriously overrating him. Your claim that Djourou, Gallas, Clichy, or Sagna only have a chance to foul him is laughable. He is not taller than Crouch, not even close as he is the same height as Johan Djourou. By the way, you are also forgetting that Arteta is a major doubt for this game.
gunnerkid107
If you couldn't tell the sarcasm at the start of my post, you obviously really are a kid, apologies I thought it was just a username. Arteta will play by the way, Moyes has very little choice in the matter. It's him or Castillo, I'd rather play with 10 men than castillo.
EvertonMike
The purpose of sarcasm is to provoke thought and humor, and mate if that was indeed sarcasm then you failed miserably.
gunnerkid107
They'll be a handful from set-pieces, even without strikers.
ArsenalRob
Everton are very strong from set pieces, we are incredibly weak from set pieces. Basically, let's not try to commit anoy fouls or concede any corners eh?
Little Dutch
A yank lecturing a scouser on sarcasm... haha love it! To say that Cahill won't cause Gallas problems is laughable, anyone can cause our back four problems this year if they stick to a simple strategy.... HOOOF. As with Ownz i'd have loved to have gone up for this, would have definitely had it been a weekend again as liverpool's a blinding night out... sound like a right plastic here, making my excuses already... up the arsenal.
shewore
Everton could cause us masssive problems aerially thats why I think Wenger will play Song and Diaby Centrally and Denilson wide right, Almunia needs to come for crosses tonight. We need Adebayor to rediscover his form, RVP has been carrying the attacking burden for far too long now, he needs to step up pronto.
iceman10
One thing I will say to anyone traveling up tonight is don't wander around through Stanley park on your own in Arsenal colours after the game. There's a section of our support still 'slightly' *****ed off about being spat on and pelted with coins from above during our visit to the Emirates. It's only a minority, but part of our away following are basically just chavs who've now been provoked - they'll be itching for a fight, and with it being an evening game... I'm not saying every Arsenal fan is going to be attacked, but if you walked upto a chav and spat on them in the street...
EvertonMike
Everton Mike... i fear you may be too late with your warnings!!!
shewore
Yes it was a disgrace to those Arsenal fans who spat. Saying that, after the game at Everton last year when we won 4-1 i was hardly impressed with the load of Everton fans shouting out racist abuse.
paul_ownz
Was it 4-1? aww, hazy memories of being in a title race...
shewore
any links to see the match online..?
HENRY`14
We don't talk about links and streams. Gallas starts ahead of Tubz. And Denilson partners Song in the middle, the partnership that should continue if we sign Arshavin. Let Nasri and Andrei off the leash and attack!
Tom14
Yeah I'm worried about 'Ronald McDonald' Fellaini too. And Arteta's back. Hmm... Can see a very tight game. Hope Ade'll show his real work rate and RvP his sharpness as their defence has been great.
GoonerLou
I could see them scoring just when they were allowed to cross in so much space. Sigh.
GoonerLou
Bloody brilliant...
Tom14
Anyone else see a group of players who know their club doesn't give a ***** about winning? How could a midfield of Denilson (out of position) Diaby, Song, and Nasri ever be expected to compete in the prem. We all know it, surely the board knows it, yet they continue to trot them out (probably 4 times in about 10 days too). And the excuse of Zenit being too tough to negotiate with is proving to be false as it looks like they're going to be selling Arshavin's teammates without much fuss.
TPowell
From what I've been hearing, its our midfield defensive abilities, or rather inabilities that are being exposed at this game. And all that because Diaby is playing through the middle, and Denilson on the right hand side. Could we now please concede the premier league? And prepare ourselves for uefa cup football next year? Can we please let Diaby go?
PTGunner
The last problem with the side in this game is the defensive inabilities. They are just terrible on the ball.
Tom14
The midfield that is.
Tom14
Tbph I'm a bit numb..
GoonerLou
ROBINNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!!!!
GoonerLou
VAN PERRRSSSIIIIE!!!!
jubair
Seriously, though... how do you think our "star players" will face the prospect of uefa cup football next year?
PTGunner
When will AW admit this midfield is not good enough and bring in some new players. He has created great sides before, surely he can see the difference. We didn't deserve anything from this game.
jubair
1-1 away to Everton is an okay result, but the (creative) performance was disappointing. If not for Everton (who scored the most goals in the last 10 mins), I would've stayed optimistic of our ability of managing a late comeback. But just when I was resorted to getting nothing out of this game, it's yet again Robin's moment of brilliance that saved us. Whether it's better to get (yet another) wakeup call by losing or taking the confidence boost of securing a late draw, I didn't know. But now I think it's a fair result and I just pray Robin stays fit for us for the longest period in his Arsenal career. We need him to do that at least until Dudu is ready to at least work as a sub.
GoonerLou
i am with you GunnerLou, its a point gained. United cudnt win at Goodison after taking the lead and Liverpool found out twice last week what a tough nut to crack Everton are. we can still catch Liverpool, Villa & possibly Chelsea. still a long way to go lads, so dun jump to conclusions just yet. today's game highlighted one thing, and as PTGunner was talking about the midfield, we need some more creativity in there and we shud really sign Ashravin at any cost now. Rosicky will take 8 weeks, Eduardo and Walcott im counting them to be back in the first week of March and Cesc in the first week of April. Ashravin is needed to give a bit more fluency and creativity in the attack, i'm sure once we sort out the attacking part of the game, the defensive side of the team will look a lot more stable. just need to balance our attack now, sign Ashravin, please sign him..
luckys_10
and i have a funny feeling we might just crack Europe this season. keep the faith..
luckys_10
Only a moment of brilliance saved us. Why does Wenger persist in playing a defensive player on the right of midfield? It doesnt work, it just removes any forward fluency from that side of the pitch. The goal was a joke a free cross from our right when we should be solid down that side. Time to just go for it I think, wenger should just pick his defensive midfielder pick two attackers on the wings and play to our strengths.
iceman10
Amazing that we got a draw. We're now 5 pts back from Villa. I think the Arshavin deal is dead and no new players will come in. I just don't understand how AW cannot strengthen. This ludicrous notion that injured players returning in 2-3 months means we don't need to strengthen (which he implied in his press conference) really beggars belief. RVP has been brilliant, the goal was pure class--but will he want to leave in the summer if we finish out of the top 4? I really think it's the UEFA cup next season.
jaelle
I would have rather seen Diaby or Eboue on the right, what is the point playing Denilson there? Will there STILL be idiots who claim we need a DM more than a winger after yet another match where we failed dismally to create from wide?
Tom14
Why bring on Eboue and not Vela?
jaelle
jaelle, how can anyone possibly say the Arshavin deal is dead? Thats like me saying we will not sign anyone ever because i have a gut feeling. I think we will sign him because we have been constantly told by our manager that he is trying to get him here and the player himself wants to come, even Zenit have said they will accept a certain bid. We just need to do it.
Tom14
As for Eboue, he wanted an attacking threat down the right. It was non-existant with Sagna and Denilson. Bendtner came on and did well, I would have rather seen Sagna stay on, but they were better. Vela would play on the left where Nasri played. I don't understand how nasri is not played through the middle from the start of games. He and Denilson have proven to be our best pairing of the season so far, why not start it? Play Diaby on the left by all means, I don't care, its better than him in the middle doing nothing (other than the set up of course)
Tom14
Tom, you may be right but gunnerblog today quoted AW on Canal TV saying that the Arshavin transfer is not likely. A French gooner friend of mine in Marseille e-mailed me confirming the brief news segment about Arsenal quoting AW saying the same thing.
jaelle
Arsene says a whole lot of bull*****. You cannot just believe what he says all the time.
Tom14
Arshavin or not, I honestly don't really care. We need someone of quality, basically anyone that Arsene's willing to sign at all. He also said that Arshavin's not the only target on his list, fine, if the guy or his agent or Zenit want too much money, go for the next guy NOW!
GoonerLou
"Cahill at striker will not cause Gallas and Djourou many problems. " He was the best striker out there unfortunately, despite RVPs late heroics. How bad is Adebayor travelling this year.
th41
the scoreline was flattering...but the fat lady only sings when the number 38 ends.
gooner_till_i_die
th41, technically Cahill did not cause Gallas or Djourou problems. He beat Clichy to the ball.
gunnerkid107
A poor creative effort. The stats will say that we had more shots on target than Everton, but only one of them really troubled Howard, and that was the last gasp goal.
prits
Good try GK. Clichy for the goal perhaps (although perhaps only Clichy because neither of the other two could handle him) but he was dangerous several other times. He is the sort of player we should be looking at - direct, passionate and scores goals. Also, he gets injured heaps so would fit in perfectly :-)
th41
Didn't we score against the substitute keeper?
PTGunner
It always made sense to me to play your best players at there best positions and fill in for injuries, rather than play them out of position because the cover (in our case wide) isn't good enough. Nasri wide is okay, but he's better in the middle. Denilson is wasted out wide. I don't understand starting the 'neither would make the bench at ManU, Chavs, or Pool' central midfield pairing of Song and Diaby- both decent players but unlikely starters anywhere else in the Premier League. How far we have fallen from the Invincibles. Vieira and Edu vs Diaby and Song- it's enough to make you cry.
elbondo
Denilson should be in the middle. Do whatever you want out wide because the players are useless anyway. But at least have the best two midfielders available at the club in their best positions. If Cesc was here, play Nasri on the left, if Arshavin was here he would be on the right. But Diaby and Eboue are not good enough, play them on the wings.
Tom14
He played Diaby on the left last season so why couldn't we have just put Nasri on the right and Denilson and Song in the middle. Or Denilson and Nasri in the middle and Eboue on the right.
Gooner_Vin
 

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