Everton vs Arsenal Preview

At least for today only. Today is the big game, and by big game I mean big. Man United's win and Aston's win means the pressure is on us to win too. If we can get into the top four then we can challenge, but we desperately need to get into the top 4 first. So, let's take a look at the team news for tonight's game.

There are two different midfield's that Arsene can start tonight - defensive or offensive. We saw yesterday with United playing four offensive midfielders that sometimes it's the only way to break through stubborn defences... let's see what Arsene does today.

Defensive:

Eboue – Densilon – Song – Diaby

Offensive

Nasri – Denilson – Diaby – Vela

Let’s see what happens – will it be a hybrid of the two?

In other team news, we should see Gallas and Adebayor back in the starting XI and Arsene has hinted that the both Gallas and Toure could be paired together, albeit Djourou’s brilliant performances recently.

Adebayor will be paired with Van Persie up front and Arsene commented on VP’s absence last year being a key factor.

“He makes goals as well. For me that is in his position as important as scoring goals. Having him fit is the good news of the season. We had lost Robin in the second half of the season, people forget. This year he has had a sustained run and you can see when he has that he scores goals.”

So the line up should be:

Almunia
Sagna – Toure – Gallas – Clichy
Eboue – Denilson – Diaby – Nasri
Van Persie – Adebayor

Probably no Song or Vela in the starting line up.

News coming from the Everton camp is that they are planning to start a 4-6-0, take a look at their proposed line up:

Howard
Hibbert – Jagielka – Lescott – Baines
Arteta –  Neville – Fellaini – Cahill – Osman – Pienaar

It’s going to be a tough one.

Episode 28: Why oh why?

Today I sit, I wonder, is my dream alive? Sir Arsene Wenger OBE has sent a memo to a dear friend of mine, Mr Daily Zenit Express. He has published a letter to me, explaining why he can’t give me more ransom money:

“The players who come in here are all on our wage structure or they do not come in. It’s as simple as that. Nobody will come in above the highest level we have here.”

I wonder, maybe all hope is lost.  Wait, I hear a knock at the door. I open it.

It is Secret Agent Dennis Latcher. He shows me a facsimile. It is from the Sun.

 

“It is not true a fee has been agreed. We are not close to concluding any transfer; Arshavin or anybody else. At the moment it is all quiet. For me, it is of little interest. I can understand that when the transfer window is open, it makes headlines.”

It looks like the dream is officially over.]]>

  • willsscott

    1 bit of good news from last nights games – Bentley picked up a booking and will miss the Sp*rs Arsenal game!

  • http://kierandelaney.net/blog kierandelaney.net/blog

    we should see Gallas and Adebayor back in the starting XI and Arsene has hinted that the two could be paired together

    Fucking hell, I hope not. Worse than a Silvestre/Senderos partnership :D

  • Fabrez

    LOL! Ade gives us the height at the back to deal with those high balls in & crosses Kieran! :D And willsscott…i heard the Bentley news myself & was overjoyed! Almunia won’t have to wry too much about standing off his line lol

  • ArseFan101

    OMG, Adebayor at centre back – has Arsene gone mad?

  • devday

    < ![CDATA[Thanks Kieran for the spot - blog is updated. Of course, I meant Toure and Gallas! LOL!!!

    It's a must win game!]]>

  • Fabrez

    Was just looking at THE Van Persie wonder goal from a few seasons ago…and the gr8 goal vs Blackburn… He is class on another level… Made me excited about 2nite…i think we can do it!

  • Pete

    < ![CDATA[It's good to have something to talk about other than Arshavin lol

    Should be a good, yet tough game against Everton. They've done extremely well in how they've handled their injuries, but I'm hoping that those two hard games against Liverpool last week will have its effect on them tonight. They dont normally play more than one or two games a week, so that might stand us in good sted. Plus a win for us will open up a bit more space points-wise between us and the teams below us.

    Its good seeing RVP haveing a good uninterupted season. He's becoming a more and more crucial player.

    Good to hear from the Arsenal site that Rosicky might possibly be back in 8 weeks time, depending on how his training goes. Lets hope for the best!]]>

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[I like the idea of Adebayor as centreback. I think it'll solve a whole lot of our problems. But somehow I feel he'll be embarrassed. Shouldn't be though.

    I'm all for it. C'mon who agrees ?]]>

  • http://kierandelaney.net/blog kierandelaney.net/blog

    Well, at least the expectation of him actually putting the ball in the net would be diminished. In fact he’s so good at keeping the ball out of the goal, you could argue he’s ideal material for a cetnreback ;)

  • Berth

    Guys!!

  • Pete

    Perhaps Ade can swap positions with Kolo Toure lol He likes to get forward and has a mean strike on him :-P

  • Fabrez

    Gr8…we r screwed

  • Fabrez

    1-0 down…never attacking enuff for a 4-6-0

  • Berth

    Even 5th postion is not secured.

  • Fabrez

    Sad but true :(

  • Berth

    Wenger!!!!

  • Fabrez

    Left it late once again…draw not particularly gud *sigh*

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[Darn it. I was getting all prepared to have a go at us again, but then VanPersie had to show some magic. Fool.

    I think I'll still have a go.

    So, we're a pretty shit team. I got so bored I stopped paying attention after the first half. Just listened to the commentary. Saw their goal - we completely switched off, the lazy jackasses that we are, and gave them as much time and space as they wanted, and we couldn't keep Cahill out. Great work from our CBs. Idiots. And Diaby was as usual giving the ball away. Song was doing well winning it back and keeping posession and Diaby would go and loose it the next second. Denilson, I heard was pretty wasteful too. But overall, it was just such a bore. If Everton had a striker or two playing, we'd probably have lost it.

    Now I'm convinced we're not finishing in the top 4. Maybe Arshavin should think about not playing champions league football next season if he joins us. I can't believe what a shit team we have become. Unbelievable. It just sickens me to watch us play now. Constant frustration.]]>

  • zohaib

    Nasri did well with some left-footed crosses. At least it seems like there’s someone who’s developing.

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[I think I've made a slight mistake. Denilson had a decent game. It was Song, Diaby and Adebayor who were the jackassholes. And obviously Eboue later on. How well was Bendtner running around closing Everton down, chasing the ball. Wow.

    But this is becoming worrying now. VanPersie and Nasri are two of the players on form and they have around them muppets who can't seem to find any form. I hope their run doesn't come to an end because of the others' lack of form.

    One other thing I wanted to mention was that it doesn't seem to me like our players get a shouting at when they're doing something wrong. Adebayor's got such a merry attitude and Song thinks he's in a park and doing drugs with Diaby. Lazy idiots. I think Wenger's very calm with his players. He needs to change his attitude. He needs to become more strict and ruthless. There's just no urgency in us to go and get a couple of goals and win the game. We start of so defensively and wait till 70mins have passed on the clock to threaten the opposition. By then we're either a goal down or having to face a 10 man wall, or both. We keep making it difficult for ourselves. We need to be more attacking.

    It's quite a difference without Cesc. Wonder if he's thinking about leaving if he misses champions league football. Probably not since he'll remain loyal to Wenger. But things aren't looking good. Havn't been for 3 years but every year it was promises of things coming good for us 'next season' because of one more years' experience. Bloody good that's doing us !]]>

  • Fabrez

    To be honest, if we lost tonight…i would not have been sad or angry or anything…i’ve reach that point where i’ve become saturated with frustration…if i get anymore frustrated i’d probably just shutdown. So…here is the deal…the gunners earn more money than me & probably feel less gutted than i do after such a performance so why get over-the-top frustrated? Diaby is constant frustration & Toure should have played and not Gallas. If Toure leaves 2morrow, Wenger should NOT complain… honestly! That is either blatant French favouritism…or not wanting to upset Sir William Gallas…i’m thinking it’s the latter. AW better get a grip! Don’t want him out but plz Wenger…do the right thing! And why Nasri doesn’t play through the middle from the start baffles me….but then again who else can actually play on the flanks with the injuries we have? Maybe Mr. Arshavin is more important than we think if we want to dream of a top 4 finish. Ppl say Man U drew at Goodison and Liverpool twice…wow…i feel so much better about our title chances with that re-assurance!

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[And another really big problem for us is that out wide we're not really a threat. There's absolutely no penetration whatsoever from the wide-midfield players. It's the fullbacks working double-time to get forward. And I think that's where we're being caught out a lot of times. When the ball should be passed to the wide-midfield player to get behind the opponents' fullback, our wide-midfielder slowly receives it and slowly tries to figure out where to go and what to do, and almost always cuts inside at 2km/h to allow the fullback to bomb forward so that the opponents have all the time in the world to get back and defend. Useless strategy because that's what we always do and we're becoming too predictable. We need attacking wide midfielders. Nasri only attacked his side of the pitch on a couple of occasions.

    It's no surprise that Aston Villa, Everton, Wigan, ManCity are so close to us in terms of points. Yes, maybe they haven't had the injuries we've had. But they've also got better wingers than we have. And better central midfielders than our as well. More effective. Our midfield is rubbish this season. Because we've got 3 of our starting 4 injured. And the rest aren't good enough.

    Young, Milner, Valencia, Arteta, Pieenar, Robinho, Wright-Phillips are all better than what we have available.]]>

  • Cappz

    8 points behind United – and they have a game in hand… we have to hope Liverpool mess up so much that our stuttering performances somehow overtake them in the top 4…!

  • Pete

    < ![CDATA[In an ideal world we'd have gotten a win, but you have to remember how well Everton have been doing recently, and considering our own injuries, coming away with a point isn't the end of the world. After all, there aren't many teams who'd have beaten Everton at the moment and in similar circumstances as ours (key players out for long spells).

    Only saw the highlights, but RVP is beginning to stand out. He's making a habit of coming up with the goods just when you're about to write off Arsenal. Perhaps with the creative service of Cesc or, hopefully, Arshavin, he can hit the net even more.]]>

  • Fabrez

    Was good to get some frustration out there lol Well we’ve got West Ham on the wkend? When it’s all said and done, we calm down eventually, realise that we aren’t gonna go supporting another team & hope for a win this wkend. Also, we gotta take a few drops of positves out of a reservior of negatives… Still a good performance by a couple players & still unbeaten (albeit not good enough!). All i can say is…important decisionsregarding players to be made come the summer.

  • Fabrez

    *decisions regarding

  • Berth

    < ![CDATA[Lets see what happens in the next few days with Arshavin and Arsenal. Seems Arsene had us all fooled by first promising a DM and now Arshavin take it or leave it deal (though he never mentioned the player particularly).

    Am not sure that is the way to approach a deal when you are really desperate to get hold of something; Arshavin is really important, I know why I keep insisting we get this guy. Wenger doesn't seem bordered about trophies and it really shows in the players, the players don't belief any more after last season. Imagine I was Adebayor and Fab, how do u expect I feel when I know we could have been better if we had retained (Flamini and Hleb) and added more bite; its really demoralising and belief me, we are suffering from that at the moment.

    But I strongly belief we can salvage something from this season if Arshavin can come in that is only if.]]>

  • Berth

    Am really scared of Saturday; Its really amazing what Zola has done with his team. Though I still belief we can come through.

  • http://kierandelaney.net/blog kierandelaney.net/blog

    5 fucking points adrift of the top 4. 5 points!

  • Sam

    God knows I’ve tried so very hard not to have a go at Wenger, but last night I couldn’t stop myself. Diaby had no right to play a full 90 minutes. I won’t blame our motivated players (like Cesc, RVP, Nasri or Vela) to leave for more competitive teams in the summer.

  • http://kierandelaney.net/blog kierandelaney.net/blog

    Diaby took an assist for the goal though! I didn’t see it, but it can’t be that bad – Everton have been flying this season and they didn’t beat us at home.

  • Gooner Get Ya

    < ![CDATA[A point away from home against Everton is not that bad but 5 points adrift from the top 4 is horrific for a team of our calabre.

    Lets have a look at our run to the end of the season compared to Villa and Liverpool.

    Arsenal:

    West Ham H
    Tottenham A
    Sunderland H
    Fulham H
    West Brom A
    Blackburn H
    Newcastle A
    Man City H
    Wigan A
    Liverpool A
    Middlesbrough H
    Portsmouth A
    Chelsea H
    Man Utd A
    Stoke H

    Aston Villa:

    Wigan H
    Blackburn A
    Chelsea H
    Stoke H
    Man City A
    Tottenham H
    Liverpool A
    Man Utd A
    Everton H
    West Ham H
    Bolton A
    Hull H
    Fulham A
    Middlesbrough A
    Newcastle H

    Liverpool:

    Chelsea H
    Portsmouth A
    Man City H
    Middlesbrough A
    Sunderland H
    Man Utd A
    Aston Villa H
    Fulham A
    Blackburn H
    Arsenal H
    Hull A
    Newcastle H
    West Ham A
    West Brom A
    Tottenham H

    Certainly our next 7-8 games should all (hopefully) bring 3 points where as the other two have some tough opponents which I can see a points loss.]]>

  • Marriich

    Goons, I feel your frustration but we have a coach that’s too patient with his players. Has any body realised that Flamini is not finding playing time at Milan and they are about loaning him out? He had one good season, remembered the percieved injustices meted him, felt like a superstar and zoomed off. He is surely regretting his move like so many before him but we are suffering too because our board will hardly replace any player that leaves. And that’s the problem; Wenger makes these boys believe they can over achieve. For some of them it get’s into their heads they perform without commitment and the entire team suffers. We ought to be winning our games period.Let’s face it, Wenger hits these players with kids gloves. If a player is on a good run why change him because another you percieve is better has recovered from injury? It breeds injustice, laziness and poor performance in the work place. A case at hand is Toure – Djourou partnership; Why drop Toure for Gallas? Granted as a defender Gallas has scored goals but he has let in half as much. We need defenders that can defend and attackers that can take on defenders and score goals. How many times has Adebayor who likened himself to Henry whilst negotiating his pay rise taken on defenders this term? How many many times have we kept a clean sheet with Gallas in the defense? Adebayor and Gallas are the problem and Wenger should show how good he is by plugging the loop holes rather than skirting round it. Arshavin? Well I know people are praying he comes because they just want to see the board spend. Is he the solution? I don’t think so. We need to buy from the EPL. Furthermore, let it be on the marble that who clubs made signings in this transfer window already reaped some benefits; Bellamy, Hesky, Mido, etc, all have some things in common.

  • Berth

    < ![CDATA[Gallas and Adebayor issue I agree, But Arshavin is yet to play so he could be a solution to our problems (Am day dreaming). Gooner thanks for your lay down of fixtures. Its not above us to win all the games before the Liverpool fixture, that is if V.P is aright and Adebayor plays well, but I don't see that happening.

    Ade is like a thief that has stolen from us. He caused us dearly last season and his really wrecking my emotions at the moment. How can you be a top nine and be that quiet - well am sure he looks at the bench and says Bedtner what does he know, But belief me Ade, its for a while, you don't play like that, hold fans to ransom and expect people to be quiet, play or leave.

    And Wenger please talk to this guys.]]>

  • Fabrez

    Ade needs to be dropped…he starts way too easily. That’s his problem. A lack of competition. At Barca or AC he would not start with so much ease at all…and that’s where he wanted to go in the summer. AW needs to leave him out the squad for a game so he can have a think about his lacklustre performances. AW treats these guys like children…time to handle them like men and as ruthless as Fergie would.

  • ray

    < ![CDATA[Time to say goodbye Mr Wenger.
    The season has been a sham from the very start and all the while we have had to endure your bluff and bullshit. We are intelligent people Arsene, we know what is served up infront of us is shit and we could handle that if you was honest about it.

    I have watched and will watch Arsenal through thick and thin. I have celebrated Hillier's goals the same as Henry's. Not anymore though. Until you offer me some honesty and interity you won't receive my support.

    Seeing your interview last night made my blood boil. You try and hide the facts with words that were once eloquent but are now tired and thin with no substance.

    "This is a game we wanted to win". As opposed to what Arsene? What games do you want to lose? Say something factual that means something to me instead of the bullshit only swallowed by our new supporters.

    If you stood up and said mistakes have been made and admitted that the side is not good enough I would applaud you. When I saw Arsenal in the mid-nineties I didn't mind that in the main it was awful as there was no disguise wrapped around it. We were what we were and I was happy with that as there were no expectations.

    Your side now though is little better than that in truth. Our odds today of winning the title are 66-1, double that of Aston Villa! The bookies are not stupid as we in the main are not stupid. Everyone can see through your gutless speeches, everyone can see you are half the manager you used to be and that your team is a shadow of what it was just four years ago.

    Every week I hear economic's from you. Ramblings about how the club will be in good shape in fifteen years time. Are these words meant to pacify the support who have seen a fantastic football side dismantled and replaced with sub-standard shit with no love for the club.

    Right now I would like a new manager to come in and tear apart your squad. If it means finishing mid-table for a few years then so be it. I will be happy that someone else is trying to build a team capable of winning honours in an open and honest way. I'd take that day in, day out over your lies and misguided notion that the only way to create a succesful side is your way.

    You have done it more than once with wonderful players such as Overmars, Viera, Bergkamp, Henry and Pires. How the hell do you expect to replicate that success with Eboue, Diaby, Song and Bendtner? Your blueprint for footballing success is totally flawed because one of the most crucial elements of it is making the club wealthy!

    You struck lucky with Fabregas. Without him we would not have one world class player. With the exception of maybe Van Persie all your other signings have failed to a degree since the Invincibles side. Hleb, Rosicky, Gallas and even now Sagna. None of these players performed or are performing to the ability they have showed elsewhere. Apart from Cesc, none of the youngsters you have brought through have set the world alight. Bendtner, Theo and Clichy have never performed to the levels you say they can. The less said about Denilson and Diaby the better and we won't even go near Song.

    Since 2004 you have one success, Fabregas. The product of another clubs youth policy. Where are these kids with "massive potential, spirit and belief"? All I see is a bunch of mediocre, at best, players who would never have got near your teams of the past.

    Start showing us some respect Arsene in what should be your final year as manager of the club. You have already soured what you have acheived previously by constantly speaking bullshit to us or telling us about financial figures that mean little to us.

    You have lost the respect I have for you Arsene and if it carries on they should take that bust of you down. I don't think it is right that someone is lifted to god like status while still at the club. Maybe this adultation has gone to your head and you feel you, as lord and master of Arsenal, can do and say as you like without question. Wrong! I can't imagine that Herbert Chapman treated the heart of the club with the same disdain as you and I can't believe he lied in an attempt to pull the wool over the supporters eyes!

    Quite simply Wenger, I have had enough. My hard earned money is worth more than the shit you are serving me both verbally and on the pitch.

    You were once great but now you are making yourself look a dick and I for one wish you had the balls to face facts and to realise you are a spent force.

    You are simply a servant of my club and the time has come to say goodbye because I can no longer trust you with the team I love!

    Just go now with some dignity!]]>

  • Berth

    Easy mate (Ray). We all feel your pains, if we go on like this we will not make any progress.

  • http://kierandelaney.net/blog kierandelaney.net/blog

    < ![CDATA[Fucking hell. It could be worse Ray, you could support one of the 15 clubs below us in the league, or one of the 200 odd proffesional clubs beneath us.

    Let's bring back Bruce Rioch yeah?]]>

  • Gooner Get Ya

    < ![CDATA[Blimey, ray is not a happy fella....never before has the word shit been used to such an extent...your surname isn't Ramsey is it.

    At least he has written his frustrations and not burnt an effigy of Arsene outside the ground....maybe that it his plan B. Sorry ray i am only joking.

    I agree that his press has been somewhat repetative.

    Lets not write us off until the end of the season, we still have 15 prem games, the FA cup and Champions League. Until then lets get behind who we have and then start the abuse/praise once we are at the conclusion of the season.

    The most annoying thing fir me is the lack of action in the transfer market but that is blown up by the media somewhat...but I still don't get how Sp*rs can have sooo much to spend?]]>

  • Fabrez

    Yeah…how do Sp*rs have soooooooo much money? It is crazy! And they are even thinkin about getting Keane back…they “inquired” as to his availability apparantly. And Ray…well…u sure let it rip with that comment huh? I understand ur pain but we still have to show support for the club…season is just past the half-way mark…we can’t b blind but if we are real supporters let’s stay behind the team…even if AW makes mistakes…maybe something big can happen for us still this season.

  • http://kierandelaney.net/blog kierandelaney.net/blog

    I still don’t get it – we drew against a team that are in the form of their lives at their gaff. It’s hardly the end of the world. It’s not ideal, but we didn’t lose.

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[Exactly mate. I don't get it either. I mean, sure we could have scored during the 90 minutes of normal time, but we're Arsenal, and at Arsenal its only cool to frustrate your fans and supporters for 90 mins and then score in injury time, when nobody expects you to and when some people are so disgusted that they've started leaving because they can't accept mediocrity from what they've known Arsenal for. Specially against a team that didn't have a proper striker.

    It's definitely not the end of the world. Because how many times will it end !? It pretty much ended 3 years ago with the exception of the first half of last season.

    It's quite sickening to start thinking of 'not loosing' as opposed to 'winning ever game from now on'. But hey, it's all merry and joyful. We're garbage compared to what we used to be, but so what. It's all good.]]>

  • zohaib

    I mean, after all, we should have become used to it by now. It’s about time. Ain’t it ?

  • zohaib

    *used to mediocrity.