Before the match I said that I would be happy with a draw and I am with the result last night at Goodison Park. Although we started brightly with the first minute goal by Theo Walcott, the Toffees were much stronger in the match and could have won the game handsomely if not for some brilliant goalkeeping and their own forwards’ lack of profligacy. The truth is Arsenal played much better than they did on Saturday and yet all they could muster is a draw. What more this is an almost full strength Arsenal side, with only Podolski not making the team last night.
When Walcott scored early in the game, I thought this might be our night. Previously, when we score first and early, we tend to go on and win the match. However, this year, everything’s change for the worst. The team would take the lead but we would end up losing or drawing the match. It was the case against Schalke, Fulham and now Everton. Somehow we are not able to hold on to our lead. Much of the time is because of individual mistakes like the one yesterday. Sagna made a mess out of a simple clearance and the ball was given away to Fellaini. Granted it was a good strike but it should have gotten to him in the first place.
It is easy to point the blame on our defense but I think Arsene’s midfield trio is not working well. Arteta, Wilshere and Cazorla are great players but they are too similar I think. We can only play two out of the three at any one time because we seriously need a midfield enforcer in the team. We have tried to do without one since Diaby got injured, and it worked for a while but lately the opposition seems to be able to steamroll their way past the midfield. Look how easy it was for Everton to attack our defense last night. The midfield shield was practically non-existent with the three players often caught up in attack and leaving a big hole in the middle.
The days where we can come up to Goodison Park and leave with 6-1 or 6-0 wins are over. It is a sign that Everton have progressed to a contender for European places but more importantly, it has shown the decline of this Arsenal side where we are scrapping to even go away with a point from Everton.