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Everton 1-0 Arsenal: Satanball Prevails

Premier League: Arsenal suffers second defeat of season after Tarkowski goal  guides Everton to win - Sportstar

Match Report – Match Highlights  Post-Match Press Conference

Final Result: Everton 1-0 Arsenal (Tarkowski 60′)

Arsenal XI (4-2-3-1): Ramsdale; White (Tomiyasu 85′), Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Partey (Jorginho 59′), Xhaka; Saka, Odegaard (F. Vieira 77′), Martinelli (Trossard 59′); Nketiah

To be honest, I was somewhat concerned when Everton fired the hapless Frank Lampard and hired Satanball’s finest ambassador, Sean Dyche. In his Burnley days, Dyche had a very good record against Arsenal, and his brand of football, widely known as Satanball, worked wonders against certain opposition, till it took its toll on its personnel, which eventually led to their relegation last season, and Dyche’s dismissal. Since signing Vincent Kompany from Anderlecht, Burnley now plays exciting football and are odds on to return to the Premier League, as the Clarets sit pretty at the top of the EFL Championship with 65 points.

There was also the issue of the most publicized ‘new manager bounce’, so Arsenal had to be at their very best to see out this new look Everton side that had enough time over the FA Cup break to blend to Dyche’s Satanball style. Goodison Park has also not been a happy ground for Mikel Arteta, as the Arsenal boss had suffered three defeats in four outings, so the stars had aligned in the direction Arsenal weren’t hoping for.

The game itself was a mess, with Everton executing Dyche’s Satanball plan, looping the ball in the air with every chance and putting up combative outlays in the middle of the park, with the Ginger-haired Satanball squire fielding Idrissa Gueye, Abdoulaye Doucoure and Amadou Onana in midfield. Thomas Partey didn’t seem to look his best, as it was evident that he was still suffering the effects of his rib injury suffered in the FA Cup defeat to Man City, but in general, the players didn’t show up to the party at all. The usually exciting Martin Odegaard had an off day and failed to connect well with his teammates, and when he had a chance to put the ball at the back of the net from a cut back, he skied the ball hopelessly. Eddie Nketiah fed on scraps and couldn’t really cope with the physicality of the game, as one of Satanball’s strong points is to press opponents hard and bully them as much as possible. However, Nketiah had a good chance when he was fed by Saka on the edge of the box but he blasted his shot to Row Z. 

Which brings me to the goal that eventually settled the tie. Everton had a total of seven corners in the game, and they pretty much all had the same template – float it high in the sky towards the far post, then use the physical presence of the big lads to attack the ball, and hope for the best, I guess. Arsenal struggled to deal with the set pieces and there was an inevitability about the fact that the goal could potentially come from a corner, and it didn’t disappoint as it was a goal made in Burnley with Dwight McNeil lofting the ball for James Tarkowski to score his first league goal for the club. Watching the replay made me feel disgusted, as Odegaard was clearly no match for Tarkowski, and with the big lads like Gabriel and William Saliba marking other goons, the Arsenal captain could have done a better job. 

Not having any player on the posts didn’t help at all, because planting a player in that location would have seen him stop the incoming header, just like how Conor Coady was on hand to stop Bukayo Saka’s goal-bound shot that had gone past Jordon Pickford. Oleksandr Zinchenko was his usual vibrant self and trying to make things happen, but it wasn’t to be, as he clearly forgot his shooting boots at home. There was a wonderful chance Saka created to Zinchenko at the edge of the box from a corner, but the Ukrainian fired wide off the mark. 

Since the defeat against Manchester United in September 2022, Arsenal had gone on a 13-game unbeaten streak, drawing just two games against Southampton and Newcastle, so to see the team lose to a team that was in the trenches was painful to watch, but we have to dust ourselves up and move forward to the next game, which is against Brentford next week Saturday.

Irrespective of what happens in the Spurs vs. Man City game today, the Elephant will still remain on top of the tree. 


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Welbeck Linked With Everton – Good Move for the Player and the Club

Image result for welbeck ospina

With the World Cup finally over (congrats France!!!), we are back to preseason action and the Gunners have shown some attacking ruthlessness, blasting eight past a hapless Boreham Wood and surprisingly, they smashed nine past Crawley Town in a friendly behind closed doors. Some pictures surfaced and it was nice seeing Pierre Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette strutting their stuff together.

With the summer acquisitions of Stephan Lichtsteiner, Bernd Leno, Sokratis Papathatopoulos, Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi, it’s highly unlikely for the Gunners to do any transfer business, so it only makes sense to balance the books with some departures on the other end. Sure I have see Carl Jenkinson play in a couple of games, but will he be comfortable enough to wait for his chance behind Hector Bellerin and Lichtsteiner? Joel Campbell didn’t do much justice to market himself during the World Cup, but he certainly knows how to find a loan spell somewhere away from the Emirates. Then there are those youngsters that may never make the grade like Chuba Akpom and co.

According to the times, Marco Silva and his Everton are interested in signing Danny Welbeck this summer. Unlike Aaron Ramsey whose contractual situation has been clearly publicized due to his importance to the team, Welbeck has less than 12 months on his contract and it will make some sense to ship him away and re-invest in the team if need be. Since his move from Manchester United, Welbz hasn’t really lighted any fireworks but he has done his bit here and there – however, not really good enough for the team in the grand scale of things. Sure he provides some depth and he’s homegrown, but many fans will not bat an eyelid if Welbeck joins Theo Walcott in the blue of Everton.

I’ve always felt that Welbeck is a mid-table forward at best, and he could possibly thrive in a team like Everton. They struggled with big Sam last season and never did enough to replace the monumental loss of Romelu Lukaku to Manchester United. With Wayne Rooney gone to the MLS to enjoy his twilight years, Welbeck will have the likes of Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Oumar Niasse to contend with and it’s fair to say that he will get the nod ahead of those two.

I hope this move comes to fruition and I wish him the very best in his future endeavors. The league starts pretty soon and the transfer window closes with it, so I’d be hopeful he makes that move. Besides, we have Alex Iwobi and Lucas Perez to provide width on the flanks to make up for the loss of Welbeck.

It’s going to be a good move for the player and the club.


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Confidence Restored as Gunners win the Battle of Goodison Park


Everton 0-2 Arsenal

Match Report Match Highlights Post-Match Press Conference

There was something about that mid-week loss to Barcelona at the Nou Camp. Arsene Wenger’s men were probably aware of the fact that qualification was going to be impossible after that dismal first leg performance but they gave it a go and played to the best of their abilities. Despite the poor efficiency in front of goal and school boys that led to the Barcelona goals, you could feel the confidence flowing as Arsene Wenger fielded a revitalized squad bereft of those underwhelming performers like Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott, that rightly deserved their places on the bench.

With that wisdom, the manager opted for the same squad that played at Nou Camp and many wonders what cult hero, Joel Campbell, was going to do to get into the team. This also meant that the onus was on the players on the pitch to do what was required of them and the goals from Danny Welbeck and Alex Iwobi justified the manager’s selections of them over Giroud and Campbell. Yes, Alexis Sanchez is still struggling with his form but he still managed to get an assist on the day.

What impressed me about yesterday’s performance was the solidity the team had at its spine. David Ospina was relatively untested and suffered a nasty knock but Laurent Koscielny and Gabriel Paulista ensured that their goalie was to have a hassle-free day. Both defenders took turns on who was going to put Romelu Lukaku in their pockets as the Belgian hotshot was quite for the entirety of the game. Nacho Monreal and birthday boy, Hector Bellerin did their bit defensively and offensively, with the young Spaniard lofting the pass that led to watch proved to be the match clincher.

Then what can I say about this…

Boy! The Coq is back! Since his return from injury, the Coq had struggled and people started questioning whether his exploits of 2015 was a fluke but it was good to see the Frenchman issue a reminder to his critics that he’s still the real deal. Then there was Mohamed Elneny, a gem of a player at Arsenal. The Egyptian covered every blade of grass at the Goodison and always made himself available for a pass. The best thing about that Coqneny combination was how they kept complementing each other and their positional discipline was top notch.

Up front, Welbeck made himself a nuisance to the opposition defenders and he harried them into making errors. His own moment of glory arrived when he latched onto Sanchez’ pass, rounded the goalie and dispatched the ball neatly into the net. Had that ball fallen to Giroud, he would have lashed it straight at the keeper or out wide. To justify what I was saying, Giroud had such a chance late on and he found the side netting with his effort.

Arsenal striker Danny Welbeck celebrates his opener against Everton in the early Premier League clash at Goodison Park

Welbeck celebrating his opener

Iwobi showed his improved and naive side of the game but I would take nothing from what was a brilliant solo individual effort to score his first senior goal for the club. After receiving a cross field ball from Bellerin, he did so well to wade off a more physical Funes Mori before playing the ball through the goalie’s legs. The player is focused and has stated that he’s enjoying the moment.

This win has gone a long way to restore some measure of confidence to the team and the players will go into the international break with some optimism. Leicester’s narrow win over Crystal Palace didn’t help the team’s title hopes but there is still some glimmer of hope for everyone associated with Arsenal.


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