St Dom-index Player Ratings for the Arsenal vs. Everton game on Sunday 8th December 2013.
Tim Howard – 8
Seamus Coleman – 7.5
Phil Jagielka – 8
Sylvain Distin – 7
Bryan Oviedo – 7
Kevin Mirallas – 7.5
James McCarthy – 8.5
Ross Barkley – 9
Gareth Barry – 8
Steven Pienaar – 7
Romelu Lukaku – 7
Gerard Deulofeu – 8
Leon Osman – 7
Steven Naismith- N/A
The Blue Match Review
A point away to Arsenal is never a bad result and if someone had said to me before the United and Arsenal game that we would have finished the week with 4 points I wouldn’t have believed them.
We started very strongly and completely out classed Arsenal for a good forty minutes. As a team we are keeping hold of possession very well but at times don’t look particularly dangerous. This was highlighted by the half time statistics, with no shots on target, despite having over sixty percent of the possession.
Paradoxically, when we were put under a little bit more pressure and were playing from the back foot we were looking a lot more dangerous. The Blues are beginning to look deadly on the counter attack with Mirallas and Barkley possessing fantastic pace. This was also true of Deulofeu who had a significant impact on the game after he was introduced.
To make the possession football tell we need a player with the vision to make the difference and play that killer ball through to Lukaku. The Arsenal midfield demonstrated the difference that guile can make shortly before half time, playing lovely intricate through balls that almost led to two goals.
When the goals did arrive they came late in the match. Arsenal’s change to a more direct approach paid dividends, with Theo Walcott heading the ball into the path of German midfielder Ozil. Everton however, responded in brilliant fashion, replying almost instantaneously with a powerful finish from Deulofeu after a hopeful cross into the box from Oviedo.
Man of the Match
I thought McCarthy had a brilliant game, he was crucial to our team and game plan at the Emirates. With Arsenal missing Walcott, the focus of their play was very central, consistently playing through the middle of the park. We needed a player that would get stuck in, close the ball playing midfielders down and win all the fifty fifties, and in McCarthy we had the perfect man for this job. Also for his performance, Gareth Barry is due a lot of credit also, his overall control on the game was superb, consistently moving the ball quickly and accurately into the feet of a team-mate, giving Arsenal little time to settle.
Man of the Match however goes to Ross Barkley. In front of the England manager, Barkley produced a wonderfully powerful performance, running on and off the ball to outclass the Arsenal midfield and consistently putting the Arsenal backline under pressure. He was unlucky not to score, but importantly his decision-making was much improved, distributing the ball at the right time and picking out the right player on all but one occasion.