Well, that’s better. Lots. Problems not solved, but clearly Everton read my blog from the Watford game and showed immense fight, passion, and from time to time a bit of skill too. Still a work in progress, but signs of that work being on the right foundations. Still a few wonky bricks to replace though. I said wonky.
Koeman was wrong. In his post match analysis he said we improved after the first 20 minutes. The truth is we were awful, tentative, scared almost in that first period, but I can time the more exact moment we improved to a series of 3 fiercely won 50:50 tackles just after 30 minutes. The Goodison roar erupted from within the angst and the negativity, and frankly we never looked back after that as the tackles rained in. And boy did we reign (see what I did there?).
Wenger said that Everton’s physicality disrupted the Arsenal rhythm.
He said we scored with defenders not Lukaku.
Soz about that too.
And that it wasn’t a corner resulting in Williams’ winner.
Yeh, you’re right Arsene, soz for that too. But whilst we’re moaning, my 2 bob is that Coquellin didn’t get a single yellow card, let alone the two he deserved. But let’s not be negative, there’ll no doubt be more opportunities for that no doubt, let’s focus on the positives.
Step forward Enner Valencia. Blimey. Work rate excellent, passing a bit awry at times, movement superb, tracking back, left side, right side, lost causes recovered, an all round strong performance. He took the pressure off Lukaku who, but for one of his trademark barnstormer runs down the wing, was quiet over the whole 90 minutes, at one stage loitering without apparent intent at the far side of the box rather than being in the mixer. But even he did more of the closing down required of this team.
Step forward James McCarthy, much maligned of late, but this was his best game of this season, arguably with not much to beat. But he matched the tempo of his fellow hustler Gana Gueye, but gave the ball away less than our Senegal Sizzler (I mean Dynamo but it’s not alliterative).
And step forward Ross Barkley. Again, not flawless, but loads of energy, much better passing, and a fine focus for our developing attacks.
Easy to get carried away, but I won’t. I’ve lived through many painful false dawns without tempting fate once again. This was the answer to the call to the barricades, but we need more than a one-off, this energy and relentless closing down and tackling has to continue.
Sort it again please Everton.