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Arsenal v. Everton: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Because it wasn't fun enough the first time around, let's go through yesterday's match with Everton again!

Michael Regan

A point was secured, and that's probably what people need to keep in mind - before the game, people were saying they'd be happy with four points from Arsenal's next two games, and that goal is still within Arsenal's reach. It wasn't a vintage performance by any means, but Arsenal played reasonably well and did enough to fight back against an Everton side that some thought would be a pushover, but who also has European aspirations and who had a lot to play for. And play they did - they didn't just set 10 behind the ball and call it a day, they attacked, they probed, and they played with an edge and a steel that I haven't seen around N5 since Vieira and Campbell left. So, let's talk about some stuff!

THE GOOD: Santi Cazorla. In Ted's words: "Santi's ability to evade like, a pack of Toffees at a time, was incredible". Forgetting the realization that outrunning a bag of Werther's Originals probably isn't that much of an accomplishment, Ted's absolutely right - the best way to describe it is that Cazorla was fluid yesterday. He was amazing with the ball at his feet, in crowds as well as open spaces, and he basically looked like there was nothing that could slow him down.

Aaron Ramsey also falls into the "good" category, but SPOILER ALERT he'll get his own post shortly.

The other Good for me is that Arsenal didn't back down from a challenge - Arsenal in November would have folded like a cheap suit when faced with the industrial challenges Everton was dishing out yesterday, but Arsenal stood firm and kept going and kept on their game.

THE BAD: One of the problems with being a striker in this modern, video-game-playing-sports-fan society is that you look at a striker who doesn't score a goal that looks to your untrained, halfway-around-the-world-on-TV-watching eye and you think MAN YOU SUCK WHY DON'T YOU SCORE THAT GOAL MY DEAD MOTHER COULD HAVE SCORED THAT. More often than not, tv-watching-sports-fan, you're wrong; scoring a goal is really, really hard. But really, Olivier Giroud, you had some gilt-edged chances yesterday, and you didn't convert any of them. I don't think it's permanent - scoring is cyclical, and Giroud's a very, very good player - but it was frustrating yesterday watching him work himself into space and get a ball at his feet and then....nothing.

THE UGLY: Two sides of the same coin. Darron Gibson gets his face on the obverse side of the Ugly Coin for his repeated attempts to make sure Theo Walcott didn't leave the Emirates in one piece, and refere Neil Swarbrick gets his mug on the reverse side for his refusal to pull out a second yellow card for Gibson when Gibson attempted to piledrive Walcott into the ground six minutes after being booked for a similar foul. If I want physical play untroubled by a referee, I'll watch MLS, thank you very much - Gibson should have had an early shower for that.

Note that the water bottle "incident" didn't make the list, because it was stupid and pointless. If the teams were in the third grade, and Mirallas squirted Wilshere with his juice box, Mirallas would have had to write an essay about being nice and he would have had to skip the next recess, but since these are (theoretically) grown-ass men, it's just dumb to both squirt someone with a water bottle and to react to it. Testosterone!