Today’s match between Arsenal and Everton went exactly as you’d expect a match between two teams coached by lame-duck interim managers to go. There was a lot of running, a lot of enthusiasm, and not much quality to the football.
Neither team were able to generate much in the way of attacking threat. Everton did not manage a shot on target; Arsenal only managed two. The best chance of the match by far fell to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, but his back post volley was beaten away by a strong reaction save from Jordan Pickford.
I guess the good news is that Arsenal kept a clean sheet for the first time in 15 matches, although I’m not sure how much the defense had to do with that. Everton’s attack was dreadful. To be fair, Bukayo Saka had a strong game at left back, especially for a young player asked to play out of position. Calum Chambers also had a good game, although a rash challenge that earned him a yellow card will see him suspended for the next match for accumulation.
Once again, Gabriel Martinelli was the best player on the pitch for the Gunners. He’s in the middle of a fine run of form and deserves to keep his starting spot. The man he wrested that spot away from, Alexander Lacazette, on the other hand, did absolutely nothing in his cameo appearance and is really struggling to find his form.
An away draw for the youngest Premier League starting lineup for the Gunners in 8.5 years is a fine result, but the youth and inexperience of the side showed. People had been calling for more run-outs for the kids, and, well, this is what you get. Running, energy, enthusiasm, and sloppy play.
Kudos to Freddie Ljungberg — he was put into a near-impossible situation with a barebones staff and managed to staunch the bleeding at the club. The indication is that he is going to remain with at Arsenal in some capacity, although what that is has yet to be determined.
And so begins the Mikel Arteta era at Arsenal. The Gunners sit, pending the rest of the weekend’s results, 9th in the table. The side needs help, and it needs it fast. Good luck and godspeed Mikel.