Arsenal v Everton …. The Battle Of The Midfields

This is my virgin post written on an iphone, any mistakes should be blamed on my text typing and Steve Jobs …..

Everton. The start of our tough run of pre-Xmas games. Fresh from their record breaking defeat of some mid-table Northern cloggers, they come to The Emirates full of confidence.

Is the difference Martinez, Lukaku, Barry and Barkley or the loss of Moyes? My guess is the latter. Allowing good players to express themselves in a system designed to attack rather than hinder opponents is proving to be effective.

Let there be no doubt Everton are a fine team in good form, but so are we.  Once again this game will be decided in midfield, it is where Everton are strongest.

Arsenal. No Flamini, no Sagna – can we cope? I fear for Jenkinson who is super going forward but prone to mistakes defensively; understandable given his youth and inexperience but Flamini’ s awareness will be missed on the right.

Theo has to start today, we are playing wonderfully without him, however TW frightens defenders and with Baines out he could be important.

My team

arse v everton

If we follow trends and stats we should win. Given the shock results of yesterday we know not to take 3 points for granted but if Everton leave with a point they will be delighted, which says it all.

Big Raddy

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130 Responses to Arsenal v Everton …. The Battle Of The Midfields

  1. Is Flamini injured Raddy? Good morning!!

  2. Morning – thanks gm, you’ll have to show me how to do that later.

    I’m not sure Flamini is injured, there was talk after the Hull game but I thought Arsene said everyone was fit.

  3. she’s gorgeous Peaches

  4. Norb says:

    Agreed.

  5. Thanks gm, I just need to get her alone for long enough to add an Arsenal teddy to the surroundings and take a pic ;)

  6. Gööner In Exile says:

    Peaches….go to twitter app click on the three dots at the bottom of the tweet, should give options one being “copy link to tweet”, click that and paste in comments. Simples :)

    Raddy spot on….may be rather tense today, need crowd to be as vocal as they have been recently and an early goal would be very welcome.

  7. JM says:

    Flamini should be alright(recovered) to be on our subs bench today (and primed to start against Napoli away in Italy, midweek).

    There is this table (where everyone) can check on the injury/recuperation list of our players (as well as our opponents in the PL):

    http://www.physioroom.com/news/english_premier_league/epl_injury_table.php

    The updates are very much consistent.

  8. Steve Hirons says:

    As an Evertonians snooping around I have to agree that it will be decided in the midfield…and that is great for us because we have never been stronger in that department (still miss our favourite little spaniard though) . Should be a great game but don’t expect the old Everton lambs to the slaughter ….we are a different animal under Martinez… We have grown some teeth. …..1 – 2 final score.
    Like the cheeky little girl BTW.

  9. Well without flamini and sagnal, arsenal will cope but dere will be alot of challenges in the mildfield. Thank’s fans.

  10. don’t know about the result Steve but we’re not taking this game lightly on here. big test for us.

  11. Steve Hirons – nice of you to comment. That little spaniard is adored at the Emirates, we’re looking after him well. I love the football played by Martinez and you should be very proud of your team but I can’t see you going home with three points …… good try though ;)

  12. Did flamini and sagnal get injury?

  13. chas says:

    Short and sweet and bang on the money, BR, cheers.

    Steve Hirons,
    Thanks for dropping in.
    Is it Barry replacing the human microphone that’s made the difference?
    You must be so pleased fergie retired. :)

    It must be 3 or 4 seasons since you were lambs to the slaughter. We’re all expecting a really tough contest.

  14. chas says:

    Any chance of a swingometer update, please?

  15. chas says:

    From the Mirror (apologies if it’s been posted before)

    Mesut Ozil interview: ‘Arsenal move has been the perfect step for me, I couldn’t be any happier’
    6 Dec 2013 22:31

    Gunners’ record-signing speaks exclusively on life in London and why the pressure of the title race is not affecting him

    Mesut Ozil went back to his ­childhood to become part of the Arsenal family.

    He first started playing football as a kid in Gelsenkirchen in what was known as the “monkey cage”, helping explain his close control, ability under pressure and skill that has lit up the Premier League.

    This week, the memories came flooding back when he had a kickabout at Dennis Bergkamp’s Cruyff Court with a group from one of The Arsenal Foundation’s beneficiaries – Freedom From Torture, who use football as a therapeutic tool.

    “It did remind me of that,” said Germany international Ozil. “The one I played in as a boy was worse than this one because the surface was much rougher, there were stones and it really hurt when you fell. It partly shaped the way I play, it teaches you something.

    “I’m really proud to be part of this Arsenal family here.

    “As a footballer, we’re out and about, on the road all of the time, it’s great to just stop for a moment, see these things.

    “It’s actually what I said right when I joined Arsenal. When people tried to convince me when I came here, it was that family spirit at Arsenal which convinced me mainly. This is exactly part of that, what we’ve seen here.”

    Ozil, 25, his colleagues in the first-team squad and boss Arsene Wenger are donating a day’s wages to the Gunners’ charity ­partners for Everton’s visit on Sunday.

    It is a gesture which, like the rest of the club’s philosophy, Ozil has bought into.

    For a world-class player and Arsenal’s £42million record signing, the Germany star has no ego and appears softly spoken and humble.

    After signing on deadline day, Ozil insisted on going round the whole club – from accounts to catering – to introduce himself.

    He is enjoying his new life and the change of pace from Real Madrid. But if there is anything he took from his time in Spain it was handling the expectation that goes with such a huge fee.

    Ozil smiles when asked if he feels the pressure at Arsenal as he was bought to try to help win them the title this season.

    “I’ve played for Real Madrid, where the pressure is so huge because you have to go and really win absolutely every game,” he said.

    “So after having played there for three years, pressure doesn’t scare me. That’s why I don’t really feel the pressure. The second thing is that what I do on a daily basis is what I love.

    “I love playing football so I go out to play football and I don’t really feel ­pressure. Of course, there are some days when things don’t work out as well as on other days but that doesn’t have anything to do with pressure.”

    Ozil has found a house in London and is adapting to English football – and a hectic fixture list which he reveals is described in Germany as “English weeks.”

    Also telling is his admiration for Wenger.

    “He was the one who convinced me to come here and now I can say that I couldn’t be any happier than to be here,” added Ozil. “He really loves ­football. I hope he will stay here for many more years and be successful.

    “I think this really has been the perfect step for me to come and join this club. We have some very talented players here and this is why I think we can achieve something great.

    “We have to develop further to achieve this, but we can do it.”

  16. I love the last line.

  17. Steve Hirons says:

    Chas….I groaned when we signed Barry…but he has proved me wrong. He is the guy who has improved us the most …and the main reason you lot will have to wait a while longer to go 7 points clear. :)

  18. Danny says:

    Without Baines, we’ll be ok today. The last few matches against them were always a worry coz of Fellaini, he always played well against us for them. Our confidence is so high at the moment that it reminds me of the Invincibles who always started with a one goal advantage mentality.

  19. Räsp says:

    Morning Steve and thanks for visiting. Please come on after the game for a small slice of humble pie :P

  20. Norfolk Gooner says:

    ‘morning AAers,

    Peaches, a grand-daughter to be proud of! Congatulations!! Presumably as you have a grand-daughter you already know how to do it, what do you need GM’s help with exactly? :D

    What’s this about Flamini not being fit, I can’t find anything to substantiate the rumour.

    Nobody on or off the field is going to take this game lightly, it’s a chance to widen the gap over both the Chavs and the Oilers, not to mention the unmentionables.

  21. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Steve, your prize loanee almost came to us but we signed Flamini instead. (according to TheMetro that is).

    How good is Seamus Coleman? Arsene could be after him if Bacary Sagna refuses a new contract.

    Are Everton becoming a feeder club for us? :D

  22. What time will everyone be getting to the Tavern?

  23. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Morning BR, I forgot to acknowledge another of your fine pre-match posts, thank you. Err what’s an iphone? :D

  24. arnie says:

    Great stuff, Raddy, on IPhone or without!!!!! :D :D

    Our right side worries me a little. Everton’s combination of Deulofeu and Lukaku is a handful, to say the least. Young and learning, yes, but Jenks is no Sagna. I would prefer him to focus on defence. In any case, he is good in overlap but his crosses are a bit wayward. BTW, I am following Deulofeu. Young, Barcelona academy, on loan in Everton, maybe we can make a bid in the summer, even if Barca seems quite keen to hold on to him.

    Theo worries me as well. Against Hull, I was a bit disappointed not to see him start. But then, when Theo came on, I knew why. He is just not ready yet. I do not expect him start today. This will be the one change that I suspect in your team.

    Is Theo’s perhaps unexpectedly slow recovery a problem? Yes, it is. What do we do about it? Well, I suppose stop-gap arrangements are in order. If Sagna was fit, it would have been OK.

    Left side is standard. Centre is very good. Some of the good guys return after a well earned rest. Only one of Arteta and Flamster would have played anyway.

    Looking forward to a good game!!!!! :D :D :D

  25. arnie says:

    Raddy: forgot to mention, spot on about this being a battle of the midfield. This is where the game will likely be won or lost!!!!! Tough game, top game!!!! :D :D :D

  26. arnie says:

    Motning crew: great stuff this morning, lovely reading, great fun!!!!! And lovely pics as well, well done grannys Peaches and Evonne, and well done GiE. Somewhere in the middle of all this, there was a classic by Terry.

    BTW, GiE, can I reiterate the request from Chas to please get the GiE-meter updated!!!! :razz:

  27. arnie says:

    And forgot to mention, the morning was kicked off by a classic solo-duet from Rocky, around 4:38 to 4:40 AM. If you have not seen it, please do. Classic!!!!! :D :D

  28. arnie says:

    The persistent problem I am facing these days is that I am not able to tuck my teeth into the mouth. Should I or should I not consult my doctor? Oh dear!!!! Decisions, decisions ….. :D :D :razz:

  29. arnie says:

    After the home game at Old Toilet yesterday evening, Moyes said: “I stand firm we will be very close. I hope we are in it at the end of the season.” When asked why he was so confident, he said: “The players – because I am working with the champions.” :D :D Pray, why should we not gloat? :D Moist in! Moist in!! Moist in!!! :D :D :D

    On the discussion yesterday about van Judas, I for one would not at all be surprised if he has handed in a transfer request. He is the quintessential self-centred epitome of the “Me and only Me” brigade. The moment he suspects that ManUre may not qualify for CL next year, he would want to get out, rather than try and win the CL or try and get his team to qualify.

    The same as he did at Arsenal. The moment the groan of the journos became loud enough, Brave $ Robin took the quickest way out. In this regard, I have some respect for Suarez. Even if it was (somewhat) disappointing for us, he showed heart at Liverpool, took on board his team’s request to fight the battle with them, and making a good fight of it! That is what separates the mice from the men!!!!! :D :D :D

  30. arnie says:

    Come on Arnie, shut up now!!! You are speaking to yourself. Enough of this soliloquy rubbish for the moment!!!! :razz: Oh I see. Everyone is off to the Tavern!!!! See you later, AA-ers.

  31. dis is my 1st tym of comentin bt i ve bin a consistent folower, d oponent tday are indeed strng and descipline bt dere is a reason y the arsenal are at d top of d log and dat same reason we are gona show dem tday. Goarsenalgo.

  32. arnie says:

    welcome, Stephen!!!! :D :D :D

  33. tnks arnie. I ll also apweciate it if evonne welcoms me, im a huge fan of his *grin*. Goarsenalgo

  34. evonne says:

    welcome Stephen!!! all right?
    evonne is not a He, no on match days anyway :)

  35. RockyLives says:

    Well observed pre-match BR (unusually brief, too, but I suspect you’re travelling).

    As always you’ve hit on the nub of the issue – the midfield.

    Everton deserve respect but I feel that our quick passing and interchanging movement will be too much for them.

    Lukaku is a big threat though.

  36. RockyLives says:

    Great run of comments Arnie :)

  37. RockyLives says:

    For those who didn’t see it late yesterday, this interview with the BFG is simply brilliant:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/arsenal/10501748/Per-Mertesacker-says-I-am-proud-to-be-part-of-the-Arsenal-tradition-ahead-of-Evertons-visit-to-Emirates-Stadium.html

    Thanks to Ivalice for posting it.

    It’s from the same event as the Ozil interview which Chas posted above.

    I already loved the BFG but after reading this it’s a serious man crush :)

  38. Räsp says:

    Hi GM, we’re next door, will be in The Tavern at 2:45 ish

  39. arnie says:

    Rocky: :D Filling in the gaps. The lucky souls are in and around the Tavern!! Who ate all the kebabs? Rasp, of course!! And who had all the fine wine? Raddy, I suspect!!!!!

    Evonne: :D Nice one!!

  40. arnie says:

    Evonne: “not on match days anyway”? Eh $£$%%^^!!!!! Raises deep existential questions!!!! :D

  41. kk evonne, noted. So glad to be welcom into d AA famly. Markin dat wid a win tday

  42. jnyc says:

    Stephen, you are in the right place, — enjoy!

  43. evonne says:

    arnie – normally I am a boisterous, stubborn, strong headed person, who turns into a jelly on match days – no guts, no character, just silly wobbling/shaking. It gets worse when we don’t win and hysteria is a normal reaction to a loss. Nothing masculine about it I am afraid.

    Take today for example – had a ticket, could have gone, had great time with the lads and Peaches, but oh no, too scared, safer behind the sofa. This and the fact that I have been to many Everton games and each time it was a draw, even on my wedding day 19th December 26 years ago.

  44. Kgööner says:

    Arsenal : Szczesny, Jenkinson, Koscielny,
    Mertesacker, Gibbs, Arteta, Wilshere,
    Ramsey, Ozil, Cazorla, Giroud

    missed by 1 big tardy. thanks for the iPrematch post

  45. fatgingergooner says:

    Going to be a tough game today. I would argue this is hardest fixture so far this season in the PL when you take into account form, injuries etc.

    I’ve heard rumours about Özil being ineffective in the bigger games (apparently something he was accused of in Madrid) so I’m looking for a match winning game from the talismanic German today.

    If Jenkinson can contain Deulofeu and our 2 centre backs deal with Lukaku then we should win the game.

  46. fatgingergooner says:

    Walcott could be key from the bench today. Espescially against the untested Oviedo.

    Just seen Deulofeu not starting so Jenks shouldn’t need to worry about Pienaars pace.

  47. 26may1989 says:

    Looking at the lineups, both sides have nicely balanced starting teams. The superior quality of our bench looks like the biggest differentiating factor.

    Enjoy the game, everyone.

  48. arnie says:

    Evonne: I can see that!!!! :D :D

  49. dhakka09 says:

    well done BR; IPhone or not, your five-fingered signature marks are all over Steve Jobs’ cheeks ;)

    All if you seem to be utterly convinced that this is going to be “battle of midfield” so I know better than to try and persuade all on otherwise. For me, I think the outcome will depend on which side will use the wings better; I’m particularly concerned about our right-side in likely absence of Theo and Sagna (would’ve been a much stronger side with them two)

    Ladies and gentlemen; I hereby declare this match to be “Battle of the Flanks” :)

  50. arnie says:

    d09: Fair points. But here is my prediction. Tough tight game. Arsenal will probably lose the “Battle of the Flanks”, marginally, but sadly, but win the “Battle of the Midfield” handsomely, and turn out to be winners overall!!! :D :D

  51. fatgingergooner says:

    Spurs in the FA Cup apparently!

  52. evonne says:

    we are not the better team :(

  53. Belfastgooner says:

    Are Everton on performance enhancing drugs? I’m having a distinctly uncomfortable afternoon. I was hoping my days watching the arsenal from behind the sofa were over. Everton are bound to run out of steam and we’ll canter home 2-0

  54. fatgingergooner says:

    Great half of football.

    Everton were outstanding until Wilshere went down injured, and from then on we could’ve had 2 or 3.

    Fair play to Everton who passed the ball around excellently. Fortunately for us Lukaku looks a bit tired and they could find him with a final ball. In fairness, our centre backs did very well to keep them to only half chances.

    Some of the football we played in the last 10 minutes was stunning and we could easily have gone in 1-0 up.

    I think Everton will start the 2nd half strong, but if we can keep it 0-0 then I expect them to tire and sit back for a draw. Then we can get Walcott into the game and win it 1 or 2 nil.

    Great game to watch so far

  55. Gööner In Exile says:

    Calm down guys…. :D

    Much better at the end of the half, found our way through a bit more. Proper game of football though…some good tackles etc.

    Shame Gibbs didn’t think like a centre forward when Santi crossed he just hesitated before committing, said real time “go now” but he didn’t hear me.

    For all Evertons possession Szczesny has not had to make a save. We need a bit more guile around the box and maybe a few more shots fro further out as Howard is anticipating the slide rule pass we need to keep him honest by making him second guess the man in possession, a couple of chips to far stick should do that.

  56. mike says:

    We have had the best two chances in the game, and Everton have had the most possession. Cazorla is playing really well.

  57. arnie says:

    Luckily the left side is not working for Everton, so we are so far safe with Jenks. Final 20 mins key. If we do not concede in the net 20, and better still can nick one, it will be job well done!!!!! :D :D

  58. arnie says:

    triple substitution, lots of energy, fresh legs, final 20 now

  59. arnie says:

    ozil …………………………

  60. arnie says:

    Rosicky cross, Theo headback, Ollie dummy, Ozil goal …….

  61. arnie says:

    Theo assist

  62. arnie says:

    oh dear, Deulofeu ……

  63. arnie says:

    back to the drawing board, come on the good guys

  64. arnie says:

    unlucky Giroud

  65. arnie says:

    we have to leave with that, unfortunately…… draw in the end …..

  66. RockyLives says:

    Fair result.

    That’s the best team we’ve played in the EPL so far this year.

  67. arnie says:

    Rocky, agreed. and i say, forget the minnows, if we want a good young player, go after Deulofeu …..

  68. fatgingergooner says:

    Wow!

    Great game. Everton were outstanding and I don’t think we will see a better team performance at Emirates this season.

    5 points clear after another round of games, so can’t feel too upset that we didn’t see out the game.

    The strike by Giroud at the end was stunning and so unlucky.

    Proud of the players for grinding out a point when not playing at their best against a team that played at 110% of its ability on the day.

  69. Adrian says:

    Are you fking serious. That strike by Giroud fully deserved to be the winning goal..

    Oh and Arteta was abyssmal today. Prolly one of the worst games I’ve seen him play. A proper DM he is not as highlighted today

  70. Gööner In Exile says:

    I agree with that Rocky, Everton very good today.

    Shame we couldn’t hold out, Gibbs and TR7 went to sleep a bit and ball watched when the ball was out wide.

    Though I would have removed Santi because he was tiring and put Flamini on because we were not winning enough ball in defensive third, I think I would have left Rambo on a bit longer, and maybe left it a bit before putting TR7 in the mix…..that said TR7s cross setup Theo at far post so what do I know :)

  71. arnie says:

    great game …….

  72. arnie says:

    GiE: see your point, replacement was position for position, Rambo is now playing DM, maybe a bit of rotation would have been different

  73. Adrian says:

    I would go as far as to say that if Flamini had started today in place of Arteta, we would have a much higher chance of winning today and wouldn’t have been that poor in the first half.

    Fair play to martinez tho, his instructions to man mark Arteta really disrupted him and our midfield.

  74. meta says:

    Shame that we can’t hold until the end. Gibbs must learning something from this. Great game though. That AMAZING strike by Giroud deserved to be the winning goal. But still got 1 point and top of the league !!

    #VCC

  75. dhakka09 says:

    Despair not, my fellow Gooners (trolls excluded, them lot can wallow in their misery) Everton were good and high on confidence. We could’ve nicked it at the end but a point vs them at this point in time isn’t bad at all. 5 points clear at the top :)

  76. Danny says:

    3 reasons we didn’t win today:
    1.Giroud – should’ve started with Bendtner.
    2.Ramsey – returned to last seasons form
    3.The fixture list
    …..but overall a fair result.

  77. fatgingergooner says:

    HA!

    Trolls get funnier, and uglier!

    Surprised nobody has mentioned the FA Cup draw yet.

  78. r0blucci says:

    Have to say, I LOVED Wenger’s triple substitution. Almost as if he wanted to say ‘Oh yeah, here’s our *other* midfield’.

  79. arnie says:

    FGG: :D Yes, it was mentioned briefly. Bring on TotNumbs: Forever in our shadows!!!!!

  80. Peaches says:

    Has anyone offered to write something for tomorrow’s post?

  81. Big Raddy says:

    Excellent day out and good game. I thought we shaded it but turned off after we scored – could it have been the relief?

    Rasp & I both questioned why our normal outball from defence wasn’t working which affected our counter-attacking.

    Everton were disciplined and worked hard and in Barkley they have a fantastic player ….. MU next season?

    Great to meet all the Taverners and will add my thoughts about the match to tomorrow’s post

  82. LB says:

    I am not able to help with this one.

  83. LB says:

    That’s a good comment Rob

  84. LB says:

    So Baines is out, exposing their left flank, and what do we do?…….We play the second slowest sprinter at the club there.

  85. That’s ok LB, I’m sure someone will help out.

  86. LB says:

    You really wouldn’t want a vitriolic anti-Wilshere tirade from me…………………Ahhhhhh, why was he there, what did he do?

  87. I know it can sound bitter, but I’m not, I really think overall it was a good result. We didn’t slip, we kept Shitty at bay and we took a point from Chavs and BSR. Spuds are of no importance and Liverpool don’t have a team, they have a man and it’s gonna be funny to watch them next month trying to keep him. The funny thing : no one is gonna be willing to loan players to Everton anymore next year ! They’ll have to buy them and can they afford a Lukaku or Delofeu ? I’m not against the loan system and Everton probably played very well but their situation this year is unreal and has far too much influence on the Premier League. The good thing is with a 7 points lead going into the next two league fixtures, the team might have been compleasant, now they have to stay on their toe. It was the Dortmund performance that brought me to AA and I do believe Arsenal can pull one of these at Shitty ! The invincible didn’t win all their games, they just didn’t lose any ! So as for the momentum, rather than keeping winning, keeping not losing is the way to go !
    COYG ! Don’t you dare go back to doubt and depression !!!
    THIS IS OUR YEAR AND WE ARE GONNA WIN THE LEAGUE !!!!!

  88. Norfolk Gooner says:

    That game was crying out for Walcott’s pace, why oh why didn’t Arsene listen to Big Raddy and play Theo from the start. Wilshere is wasted on the right wing, just as Ramsey was last season.

    That last minute blast from Giroud deserved to be the winner.

  89. arnie says:

    Good comment, Benjamin!!!! :D :D

    LB: Nothing wrong with a rant. It is however any of us saw the game.

    Peaches: I dont want to do one tomorrow because I really really want to do the next one if ever we manage to contrive a loss. Reliving lost games is also part of the deal. But I am on standby ….. :D

  90. Norfolk Gooner says:

    It looks as though Manure have made the error of the season in appointing Moist, they should have promoted René Meulensteen, what a difference he has made to Fulham.

  91. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Bit pissed off after that. Not major pissed off like been forced to watch a Hugh Grant film, but still pissed.

    Everton were excellent. It was hard to tell who was top of the league, us or them

    They bossed us so bad for most of the first half that at one stage I thought Arsene was going to run on pitch, bend over, and pull his pants down

    We got it going after that but Everton have a strong counter attack and were a big threat. They reminded me of my neighbours dog. Nice and tame with others, and then angry and full of hate with me. That Bastard has cost me three pairs of trousers.

    What we should take from the game is that despite the fact were five points clear, theres plenty of room for improvement, of which we have the resources and potential to utilize, and we will.

    The Ghosts of the Thirties are Stirring.

  92. Oh Arnie that’s a pathetic excuse if you don’t mind me saying so, if you want to write the post for tomorrow then you can ……….. why wait for a loss? ;)

  93. arnie says:

    Peaches: OK, I will write a conversation starter. I will be travelling tomorrow, and will be available for 2 hours during stopover in Frankfurt, and then late in the night. But this should not be a problem. :D :razz:

  94. NG, promoting Meulensteen would have had the effect of diluting the Fergie legacy when they continued to play as well as they had in the last season, appointing Moyes makes Fergie look better

  95. arnie says:

    That is some conspiracy theory, GiE. Love that. I have a feeling there are plenty of closet conspiracy theorists here on AA!! :D :D

  96. arnie says:
  97. Thank you arnie, I look forward to reading it :)

  98. Gööner In Exile says:

    Arnie no conspiracy it’s the truth :D

    Fergies book revealed just how egotistical he is/was.

    Egotistical enough to appoint his successor!

    I think Rocky was right yesterday when he said we needed to step up the Moyes In campaign. The media seem sure that the BoD at OT gave Fergie time so they’ll do the same for Moyes. My swingometer shows them to be 16 points down on last seasons same games total. The current board isn’t the same lot that have SAF time they were a big club but not a massive investment backed by loans to the investors, those banks might get twitchy if no CL revenue is guaranteed. Especially as so many commercial deals rely on CL football too.

  99. What a wonderful game. I knew they’d be good. Nice to see rasp, raddy, chas and of course peaches today.I waited outside F until everyone had gone then went back to the Tavern and forced myself to have a whisky :) what do you want to do about your card Peaches?

  100. arnie says:

    GiE: :D In Moist we Trust!!!!!! :D :D

  101. dhakka09 says:

    Like the ‘moist’ redwood ready to be gnawed upon by a thousand termites;

    Like a ‘moist’ carpet about to turn all stinky and yeasty;

    Like a ‘moist’ rash ready to burst into rivulets of yellow pus trapped just beneath the skin;

    Like the mid-table ‘Moist’ beckoning masses of Old Toileters into his mid-table hellhole (disguised as paradise) with that sheepish grin, offering two-Fellainis-for-one-Pogba (touted, deal of the century)

    In that one-and-only ‘Moist’ of multiple name and dubious fame. we all, non-Toileters, trust :)

  102. edgar says:

    I said the season starts after the Palace game and already Arsenal have suffered defeat and dropped points at home.

  103. arnie says:

    Fantastic, Dhakka!!!!!! :D :D :D

  104. chas says:

    Motning.

    Great to see the gang in the Tavern

    Credit to Everton they were the better team in most of the first half.
    Though I think we were in the second.

    I wasn’t keen on the triple substitution as it left us vulnerable to an injury. It also meant that if we did score, we couldn’t bring Nacho on, for instance, to help protect the lead. Still, I suppose Rosicky and Walcott were involved in the goal.

    I also couldn’t understand Gibbo not making a better effort to block the shot for the Everton goal. He seemed to be making himself as narrow as possible. Make a challenge or at least get closer to block the route to goal. Surely shifting the ball half a yard shouldn’t be enough to get a shot off?

    I would have happily taken the draw with 15 to go, but having taken the lead, am a little disappointed we relinquished it so quickly.

    Hey ho, 5 points clear and onwards to Napoli. :)

  105. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Motning Gorgeous

    Hey, we are one more point even further ahead.

    Missed the entire day, but just gone through comments. Ooo, that LB is cross with young Jack (not the bloke who stuck him out wide!)

    As for you Chas, rubbish making three subs, although 2/3 contributed to the goal :-)

    You are a funny lot sometimes

  106. chas says:

    Apologies, I’m not up with the tactical bollix, as you is.

  107. chas says:
  108. chas says:
  109. chas says:

    Must go.

  110. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Great pic Chas.

    In the comments below it, someone tweets this “the fact that one cubic metre of water weighs a ton, how many metres thick is that lip!?”

    That is the very scary truth.

  111. evonne says:

    Everton were very good yesterday, credit to the team and the manager. Martinez is an intelligent man, he knows how to play us; I think he will go far with the Toffees. What a substitution for Moyes!

    Everton are a ltd company with a managable debt, not very different from us. They will be attracted some unwanted attention now and before they know a new owner will emerge. I can see that happening soon

    Anyway, let’s not be greedy, we are top of the tree and that feels great

  112. arnie says:

    Motning all. Oh dear, this was tough. Writing this certainly felt much worse than a draw.

    Peaches: post in nuts!

  113. arnie says:

    Micky: later today, off to the Portuguese Atlantic coast, close to where the record breaking surf stuff! Dont know how the waether is, but should be good!!!!! :D :D

  114. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Top Man Arnie

    And hello Evonne. Henry is a Cat Man :-)

  115. evonne says:

    i have just seen the photos from Georgous – Thierry Henry has my cat!!! OMG, how cool is this guy??

    TH was there at the game yesterday, looking absolutely fab. And so was Bobby with a pretty girl, and someone else, cannot remember who he was

  116. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Arnie,

    My children had their first proper surfing lessons near there.

  117. evonne says:

    TH is not a Cat Man, he is the Cat, the wild variety…

  118. arnie says:

    Micky: wow! I have been to these places a couple of times. It was wonderful, but also quite scary. The forces of nature! And some of the guys who try to break records and all that, I think are crazy. It is very dangerous! Will try and hunt up some of my photos and post some time.

    This time, unfortunately it is mostly work. Will try to get away a bit, perhaps on Friday or Saturday. :D :D

  119. arnie says:

    Evonne is the cat. Look how she’s purring!!!! :lol:

  120. evonne says:

    arnie :) no woman can resist Thierry, some men too. Look at Gorgeous, constantly posting pictures of TH14

  121. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Brilliant Arnie
    Off now

  122. arnie says:

    Evonne: :D :D ha ha!!! BTW, how was the behind the sofa experience yesterday? :razz:

  123. evonne says:

    no arnie, no sofa yesterday. I wasn’t even nervous before the game, was convinced that we were going to win it. It took me by complete surprise to realise that we were actually struggling to keep possession, let alone create chances and that Everton were dominating the game. Thank Dennis things were better in the second half, but during the game I lost the belief that we can walk on water :(

  124. arnie says:

    yes, Evonne, it was a very humbling experience. If we get through the next three games (including Napoli) relatively unscathed, we are doing well. I think Napoli is quite timely. Will allow us the opportunity to build some confidence ahead of Shitty away. That will be tough as well. Not so worried about Chav at home. Let us see. Onwards and upwards!!! :D :D

  125. LB says:

    Actually Micky you are right; when I think about it in the cold light of day I should be more upset with the person who put Wilshere out on the right wing rather than the player himself.

  126. arnie says:

    Point well made, LB. The formation yesterday did not make complete sense. Strategy was strange as well. But, how much do we really know? :D :D

  127. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    “The mighty, mighty England” :lol:

  128. Räsp says:

    Morning all……

    ….. New post ……..

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