So that makes it one win against Arsenal away from home in 32 then.
Let’s face it, none of us were expecting us to get a win. That game a few years ago in the snow when Pienaar chipped in late to make it 2-1 before we still messed up and conceded an equaliser seems like a lovely distant memory now.
In truth we came into the game off the back of such a terrible Saturday last week – the pathetic capitulation against Man United on the back of the news of our greatest ever manager passing away was the worst day we’ve had in a long time.
Arsenal came into the game off an energy sapping game against Bayern Munich, but they did win that match and a victory would put them top of the league.
Thing is though, we had two huge chances to equalise and on another day we may have got lucky with Ged and Lukaku both missing quite easy opportunities.
So, here are you – 5 things from the game:
Tim Howard – he needs replacing and SOON!
We knew this last season (maybe before) – he has no commanding of his area, whatever he tweets, and makes more rickets than anyone else. In fact the stats back this up – of the current keepers in the division he’s made 5 errors leading to goals since the start of last season.
In this game he lost it for us in two crazy minutes, failing to come for crosses that were nodded in by gleeful, smaller players. He’s the only keeper I know that is 6 foot 2 but, when jumping, stands at 4 foot 8 inches tall.
It’s not a lie to say that he lost us this game through those mistakes at a time when we weren’t really under that much pressure.
Deulofeu must play more
Okay, it wasn’t his greatest game ever, but Martinez decided to play with two wingers and Ged was the one that looked even slightly dangerous. He attacked players whenever he could and made things happen.
He’ll lose the ball sometimes. We know this. He’s probably only here from Barca because they know he’ll make mistakes, grow as a player and then go back to them later on. Let’s encourage this. He could be ace.
Barkley is frustrating as hell
Let’s gloss over the fact he scored. That was a hit-and-hope that if it had not been deflected would have gone straight at Cech and we’d all be screaming at him. Good on him for trying, etc, but yeah…
He got involved a lot and, along with Ged, could be a great player in years to come. He’s just so frustrating though, making poor decisions all the time. Trying a cheeky backheel when we were 3 v 3 in the second half was typical of the poor decisions he makes. He’s not Gazza but at the same time we need to make sure he’s not trained so hard that he loses his edge like Rooney seems to have suffered from.
Funes Mori could be great for us
I’ll admit, I think we made a mistake rushing Stones back against Man United especially after Funes Mori had played so well for us. Jagielka seems to have suffered a bad knee injury – which was his own stupid fault for passing the ball straight to Carzorla in the first place – and this could be a great chance for the Argentine to have a run in the team.
The next 10 games look a lot easier than the first 10!
I’ll write an article on the next ten games soon, but the first ten were always going to be difficult. I actually predicted for us to get 11 points from the first 10, and we’ve got 13 instead.
I think the fact that we’ve shown signs of being great in some games (Chelsea, Southampton) has frustrated our fans but we’re only a few wins off being right back in the fight for European places. If the players can get back into some form with Lukaku banging the goals in again then things could start turning around.
Let’s face it – we were the crossbar away from equalising against Arsenal with 10 minutes to go. What is, eh?
I could have had more than 5 points. Martinez reacting too late and only putting Kone on for the last two minutes was daft and something he needs to sort out. I only noticed that James McCarthy was playing towards the end and he needs to get more involved.
The fixture list gets a little kinder for us as mentioned above. A win against Norwich in the cup would be a good start on Tuesday. We all know what happens next don’t we folks? Well, Everton aren’t we?