It was definitely a frustrating day at the Emirates for Everton on Sunday as the team was once again unable to capitalise on clear-cut chances in front of goal and went down 2-0 to Unai Emery’s Arsenal.
As I was watching the game over the course of 5 hours here in the lab, and as my manager shuffled behind me wondering why I wasn’t resetting servers and making intermittent groaning sounds I couldn’t help but think as the game ended, we deserved more.
I wasn’t angry but I was a little disappointed and left wondering what could have been if we had simply been able to execute in a more accurate and timely fashion. As it is, I’m not the only one who thought the team should have walked away from North London with more than just nothing.
Speaking through Everton’s official website, Tom Davies who was once again given the chance to captain his boyhood club on the weekend thought his side deserved something, anything, for the way they played. Davies hit a milestone on Sunday as he became the Blues youngest ever captain during the Premier League era.
“I thought we were very good in the first half and we are disappointed with the result.
“We created a few chances and had a good shape but if you don’t take your chances Arsenal will punish you. They scored a great goal and we just could not get back into the game.
“If we had scored it would have given us something to hold onto. But they hit us with two sucker punches and it is a difficult one to take.”
Like Tom, this writer too thought that the superb finish by Arsenal’s Alexandre Lacazette and the follow up goal controversially put away by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang were simply soul-crushing after such a strong first 60 minutes by the Blues.
Now it’s easy to assign blame, and I do it all the time. So today my malice is directed to an ageing Petr Cech who defying Father Time, played like a man possessed or a man who’s name hasn’t conjured up positive thoughts around London for quite some time (you pick) and decided to do something about it.
Cech managed to stop the likes of Richarlison, Lucas Digne, Cenk Tosun, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Theo Walcott in a Man of the Match performance thereby ensuring that the game plan instigated by Marco Silva basically amounted to nothing, though the fact we were able to push forward and trouble the Gunners defence through two thirds of the match was commendable and something Davies was quick to point out.
“We worked hard on our plan all week and put in a good shift but it was not enough, so we will go into next week doing the same but aiming to get a good result.”
Now Davies has his critics, and I’ll put up my hand to show I’m one of them however his work rate at Emirates was high and he was able to change momentum with a hard tackle or run when he needed to. But (you know what they say, never trust anything said before “but”) like many of his teammates, improvement is key if Everton is to start winning games which is something the fashion icon is aware of.
“We have to get back to winning. That starts next week, we want to put together a good run in the league. It is all positive, we put in a good shift today and if we continue that we will definitely get the results.”
Let’s hope the improvements shown by Davies and the team as a whole since it’s defeat at home to West Ham United and now away to Arsenal continue to become apparent but also victories become a reality as they do.