Arsenal 2-2 Everton: A point gained or two points dropped?

I’ll get straight to the point today by answering the question I posed in the headline – this was certainly a point gained.

A dodgy performance in even dodgier weather conditions saw our boys in an unthinkable position as the game entered injury time. Steven Pienaar had put Everton 2-1 ahead a few minutes earlier and Denilson had gone off injured leaving our most purposeful attacking player – Abou Diaby – having his influence curbed by being forced to play the holding role in midfield. A disappointing defeat in the snow looked the only outcome.

But thrillingly our boys dug in and snatched a dramatic goal as Diaby’s instincts saw him gamble forward and he set up Tomas Rosicky. I don’t care what anyone says about the deflection of Lucas Neill, it was a sensational goal scored under stressful conditions and one of the best indications that this team have the character as well as the quality to win trophies.

It would be ignorant to avoid mentioning the negatives in this performance; once again Manuel Almunia was unconvincing, our defence was all over the place at times while our passing game struggled a bit with both Cesc Fabregas and Alex Song missing.

But it would be equally ignorant to have expected our boys to play their usual game in such ridiculous weather conditions. It’s not an excuse by any means, just a fact that when the weather is as bad as it was on Saturday it tends to level out sides of differing quality. It was clear that our pinpoint attacking style was simply less effective with the wind and snow swirling the way it was and it was only when the likes of Traore and Sagna started swinging in balls behind the defence that we started to look dangerous.

Despite the majority of our team having games to forget there were a few of players that stood out to me.

Diaby once again looked exceptionally dangerous and capped a threatening performance by setting up the second equaliser. Samir Nasri controlled the ball better than anyone in the snow while Andrey Arshavin had a good game despite many of his clever passes being just cut out by the defence. Meanwhile Sagna fought like a lion all game and Rosicky improved our midfield after coming on for Ramsey.

In short I will say again that I feel this was a point gained.

It wouldn’t have mattered which team in the league we played or which ground it was played on, it would have been an incredibly tough game to win in the conditions that ensued. That we managed to snatch a late point against an Everton team that worked so hard and handled the snowy weather so well is full credit to the determination and fighting qualities of this bunch of players.

You can look at the negatives all day long if you want but with Bolton away up next we’re just three points off the top and things are looking quite good indeed.

Thoughts?

Have your say on Arsenal’s 2-2 draw with Everton by leaving a comment.

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32 Responses to “Arsenal 2-2 Everton: A point gained or two points dropped?”

  1. TheSKAGooner
    January 11, 2010 at 9:15 pm #

    I agree. Point EARNED. A real “team point” at that.

  2. bermudagooner
    January 11, 2010 at 9:33 pm #

    i agree also
    it shows character and that our boys have the spirit that we can come from behind (twice) and thats the positive that we can take from the game

  3. Old Timer
    January 11, 2010 at 9:40 pm #

    Agree with most of what you say there, Andrew.
    Everton showed that they are a still a good team with a good manager. It’s disappointing to see our boys being outplayed, at home, but we have to consider that they were without Van Persie, Fabregas and Song – our three best players so far this season. Let’s face it, although there was some fight in them they’re not really a team for tough trench warfare. They’re more like the cavalry, fast, mobile and a stirring sight when on the charge. ‘The Light Brigade’ perhaps? but at this midpoint of the season I say:
    ‘Half a league, half a league, half a league – onward!’

  4. simba
    January 11, 2010 at 9:48 pm #

    They say that there are only two certainties in life – death and taxes. I’d like to add a third – the undoubted certainty that every time we drop points, the same idiots will come on this board and write off our title chances.

  5. simba
    January 11, 2010 at 9:48 pm #

    personally I thought the referee was awful and in the first half allowed 12 challenges straight through the back of Arsenal players to go without a foul or anything. that set the tone of the match. Pinennar made a two footed lunge that if he had connected we would have had another eduardo on our hands. Woeful. That isn’t to say we deserved anything as we were dreadful. Rosicky saved himself with the goal as it was his (one of five) really poor passes that were intercepted that gave them the second goal. Eduardo just isn’t in it this season? Arshavin was invisible. Denilson sorry but i really rate him. As an all rounder he is the best in the team. He can break down play, create, score and pass really well. At 21 what a potentially great player. Like I said I blame the ref but saying that the team simply weren’t up for it, possibly Denilson the only exception!

  6. harsen
    January 11, 2010 at 9:50 pm #

    i 100% agree that was apoint gained-in the dying minutes of the game!!! it was aheroic goal from rosicky.

  7. rocknrolljesus1
    January 11, 2010 at 9:58 pm #

    it is a point GAINED, caus everton showed quality and were better.

    but we must see that there are things to be fixed… we must learn to play without sing, fabregas and specially van persie.

    no other defensive midfielder then song and eastmond (no option).

    denilson, ramsey and diaby are able to cover for fabregas.

    bendtner is injured, eduardo plays on the left side, and arshavin isn’t a real striker, walcott isn’t asswell.

    f.melo? to cover for song… maybe matuidi….

    c.cole, saha, zamora? to score goals?

    someone must come!

    some world talent like hazard and zezinho wouldn’t hurt eather. wenger only buys youngsters noone has ever heard of (ramsey is an exception).

    this season is great so far. we just need to be more compact.

  8. Francis mukwaya
    January 11, 2010 at 11:05 pm #

    I also agree with you and my other consolation is Man u failing to win,So it was apoint gained.

  9. darragh
    January 11, 2010 at 11:17 pm #

    Wenger stated here (http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/eng_prem/8450335.stm) that he had no idea what caused Denilson injury.

    Didn’t Neville hammer him in the midsection in the box 10 minutes prior to the injury?

  10. sobin the gooner
    January 12, 2010 at 12:21 am #

    We showed great character and determination to come from behind.

    come on GUNNERS

  11. GunnerCesc4
    January 12, 2010 at 1:26 am #

    Am I the only one relieved that Bolton match was postponed.
    True Andy, it was a point earned. U could see tell byt the way AW was trying to control his smile.

  12. Breezy
    January 12, 2010 at 1:38 am #

    It was DEF Neville’s blistering tackle to his midsection that caused the injury. I was watching the game here in the States on Setanta. Were the commentators as horrible anywhere else in the world? They couldn’t stop talking about how good Everton was and how woeful we were. Although we did play pretty badly, it was nothing like what they portrayed. They seemed to be not watching the same game as they had no idea why Denilson went down in the middle of the pitch. It was clearly a delayed reaction to the crunching tackle Neville put to his midsection just 10 minutes earlier that may have been a penalty.

    I agree with Simba about the referee. He was terrible.

    What does everything think about getting Henry back on loan for the rest of the season or buying him back outright? I think he would fill in for RvP quite nicely as he has the goal scoring ability and the hold-up play to compete as our main striker. Any other transfer thoughts?

    DEF a point gained…

  13. ArsenalStation
    January 12, 2010 at 2:33 am #

    I posed the same question on Arsenal Station yesterday. It seems most of my readers concurred that it was a point gained, as well. Keep up the good work, Andrew.

  14. kumar
    January 12, 2010 at 2:41 am #

    The good news is that we now have a higher points tally than we did last week. Despite City having 8 or 9 rows together they managed to keep on our tails, a loss is much worse for morale. Another point at least keeps the momentum going, keeps the heads up and gives the team something to build on and protect…and each game that you remain unbeaten…the more worried the others become. I was upset at 1-2 but 2-2, not bad all things considered. Well done Everton on a strong performance. Hoping that the LC SFs and other cancellations will help create a fixture pile up for the others as well. 😉

  15. Breezy
    January 12, 2010 at 3:07 am #

    Does anyone else wonder why Arshavin continues to be slotted as the central striker when he is much better served out on the left with Eduardo in the middle? I know Eduardo’s link-up play isn’t that great, but surely Arshavin creates more on the left and Eduardo can wreak more havoc being supplied balls in the middle. I don’t get it.

  16. Ianinja
    January 12, 2010 at 3:08 am #

    Denilson? Other than the goal he had a bad game, he was caught in possesion a couple of times, he dose not break up play like Song. Ramsey and Diaby are the ones that made the tackles. Denilson would be much better in an attacking midfield role but to play the Song role is just fail.

  17. georgetown gooner
    January 12, 2010 at 3:36 am #

    that jackie chan flying kick by neville on denilson was definitely a penalty, the ref had a shocker! overall a point is better than nothing but we should be putting teams like everton away.also thought almunia went to ground too early for the pienaar goal.

  18. sa gunnar
    January 12, 2010 at 5:03 am #

    I don’t why so much praise 4 n team who score n lay back n got lucky wit n header n counterattack goal,it was just bad defending from our boyz,everton remind of any other team that cum 2 emirates 2 play boring soccer, rememba da boyz came back from every goal concede,i thought da second was da killer,but it wasn’t!so giv credit were it’s due.

  19. americanarsenal
    January 12, 2010 at 6:31 am #

    Don’t get me wrong, I went crazy when Rosicky scored, and started hugging strangers, but I must say that that was an extremely disappointing game. I understand the change in lineup from the last match with Everton, but winning 6-1 away, and drawing at home 2-2 is pretty upsetting. I was disgusted when Pineaar scored, but did not lose hope. I was under the impression that Arsenal would score again too after Rosicky made it level. This was a fantastic point earned of course, but going up against teams like Manchester United and Chelsea in the title race; it is going to take more than that to win the league. I honestly think that that was 2 points lost, not to be pesamistic. I did see some things I liked. Andrew says how great it is that Arsenal can come back when they are behind, and that is vital. Arsenal showed that on Saturday. Great amount of possession too.

  20. Andrew Weber
    January 12, 2010 at 8:12 am #

    @ Breezy – I’d say it’s because Eduardo didn’t particularly show up when put into the middle. Arshavin is actually playing quite well in there – lots of little flicks and some inventive passing – it’s just that you notice his impact less when he’s not able to run at defenders.

  21. GetGunMN
    January 12, 2010 at 9:14 am #

    @Breezy, I’m like you watching the games on Setanta here in the US and think the commentators are just outright stupid. When they really go whinning and moaning about Arsenal, I would just push the mute button. They have aready predicted that Arsenal is not going to win anything. So, what they are doing is highlighting any weakness they percieved as a vindication to their prediction. It makes me laugh when they say ‘That’s the reason I think Arsenal won’t win anything this season’. I believe TV and newspapers are awash with fans and ex-players from other teams. At least that’s what it looks like.

    Sometimes I read match reports at day time and go home watch the game later, and find it competely different than the report. I feel like they have some other motivation in the comments or reports they provide other than fair assessment of the games.

    Do you guys remember what Roberto Martinez (Wigan’s coach) said in some spanish radio or TV, I don’t recall exactly, about SAF and his elks? Of course he denied it later, but if you really read thru it, you find some truth to it. That also puts things in perspective as to why some prem coach’s have a run in with Wenger.

    By the way, why Burmingham didn’t go for the win last Saturday was beyond me. Flecher was sent off, they had the ball, but refused to play. Had 6min additional time, don’t ask me where that came from. 3min would have been too much. At the end Alex McLish calling SAF ‘The boss’, how sweet was that!

  22. shambogunner
    January 12, 2010 at 9:17 am #

    few things,
    first of all the conditions for the first 75 mins were excellent,it was only in the last 15 that the snow seemed to be stickin to the surface,the ball was bouncing and running true as normal.another thing is that even if it was shocking cold and conditions did deteriorate it was the same for both teams so this excuse around the place that the weather hampered our natural game is pure bollox….everton played the football,an everton team missing arteta,jo,yakubu,jagielka,yobo,rodwel,hibbert,distin,gosling and anichibe.we scored two deflections and we hav zero ability to stretch or get behind teams anymore,WE ARE PREDICTABLE….we dont hav the pace to surprise or turn a defence with a thru ball or ball over the top ala henry/wright/anelka,how many times did saha,donovan and then vaughan get in behind us???
    smallest fella on the field was allowed the freedom of our box to head in the opener,whilst aluminium has the most infuriating habit of commiting himself too early and makin an attackers mind up for him to concede,please no excuses
    i watched the extended highlights andy has here and the only time i seen nasri was when he failed to notice he was last man and neglected to cover pienaar, and ballwatching, allowed pienarr to run uncontested to a one on one with harmless features in goal
    denis collapse was crazy,it reaked of timidness….i mean he cudav kicked it anywhere and gone down but to fall to the floor and nearly makes us concede was nuts.i dont care if ur in agony boot the ball out and then get your treatment,this is the hardman enforcer to replace song????errrrm no hes a link man as iv said before.and you wudnt see an under10 do wot he did sat….man up dude
    the boss has been saying since the city/utd/sunderland and chelsea defeats that we hav to win our home games, so if we are to be title contenders it is 100% 2pts lost and all the people coming on sayin ‘wel considering how badly we played,its a point gained’ are full of it as befor KO every1 was talkin bout going second and takin everton for granted….momentum and mindsets play a huge huge part in title races and AW knows that performance sat has knocked us back a little and the players failed to seize the innitiative with a lacklustre timid effort at home….we shuda been ripping into everton to get 3pts,pass the mancs and hav chels lookin over their shoulders,but now they will feel little pressure in their next outing…and utd drawing away only made ur result worse,not better as some of you seem to be telling yourselves,when ur rivals slip up its not good enough to match their slip up,when did we become satisied with drawing at home as long as utd dont win away so that our game in hand wil see us move ahead of them???im tellin you all thats the worst utd outfit in years…chelsea are our target
    ice i havent seen you in since sat,hope that clown hasnt turned you off
    can any1 tell me if meridas leaving is all bullshit as iv heard he wants to stay and that the spanish media are talkin oiut their holes

  23. KaMaL
    January 12, 2010 at 11:08 am #

    definitely point gainer but i was just wondering what if we had won that game……we would be in second spot …….i think it was an oppurtunity and we wasted it

  24. Darragh
    January 12, 2010 at 11:50 am #

    @breezy – some good chat there. The commentators were TERRIBLE. One guy was very anti-arsenal, saying completely ludicrous things. Though everton arguably did play better overall.

    Also, I feel Arshavin is better on the left. I’d like to see vela perhaps get a small run in the centre.

  25. americanarsneal
    January 12, 2010 at 12:21 pm #

    @Darragh-
    I agree, the larger one must have supported someone awful like Milwall, or West Ham. He would not stop ripping on the Gunners

  26. California Gooner
    January 12, 2010 at 2:50 pm #

    Denilson’s collapse was strange, but I doubt it was timidity. I think it was just one of those cramps caused by exerting oneself in the cold. Gallas also pulled up lame in the first half, looking for the world like he had pulled a muscle only to continue a few minutes later, showing no ill effects (except for letting Cahill skip by him on the left).

  27. Emperor Gooner
    January 12, 2010 at 4:27 pm #

    hey fellow gooners , i’m new here

    totally agree with andrew..this was definitely a point earned..in addition to the weather , let’s not forget that we were missing many key players and i’m sure if it were chelsea or united instead of us , they couldn’t have coped how well we do with all these players missing

    now hopefully cesc is back so the midfield gets patched up right there..bring on bolton!!

  28. Andrew Weber
    January 12, 2010 at 5:58 pm #

    Welcome Emperor. Come again 🙂

  29. theicehammer
    January 13, 2010 at 3:28 am #

    Laninja, well observed about Den, glad to see someone was paying attention to the game. Den is not strong enough to play that role against a team like Everton.

  30. theicehammer
    January 13, 2010 at 3:37 am #

    SHAMBO, top comment as usual. Keep saying it as you see it. Stick to facts not romance.

  31. kingsley
    January 13, 2010 at 5:42 pm #

    i agree also the team showed how commited they are.

  32. otso city
    January 14, 2010 at 1:50 am #

    2:2 against Everton is a point gained, no q’s. The spirit is there-most importantly. Lads are fighters, just need the rest of the squad to get well adn be at peak form for the final run. Arshavin up front worked at first, but now the element of surprise is gone and their defences can plan ahead of the game on how to neutralize Andrei.
    Arshavin-left
    Van Persie- center
    Nasri-right
    =3 poiints every game

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