Arsenal produced an improved second half performance to down an under performing Everton side to win 3-0 but it was their first half performance which will inevitably raise questions of the Gunners’ title credentials.
Arsenal couldn’t get their passing game going early on and it got worse as they went behind in the ninth minute through Leon Osman. It wasn’t a great goal to concede as Denilson could have tracked Osman while Silvestre could have dropped back a bit more to get to the ball first. The margin of error for the Frenchman was small while the defending as a whole in the first period was littered with small mistakes which could have proved costly especially against better opponents. (Sorry for sounding a bit nit picky).
What was interesting watching the Arsenal team in defence is that there wasn’t as much communication as last season such as telling and pointing to where the players should go. (It’s a player I hate talking about this season but Flamini did this frequently and is something that is done by Gallas too.)
Second Half Improvements
The second half was an improvement as there was more urgency in the attack instead of the desperation which amounted to long balls over the top being executed though on two occasions chances were created. What was encouraging was the options Arsenal had around the box, with the midfielders looking to get in the box as well as the forward men who sometimes drop a bit too deep. (Van Persie also got a couple of headers in which he doesn’t do as frequently as he should.)
Everton tired physically and mentally, making it hard to track the Arsenal runners and it was important they didn’t let Arsenal score early which they did, Nasri’s goal calming the Gunners down. In the first half the Toffees tried to hassle and harry Arsenal and catch them on the counter but a lack of an established defensive midfielder is almost suicidal against The Gunners. Jack Rodwell would have faced the toughest test of his career so far while their main attacking players, especially the anonymous Arteta didn’t get enough of the ball. Fellaini was fed long balls but for a tall guy was weak physically.