Arsenal lost at Goodison Park on Monday night in what could well be one of Mikel Arteta’s worst performances as Arsenal boss.
After the defeat to Manchester United, Arsenal were expected to get back on their horse and show us that the recent run of good form, pre-Liverpool, was not just an outlier.
Not only did they fail, they left real questions hanging, once again, over Mikel Arteta’s suitability for the Arsenal job.
Leaving aside the fact that Godfrey shouldn’t have been on the pitch after deliberately stamping on Tomiyasu’s face, there was no excuse for the way Arsenal played.
They were given plenty of warning, thanks to VAR ruling out two Everton goals and flat out refused to pay attention. Yet they refused to listen.
Then, there were the in-game changes.
Xhaka was also, of course, booked, and while he has made a career out of avoiding a second yellow, it meant he was not able to put in the tackle that would have stopped Everton breaking through for their winner.
And shall we discuss why Eddie Nketiah was brought on ahead of the club captain or record signing? This is a player who has just turned down an Arsenal contract as the club look to protect their asset and that, to me, looks like it was the decisive factor in who came on at Goodison.
Once again, Arsenal took a single goal lead and then sat back and tried to see it out and once again, Arsenal were punished for their naivety, stupidity, and lack of desire to be proactive.
That’s on the manager and his timidity and fear have been two of the few constants of his tenure so far.
Arsenal player ratings (halftime)
- Aaron Ramsdale 5.5 (6.0)
- Takehiro Tomiyasu 6.9 (6.8)
- Benjamin White 6.3 (6.6)
- Gabriel 6.2 (6.5)
- Kieran Tierney 7.7 (7.4)
- Thomas Partey 6.0 (6.4)
- Granit Xhaka 6.7 (6.9)
- Gabriel Martinelli 5.8 (6.0)
- Martin Odegaard 8.2 (7.9)
- Bukayo Saka 7.2 (6.6)
- Alexandre Lacazette 6.1 (6.1)
- Nuno Tavares 6.7
- Eddie Nketiah 7.2
- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang n/a
Mikel Arteta after the game
“I’m very disappointed,” Arteta told Arsenal Media. “I think in the first half we were inconsistent with the ball and we had some moments of control, we didn’t concede anything apart from the goal that was disallowed by the set-piece, but we didn’t have enough penetration or threat on the opponents’ goal.
“One of the few times we did it we scored a goal from Martin and then in the second half we had to grab the game and we tried to do that, but again, in moments we were sloppy.
“We created four big, big chances, with Eddie, two with Martin and then one with Auba at the end, and when you don’t put them in the net away from home it’s very complicated to win the game, especially if you concede in the way that we did for example with the first goal.
“We gave too many balls away too easily and encouraged them against the movement that they had in the press. The few times that we did break the press we were open on goal, but we have to do it much more consistently.”