Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Giroud's missed opportunities -Ramsey fantastic again -Walcott's poor treatment -Wilshere's schoolboy error

Morning Gooners.

On paper going into last night's game many would have expected us to extend our winning run against an Everton team who've never had a win at our ground under David Moyes in the Premier League era. However like us, the toffees are on a good run and were never going to roll over and be tickled by us. If we were going to take all three points, we'd have to take our chances. Sadly we didn't.

The first half felt like we were the opposition team. We had less of the ball than we usually do and I thought that could benefit us with our pressing game. Win the ball high up the pitch and break against the Everton defence at pace. But some poor refereeing helped the visitors do what they had set out to achieve. Break our play down with over physical challenges and bully us out of the game.

I didn't think our passing was up to where it has been in previous games. The one touch game has again gone missing and that in my eyes makes us to ponderous on the ball when we should be increasing the tempo of our game and making ourselves hard to live with.

Jack Wilshere, who Wenger preferred to ahead of the fit again Tomas Rosicky, looked better than he did against Norwich but is still not yet back to his best. Again last night he came in for some physical treatment which pretty much went unpunished by the referee. Everton's rotational fouling of the 21-year-old helped keep their players out of the referee's book.

But it was Theo Walcott, who came in for Gervinho, who was dished out with some meaty challenges which should have been punished. Scythed down on numerous occasions and too often without the opposition's player name taken into his book by the referee. Quite how Darron Gibson kept his place on the pitch is beyond me. He should have been red carded after his second cynical challenge on Walcott in the first half.

However it was in front of goal where we failed to take our chances. Olivier Giroud who was most guilty of not tucking the ball past Tim Howard with some very good chances. I think the Frenchman has run out of gas. He looks leggy and his early season pressing of the ball has pretty much disappeared. It looks as though he is going through the motions. I would not be surprised if we saw Lukas Podolski start through the middle in some of our final five games.

Again Aaron Ramsey had a fantastic game. For me it is clear that his confidence is back and sky high at the moment. He gets all over the pitch with his attitude to never stop running or hide and he's now comfortable enough to try tricks to get past  players which I've not seen from him before. He's slotted in really well alongside Mikel Arteta and they've formed a formidable partnership. It's good that other people are appreciating his potential as well.

I thought once Podolski and Oxlade-Chamberlain came on the game swung in our favour. The pressure was mounting on Howard's goal but we didn't seize our opportunities. Arteta should have struck a chance with his left foot rather than wait for it to fall on his right. In the end it was pinched off his toes and the chance was gone.

Finishing the game with just a point takes our destiny out of our hands again. But with both our London and top four rivals having difficult games ahead, we can only hope they drop points. Before last night I'd pinpointed the game as one which would provide us with a difficult challenge along with the Manchester United match in a couple of weeks. It is no surprise it finished in a draw.

But now we have to prepare ourselves for a tricky London derby with Fulham on Saturday where three points are a must.

A final word for Jack Wilshere. The commotion in the tunnel at half time shows me he's still got to learn the dark arts. It was slightly schoolboyish to try and get his own back on Kevin Miralles in the entrance to the tunnel. Every professional should know you leave it until you're half way down to start a ruck. He'll learn.

Anyway, that's it for today. Back with more tomorrow.

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