Arsenal 1 - 0 Everton. Bend it like Traore.

Arsenal 1 - 0 Everton. Bend it like Traore.

Postby Inchpräctice » Tue May 06, 2008 10:28 pm

Arsenal v Everton


We all knew in advance that Wenger was going to give more opportunities to some of the younger squad members before this match but injuries forced him to use more kids than even he had intended.
Cesc's groin strain left him no choice but to field a Carling Cup team (+ Adebayor) and hope for the best.
We had no Hleb, Flamini, Cesc, Diaby or Rosicky which left us with a midfield of Theo, Gilberto, Denilson and Eboue - far from ideal.
Giving Song another chance at CB meant Toure was back at RB and for me that was disappointing because let's face it, he's crap there.
Putting Theo on the left wing did not fill me with confidence either as he's far better on the right and struggles to make an impact on the left.
On the right wing we had Eboue (say no more) and in the middle we had two DMF's in Gilberto and Denilson. Not the most attacking line-up in the world.

So effectively we were fielding a CC team with no less than four players playing out of position against a full strength Everton side challenging for European football.
More than enough to make the fans a bit nervous.

Walcott started brightly and got a shot on goal after a quick one-two with Denilson but couldn't curl it enough to get it on target.
Adebayor, content with his huge goal tally seemed happy to attempt unnecessary flicks and tricks all game - none of which came off. This left the goalscoring responsibility with Theo and Bendtner and both of them looked more likely to score than Ade.
Bendtner's performance was similar to his game against Derby in which his long range passing and overhead crossing was executed to perfection and yet his short passing was rubbish and his first touch not up to his usual standards.
Evidence of the former was displayed when he crossed over the back four beautifully for Gilberto to head down but Bert couldn't quite get high enough to direct the ball well.

The first half had a real end-of-season feel about it with neither side pushing the game at anything near an exciting pace.
Everton did have one good chance though when Fernandez lobbed Denilson to play a long ball forward for Johnson who raced through on goal. Surprisingly Fabianski stayed put but it turned out to be the right decision as he saved with his legs from close range.
Everton had another chance from the resulting corner when Jagielka's header was cleared off the line by Denilson.
This would turn out to be their best chance of the game.

In the second half I was praying that someone would come on that would allow Theo to go back into his preferred position on the right wing. Looking at the bench, Traore seemed the logical choice.
Wenger heard my prayers and brought Traore on to play in his preferred position which is on the left wing.
The difference was instant and all of a sudden we had pace and trickery down both flanks.
As Traore came on Fabianski came off to allow Jens Lehmann to say goodbye to the fans at Ashburton Grove. He received a great reception and actually smiled for once.

Traore then used his pace to win us a corner which Walcott took very badly but Gallas somehow kept in. Gilberto's cross back into the box was just as bad and hit the first defender. This was then followed by a series of poor crosses into the box coming from various players - obviously something we need to work on - culminating in Eboue smashing the ball into row Z. :rolleyes:
There's a reason why he hasn't scored a single goal all season in any competition. :disgust:

Seconds later Clichy showed another example of his 'never say die' attitude and joined Theo in a mad dash down the right hand side of the pitch but this only ended in Theo runnning himself into a corner.
Everton retained possession but they were intercepted by Gallas who found Gilberto who squared it to Bendtner.
Bendtner then started a move that culminated in him scoring the only goal of the game.
He took the ball forward and then passed (slightly too forcefully) to Traore who trapped the ball well and put in an inviting curled cross into the box. Bendtner was there again to violently head the ball past the helpless keeper beating two defenders in the process. An old-fashioned centre-forwards goal.
This was his 9th of the season. Not bad for a 20-year old who's only played for the last 15 minutes of most of his games this season.
Once again he had saved us from an embarassing draw, this is becoming a habit of his.

Apart from a great run by Traore not much happened for the rest of the game but when the whistle blew it was all about Lehmann as he said farewell to a hugely appreciative crowd who gave him a deserved standing ovation.
Being the last home game of the season the players gave a lap of honour but it was all about that crazy German.
Lehmann said afterwards that it was "an emotional day" for him and that he was "getting some tears" in his eyes.
Sad to see him go after a great 5 year career with us including the unbeaten season and several trophies.

After the match Wenger paid tribute to Lehmann calling him "super-professional, super-talented, and super-quality."
Last edited by Inchpräctice on Thu May 08, 2008 9:40 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Arsenal 1 - 0 Everton. Bend it like Traore.

Postby Fordy » Tue May 06, 2008 10:32 pm

Good report mate and thank you for doing it.
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Re: Arsenal 1 - 0 Everton. Bend it like Traore.

Postby SE13 » Wed May 07, 2008 4:08 am

Nice one, thanks Inch.

Nice to see Traore in your title too, he had a blinder!
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Re: Arsenal 1 - 0 Everton. Bend it like Traore.

Postby Trina » Wed May 07, 2008 5:25 am

Great report Inch. Good points about Bendtner too.
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Re: Arsenal 1 - 0 Everton. Bend it like Traore.

Postby Inchpräctice » Wed May 07, 2008 8:51 am

Thanks guys it was my pleasure. :wink:

I only wish I had time to do them more often.
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Re: Arsenal 1 - 0 Everton. Bend it like Traore.

Postby singaporegooner » Thu May 08, 2008 2:39 am

Great summary of the game..
In truth..Traore was pretty much the only bright spot of the game...other then Lehmann's appearance of course...
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Re: Arsenal 1 - 0 Everton. Bend it like Traore.

Postby rvtheace » Thu May 08, 2008 4:46 pm

Thanks for the report mate! It was a fantastic goal from Bendtner. I'm sure we can expect more of the same from him next season.
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Re: Arsenal 1 - 0 Everton. Bend it like Traore.

Postby majorwishbone » Mon May 12, 2008 6:54 pm

so we had a wonderful left midfielder in traore and wenger used diaby in that position always.i bet if he wasn't injured wenger wuld field him first.this is pathetic
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