Arsenal grabbed a hard-earned point in the Goodison Park after they scored two late goals via Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud. Everton, for most of the time, was the better of the two teams, but two decisive moments changed the game, especially after Arsene Wenger introduced Santi Cazorla and Joel Campbell in expense of Jack Wilshere and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Few take outs from the game.
1. A striker is needed in the team
Olivier Giroud, we need him
photos from theguardian.com
Like it or not, Arsenal's current system need Olivier Giroud, or at least a support striker. With Alexis playing upfront in the first half, Arsenal can't really build up the play, as no one waiting in the box to receive the ball. As Everton played tightly at the back, Alexis was forced to drop very deep, leaving empty space on the box, thus every time Arsenal got a decent position on the flanks, they have no one to aim for. It was an easy job for Everton to defend from that kind of attacks. This is however, changed with the presence of Giroud. A pivotal target man, who even like to drop deep, he tends to wait in the box. This unsettled Everton's defence, especially after the introduction of Cazorla and Joel Campbell. Two of the goals for Arsenal came from the crossing and it's no coincidence that the goals came after his introduction.
I'm not saying we don't need more striker. Giroud is a great striker at its best but he often had a day off, while Sanogo is too raw. An addition striker is welcomed but I feel like we need a quality defensive midfielder who can play as a defender more than a striker.
2. Midfield Compositon
I feel strange that Wenger keeps playing Jack Wilshere in the starting line-up despite not playing well recently. Despite playing well in the Community Shield, Jack lost his form on his last three games. Seeing how we play better with Cazorla on the hole, Wenger might want to think to sacrifice the Jack for Santi, even though he's a bit inconsistent. Though I hope Wilshere can do a Ramsey after discovering a great form through serial of criticism in the first team.
In addition, I see Ozil wasn't really comfortable playing down the left wing today. It's true that he was played on the same position in German National Team and he likes to run through flanks when he is played on the hole. However, playing on the wing gave you extra responsibility to track back the winger, and in this game Ozil lost the plot when he let Coleman took the cross that lead to the opening goal. I hope Wenger would put Ozil back to the number 10 role, and give him the freedom he would like to have. I don't want to see Ozil doing an Arshavin who was forced to played out wide and lost his confidence and touch.
It was another inconsistency shown by the squad as they crumbled on Everton's fluid attack on the first half and could've scored more than two goals, but lucky they didn't. It was not only about the team or the strategies, but also the individuals that plays for the team. Each of them can play really well in one game but invisible for the next game. Giroud, Sanogo, Cazorla, Wilshere. These are at least four names I remember playing well in one game and disappears in the next game, or vice versa. This is a vital area Arsene Wenger must think of how to solve as this would be the most critical issues to win the League.