Ljungberg and Ferguson’s appearance differed greatly, one dressed for a training session, the other in a sharp looking suit. Strangely enough the teams were, in many ways, exactly the same, both with interim managers, both with an array of problems in a difficult season and from the evidence of the first 45 minutes, both Arsenal and Everton displayed a lack of quality and ambition.
After 30 minutes, it was becoming clear that neither of these troubled sides were going to run riot or give their perspective coaches anything resembling a glimmer of hope for the coming weeks. Everton had a whopping 4 shots compared to the Gunners miserly zero and Arteta must be scratching his head how so much attacking talent offers up so few goals.
Don’t expect to read an in depth report on the Everton Vs Arsenal game because it was as unmemorable as anything I can remember.
At times, football is a simple game regardless of coaching credentials and it comes as no surprise that if you don’t get goals, you don’t win games. So if anything needs addressing, it’s Arsenal ability to provide service to its strikers who are worth a king’s ransom on paper.
Everton and Ancelotti, will be the slightly happier of the two, but not by much because they failed to twist the knife in an ‘Aldi’ defence. A cobbled up, uncomfortable and brittle looking line up, which should have yielded goals for Ferguson in his last game in charge.
Ljungberg was concerned for his players before the match because of the uncertainty and imminent adjustments, but he now has to focus on his own role in a club that may yet face more upheaval behind the scenes.
The winds of change are blowing and for the many who took the field for this low key and uneventful game disguised as a contest, they may not be wearing Arsenal colours for long.
One can’t be down cast about a draw because neither deserved anything else and the real work surely starts next week when the new coaches look for answers. Both were watching and no doubt they will put a positive spin on this eye varnish, but it may take weeks to improve either because the balance of each is poor.
Arsenal can cite injuries, but they had those before a ball was kicked and if you were an employee in Arsenal’s therapy room, you’d be looking for an extra pair of hands and a pay increase.
Arteta knew the size of the task when he sat on the bench watching Arsenal being completely outclassed and dismantled by Manchester City, although this match was marginally less embarrassing.
Arsenal are by definition average at best and at worst awful. They have managed to completely dismantle an attacking philosophy, which was partially in intensive care under Wenger and was pronounced dead under Unai Emery. It remains to be seen what Arteta can do with that.