Thursday, February 22, 2024

Disappointed duo: squandered opportunities cost us

Aaron Ramsey and Per Mertesacker have lamented the fact Arsenal couldn’t turn a dominant second half display against Everton into three points and pinpointed a lack of efficiency in the final third as the key factor.

While both players spoke positively about a solid defensive performance and the fact the Gunners have retained their unbeaten run, the lack of cutting edge up front was seemingly too obvious not to mention.

Speaking to Arsenal Player after the game, Ramsey reflected:

“We didn’t quite get that final ball right but the lads gave a massive effort tonight and we looked pretty solid at the back as well in the second half and didn’t give them too much. We’re happy with the way we battled and performed but disappointed with the final ball and [not] getting that goal.

“This was our game in hand and it was important not to lose it. We wanted to win it but credit to them, they were quite well organised and on another night, we may have got a couple of goals where the final ball would have been better.”

Similarly disappointed the BFG looked at the opportunities squandered despite catching Everton on the break.

“They put us under pressure and in the second half there was more room and more space for us to play,” the German told Arsenal Player.

“There were quite a few good counter-attacks when they were disorganised but we couldn’t score and that is a disappointment. We had to use them.”

“We tried to get more out of the game than one point so it’s a bit disappointing. At that stage of the season, you have to win these tight games and it was one of those games which was very tight.

“But I think we defended well, especially the back four and Aaron and Mikel. We always covered each other. Anichebe is a strong guy but he had a lot of problems with our response. That is a vital thing for the future.”

It’s pretty obvious that Olivier Giroud was the main culprit for missed chances last night but the fact we struggled to consistently create chances last night was as much down to Everton’s stubbornness and organisation as it was to our midfield not quite clicking. In the first half in particular it felt like the centre of the park needed an injection of pace.

It’ll be interesting to see how Wenger tackles his team selection for the upcoming game with Fulham, a fit again Tomas Rosicky might just make all the difference…

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Good spirit, good effort that only lack a goal. I share your pain. But I have no complain about the overall effort. Pls keep the spirit.


No complaints. But we used to dismantle Everton fairly routinely at home. They’ve gotten better, we’re less clinical…?

Bould's Eyeliner

they’ve gotten better I think is the main thing. That and the ref let them play rugby for the first half for no real reason.


Ramsey was especially good last night, fuck me does he put in a shift, quickly becoming one of my favourite players, got big bollocks to overcome the amount of shit he’s gotten off ill informed ‘fans’. He’s alluded in interviews that he’s well aware of the stupid stuff people say, obviously has great temperament and is showing his quality through sheer hard work, long may it continue and soon enough his pre-orc-leg-break flair will come back to him.


I fucking love Ramsey. Some people forget he is only 22 still and had almost 2 seasons basically wreitten off due to the horrible injury he had. He has come back, fought through the wonderful “support” Arsenal fans gave him when he was struggling a bit, not to mention played out of his natural position. I’m sure it happens elsewhere, but its extremely disappointing to hear the harsh treatment Arsenal fans can throw at their own players. (Ramsey, Diaby, Eboue, Arshavin… who boo’s their own player as they exit the pitch, worse, as they enter! And worst, wishes harm and… Read more »


Just for the record, not all of us were Ramsey boo-boys when he wasn’t playing well. Just saying.

The kid has talent, long may his development continue.


That’s the thing, the majority of proper fans were supportive and trusting in his talent, the problem with the internet is a couple comments etc. can make it seem like the majority!


That was badly put, I mean a couple nasty comments can come across as the majority of Arsenal fan’s opinion, however it’s just misleading, none the less I wouldn’t be surprised if Ramsey hasn’t seen the odd internet comment, which can often be brutal.


Yeah I must say that his comeback both from injury and then lack of form and a lot of unjustified fan abuse has done him huge credit in my eyes. Can’t be understated the sort of strong personality it takes to respond like that in such a pressured situation at such a young age and he can be very proud of himself. I realize its not fair to some extent to expect all players to react the same, they’re all individuals not robots and its very easy for us on the outside to be critical and say things like they’re… Read more »


I dont understand what anyone sees in giroud.
His first touch is shocking. his flick ons are bad and he is ALWAYS falling around when trying to get the ball.
podolski would be way better as a striker.
whats the point of playing with a target man if noone runs off him?
giroud does not have any skill . he is there to header the ball…..much like chris samba. he gets a few flick ons right, but not nearly good enough for the arsenal.

Moral high ground

Giroud’s goal tally IS decent because he does not take pens. I worry less about his finishing and more about his movement. Many of his goals have been difficult finishes because he has not lost his marker in the box, he has had to convert chances under serious pressure – same again last night except he missed. This is not about pace, this is movement and instinct. Also I don’t like how distraught he is when he misses – it implies lack of confidence. But I still rate him. His flicks are generally good though, when we have slow build… Read more »


I personally like Giroud, although I see him more of the perfect “Plan B” Arsenal have been missing for all these years. Only issue is that now we don’t have a Plan A, so it would be really nice for that to be addressed in the summer. A couple more from Giroud between now and the end of the season and I think thats a damn good return from someone who isn’t naturally an out-and-out goal scorer

Jim Jimminy

Thank you. Some sense at last.

Yeah Right

Have to agree regarding his movement. Too many times has he been on almost the edge of the box when the crosses have arrived.
Don’t really understand why. He’s got great physique and from what I’ve seen he’s a good header on the ball too.
Look at Van Persie for example. Always where the ball comes. Just don’t think Giroud has that natural instinct.
Giroud is good, but sadly, for me, he’s not more than that. Still, better strikers don’t grow on trees, but if there’s a chance of getting someone better in the summer, I thinkwe should take it.

Sue My Chin

Giroud is an average premier league striker. Not Great, not bad. There are about 10 PL CF’s I would rather have in our squad which suggests we should be looking for a better forward in the summer. I’m not going to get on his back because, it’s his first season here. You can always say ’17 goals isn’t a bad return for a first season’ but I could say ‘why must we compensate for having a guy who’s never played here before?’… Fact is, 17 goals from our main CF is not going to win us the league. Not Giroud’s… Read more »

Bould's Eyeliner

It’s not easy to know when and where the cross is coming – when the crosses change all the time. That being said when he called for the ball and Ramsey put it on a pedestal in front of him, his over eagerness brought him to the ball too quickly… More than anything, I think last night’s attacking problem was a lack of communication. Arsenal seem to do great against teams like Reading which give them space (space is nice) – hopefully the team can learn to click better and better and play with a more calm, calculating movement in… Read more »

Parisian Weetabix

His movement is actually very clever, but it isn’t the movement of an out-and-out goalscorer. He drags players all around excellently, creating space, but the problem is that often there’s no-one else in the box. When there was – Rosicky v WBA – we scored. Giroud is a really intelligent player with his movement, but his movement relies on support. My criticism would only be that he needs to take on more responsibility.


The only problem with Giroud is exactly as pointed out in this mornings main blog. It isn’t that he’s a bad striker; its that he’s our ONLY striker.

There are other players that can do his role (Poldi, Walcott, Gervinho), to some degree, but that is not the same as having another dedicated frontman.

United have 3 at least, as do City. Spurs sort of have 3 (one is Adebayor). Chelsea are worst off with 2. We need to match them in the summer.

A N Other

Yes I think that’s the problem with arsene and not with Giroud. I said few days ago that we need a back up for Giroud. I got slated for it.

Whichever way you look at it. He has been a great buy and he will only become better with time. I reckon if we buy remy or benteke then that will give us another 20 goal option to go with Giroud, podolski and Walcott then we could aim for the summit.


I think the biggest criticism of Giroud is his decision making. Sometimes he seems to shoot when there are better options (ie taking it to the corner) or pass when he should shoot. But I think he’ll improve on this, the problem is (as pointed out several times) we don’t have any other options while he improves.


The thing for me at least is, he really isn’t though – Podolski has shown on the few occasions he’s been played centrally that he can genuinely do a really decent job there for the most part. This is something that’s been worrying me all season given the rumours of him being unhappy with being played out on the left so much – WHY doesn’t Arsene have faith in him more centrally? He’s long been accused of having his favourites and also having a real fondness for moving players out of their natural best position and to me at least,… Read more »


Giroud’s goal tally has been racked up against some poor opposition:

Norwich 1
Sp*rs 1
Reading 2
Schalke 1
Brighton 2
West Ham 3
Bayern 1
Newcastle 2
Fulham 2
Coventry 1
Liverpool 1

With the obvioius exceptions of Bayern and Schalke I’d suggest these teams all have pretty mediocre defensive set ups.

Giroud’s lack of mobility is a big hinderance against more switched on defences.

While I appreciate his work-rate and quality hold-up play, for me he’s not going to push us onto the next level.

I’d like to see a more archetypal ‘Arsenal’ striker in the summer.


Well said man. You spoke my words. Giroud is very average. Scoring against mediocre teams and claiming that he’s got 17 goals is just shady. Furthermore, people should stop double standards. When Carlos Vela was making clever flicks each game he played they claimed he is not good enough. Giroud only makes few runs and generally plays average, they defend him. People open your eyes, Giroud’s movement will not win you the league, He is a striker for one reason, to score goals, and he is not doing that- Probably will not.


Thing is with Vela though mate, he played 62 games, and scored 11 goals. Not awful, but not fantastic. With those clever flicks he only got 7 assists, Giroud has played 45, scored 17 and got 13 assists. Definitely a better player than people seem to be suggesting.


Thierry Henry deserves to be awarded the 40 years of PFA award. Please Vote for him.


I think people like him because he plays well with the rest of team, he has put away goals, he annoys opposing defenders, and works hard.

He has his faults for sure, but he’s done well and has good character. He’s good enough for Arsenal in my opinion, but not good enough to be the only choice striker week in week out.

Zorro in the box

This is bang on.

Giroud needs a striker to play off. A sharper finisher/hustler to take on his lay offs. But more than that, he needs to develop an understanding with a forward player to score from him. Podolski, I love him, but he’s a goal weapon. A direct striker that you wouldn’t use as part of a clever build-up. He’s the canon. Giroud by contrast needs a foil. Thrust and counter-thrust. We can speculate till the cows come home about who it may be, Jovetic or whomever, but that’s who we should be looking at.


Did you watch the Norwich game or any other Arsenal game he’s been in? His flicks are fucking quality and defensively his headers have gotten us out of a lot of sticky spots. He doesn’t’ seem half as clinical as he looked in France (albeit on youtube), but it’s his first season, I think most of the commenters on this blog need a bit of perspective, this is kind of stink that we saw about Ramsey and finally people are accepting that he’s one of our most important players. If he can sort out his finishing he’ll be brilliant. That… Read more »

Bould's Eyeliner

He was in France for that season for quite longer than he was with Arsenal. Granted Montpellier has less fixtures, but he scored about a dozen with them in his first season. 17 with us on his first season here, I say, pretty much all is going swimmingly… Arsenal give better, but also faster paced service. His most useful presence so far has still been as a pivot for attack; if he can change his presence to also a smooth finisher then his role as a pivot should also get better… If only Podolski and Walcott could line up some… Read more »


The French league is piss-poor. You cant compare it to the prem. Giroud is not Arsenal material. Him and Chamakh are the same. Just that people here tend to be more interested in his looks rather than his game. He is striker, he should score. Otherwise we could as well regard Emile Hesky as a legend because he used to score less and work hard in defense. People should open their fucking eyes.

Bould's Eyeliner

he’s scored 17. how much more do you want him to score when moving from the french league to the prem league? open your eyes.

Parisian Weetabix

😉 No-one would make a compilation video about “Olivier Giroud’s fairly standard build-up play and overall team contribution”. Basically he would seem clinical, because all they show is goals, skills and assists. I am surprised he hasn’t scored more though, because he has a genuinely world-class left foot.

Herold goon

Yes giroud lacks basic footballer skill which is personified by this. unnecessary flick ons instead of keeping the ball under control and allow walcott, poldi etc to make clever runs.

Does he have to release the ball (which btw rarely finds its target) as soon as he gets it or is that a pulling a cloth over our eyes to cover for his lack of BASIC not rocket science! ball control…….

I think we all know tha answer…

Bould's Eyeliner

It takes a lot of control to flick it with one touch. More touches, more time for the defender to close you down and steal the ball. Basics.

Herold goon

It’s okay to look at it that way but deep down when those rose tinted glasses are off. You’ll know he hasn’t that absolute ball control skill that top notch cfs easily posses…..

He tries to counter it with quick fast time passes. When it does work out, great. But when it doesn’t he looks meh, with nothing else to offer.

Bould's Eyeliner

show me a CF who can one touch pass 100% in the final third in between 6 people.

Jim Jimminy

Lacks basic footballer skill? Really?

I love how there are so many first rate coaches out there, so good in fact that they decide its not fair on the other coaches aound the world so they take to commenting on blogs instead.

Very noble of you sir, and most gracious. Mr wenger probably feels the same, except he hasnt quite earned the right to comment yet. One day maybe.


Don’t know why you have so many thumbs down when your pretty much bang on,they use him as a “hold up” player, when have we been ahold up team? We play good fast football along the floor, I’m baffled why he starts ahead of podolski, podolski links up with Gibbs, cazorla, Walcott alot better than what giroud ever does


My guess is that Podolski must’ve undermined his authority in training one day, made fun of him…you know… or done something similar to this:

It’s like the business of those post-70th minute substitutions and-never-any-earlier under-no-circumstance. Wenger perhaps can’t take it.

Arsene Wenger

Why do you give this information out? What is your agenda and your current home address?

Bould's Eyeliner

The image has been discussed before, and it is quite obvious why Podolski doesn’t last longer than 70. If someone actually undermined the boss, you think he would hesitate to take action? There are fines for thousands of quid for leaving your towel on the bench. This is Arsenal FC, not school varsity.

Poliver Girolski

You do know Podolski has been fighting an injury for most of this year… I don’t get the hate towards Giroud, just seems like fans these days need someone to blame, if its not Ramsey, its Gerv, If not Gerv then Giroud. 17 goals in his first season in England is a hell of a return for what we payed for him, but to single him out when 3 other Arsenal players have also scored double figures is just silly. There is plenty of goal scoring talent in the team. Maybe it was due to the Fact that Evertons defence… Read more »


I agree. I think Wenger has done him a dis-service by leaving him as our only striking option.. Its pressure he probably doesn’t need in his first season in English football.

When we’re not scoring goals he’s always going to be the focus of our wrath, but if theres a second striker on the pitch or on the bench then its obvious that we’re going to increase our options and our ability to finish chances.

I think he’s done bloody well. Its not his fault he’s being asked to lead the line on his own!

Bould's Eyeliner

Agreed. That Giroud was the only player to fashion chances against the Everton defense last night speaks volumes about his physical presence to not just fall over and get double clotheslined.


Theo needs to add more dimensions to his game besides pace. He still has a long way to go before he becomes that finished product we all want to see. He can get there by learning from out and out strikers. And Giroud as so many have established is not that kind of player.


Have you even watched this guy all season?! The problem fans like you have is that you expect him to replace Van Persie. He will never be a Van Persie type player with perfect technique and control, however, very few are. He is a defferent beast altogether. He is meant to be a Striker with hold up play that the team can play off of, and he is doing exactly that. I suspect he is a large reason why Walcott, Podolski, and Cazorla have so many more goals than our 2nd, 3rd, and 4th top scorers from last season. I… Read more »


I’m just going to put it out there that, while we do need another striker – for competition for places and depth – I think the best thing about next season is that everyone will still be there. Next year will see Cazorla, Giroud, Walcott and Podolski even more familiar with each other and the style of team play. It cannot be understated how hard Arsenal have made life difficult these last few years selling players.


It was a good game despite the frustrating lack of goals from Arsenal at ALL opportunities.

On to the next one, let’s get them 3 points!

Herold goon

Yes per and ramsey. You and I both wanted to win that match. Just make sure you get everyone on board next time coz to me giroud had other ideas.


Can’t believe how static our attack was for the majority of the second half, although whilst Wilshire was on I wish he’d have squared the ball a bit more instead of quite poor runs in. The boy needs to get his form back in training before he plays again. Rosicky was playing great, I’d like to see him a bit more


Also the thing that bothered me was that people were reluctant to shoot when they had the chance, and tried to pass to giroud who was behind 1-2 players

Herold goon

That is Arteta.

When a ball is played out to the edge of the box after an unsuccesful corner. What should you do.

a) shoot it at goal or put it in that danger area with hope of a deflection/flick on/ scrambled play that may lead to a goal as we have seen in most cases.

b) play the ball out to sir chessney/ sagna coz well it was a corner and we didn’t score! So we might as well start it from the back again thus giving everton a chance to regroup.


and also Jack wilshere who tried to pass to giroud instead of shooting…


Im a big fan of Giroud but could he at least try to control the ball? Instead of flicking it on always. Most times it finds an opponent and thats so frustrating.

Erwan C

Or Wilshere running into nothing but a sea of blue shirts with no game plan…Jack needs to get sorted in training first before he’s started again. I love him but his form against Everton and especially Norwich has been quite subpar.


Giroud is a good player but he shouldn’t be picked ahead of Podolski unless Arsenal is up against defensive teams like Stoke or Fulham. After nearly 8 months of football in the PL he still misses sitters that he shouldn’t miss. Podolski is faster than Giroud, technical superior and a more clinical finisher.


I think in the second half when we broke away on one of our counters and the ox tried squaring it for Giroud, I thought that maybe the ox should have been selfish and gone for goal himself.


Hindsight is a beautiful thing. Ox obviously thought Giroud had a tap-in and if he took a shot and missed, we would have been on his back.


I don’t think many people believe giroud is rubbish, he’s a decent player with a lot to offer arsenal but the question is, is he or will he be good enough to spearhead our attack for next 4 years or so? Personally I don’t think he is good enough for that and we need a top quality finisher to compliment him nest season.
Without one it will be Groundhog Day again and a battle for top four is all we can hope for.


I might be stepping over a line here, but while watching the BFG’s interview it struck me that you had a German guy who has been in the country for less than two years.

He was carrying out an interview in his second language, relaxed, joking with the interviewer (there goes that stereotype), and giving intelligent answers (he is a smart guy). Think of the interviews you see after a game, how often do you get that.

It just struck me that this guy is a little bit special.

Tamzin Baker

In that same vein I also like how Aaron Ramsey interviews, he’s really good at evading awkward questions and situations, like his interview today. My personal favourite was that interview he did with a trolling Sky News reporter during the Olympics about the skunk’s potential (at that time) imminent departure last summer – his side stepping and throwing it back in the reporter’s face was spot on. An intelligent guy with nothing but Arsenal in his mind.


yes! like the time that biatch reporter asked rambo if he thought wenger was on his way out, and he responded with “why, you fancy a try at managing a club like arsenal?” and actually waited for the reporter to answer then interrupted the reporter as he awkwardly stumbled with a response with a simple “no”…classic!


Leave giroud alone. Pls. This is his first season in epl. 17 goals is OP. Check the stats. More goals than rooney, hernandez, tevez, augero, dzeko, defoe. These guys play for teams ranked higher on the table. But you know why they rank higher, other players in their teams have scored as many goals too. Its too much responsibility for his 1st season. Give him time. For those who criticize his flick ons, u gotta love it when the receiving player converts it. He keeps defenders busy, so his mates just need to be smart to make something of it.


His link up play is really good at times, precisely why he bought him. Realistically though, we don’t have a diamond in the rough in Giroud like so many times before. We’ve been spoilt, and it’s a bit of a case of regression to the mean now.


giroud is not a good player at all,any player that cannot show himself against a big club or save his team against a big club is not a good striker,d only time dat giroud scores is wen some one has scored already either d second goal or the third goal,never a single goal by giroud to save arsenal,he miss a clear chance against chelsea 2.

Tamzin Baker

Um, do you want to back your statement with you know, an argument that’s based on, I don’t know, facts or stats? I won’t argue with you that Giroud was massively frustrating last night, but this is a guy who has scored 17 goals and notched 11 assists in his first season in arguably the best football league in the world playing for one of the best sides in the league. So, there’s that. One of the benefits I find of being an adult is my ability to fashion reasonable responses to sometimes less than fortunate circumstances without having to… Read more »


As much as I love Arsenal and the PL which is owing to the love of Arsenal, the PL is not the best league right now. Bundesliga has showcased a higher standard of football, esp. this season.

Tamzin Baker

Oh you’re nitpicking, that’s why I said “arguably” 🙂

This guy

Learn proper grammar. Everything about you and your opinion gets annoying when you type like that.

biafran arse

Sentimental fans,giroud isn’t arsenal standard period,I hate stats,17 goals against who?
wilshere must learn to put goals in his game,look at that little barkley of everton.

Santi's Class

I’ve no doubt that he’ll be banging them in soon. While he doesn’t always manage to position himself perfectly for incoming crosses, some of his finishes from the ones that he does receive are impressive. The one against Sp*rs was pretty encouraging. Plus he has some finesse too; he only scored 1 or 2 headers last season and he had a lot of fine finishes from in and around the box. Another thing that he does have in abundance is spirit and passion, surely fans can appreciate that. I’m sure he’s just in a drought but he’ll make it rain… Read more »


Just read on sky sports that jack and mirrales had a bust up at half time; apparently mirrales squirted him with a water bottle, anyone heard about this?


Yep. Everton really overstepped the line last night. I still have some respect for people like Moyes and Baines, but if they want to play like Stoke in the future then their results will end up like Stoke.

As usual the media report how Wilshere “escaped” action while Mirallas clearly did nothing wrong by provoking him, Mirallas is a good old hard-tackling nothern English lad, oh wait.


Love seeing Aaron Ramsay playing as if he owns the midfield. On a different note can any one please tell me where that Mirallas cunt lives.


One point that hasn’t been made is that we are not scoring enough goals from midfield. For me, Walcott in particular, has been particularly bad. He pocketed a very nice 100k-a-week contract and has been utter garbage ever since. He should be ashamed of himself.


I have been saying for years Ramsey is a good player and now everyone seems amazed by how well hes doing?

He had a leg break but he was never a bad player and ofc he was going to improve I just love how all the fickle fans have now changed their tune.

Look for one comment on this blog of me bad mouthing him, i bet you wont find one iv always praised and stuck up for him.


It’s a little off topic but I’d like to make this comment. I’m a big AKB (going by the acronyms online). There..that’s out of the way. Now for my comment. I’ve been a longtime Arseblog reader; going back ..maybe 4-5 years or more but I have never commented. I’ve dropped off following numerous blogs as the rubbish they post increases day by day and I have just Arseblog, Untold, Jeorge Bird and Swiss Ramble on my list now. I love Arseblog because of his balanced approach to the game his hilarious posts and his incessant blogging with dash of humor… Read more »


Arseblog and the site editors have a thing against theo, that’s obvious.
Instead of the constant snide digs in the reports about theo maybe people should look at those that offered him a 100k a week contract in the first place and the reasons behind that decision.
Theo isn’t a great player and has his limitations so why did the club give in to the demands of his agent. Save the abuse and snide comments for those people not the player.


I am not even sure it is a 100K. And even assuming it is..once the contract’s signed, I honestly doubt anyone has any energy in a football game to think … ah fk it..let me play like a 20K player today..or a 100K player today. They might have a crappy game and be lazy; I doubt the money keeps flashing in their mind during a game.


I like Giroud personally, he works hard, he’s quite clearly not Van Persie but is it not the managers fault for signing Giroud to replace him? He is not a clinical finisher by a long stretch but his hold up play and presence is good and he works hard for the team. I’d like to see Podolski play at CF but it’s quite clear Wenger won’t do it so we really need two more strikers in the summer. We all know everyone wants Jovetic but as a third choice striker/alternative option who would take Loic Remy from QPR? Pace, good… Read more »

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