At the weekend Everton and Arsenal played out a 2-2 draw at Goodison Park. However Arsenal looked dead and buried going into the second half, they had been poor all first half and nobody really got a look in.
They did however have a few bright sparks. I am going to analyse the three players who changed the game either throughout the 90 minutes or who really turned it on in the final 10 minutes when that amazing comeback was mounted, but also the players in general.
Firstly, Aaron Ramsey, he has been the stand out player since the start of the season, including the Community Shield. He was impressive throughout and he scored the first goal of the two. He had two shots and scored the goal. He bossed the midfield and with his attempted 69 passes and he completed 57 of them, giving him a pass completion rate of 82% which for a central midfielder isn’t too bad at all because most of the passes will me going forward. As a team Arsenal completed 85% of their overall passes.
He had a 50% tackle success rate which is something that needs to improve because without the ball is where Arsenal look the most vulnerable. Ramsey has a great engine in the middle of the pitch and, forget Ozil and Wilshere, he is probably the best midfielder that Arsenal have and could have for years to come.
Olivier Giroud replaced Alexis Sanchez at half time and he made his impact in the final 10 minutes, he did little just after coming on but as Arsenal got into the game he started to have an influence. The statszone image above shows that the Frenchmen attempted 5 shots in the second half which is impressive.
Giroud gave them Arsenal much needed power going forward as he is tall and strong and a completely different player compared to Alexis Sanchez. Giroud added much needed quality in the final third, and where Alexis completed 6 out of 10 passes in the final third of the pitch, Giroud completely 8 out of 10. Having said this I believe Arsene Wenger made the right choice in replacing Sanchez, as he can’t operate successfully as a lone striker, he must play around others or in his preferred position as a winger.
I am going to be honest, when Callum Chambers signed for Arsenal I was shocked at the price tag and the fact he hadn’t yet established himself in the Southampton first team, but, he has been an impressive addition for Arsenal, playing at an unfamiliar centre back role and he is excelling and really trying to adapt to a new team and system. He completed 47 out of his 49 passes, of which 25+ were to get the team moving forward.
As a defender he shouldn’t be making errors that lead to chances and goals, and in this game he made no errors that lead any goals or any registered shots, which is a fantastic achievement. He completed all 10 of his clearances, that weren’t headers, and of his 9 headed clearances he completed 6. In his new role Callum Chambers impressed statistically again which should be commended for such a young player at a new club in a role. He could be an Arsenal centre back for years to come if he keeps on playing in this vein. His versatility could become an asset for the Gunners.
All three players mentioned impressed for Arsenal statistically and ensured that they fought for a precious point after being in a precarious position of being 2-0 down at half time at Goodison Park. It signified character and mental toughness to get a result at a ground where many of the top six struggle.
Images courtesy of FourFourTwo.com and data source is Opta.