Everton v Arsenal: the team and that strange matter of sequences



By Bulldog Drummond

Now the team news about Arsenal is not that sensational for as we will see in a moment the various all-knowing publications all come up with the same line up.

But before that there is a bit of information that might be of interest.  “Arsenal had 16 players away on international duty and all have returned unscathed.   Thomas Partey is their only absentee because of an ongoing groin injury.”  

That extraordinary fact is taken from the BBC website, and it will strike you as extraordinary if you think back to the days when Arsenal had injury after injury, and international managers were compared by Arsene Wenger to car thieves who would take your car, race it around, wreck it and return it to you with instructions to have it ready for the next international catastrophe (or “break” as the media insist on calling it.

But onto the game and the team, and the BBC do themselves proud by noting that Everton are on the edge of their longest ever home-win streak against Arsenal since 1910 to 1913.  So with the help of the Arsenal History Society  we thought we would look, and here it is…


Date Match Res Score Competition
05 Feb 1910 Everton v Woolwich Arsenal L 5-0 FA Cup
07 Mar 1910 Everton v Woolwich Arsenal L 1-0 League Division One
05 Nov 1910 Everton v Woolwich Arsenal L 2-0 League Division One
27 Mar 1912 Everton v Woolwich Arsenal L 1-0 League Division One
22 Mar 1913 Everton v Woolwich Arsenal L 3-0 League Division One

And yes of course you can prove anything with history – especially when ignoring the fact that Arsenal went bust in 1910, and almost out of existence, before moving to Highbury at the end of the 1912/13 season.   But then again, when one has so little history to hang onto every snippet is worth noting I guess.

What we could do instead is look back to the 14 match seqeucne from December 2007 to March 2014 in which Arsenal and Everton played each other 14 times  with the result: Arsenal wins nine, draws, five, Everton wins, err…. zero.

But to be fair, they do mention that Everton had a six match winless run at the start of 2022-23. That doesn’t get mentioned that often, but you might compare and contrast with the depth of media coverage of the first three league games of 2021/22.  And I say “league” games since although everyone focussed on the three defeats at the start of that season, they ignore the league cup win that came in the midst of that.  0-6 away to West Brom as I recall.

Everton’s records however are not so wonderful.  If they do lose four league of the first five games in a row at the start of a season, this will not be the first time.  They did that in 1994 and 2005.  Oh yes and they have scored more than one goal at home just once in the last 21 games.

And what of the Arsenal I hear you cry (well, not literally but you know…)   Arsenal have (according to the BBC and I am grateful for this one as it is another one I have missed) had 11 games without conceding in their last 20 away league games.

As for the teams, our regular sources all have the same team, all accepting that Gabriel Jesus is not yet ready to start another game.

Here’s the line up suggestions.  Sports Mole go with


White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko;

Odegaard, Rice, Havertz;

Saka, Nketiah, Martinelli

Racing Post goes further and suggests exactly the same team but with a bench as well, which involves…Trossard, Nketiah, Smith Rowe, Jorginho, Vieira, Kiwior, Tomiyasu, Nelson.

The Standard offers exactly the same again, at which point it is probably best to stop and say there is general agreement.

So there we are.  Have fun.

11 Replies to “Everton v Arsenal: the team and that strange matter of sequences”

  1. These officials are appalling to the point of being downright biased. Certainly to the point I think we will not be allowed to mount a serious league challenge this season. Nothing wrong with Martinelli’s goal as far as I could see and how the challenge on Saka wasn’t even considered a foul let alone a card.

  2. it was strange on skysports they said it was correct as it was down to the letter of the law on offside.

  3. Andrew

    Re the disallowed goal.

    When Gabriel made that challenge the ball went sideways. As I understood it the ball has to be played forward for a player to be offside? From that moment on surely there cannot be an offside?

    But okay lets say it went forward.

    The rule they then used to justify the offside is the defender didn’t ‘deliberately’ play the ball. Off course he deliberately played the ball. Of course he didn’t mean to make what was effectively a through pass, of course he didn’t, but he tried to block the ball, or kick the ball, deliberately. From there on in, where it goes is irrelevant, it was a deliberate action to kick the ball.

    But okay lets say it was a total accident that he played the ball.

    Then we have the lines. Lets not forget, where they end up drawing the lines depends at what point the VAR man decides that the ball was played. A subjective call. Let the play move on one more frame and Eddies back on side when they freeze it. So certainly marginal at best.

    So three extremely marginal calls and they all went in Everton’s favour. Well there’s a thing.

    And yes, the referee was garbage.

    Still, all’s well that ends well, and again though still not at our best, thoroughly deserved. Onwards and upwards.


  4. Nitram
    According to the young lady presenter on Sky the interpretation of the rule deems that the defending player has to have control of the ball before reaching the attacker who is in a potential offside position. So in todays situation it was deemed an accidental deflection, so irrespective of the fact that the Everton player deliberately tried to block the Gabriel clearance he never had control of the ball so the Arsenal player was therefore offside.
    Ive never heard of this ‘got to be in control of the ball’ thing before and have seen many similar situations to todays where a defender has deflected the ball as a result of a deliberate attempt to play the ball and it has always resulted in it being deemed that the action plays the forward onside.
    But not today it seems, and of course it has to be Arsenal who is the recipient of this phantom interpretation of the ‘rule’.

  5. It would seem Dyche was upset about the amount of added time and the fact that they didn’t win a penalty when Saliba pulled his leg back to avoid contact. It would have been a travesty had that been given…It was pretty much the only way Everton was going to score.

  6. Everton 12 fouls 1 yellow, Arsenal 9 fouls 1 yellow

    Strange stats compared to other referees….. Tony will agree…..

    As for the new and original rule interpretation from PIGMOB….why am I not surprised…. Arsenal ought to sue the IFAB for copyright, and ask the interpretation be referenced uner ‘Arsenal exception to defender deflection in case of off-side’

    That being said, I much prefer our Gunners having to grind out these early games then thinking they’ve won the PL because of a 5-0 win aginst such a team. It helps build resistance and confidence.

  7. I refer to my old rule of thumb – sub clause 8b which is added ininvisible ink to all of the laws of the game. It reads “unless an Arsenal player is involved”. It’s been used for years and shows no signs of being removed any time soon. We know that we are always plauying against the opposition players, the match officials and the ridiculous media.

  8. 2. Offside offence
    A player in an offside position at the moment the ball is played or touched by a team-mate is only penalised on becoming involved in active play by:

    gaining an advantage by playing the ball or interfering with an opponent when it has:
    rebounded or been deflected off the goalpost, crossbar, match official or an opponent

    A player in an offside position receiving the ball from an opponent who deliberately plays the ball, including by deliberate handball, is not considered to have gained an advantage, unless it was a deliberate save by any opponent.

    No change to Law 11 is necessary but, to reflect football’s expectation, the guidelines for distinguishing between ‘deliberate play’ and ‘deflection’ are clarified as follows:

    ‘Deliberate play’ is when a player has control of the ball with the possibility of:

    passing the ball to a team-mate; or
    gaining possession of the ball; or
    clearing the ball (e.g. by kicking or heading it).

    If the pass, attempt to gain possession or clearance by the player in control of the ball is inaccurate or unsuccessful, this does not negate the fact that the player ‘deliberately played’ the ball.

    The following criteria should be used, as appropriate, as indicators that a player was in control of the ball and, as a result, ‘deliberately played’ the ball:

    The ball travelled from distance and the player had a clear view of it
    The ball was not moving quickly
    The direction of the ball was not unexpected
    The player had time to coordinate their body movement, i.e. it was not a case of instinctive stretching or jumping, or a movement that achieved limited contact/control
    A ball moving on the ground is easier to play than a ball in the air

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