Arsenal v Everton: the injuries, the yellows, the worst season, and Sako

By Bulldog Drummond

Physioroom’s injury list has seven on the list of injured players.  Three are definitely out, three are possible and one (Sokratis) is an unknown.

Player Reason Further Detail Potential Return Condition
Calum Chambers Knee Injury Ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament of his left knee.” 29/08/2020 Ruled out
Kieran Tierney Shoulder Injury Aiming to be in back in full training by the end of Feb.” 07/03/2020 Ruled out
Cedric Soares Knee Injury Aiming to be in full training by the end of February.” 02/03/2020 Ruled out
Pablo Mari Villar Other “In full training following transfer from Brazilian pre-season.” 23/02/2020 25% chance
Lucas Torreira Di Pascua Other Illness 23/02/2020 75% chance
Mesut Ozil Other Attending the birth of his child 23/02/2020 75% chance
Sokratis Papastathopoulos Knee Injury Currently Being Assessed, No Return Date Ruled out

For Everton Jean-Philippe Gbamin is out, Theo Walcott has only a 25% chance of playing, Fabian Delph is suspended, Bernard Anicio Caldeira Duarte and Andre Gomas are reported as ok.

As for what will happen today, there is a lot of talking up of Everton going onwards and upwards into the top five.  The BBC for example says on its website, “Everton are genuine top-five candidates on the back of a five-match unbeaten run under Carlo Ancelotti,” and they particularly note the improvement in Dominic Calvert-Lewin – six league goals in eight games.

And there’s one fact that the BBC have come up with: “Arsenal have scored 107 Premier League goals versus Everton, a competition record for one club against another.”  Let’s hope that continues.

There is also much made in the media about Bukayo Sako with Mike Arteta saying, “He’s a great kid and he’s very brave. He makes big decisions in the final third, he doesn’t hide and he’s got the vision and the ability to execute in spaces that are really tight, which is a big gift.”

Quite where Sako is going to end up eventually is something we will see once injured players return, but for now he seems quite happy in his job as a wing back.

Meanwhile, going back to the BBC’s website, they also come up with “The Gunners are the only side – along with runaway leaders Liverpool – who are undefeated in the Premier League in 2020.”   I am not sure that indicates too much, but it’s a nice thought.

What we do know is that this has been a pretty poor Premier League season.  In fact only one PL season has been worse, that of 1994-95.   George Graham was manager for most of the season, and then Stewart Houston took over for the latter stages.

After 26 games in 1994/5 the situation was that we had one point fewer than we have now.

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Blackburn Rovers 26 18 5 3 57 21 36 59
2 Manchester United 26 16 6 4 47 21 26 54
3 Newcastle United 26 13 9 4 45 26 19 48
4 Liverpool 25 13 7 5 44 20 24 46
5 Nottingham Forest 26 13 6 7 39 28 11 45
6 Tottenham Hotspur 25 11 6 8 41 36 5 39
7 Leeds United 25 10 8 7 34 28 6 38
8 Sheffield Wednesday 26 9 9 8 33 32 1 36
9 Wimbledon 25 10 5 10 31 40 -9 35
10 Norwich City 25 9 7 9 24 27 -3 34
11 Arsenal 26 8 9 9 29 28 1 33

Interesting to note that half of the teams above us in February 1995 are not in the Premier League this season.  Also interesting that we have actually scored more goals this season at this stage (36) than we had in our worst PL season.

In 1994/5 we finished the season in 12th.  But then the improvement was rapdi.  In 1996 we finished fifth, then in 1997 third, and then in 1998 we did the double and for eight years ended up either first or second and picked up three more FA Cups.

So turn arounds don’t have to take too long.

But coming back to this weekend, one interesting snippet that has cropped up is the fact that 79% of  Lacazette’s total of 33 Premier League goals have come in home games.  Which would suggest that he might well keep his place for this weekend’s match.

And one last one to round this off, Saka has more goal assists than any other Arsenal player this season: a grand total of nine.  He is also the top assisting teenager this season in the Premier League.  That would also suggest that when the squad is considered in the summer (or indeed before that when injured players return) he is going to move back into midfield.

Here is the squad’s yellow card rating for Premier League games.  I’ll compare Arsenal with other club’s overall in Sunday’s preview piece.

Pos Player
Chosen nationality
Yellow cards
1. Granit Xhaka
2. Matteo Guendouzi
3. Calum Chambers
3. Alexandre Lacazette
3. Sokratis
6. David Luiz
6. Bukayo Saka
6. Lucas Torreira

Next up: the teams.


9 Replies to “Arsenal v Everton: the injuries, the yellows, the worst season, and Sako”

  1. Arsenal are undefeated in 2020 despite the cheating of the VAR officials. VAR has given Liverpool assistance while hindering Arsenal progress. Winning the EPL in the current climate is an anticlimax (translated in scouse climax in anti).

  2. In the Chavs v Spuds game a red card was not give by VAR. Another blatant case of selective vision. The tackle was a leg breaker across a shin. Clear red card in any game of football but perhaps not in PGMOL rules of Northern officiating.

  3. How much more can the refs screw up, so often , selectively, before Mike Riley is put under some degree of scrutiny, accountability, and suspicion?

  4. @Mandy – Riley knows about the controversy but is prevented by his greed and thick skin. The law of the land seems to be toothless and diplomatic immunity is more liable than the officials of the FA and the PGMOL. Their immunity is obscene considering the huge sums involved in the game (notice I don’t call it a sport).

    The Office of Fair Trading will once again show their sloping shoulders and claim this is outside their remit. They only protect the moneyed brands that are copied and even those have a fringe market for seized goods.

    Football has a unique position but must still be subject to trading standards. It is these standards that are being flaunted by the PGMOL, EPL and Premier League Clubs (by thier subservient silence).

  5. I think Riley has to answer to people above him.
    This is surely not a “one man thing” but a group that make these decisions for their own purposes?
    So not just Riley, but the group must be attacked on their stance of VAR and REFS in general.

  6. I think you are both right Menace and Para, but they are playing g a risky game in their greed, the minute people en masse start realising the game here isn’t as it should be, it will be finished, young people have a multitude of distractions to take an interest in something as bent as this game in England is left open to be

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