By Giuseppe Muro
Arsenal fans will have fond memories of the last time the Gunners visited Goodison Park. On the opening day of last season Arsène Wenger’s side hammered Everton 6-1 thanks to a brace from Cesc Fabregas and goals from Denilson, Thomas Vermaelen, William Gallas and Eduardo.
But surely David Moyes’ side won’t roll over that easily again will they? We spoke to Dave Prentice of the Liverpool Echo to get an Everton perspective on the Premier League game.
I think [Everton’s good form is] down to an improvement in confidence. They were playing well enough at the start of the season but failing to take chances and to be honest that has still been a bit of an issue in recent games. They created a hat-full of chances at Blackpool at the weekend and only two were taken. That again that happened on Wednesday against Bolton. So their overall play has been decent but they aren’t converting enough.
MAN OF THE MOMENT
His goal last night will certainly give Jermaine Beckford plenty of confidence. It was funny actually because when he scored the goal [to equalise in injury time against Bolton] it was almost like ‘phew we’ve got out of jail here’. That was a massive moment for him last night. David Moyes admitted after the game that he introduced him a little bit earlier than he should have done. He should have introduced him in bits and bobs, as late a substitute in games and instead he was given some starts early on in the season. He will admit himself he found the adjustment difficult to make and it is a big step up from League One to the Premier League. Clearly, as he showed last night, he can finish. It was a wonderful strike and hopefully that will give him a bit of confidence going into the weekend.
IMPRESSIONS OF ARSENAL
[The 6-1 defeat last season] will certainly be used as an incentive because Everton were absolutely abysmal that day. I know it was over a year ago know but David Moyes will remind the players of that and I think you can be sure it won’t be 6-1 on Sunday.
THE MAN IN CHARGE
[David Moyes getting Premier League manager of the month] was very deserved. It was the third time he’s won it in the last calendar year and I think there is only Alex Ferguson who can match that. It’s just frustrating that the good form has had to come after another slow start because October was a very good month. The vast majority of Everton fans still rate David Moyes very highly indeed and are fully behind him.
Goodison Park has become a little bit of a fortress in recent years. Everton like to play at a high tempo in their home games and get about teams. But as Arsenal have found against Everton in recent years they play a lot more football than they did previously. Especially the game at the Emirates last year where they were very unfortunate not to come away with a victory.