Welcome to a new feature on Arsenal.com - Talking Heads.

Before and after every first-team fixture our MatchDay Show team - and an Arsenal blogger - will have their say on the match.

Arsenal took on Everton in the Premier League on Wednesday and our Talking Heads for this game were Dan Roebuck, Martin Hayes and Tim Stillman of Vital Arsenal.

Read on for their post-match comments and recap what they said before the game.

Dan Roebuck - Arsenal Live

Everything is going right for Arsenal at the moment - not only are they winning their own games but their rivals are finding ever more inventive ways to lose. Spurs should have been too good for Stoke and Liverpool should never be squandering two-goal leads at relegation-threatened QPR. Arsenal fans don't care though and they can be proud of their side after they did what Man City, Spurs and Chelsea couldn't do - win at Goodison Park this season. The back four were superb - individually and collectively - and I think the inclusion of Ramsey helped Arsenal match Everton in midfield. It could have been more comfortable - Van Persie hit the post when he should have scored - but one goal was enough. Now let's keep it going against Villa on Saturday.

With Arsenal rested and replenished it is time to get back into the swing of things with a tough trip to Goodison Park. Everton, as ever, are a difficult side to beat on home soil and they proved no pushovers on their visit to Emirates Stadium earlier in the campaign. It took something special from Robin van Persie to sink them on that day. The break may have taken away some of Arsenal's momentum after a fine run in the Premier League but they will need to keep third place in sight. Arsène Wenger is also boosted by the return of Andre Santos at the back, crossing another name off Arsenal's diminishing injury list. I expect to see Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain retain his place in attack after a bright second half against Newcastle, while Theo Walcott is a shoo-in after his fine display against the Magpies. It won't be easy by any stretch but backing anything other than an Arsenal win seems unthinkable right now.

Arsenal TV Online commentator - Martin Hayes

Another good night for Arsenal and a hard-earned 1-0 win which was all the more sweeter because Tottenham and Chelsea dropped points. Everton is a tough place to go and it wasn't pretty in the second half after a more comfortable first half. But at this stage of the season it's three points, you take the win and move on. Third place is in Arsenal's hands and that's all they can ask for when you think about where they were a month ago. This weekend will be vital as well because Arsenal play Aston Villa and they need to cash in because Spurs and Chelsea face each other. They can open up a real advantage now.

It's always a tough game at Everton. Of all the sides that are organised, can frustrate and get in your face, they are probably the pick of the bunch. Everton will make it awkward for Arsenal but at this stage of the season it can make a difference to have a proper rest - and that's where Arsène Wenger's team have a distinct advantage. Everton have had some massive games against Liverpool and Sunderland while Arsenal have had a chance to regroup and get the Milan and Newcastle games out of their system. They should be nicely set up for the final push, the sprint finish to the season. The back four pretty much picks itself at the moment but I would like to see Arsenal pick an attacking line-up with pace and energy - I'd have Chamberlain and Walcott in the starting XI. If they can get at Everton's full backs early on we'll see if the home side are jaded or lethargic after their recent exertions. I fancy Arsenal to win this one 2-0.


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After a succession of games in which we've gone behind, it was very pleasing to see Arsenal show a different quality - the ability to hold a lead. I don't think it's a huge coincidence that Arsenal's resurgence in form has coincided with the return of a pair of dedicated full backs. Koscielny and Vermaelen is one of the best centre back partnerships in the league when allowed to play together - which hasn't been often this season - and being able to play a cohesive unit paid dividends last night. Everton applied a lot of pressure in the second half but failed to create many chances, which tells its own story as to how well we defended. Playing Ramsey from the left was an interesting tactic that I believe worked well. However, I still worry about our lack of ruthlessness in front of goal. We should have put Everton out of sight in the first half an hour and it ended up being a harder game than it needed to be. I watched Manchester United at White Hart Lane a few weeks ago take the first three chances they created to win a game comfortably. We need to aspire to that kind of clinical finishing. The scores from other games kept flashing up on the Goodison scoreboards and I'm not sure how helpful that was to the team in the last 20 minutes, given how other results fell nicely for us. But it was another richly deserved win.

You pretty much always know what you're going to get at Goodison Park. It's one of the few grounds in the league that is still capable of creating a cauldron-like atmosphere and it's a ground I always enjoy visiting. But our record there has been pretty good of late. This is something of a rare position for Arsenal because Everton have played twice since our last game, including a tooth-and-nail cup tie against Sunderland at the weekend. We're also slowly getting players back and the manager has some choices to make. For instance, does he reinstate Ramsey, or keep faith with a very in-form Rosicky? Does Gervinho or Chamberlain play from the left? I watched Santos in the reserves last week and he looked increasingly sharp as the game went on. But of course there's a balance to be struck because the manager won't want to tinker too much with a winning side. I think given Everton's exertions over the last week, Arsenal need to make sure they're at least level going into the last quarter of the game. We can't always take it for granted that we will score a late goal, but if it's level with 20 minutes or so left, you'd fancy Arsenal have the firepower from the bench and the momentum to snatch the points. But concentration and focus will be of the utmost necessity.

* The views expressed in Talking Heads do not necessarily reflect those of Arsenal Football Club or Arsenal Broadband Ltd.

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22 Mar 2012