Arsenal should not be afraid at Goodison, whatever the calendar says!

By Avenell Dave

An evening match at Goodison Park is not something Arsenal should relish and there are plenty of threats to be wary of if we're to come away with three points.

Given the fickle nature of football fandom and in particular the demands of Arsenal supporters at the moment, nothing but a win will do, despite the fine form the Toffees are in.

Should we be concerned that three of the players who should currently be first names on the team sheet are absent from the latest Arsenal calendar.

Bacary Sagna, who complained in the summer about departures of leading players, and Theo Walcot, whose contract situation continues to frustrate, are not in the calendar while Andre Santos is. But it's important to realise that Laurent Koscielny is another missing from the 12 month calendar.

While it's easy to read too much into it, their absences are a concern but it wouldn't be a surprise if they were to leave, would it? 

It's less than ideal and symptomatic of the challenge we have to get players to commit to the club in the long term.

Walcott has been indifferent for years and it's ridiculous that as soon as he hits form, he gets the opportunity to walk away from the club.

Just as with RvP, few Addicts expect Theo to stay and I think we'd all be shocked if there was an announcement that he will remain at the club. Let's hope so.

While Carl Jenkinson has come on leaps and bounds and looks to be a fine player, do we really want to see Bac who has consistently been the best right back in the Premier league? I don't think so.

The Board have to be assertive and do what it takes to sign these players up.

We've seen with Chamakh that the alternative is to sign players on hig salaries who are out of contract and if it doesn't work, we're lumbered. At least in the cases of Bac and Theo, we know they can perform.

I was fascinated to read this week that Wesley Sneijder and Fernando Llorente have not played for their clubs much this season while they're in disupte over contracts.

Inter want Sneijder to sign a longer contract on reduced terms to counter an overly generous deal he signed when money was more readily available while Llorente is not being played until he signs a new deal and as Bilbao have shown in the past, they don't do cut price deals even when a player is in the last year of his contract.

We can't afford to be so assertive, but maybe we should take a stand against contract rebels to ensure we don't come across as pushovers any more.

And those who think David Dein would never have allowed it to happen should remember that he oversaw the C@a$hley Cole contract debacle.

It's great to see that Jack Wilshere may sign a new deal. I hope it's as long as possible and that he's given the captaincy soon. We need his fire.

As for tonight's game, I suspect Walcott will come back in and he certainly adds something to the team. 

I would give Lukas Podolski a rest because he was ineffectual against Villa and for all his shortcomings, Gervinho can make a nuisance of himself.

Everton are on a roll and in Baines, Fellaini and Jelavic, they have players who can hurt us.

Let's hope the defence stands firm once again - we can win this!

Addict XI


Sagna Mertesacker Koscielny Gibbs

Wilshere Cazorla Arteta

Walcott Giroud Gervinho