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Arsenal 5-1 Everton: Three talking points from the Emirates

Rob Meech brings us three talking points from the Emirates Stadium as Arsenal dismantled Everton by a 5-1 scoreline.

Rob Meech

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Photo: Reuters

Aaron Ramsey bagged a hat-trick and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored on his debut as Arsenal put Everton to the sword with a swashbuckling performance at the Emirates.

The Gunners were rampant right from the first whistle and 3-0 ahead after 19 minutes, thanks to two strikes from the Welshman and another from Laurent Koscielny.

With the visitors shell-shocked, Aubameyang then capped his debut with a goal before half-time.

Although substitute Dominic Calvert-Lewin netted a consolation as the Toffees made a better fist of the second half, Ramsey completed his hat-trick late on to add gloss to the rout.

Arsenal’s win helped them close to within three points of fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur ahead of their Super Sunday showdown with Liverpool, while Everton dropped to 10th.

Here are three talking points…

Hat-trick hero Ramsey steals the headlines

In a side containing a wealth of attacking talent following two high-profile January signings, it was an unlikely suspect that upstaged everyone.

Few would have put money on Ramsey scoring once against Everton – let alone three times – but he was deadly in front of goal in a sublime Arsenal display.

The Wales international had an injury-enforced spell out of the side but has regained his place in midfield, with Jack Wilshere sidelined through illness. He will be hard to dislodge now.

There was an element of luck to his second effort, which went in past Jordan Pickford with the aid of a deflection. However, Ramsey has always had an eye for goal and he doubled his tally for the season in just one match.

Of course, the 27-year-old’s main responsibilities are in making Arsenal tick and ensuring they are not exposed at the back.

On that front, tougher challenges than Everton await, whether it’s in partnership with Wilshere or Granit Xhaka.

Sam Allardyce’s tactical switch backfires

The Everton boss’s decision to adopt a back three backfired spectacularly as his side found themselves out of the game with less than 20 minutes on the clock.

The Toffees boss had been attempting to copy the recipe that saw Swansea defeat Arsenal in midweek, but the result here was completely different.

Michael Keane, Ashley Williams and deadline-day loan signing Eliaquim Mangala had been tasked with shackling Arsenal’s attacking riches.

They were dreadful. If it looked like they had never played with each other, it’s because they had not.

Keane was substituted at half-time as Allardyce reverted to 4-4-1-1 and, although the Toffees improved, the damage had been done.

This was Allardyce’s 500th Premier League game as manager but there was nothing to celebrate.

After an impressive start to life at Goodison Park, his honeymoon period is over at Everton, who have won only once in their past nine matches in all competitions.

Arsenal’s new boys hit the high notes

This felt like the start of an exciting new era for Arsenal.

Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan both started alongside Mesut Ozil, who recently put pen-to-paper on a new contract that makes him the highest-paid player in the Gunners’ history.

All three played their part in an easy victory.

True to form, Aubameyang drifted in and out of the match but he underlined his talent by scoring with with a delicate chip over Pickford, even if he should have been flagged offside.

Mkhitaryan, who joined Arsenal in a swap deal with Alexis Sanchez, registered three assists in a very encouraging full debut, while Ozil showed he was revelling in his new-found status as Arsenal’s main man.

Wenger’s reluctance to strengthen his defence may still come back to haunt him, but in the forward department there is no doubt the Gunners can match anyone on their day.

Although they still face an uphill battle to qualify for the Champions League, Arsenal fans can finally look to the future with optimism.

Rob is a freelance writer, specialising in football, who previously worked as a sports journalist at the Dorset Echo. A long-standing AFC Bournemouth supporter, Rob can often be found on the terraces at the Vitality Stadium. Follow him on Twitter - @RobMeech

Arsenal

Three key takeaways from Emery’s Arsenal press conference

Emery is searching for his first win as Arsenal boss.

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Photo: Getty Images

Unai Emery’s Arsenal side travel to face Chelsea this weekend, as they seek to bounce back from defeat to Manchester City last week.

Pep Guardiola’s defending champions secured a 2-0 win at the Emirates Stadium, leaving Arsenal seeking to avoid back-to-back defeats at the start of Emery’s tenure – a tough challenge as the Gunners have not won at Stamford Bridge in the league since 2011.

Ahead of the fierce London derby, we have identified three key takeaways from Emery’s pre-match press conference.

Cech starts again

One of the big talking points, when the team was selected ahead of the game against Manchester City, was the fact that Petr Cech got the nod ahead of summer signing Bernd Leno – and it seems there will be no changes in that aspect for the trip to Chelsea.

Emery’s comments suggest that Cech’s Premier League experience gives the veteran stopper the edge of Leno and the Germany international will have to continue to wait for his competitive debut for the Gunners.

“I am happy with Petr Cech’s performance and he has lots of quality and experience. For Saturday, the decision for me is easy. Petr Cech can continue to start the match, I believe in him. If [in the future] Bernd starts, I believe in him also.”

Away tactics

While Arsenal suffered defeat against Manchester City, there were aspects of the Gunners performance that caught the eye and Unai Emery wants that momentum to continue in the trip across London to face Chelsea.

It seems Arsenal will not change their set-up for the match away from home but Emery is keen to ensure his side continue to play with the right pace, personality and mentality at Stamford Bridge – where they have the chance to make a statement of intent.

“When we are going to play away I want us to keep our personality and mentality because I think against Man City on Sunday, when we were losing, we kept our speed in the game. I want us to continue that and be competitive in 90 minutes and produce a better performance that Sunday.”

Big game improvements

It’s no secret that Arsenal have struggled in recent years against their ‘big six’ rivals and history at Stamford Bridge is not on their favour. Therefore, it’s clear that the Gunners need to improve in this area – and Unai Emery is aware of that.

The Spaniard’s comments do not necessarily address the latter years under Arsene Wenger but they might as well have. Emery has shown he can play the game in the press conferences but he now needs his side to improve their form on the field.

“We wanted to start well against a great team like Manchester City in front of our fans, but we lost. The result is very big, but it’s also important the way we achieve that. The difficulty is clear but I believe in our players and we need to improve in the biggest games. We lost the first game but I do not want to change our mentality.”

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Arsenal fans want Emery to sell Granit Xhaka after Man City loss

Fans are demanding Arsenal sell Xhaka in the next two weeks.

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Photo: Getty Images

Arsenal fans have made it clear throughout the history of the internet they need someone to be angry at and Granit Xhaka has inherited the crown.

With Arsene Wenger finally out, the Switzerland international has followed the likes of Francis Coquelin and Theo Walcott as Arsenal’s weekly scapegoat, a title that is tough to shake, and his performance against Manchester City did not help matters.

Poor on the ball and struggling to cope with the Citizens’ quota of stars, fans on social media quickly flocked to criticism the midfielder and demand that Unai Emery sells the former Borussia Monchengladbach man ASAP.

With Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira amongst Emery’s summer acquisitions, Xhaka has plenty of competition for his role in midfield and many fans have made it clear they don’t want to see Xhaka wear the Arsenal shirt once again.

Unfortunately, that is unlikely to happen and, a few months down the line, another scapegoat may have been identified. For now, it’s best Xhaka avoids logging onto Twitter…

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Emery’s Arsenal conference: Left-back options, Ramsey & further exits

A new era under Emery dawns for Arsenal.

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Photo: Getty Images

Arsenal enter a Premier League season with a new manager for the first time in over two decades, with Unai Emery now at the helm in north London.

The new boss starts life in English football with a baptism of fire as Arsenal host defending champions Manchester City on Sunday, where Emery has five new signings to potentially include in his starting line-up.

Ahead of his Premier League debut, Emery spoke to the press and we picked up three key takeaways from his comments.

Maitland-Niles in defence

Arsenal begin the season with a major issue in defence, as Sead Kolasinac will miss around ten weeks through injury and Nacho Monreal is not back to full fitness after returning from the World Cup with a knee problem.

(Photo By Sam Barnes/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

That means that young Ainsley Maitland-Niles may be thrown into the deep end due to his versatility, featuring on the left-side of a defence against the Premier League champions. Fortunately, he has experience in this position and Emery is confident he can impress.

“We want to give him confidence and the possibility to play. I’m not sure because I am going to decide tomorrow or on Sunday on the first 11, but Ainsley is the player who started the last match against Lazio.”

Ramsey update

Arsenal fans will have breathed a sigh of relief as soon as the transfer window closed yesterday, as it brought an end to speculation that Aaron Ramsey would be sold. However, it is far from the end of the saga concerning the Wales international.

(Photo by Thananuwat Srirasant/Getty Images for ICC)

With less than 12 months remaining on his contract, Arsenal are fearful that Ramsey could walk for nothing next summer and are working hard behind the scenes to secure the 27-year-old favourite to fresh terms. Unfortunately, Emery did not have a positive update to share.

“That’s not my work. For me it’s very important he stays with us. His experience here in Arsenal and the Premier League is very important and will give us all the information and performances in his quality. Then, the contract is for speaking with the club and the players.”

Three could still leave

The transfer window has come to a close in the Premier League but the European window remains open until the end of the month, while Football League sides also have until the end of August to negotiate loan deals.

(Photo credit should read YURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Emery named three players that could leave by the end of the month in David Ospina, Carl Jenkinson and Joel Campbell – with goalkeeper Ospina currently the closest to an exit as Besiktas try to complete a deal for the stopper.

Interestingly, Danny Welbeck was omitted from the list despite speculation that a number of sides were keen on his services and that suggests he could still have a part to play this season.

“Today, we had a meeting with the players to close all the possibilities to leave or come with more players. We only have three players: Carl Jenkinson, David Ospina and Joel Campbell, with the possibility to leave.”

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