Tag Archives: Neal Maupay

Hey, Marmite Manager. Welcome to the Emirates.

Well, well, well. Look at what we have here—a chance to avenge a loss just three weeks later. Seanie, you self-proclaimed Marmite manager, your “new manager bounce” has lasted all of about 90 minutes before fading away. I have to admit, Mr. Dyche, that I’m full of mixed emotinos here. On one hand, it’s you I can’t stand. Let’s add in Maupay. Can’t stand ya. On the other hand, I like Everton. Well, “like” is too strong a word. Let’s say instead that I dislike you less than I dislike Liverpool. That makes us friends of a sort, I suppose. Having said all that, though, we have a score to settle with you, literally as well as figuratively.

We don’t take kindly to losing, and we know that it took an enormous effort on the part of your players, fueled by raucous fans at Goodison Park and allowed by our own meek display, to escape with all three points. We’re angry, Sean. We’re after something very large here, a chance at our first Prem title in 19 years. While I understand that you’re something similarly large at the other end of the table, avoiding Everton’s first relegation since 1951, I have no sympathy. We can’t afford to do anyone any favours, not when we have Man City breathing down our necks. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but they have a player in Erling Haaland who’s scored ten more goals on his own than your entire squad combined. 

Scoring has been a season-long dilemma that predates your arrival, and it’s pernicious enough to make one wonder why Moshiri didn’t sanction a move for a goal-scoring forward after selling that Brazilian pigeon and knowing (as I hope he knows) that Calvert-Lewin is as about as durable as a wet Kleenex in a heavy rain. Perhaps anticipating your hire, he did bring in former Clarets such as Dwight McNeil and James Tarkowski, who combined neatly to score that one goal a few weeks back. Why though did he sign Neal effin’ Maupay? The guy’s scored 27 goals in 119 appearances, Sean. You had no input there, and you joined too late in January to demand any specific signings, but, as the old saying goes, you made your bed and now you must lie in it. 

And now, at a risk of stretching that old saying, it’s time to put you and your squad to bed. It’s nothing personal…except that it is, Sean. I’m a petty, spiteful man, Sean, and that’s me on a good day. I can’t stand your constant whingeing and whining, the constant put-upon persona that you project. Worse, I see Maupay and I fall for his sh*thousery. I hate myself for it, Sean, but I can’t resist either. He embodies a lot of what’s wrong at Everton right now, mate. He’s just not good enough and he mistakes motion for action. Simply getting under an opponent’s skin isn’t enough; one has to also deliver and produce and perform. He’s all friction and no function.

Having said all this, I have to cnnclude by conceding that we won’t be conceding anything on Wednesday. We have a chance to go five points clear with this game in hand, and we don’t plan on stumbling again. In fact, if anything, the fact that you lot bested us while Maupay also triggered us has likely snapped us out of a bit of an overconfident torpor in which we began to envision ourselves hoisting a trophy before we’ve earned it. In a way, we owe you a bit of gratitude. You’ll have to pardon me if I don’t say the following with much enthusiasm, though. Thanks for beating us. We’ll be sure to return the favor in short order.

To the rest of you, you Gooners, I’d like to invite to participate the “March Merch” raffle–top commenters will have their names entered in a raffle to win a £25 gift certificate to Arsenal Direct. Log in to Disqus using a Twitter, Facebook, or Google account and let the comments fly!

Everton 1-0 Arsenal: Vote for Player Ratings & MOTM.

Well, in the end, it was another former Burnley man who made the difference as James Tarkowski headed home from a corner to secure a shock win for Everton. Well, maybe not a shock, given that Everton outplayed us for long stretches, showing early signs that Dyche has reinvigorated this squad. They hustled and harried and harassed, and, for the first time in a long time, we really could not respond or rise to the occasion. It’s a dispiriting result, considering the yawning gulf between us and them, but we had to know that we’d be facing a Toffees side different to the one that had won only three matches going into this one. For Dyche, it’s only the second time in 16 tries that he’s found a win against us, meaning he’ll probably experience something akin to joy, or at least less misery than he’s accustomed to. Well, the less said for now, the better. Let’s get to the poll and rate the lads. If you want to see results as they roll in, click here. A nifty little graphic will be available later.

Brighton 0-0 Arsenal: Well, at least Maupay didn't maim anyone…

Yes, it’s a point claimed, but, more importantly, Neal Maupay didn’t jeoardise anyone’s careers like he did towards the end of the 2019-20 campaign, going in for a pointless and reckless challenge on Leno, crashing into Leno, who had already claimed the ball. That gave rise to and eventual sale of Emi Martinez, may have ended Leno’s position as our #1 keeper, and almost certainly spelt the end of Matteo Guendouzi’s tenure as well. All of that because of the actions of the kind of smirking, malevolent, thirteen year old who’d step on the heels of your sneakers, swipe  your Galaxy Minstrels, and act like he invented the calculator trick in which you type 55378008 and turn it round for some naughty word-play. As if to show that his juvenile delinquency has spread throughout the club, Brighton tweeted out an image of Maupay in a mock-crying pose because, well, playing the part of the antagonist from Diary of a Wimpy Kid is apparently something to aspire to. #Lifegoals, Neal. #Lifegoals indeed.

Enough about that pissant other than to say it’s a pity he didn’t have a go at Ramsdale, who’s built like a brick shithouse and would have sent Maupay to the shadow realm, never to return. There was bound to be an emotional letdown after thrashing Spurs last weekend, even moreso because the result suggested to us that we had rounded a corner and were set for smooth sailing. Unfortunately, Graham Potter knows what he’s doing (as evinced by the fact that we faced him and his squad this week as opposed to last week).

The proof is in the pudding. As was to be expected, Brighton were well-drilled, organised, and stout defensively whilst also being adventurous going forward. They had a number of point-blank chances, some they fluffed, some Ramsdale saved, and we should certainly see this as a point earned rather than two dropped. Our brightest lights were strangely dim aside from a few flashes here and there, and credit Potter and his squad for keeping us on the backfoot for most of the match. Potter himself said in the post-match that “in terms of performance, it was as good as I can remember…this performance gives us a lot of hope and belief going forward.” It’s perhaps a sign of how different our fortunes lie that a scoreless draw prompts such optimism from our opponent while we have to clench our teeth and grumble. Then again, it’s not as if our manager selected a side that left more than one million pounds in weekly wages on the bench as Ole At The Wheel did when he left Ronaldo, Pogba, and Sancho on the bench. But I digress.

At any rate, we’ve now taken 10 points from our last four matches and have moved from the bottom of the table to the top 9/20th. For as good as our defense has been since the debacle at the Etihad, there are some urgent questions still to be asked about our attack. We’ve scored just five goals in the league so far, three of those against Tottenham, and we’re only club in the top half of the table with a negative goal difference. We have a number of tricky but winnable fixtures coming up after the international break— visits from Palace, Villa, and Leeds (that one in the League Cup) and then a trip to King Fox to face Leicester. That’s four matches in 12 days. It would be just splendid to see us take a minimum of seven points from the nine on offer while advancing to the League Cup quarterfinal, seeing as how that’s step one of our domestic treble. We’ll have to find a more a remedy for this toothless attack, though.

Speaking of toothlessness, we may have escaped AmEx without serious injuries, but I’m bemused to report that Gabriel has once again lost a tooth against Brighton. That’s two.