Separated by a few feet in the Goodison Park directors’ box, and several decades of experience on their managerial CVs, Carlo Ancelotti and Mikel Arteta viewed a drab and dour stalemate which offered little insight into which appointment will ultimately prove the right approach from these two slumping giants of the English game.
Carlo Ancelotti and Mikel Arteta will not face each other on the touchline today when Everton meet Arsenal at Goodison. The incoming gaffers will wait in the wings, ‘running the rule’, no doubt gaining an insight into the size of their tasks.
There can be few doubts that Mikel Arteta is a good fit for Arsenal, despite his appointment representing something of a calculated gamble. The North Londoners have famously gambled before on the management front and come up trumps. There is, therefore, no need to get more than medium-sized jitters about the arrival of a man whose profile fits the bill on many levels.
An afternoon which started with a huge social-media hoax about The Gobby One getting the boot ended with the Scousers stealing our thunder by sacking Brendan Rodgers. In between, we’ve witnessed the sort of complete performance from the Gunners against Manchester United that we’ve been waiting for, ever since Fergie sought refuge in his pipe and slippers.
Zagreb was hit by an earthquake on Tuesday night and perhaps that was an omen for the Gunners who had striker Olivier Giroud sent off as they slumped to a disappointing 2-1 defeat in their Champions League Group F opener at Dinamo Zagreb.
Considering he was just about the only Arsenal player to come out of last Sunday’s lamentably anti-climactic curtain-raiser with any credit, the Ox must have been disappointed to have found himself benched for Sunday’s encounter at Crystal Palace.
Winning the Community Shield is rarely a reliable indicator of who will end the season as champions but Arsenal’s landmark win over Chelsea at Wembley does confirm their growing reputation as the most interesting contender in the 2015-16 title race.
Arsene Wenger accepts things can get a “bit heated” between rival managers, but feels Jose Mourinho showed a lack of respect when the Chelsea boss said 10 years without winning the title must be “very boring” for Arsenal supporters.