Masterful Arsenal Blast Pretenders

tumang bokabaCorrespondent IAugust 15, 2009

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - AUGUST 15:   Francesc Fabregas of Arsenal holds aloft a shirt dedicated to Espanyol Captain Daniel Jarque who died recently, after scoring his team's fifth goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Arsenal at Goodison Park on August 15, 2009 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Arsenal defied critics and haters alike in manner that will surely put due fear in their EPL counterparts. The gunners were as ruthless as they were efficient in destroying a team that has deluded itself into thinking they were on the same level as the football purists called Arsenal.

Class is permanent. And just like last season when Aston Villa mistakenly confused form with class, Everton has been rudely reminded of what makes a team glorious and what separates the masters from pretenders.

In truth, Everton gave a encouraging performance particularly in the first half where they had Arsenal in all sorts of troubles, especially with diagonal ball that had the usually reliable Sagna flapping and clutching at straws that Pienaar was dishing him.

The naysayers might be now reconsidering their views on whether Arsenal are genuine title contenders. But we don't care.

The much maligned Arsenal midfield came to the fore in such style, vigour, and efficiency that for awhile, the talked-to-death issue of needing a defensive midfield seem quite absurd.

The scary thing for opponents is the age of the midfield that controlled the game with maturity belying their tender years. Cesc Fabregas is 22, Song is 21, and so is Denilson, a player who divides opinion on what exactly he brings to the table.

And what have we learned from this destruction of a team that thought itself a contender for the fourth spot? Everton will to need to strengthen their midfield, which incidentally is just as tiny as Arsenal. Their defense was perilous and their strike force as lame as one can get.

And what of Arsenal? Throughout the preseason, Arsene Wenger has toyed with the 4-3-3 formation with Bendter inexplicably playing as a winger. Now the young Dane international might be an orthodox winger, but what he does best in this unfamiliar position is not to hog the line like, say Antonio Valencia, but rather to hold the ball from the wing and dictate play from there.

This allows Van Persie, a far more technical player than his teammate, to then collect the ball and distribute it to an in-space teammate. It is strategy that worked wonders for the first goal.

So we hear naysayers say that it is only the first game, but in the rough and tumble of EPL, you need all the momentum you can get, and Arsenal,  until the next game is ruling the EPL.

Eat your heart out, haters.