There is a lot to do here. Both teams have new managers and both have improved since they appointed them. But we can really have arisen yet another discussion that the name of a manager who hasn’t done anything deserves the suffix “ball”, or with the examination of Carlo’s successful stellar career with the teams of other people, when instead we could simply talk about Bukayo Sako? Of course we can’t, so here we are.
In 37 years I have been hopelessly obsessed with this thing of ours, there has never been such a hilarious and disgusting raft of brilliant young English talent. Because, it is almost as if these things were cyclical; that the influx of foreign players has raised national standards; and that those who are good enough will always find a way!
Saka, therefore. It drew attention for the first time in the dog days of season 1, when Arsenal was worth watching only if they were playing in the Europa League, because their younger players still had to be unnerved by Unai Emery’s overall plan. He scored a gluttonous goal against Eintracht Frankfurt, but his two assists and the general intelligence of his game were even more impressive. However, it was quite surprising that when Arsenal needed a left back, it was for him that they turned around, and the way he embraced the challenge is nothing short of shocking. Not because Saka’s talent is in question, but because eighteen-year-olds tend not to establish themselves in any high-level team, it doesn’t matter in the wrong position; attackers who play in defense even less.
It is fair to say that because the game and the world have changed, what the defenders are doing has also changed. Children tend to play small-scale games focusing on skill rather than physicality and the Internet has made the game accessible in all its forms, while at the elite level the attack has triumphed over defense. Saka, however, mixes this modern approach with timeless elements that will always distinguish reliable players from useful players: attitude, decision-making ability and nous. He is completely unmoved by the frankly ridiculous situation he finds himself in, his ability to select the correct cross for each situation is much more impressive than his ability to perform it, and his solidity in the back is more noteworthy than his feat which Go on . It is the very model of a modern English ftbllr.
However, this should be a really good game. Arsenal are undefeated in 2020 and, after a series of draws, have won three in the round. Everton, meanwhile, hasn’t lost since the humiliation of the FA Cup in Anfield, has won his last two and, I dare say, start to look like a team.
Kick off: 16.30 GMT