Match Of The Midweek – Everton 1-1 Arsenal

Is there a more quintessentially English fixture in the football calendar than Everton against Arsenal on a Wednesday night at the end of January at Goodison Park? These are the two longest-serving members of the Premier League – Everton have been ever-presents in the top division for more than fifty years, and Arsenal have been there since Henry Norris and his dodgy dealings in 1919. These two clubs are at differing stages in their attempts to sever their links with their past. Arsenal left Highbury for the palatial glamour of The Emirates Stadium in 2006, but they haven’t yet festooned their new home with any silverware. Indeed, some would say that there is a distinct correlation between the move and the decline in their fortunes. These massive football stadia don’t build themselves, and Arsenal haven’t been able to spend the money that they would have wanted to on players over the last few seasons. They have slipped from being perennial title challengers to fighting for their lives for the fourth Champions League spot. This is a journey that Everton may be about to embark upon. The similarity to the situation that Arsenal found so intolerable is striking. Goodison Park is one of the few remaining traditional big English football grounds. It holds a shade over 40,000 at the moment, a capacity that the club seldom seems to fill, but...

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