Everton 0 Arsenal 0

Arsenal’s new head coach Mikel Arteta watched on from the stands as his side gave a brave battling display in a 0-0 at Goodison Park. Appointed 24 hours earlier, Arteta who played 150 games for the Gunners since he arrived from Everton in 2011 for £10m, netting 16 times and lifting the FA Cup in 2014 and 2015 has spoken of instilling his philosophy in a side he witnessed as down following his former club Manchester City prevailing 3-0 at the Emirates stadium last week. Although Freddie Ljungberg remained in charge for this fixture, Arteta would have had a say in the team selection where Arsenal sent out a young side. Emile Smith-Rowe started behind Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, while Bukayo Saka was entrusted as a left back with Gabriel Martinelli ahead of him. Calum Chambers and David Luiz partnered in central defence, with Ainsley Maitland-Niles at right back. Granit Xhaka and Lucas Torreira patrolled in front of their defence. No starting places for either Alexandre Lacazette or record signing Nicolas Pepe who were on the bench while Mesut Ozil wasn’t available following an ankle knock.

One of the biggest issues Arsenal have faced has been their inability to defend or have the vision to see what is required in a extremely fluid match situation. Keeping their first clean sheet in 15 games will help enforce the idea of not only that they can do the job, but also instil a hitherto lacking team confidence. A game of very few chances, but Martinelli will feel that he should have shot across Jordan Pickford’s goal instead of trying to beat him at his near post from a left sided break. The second half fared much the same in that the Gunners were able to play a passing game against an Everton side who had comfortably seen off Chelsea 3-1 last week. Aubameyang had the best chance of the second half as Chambers headed on from a corner, but the Gabon striker’s placed effort was palmed over his bar by Pickford.

Carlo Ancelloti will take up the reigns at Everton following the sacking of Marco Silva and Duncan Ferguson’s brief but unbeaten tenure. The Italian watched on, happy to be back in the Premier League following his own sacking by Napoli.

But what can we expect from Arteta? Having been learning under his former head coach Pep Guardiola for over three years at City, he will have gleaned so much on how to manage a dressing room and what it takes to get the best out of his players. Arsenal might not have the financial might of the Emirati owned club, but nevertheless Arteta will inherit a club which has been underperforming, but boosted by a quality youth system set up from which to draw from. He did that here.

Arsenal next travel to Bournemouth on Boxing Day, before hosting Chelsea on the 29th December for the Gunners first home fixture under Arteta. In the recent past, an early kick off away at a tough northern venue had seen Arsenal come unstuck. This point at Everton today might just be that foundation to get Arteta’s tenure off on the right foot and then to build on.