Arsenal v Everton: Five things we learned
- Credit: PA
The five things we learned from Arsenal's 1-0 defeat to Everton to leave well out of the hunt for the European places in the Premier League.
1. In a turbulent week where it all unravelled off the pitch, Arsenal did little to right the wrongs of the past six days. Whilst thousands of fans congregated outside the Emirates to protest against the Kroenke family’s involvement in the European Super League debacle, the home team failed to repay the fans’ passion on the night, putting in an insipid performance that would not have done the supporters’ confidence in the ownership any good.
2. The Gunners have shot themselves in the foot far too often this season. This is not to place the blame solely on Bernd Leno for Friday night’s defeat to Everton, but it demonstrates a continuation of the fact that Arteta has failed to eradicate individual mistakes from his squad over the course of this campaign, an issue that explains his players’ inconsistencies from week to week. Consequently, whilst the Gunners’ league position may seem alarmingly out of character, it is very much symptomatic of the current members making up Arteta’s squad.
3. Gabriel Martinelli is the future of Arsenal’s forward line. Despite being deployed from the bench yet again, the Brazilian was a bright spark in attack once he was introduced. Nearly salvaging a draw for Arsenal at the death, Martinelli has proved since his return from injury that he can carry this team from the front in the absence of Alexandre Lacazette and
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Now, all the youngster needs is a chance from the manager to show what he is truly capable of.
4. Failure to win two home Premier League games in a row against out of form teams has made the Europa League semi-final even more important for Arsenal. A win against Everton would have put Arsenal above their opponents, but a loss leaves them mired in mid-table. Therefore, it is fitting that the club’s saving grace could come by winning two matches against Unai Emery, a coach who failed to guide the Gunners back to the Champions League. The narrative of this clash is perfectly set up for next week’s first leg in Valencia.
5. A scrappy win for the Toffees reignited their hopes of qualifying for Europe next season. Whilst it was a lacklustre contest that proved to be sincerely wanting when it came to goalmouth action, the Merseysiders deserve credit for the endeavour they showed in search of a winner. More willing to commit men forward and break the deadlock, Carlo Ancelotti’s side were rewarded fortuitously, yet the heart and desire they showed meant that, on this occasion, they merited all three points.