Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has issued a stern warning to his squad ahead of their upcoming clash with Everton at Goodison Park this Sunday. The Gunners, who have been plagued by a frustrating curse, have failed to secure an away victory against Everton since 2017. Arteta is adamant that the key to breaking this jinx lies in his team’s willingness to match the aggression and tenacity of Sean Dyche’s Everton.
In a season marked by underwhelming performances, Everton finds themselves languishing without a single league win. In stark contrast, Arsenal boasts an unbeaten record but has struggled to make a convincing start to the campaign.
Speaking to reporters on Friday, Arteta expressed his anticipation for the high-stakes encounter. “I’m really excited about it; the last six years, we have not won there, so we are going to have to earn it,” he emphasized. “We know we are going to have to be at our best to beat them there, and that’s something we haven’t managed to do, so that’s where we are going to start.”
Drawing inspiration from past experiences, Arteta added, “We’ve been to grounds before where we haven’t won, and we’ve done it. It’s about understanding the importance and knowing what we lacked in those games and putting it right.”
Sean Dyche, the former Burnley manager now at the helm of Everton, is renowned for constructing physically imposing teams capable of intimidating opponents. However, Arteta remains confident that Arsenal can withstand the impending physical challenge.
“Sometimes you cannot avoid a battle with Everton; the style of play they have is very clear, and they’re very good at that,” Arteta acknowledged. “It’s about trying to impose your way of playing, and the tactic is just to make sure your opponent’s strengths are hidden, and that ours are evident every single time.”
As Arsenal gears up for their Champions League opener against PSV Eindhoven next week, it marks their first return to the prestigious competition since the 2016-17 season. Arteta is keen on ensuring that his players remain focused and not distracted by their long-awaited return to Europe’s elite club competition.
“We played three games a week last year, but the Champions League is obviously different with the expectations and that we’ve been away from it,” he stated. “This is where we want to be when you look at the fixtures and the games we are going to have to play.”
Arsenal fans worldwide eagerly await the outcome of the Goodison Park showdown, hoping their team can finally break free from the Everton curse and make a strong statement in both domestic and European competitions this season.