Back to the drawing board for Arsenal after the defeat against Everton
- With the result loss to Everton still fresh on the mind questions arise, will Arsenal's away form cost them a top-four finish?
Yet again, Arsenal failed to rise against a resurgent away side as they were dealt a huge defeat at the hands of Everton, this time. Unai Emery's side looks clueless whilst playing away from home. In under a month, they have dominated Spurs and Man United to the core while making Everton look like prime Barcelona. This inconsistency might cost Arsenal their season.
Everton were massive last night, as they extracted every ounce of stamina from the Arsenal's players, forcing them to run around the pitch without the ball. In a game where Arsenal should've opened the scoring, the forwards failed to lay their hands on an opening goal, which resulted in Everton getting the first goal, which was also the last of the game.
Were it not for Bernd Leno, Sokratis and Mustafi, Arsenal would have easily lost the game conceding 4-5 goals. Last night, Arsenal's defence outperformed their attacking players with Mustafi and Sokratis both robust at the back but the fact that Everton attempted nearly 23 shots shows they weren't at their best either. In the second half, due to the fact that Arsenal desperately needed a goal, the defenders played with a much higher line and they clearly lost control, often allowing the Toffees to make sprints down the flanks.
Arsenal have a coach who can get the best out of his players, but it is the responsibility of the players to have the same mentality while playing at home or away from home. The defence, as well as the attackers, have let Arsenal down in away games, with only Bernd Leno a consistent performer for the Gunners. Certainly, they missed Laurent Koscielny, but conceding 23 shots against a mid-table team is dreadful.
The Gunners do not have to play any of the 'Big Six' till the end of the season, and they have to grasp this chance in order to make it into the top four. The fans expect a grandstand finish, and Arsenal currently hold all the aces, but if they do not solve their away form problems, it is possible they might lose out on UCL qualification despite having a brilliant season under their new coach.
Arsenal have to lock horns with the likes of Watford, Leicester and Wolves, who have all outperformed a majority of the big six at home. It is certainly a tough task, but not undoable. The Gunners have to claw their way into the top four, and the only way to do that is by beating the above-mentioned sides.Published 08 Apr 2019, 13:12 IST