Mikel Arteta has now explained the one thing Arsenal ‘cannot avoid’ at Everton as they target a first win at Goodison Park since the Gunners thrashed the Toffees 5-2 in 2017.
The blue half of Merseyside has proven to be a fraught hunting ground for the north London giants of late. Arsene Wenger still remains the last Arsenal manager to secure a win away at Everton. Arteta makes his fourth visit to Goodison Park on Sunday without a single point yet.
Carlo Ancelotti, Rafa Benitez and Sean Dyche have all taken wins against Arteta whilst stood at the Toffees’ helm. Dyche also claimed a 1-0 win over Arsenal in his first game as Everton’s manager in February. The Blues were also eight Premier League fixtures without a win then.
Arteta is yet to beat Everton as the manager of Arsenal
Only Freddie Ljungberg has taken a point whilst Arsenal visit Everton since Wenger retired in 2018. He oversaw a 0-0 draw whilst the interim manager before Arteta replaced Unai Emery, who lost his only visit 1-0. Now, Arsenal visit Everton this Sunday eager to change their story.
Arsenal lost some of their momentum in the Premier League title race last term after losing at Everton in February. Arteta’s side failed to respond to the shock defeat and controversially drew 1-1 against Brentford. They then lost 3-1 to the eventual champions, Manchester City.
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Arteta accepts that Dyche’s style will create a ‘battle’
Beating Arsenal in his first fixture after replacing Frank Lampard at Everton has proven a rare result for Dyche. The Kettering-born coach has won just six of his 23 fixtures in charge of the Blues so far. He has even only won five of his 22 Premier League games, with none this term.
Arteta is not taking Everton’s lack of form for granted ahead of Arsenal’s trip to Goodison on Sunday, though. The ex-Toffees midfielder admits the Gunners cannot hide from a fight this weekend. He accepts Dyche’s style clashes his theirs, so Arsenal must impose their system.
“Sometimes you cannot avoid a battle,” Arteta admitted in his pre-match press conference. “There are certain times where you have to do this and their style of play is very clear. They are simply good at that. We have a very different style.
“When you are trying to impose your way of playing and the tactics, it’s about making sure that your opponent’s strengths are completely hiding and yours are coming out every single time to fulfil the potential of your plays.
“That’s what I think both managers and both teams will try to do on Sunday.”