Without a doubt, tonight’s encounter at Goodison will prove a stern test for Arsenal and, perhaps more importantly, an indicator of what the season holds for the Gunners.
We travel to the match in fluctuating form, with a deflating stalemate at Villa Park increasing the fans’ frustration following a turbulent North London derby win over Tottenham Hotspur.
After such an entertaining win at the Emirates against our rivals, the draw with Aston Villa just proved to be soooooo boring and really killed our buzz a bit.
It was almost as if the club was hungover after such a brilliant win over Spurs, coupled with a pleasing triumph over Montpellier HSC during the week.
However, we cannot afford to rest on our laurels and Everton are certainly not going to provide us with any sympathy.
I’ve been really impressed by the Toffees so far this year. For a team who don’t turn up until the second half of the season, they sure have got off to a flying start.
The Merseysiders currently occupy fifth place in the Premier League and sit one place above Arsenal in the Europa League spot.
Everton have enjoyed some superb results already in this current campaign, with a victory over Manchester United on the opening day proving to be just a taste of what David Moyes’ side have to offer.
They also have some great players; Marouane Fellaini, Leighton Baines, Nikica Jelavic etc, many of whom I would love to see in an Arsenal shirt.
However, I’ve no doubt that we’re capable of going up north and travelling back to the Emirates with all three points.
Given the current form of both sides, a draw doesn’t seem an unlikely or particularly bad result. However, I feel that this is a must-win fixture if we’re really going to kick on this season.
While we finished third last year, I’m not sure it would do any good for my life expectancy if I have to go through another unpredictable finish to the campaign. Yes last year was fun and it felt good in end, but no more thank you.
We welcome back Theo Walcott tonight who has been massive for the club this season, and I would expect us to bring back Jack Wilshere, Thomas Vermaelen and Bacary Sagna who were all rested for the trip to Villa Park.
Olivier Giroud was taken off against the Villans so I imagine that he will be in-line to lead the attack once more. Mikel Arteta will be desperate to impress against his former employers, who he served incredibly well for many years, whereas the remaining contingent will be eager to cement their place in a starting XI which boasts much competition for places.
It’s a massive game, and it won’t be easy by any means, but it is a game that we simply must win.
I’m confident that we can do a job at Goodison Park, but we must start on the front foot, and dictate the play. This is one of the matches, that will really define whether or not Arsenal will boss their way into the top four and stay there.
Enjoy the game tonight, and a safe journey to any Gooners who are making the journey.