Mikel Arteta has told his Arsenal teammates that they will only be able to break their bad luck with Everton if they are ready to risk their lives at Goodison Park on Sunday.
Since 2017, the Gunners haven’t won on the road against Everton, and Arteta knows that they will only break that losing streak if they play as aggressively as Sean Dyche’s team.
Everton hasn’t won a league game yet this season, so they’re desperate for points. On the other hand, Arsenal’s start hasn’t been very good, even though they haven’t lost yet.
“I’m really looking forward to it. We haven’t won there in the last six years, so we’ll have to work for it,” Arteta told reporters on Friday.
“We know we’ll have to be at our best to beat them there, and we haven’t been able to do that yet, so that’s where we’ll start.
“We’ve been to places where we haven’t won before and won anyway. It’s about realizing how important those games were, figuring out what we did wrong, and making up for it.
Dyche, who used to be the manager of Burnley, has a well-deserved reputation for putting together tough teams that can force their opponents to give up.
Arteta is sure that Arsenal will be able to pass the physical test, though.
Arteta said, “Sometimes you can’t avoid a fight with Everton because their style of play is very clear and they are very good at it.”
“It’s about trying to force your way of playing on the other team, and the strategy is just to make sure that the other team’s strengths stay hidden and that ours always come out.”
Arsenal will be back in the Champions League for the first time since the 2016–17 season, when they played PSV Eindhoven in their first game.
But Arteta is trying to make sure that his players don’t let their long-awaited return to Europe’s top club tournament get in the way of their work.
“Last year, we played three games a week, but the Champions League is different because of the expectations and because we haven’t been in it,” he said.
“If you look at our schedule and the games we have to play, this is where we want to be.”