We just have to admit that Arsenal are having serious problems in away games this season. They were massacred at Anfield and were bullied out of a win at Stoke, but then reached a real low in last weeks derby game at Watford. Our captain Per Mertesacker, who made his first League start last week (and scored the opening goal) thinks that his team is simply not prepared mentally to fight back, and he needs to try and change that quickly. “Even if you’re exhausted, even if it’s a game where you think you have to make every single step possible to avoid chances, you do it,” Mertesacker said after the defeat. “They were coming for us and were having a real go at us.
“Then you need numbers, you need players in the box and players wanting to defend that goal. We lacked that, totally, especially on that second goal. I need to do a better job in preparing our players, especially mentally to go that extra step.
“That needs to be done beforehand. Afterwards is easy because anyone can judge us on that performance and can criticise. That’s fair play, but we as players and me as captain need to make sure we are aware of that before the game, not afterwards.
“When you watch the video, everyone understands. That’s easy, so we want to learn from that, especially the feeling of disappointment we had after the game. We thought we should have won the game but we didn’t.
“These moments need to stick in our heads until we enter the pitch for the next time. We should be very, very disappointed with what we produced in the second half and the way we reacted when they scored.”
So, although Everton are far behind us in the League table, we are in danger of going a fifth away game in a row without a win. Can we get over the nerves and finally start fighting for the points? If not we are going to be dropping further down the table and looking very precarious….