Ian Wright urges Arsenal board to back Mikel Arteta in January after Everton defeat | Football | Sport

Arsenal legend Ian Wright has instructed the club’s board to get behind Mikel Arteta in the upcoming January transfer window, with the club seemingly in freefall. The Gunners slumped to yet another disappointing defeat at Everton on Saturday, with Yerry Mina’s header on the stroke of half-time sealing all three points for the hosts after Nicolas Pepe’s spot-kick had ruled out Rob Holding’s early own goal.

Arsenal currently occupy 15th place in the Premier League table, sitting just four points clear of the drop zone.

Wright, who scored 128 goals in 221 appearances for the north London outfit, has stated his belief that transfer investment is needed next month if the Gunners are to steer clear of a relegation dogfight.

However, the 57-year-old also claimed that his former side will ultimately be too good to go down.

“I think they’ve come out and backed him – and rightly so, he’s a good coach – and they’re going to have to have to do something for him in January,” Wright told DAZN.

“I think with the current players he’s got – I’m not saying Arsenal are going to go down, of course I’m not saying that – if you can’t arrest that slide, you will get dragged in.

“And then you’re going to be under real pressure to get yourselves out of it, then people have to perform to a certain level to get yourselves out of it.

“Because other teams can smell that blood and they will go for you. It’s a very ruthless league,” he added.

Arsenal’s performance against Everton reflected the club’s misfortunes this season in showing a decent amount of promise, but lacking a much-needed cutting edge.

Arteta’s side enjoyed more possession than their opponents but could only manage two shots on target during the match and failed to score from open play once again.

However, Wright aimed his criticism at the defence, urging those at the back to step up their performances in order to relieve the pressure on the club’s attackers.


“What we saw, especially with the goals [conceded] tonight and the way they’re playing, not a lot of creation and even when they did there weren’t enough people in the box,” Wright continued.

“What you want is, if you’re not scoring enough, you make sure you’re defending resolutely. You’ve got to be tighter on people.

“I thought the set-piece goal was poor. I thought the lead up to Everton’s first goal could have been avoided and all about hard work, getting close to people and making it more difficult for them.

“Arsenal are going through a phase at the moment where they do not seem to be able to create the kind of chances that are giving them opportunities to score, so they have to be exemplary in another area and it’s defending.”

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