Wenger drops hint over why Arsenal failed to hold on to Everton lead

The Gunners boss has mentioned numerous times of late how imperative it is to rest weary bodies.

Arsenal failed to capitalise on a weekend where the majority of their Premier League title rivals dropped points as they were held to a 1-1 draw against visiting Everton on Sunday, December 8. Manager Arsene Wenger acknowledged the intensity of the match-up, that pitted first against fifth, and hinted that the cause of his side's inability to maintain their lead was 'tired legs'.

This is no new statement from the Frenchman. During a month where games are consistently arriving twice per week thanks to a congested fixture list, Wenger had told the media last weekend as well as Arsenal's fans in the match-day programme versus Hull City, that between two to three changes would likely be made each game in order to utilise his squad and keep the match-day XI fresh.

Apparently, they are not fresh enough…

Speaking to Sky Sports, Wenger said: 'It was a very intense game and you have to say Everton were very good. Especially the first half hour, we had difficulties getting into it. We had better control in final 15 minutes of first half and in second half.

'Overall it's a point,' he added.

'You can say as well that it's a logical result. We had some tired legs [and had] some problems to get our flow going. We needed some fresh legs.'

On his side's position at the summit of the division, Wenger concluded: '[A] five point lead is not bad. I wanted seven [but] at least we have five. We've got a cushion.'

Mesut Ozil provided Arsenal's goal at the Emirates Stadium but his 80th minute strike was canceled out by Gerard Deulofeu a matter of minutes later.

image: © Ronnie MAcdonald

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for EVERTON team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch