There wasn’t a great deal for Arsenal to be positive about this afternoon as they went down 3-0 away at Everton to go along with other disappointing performances Arsene Wenger has overseen from the last few weeks.
It was an important game for experienced Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta, as he headed back to his former club in a match which could be crucial by the end of the season in terms of the fourth place race.
Arteta struggled and his underwhelming performance was personified when he got to the ball ahead of Kevin Mirallas, poking it beyond the onrushing Wojciech Szczesny for Everton’s third and an unfortunate own goal.
The challenge now for Arteta is to grab his teammates by the scruff of the neck in training, driving them on over the coming week as the Gunners prepare for an FA Cup semi-final against Wigan.
It’s a game that the Gunners will be favourites for but Arteta, Wenger and all Arsenal fans will now that if they’re not on the top of their game, Wigan have the ability to end their only chance of silverware this season.
It wasn’t all complete doom and gloom for the Gunners because there was a brief cameo for Aaron Ramsey who made his first appearance for the club since he got injured last Boxing Day.
The Wales captain got an important 25 minutes on the pitch, which will help him in terms of match fitness and sharpness as he pushes for a start ahead of that trip to Wembley.
Wenger is under immense pressure at the moment and if Arsenal are going to salvage something from this season, the boss needs all of his players to pull through and show unity over the rest of the campaign.
Here’s what Gunners made of Arteta’s performance today on Twitter.
This summer transfer window has to be the time were we throw out players like Arteta and Giroud and get some quality players in.— Philip Macartney (@PhilipRCM) April 6, 2014
I'm so done with Giroud & Arteta. Slow, useless & clueless.— AaronRamsey (@kawserdench16) April 6, 2014
Aaron Ramsey showed more in the last 20 minutes than Arteta and Flamini have in 20 games— Jimbö (@jimborichards) April 6, 2014
Are we all in agreement that Arteta is done at the top level now?— AFC Stuie (@BrightSpark07) April 6, 2014
Thought Arteta was done scoring for us. Obviously I was wrong ;P— Bill Overmire (@oveyy) April 6, 2014
Wenger needs to grow a pair of balls and drop arteta for the semis next week, he is utter crap, hasn't got the legs, play Ramsey!!!— james crown (@j_crown95) April 6, 2014
I CANNOT stand Arteta's lack of pace and drive to attack, needs to go, NOW! #AFC— Anuraag Sah (@snuz921) April 6, 2014
Nice to see Arteta still scoring for Everton after all these years— Ben James (@BenCespon) April 6, 2014
Arteta needs to resign from arsenal— Vic #stp (@vicb41) April 6, 2014
Mikel Arteta's toys came out of the pram today towards the end. He's playing on memory and way past his best. Pure frustration on his part.— John Merro (@johnmerro1) April 6, 2014
Everton one of the most dynamic teams in the league so we play arteta and podolski, statues, wenger being shown up week after week atm— Tom Heathfield (@TheSkillSkool) April 6, 2014