MIKEL ARTETA will complete a year as Arsenal manager this week.
But you have to wonder how much more of his three and a half year contract he will see out.
This latest defeat at Everton means the Gunners have managed just one win in their last ten Premier League Matches, and lost seven of them.
So forget the talk that Arsenal are too good to go down.
That is relegation form, and unless Arteta turns things around – and quickly – he will find being a revered former player will not save him from the axe.
Even the few crumbs of comfort for Arsenal fans have been disappearing recently.
They had not conceded a goal from a set piece this season until the Southampton game last Wednesday.
Now their opponents have found the net from those positions in back-to-back matches.
And getting stuck into the Toffees used to be a time to start licking your lips.
Arsenal have won more Premier League games 34 – against Everton than any other team.
And their 110 goals against them is another Premier League best. But they were a poor second best here.
They could not even take advantage of being thrown a lifeline following Rob Holding’s own goal midway through the half.
The Gunners had offered nothing in attack until Tom Davies gifted them a penalty with a hopelessly mis-timed challenge on man of the match Ainsley Maitland-Niles.
Nicolas Pepe’s cool finish was just about the £70million man’s only worthwhile contribution to the Arsenal cause.
And he was the man who lost Yerry Mina when the Everton centre-half headed home the winner.
The closest Arsenal came to an equaliser was when Jordan Pickford spilled the ball and David Luiz’s deflected shot came back off the woodwork.
Without a bit of help from the opposition, Arsenal did not look like scoring.
And as a brilliant creative force in his playing days, that is the first thing Arteta must do something about. Fast.
See how SunSport's William Pugh rated the Gunners' individual performances at Goodison Park here.
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