Gunners look to avoid sticky toffee in Arteta’s first outing


Mikel Arteta will be hopeful of a winning start to life as Arsenal head coach when his side travels to Everton.

The former Arsenal midfielder was announced as the permanent successor to Unai Emery, following the Spaniard’s departure last month.

Arteta will be desperate for a winning start upon his return to Arsenal; however, it will be no easy task for the Gunners.

The two sides have a near-identical record in their last five outings with just one win to account for their efforts.

Arsenal enter on marginally better form having two draws in the time period, but a 3-0 home defeat to Manchester City saw problems were still rife despite a 3-1 victory at West Ham United having come beforehand.

Duncan Ferguson, meanwhile, appears to be a stop-gap in the wait for Carlo Ancelotti to inevitably take the reins at Goodison Park.

47-year-old Ferguson has led the Toffees in two Premier League fixtures since Marco Silva received the boot – beating Chelsea 3-1 at home and drawing 1-1 at Manchester United.

Team news


Granit Xhaka could return to contention having missed out recently through concussion; Hector Bellerin (thigh) may have recovered enough to be included.

The trip to Merseyside may come too soon for Dani Ceballos (thigh) and Rob Holding (knee); the duo are expected to make potential returns on Boxing Day and New Years Day respectively.

Kieran Tierney (shoulder) remains a long-term absentee.


Fabian Delph (thigh), Djibril Sidibe (illness) and Gylfi Sigurdsson (unknown) could all be welcomed back to action.

It’s likely to be too early to recall Morgan Schneiderlin (calf), Jean-Philippe Gbamin (thigh) and Theo Walcott (calf) back to action.

Andre Gomes (ankle) and Lucas Digne (groin) remain on the medical table for examination with the extent of their injuries unknown.

From the dug-outs

Everton interim boss, Duncan Ferguson, said he would like to work under the new manager at Goodison Park:

“I know the players, nobody knows the players better than me. I’ve been with these players many a year.

“Hopefully whoever the guy that comes in is, he uses me.”

Having been appointed Arsenal boss on Friday afternoon, Arteta said:

“We all know there is a lot of work to be done to achieve that but I am confident we’ll do it.

“I’m realistic enough to know it won’t happen overnight but the curent squad has plenty of talent and there is a great pipeline of young players coming through the academy.”


About Author

When not busy covering local news for EssexLive, Matt Lee can be found in the press box at Portman Road covering Ipswich Town's return to the Championship and push for the Premier League.

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