Wright warns Arsenal that relegation rivals ‘smell blood’

Ian Wright thinks that teams below Arsenal “can smell that blood” as they attempt to drag Mikel Arteta’s men into a relegation battle.

The 2-1 reverse at Everton was their fifth defeat in a seven-match winless run and has resulted in their worst points return – 14 from 14 matches – since 1974-75.

They have lost eight times in total and only bottom side Sheffield United have a worse record and it has put Arteta, who marks his one-year anniversary at the club on Sunday, under pressure.

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And Arsenal legend Wright is worried that they could now become embroiled in a relegation battle rather than a fight for Europe.

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

“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.

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

“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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