Search

Everton clash is crucial to Arsenal’s season, says Gunners star

07:15 31 March 2014

Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

2013 Getty Images

Wojciech Szczesny has acknowledged that Arsenal’s crunch clash with Everton this weekend could define the rest of their season.

The Gunners head to Goodison Park on Sunday knowing that an Everton win would put them under immense pressure to maintain a top four spot in the Premier League.

However, if Szczesny and his team-mates can secure the three points on offer, they would be well-placed to hold off the Merseysiders’ challenge for next season’s Champions League qualifiers.

Just as importantly, it would put Arsenal in the right frame of mind ahead of a match they must win to keep alive their hopes of silverware – the FA Cup semi-final against holders Wigan Athletic on April 12.

“Before such a big game [Wigan], we want to get a good result and have our confidence back on the level it has been for most of the season,” said the Gunners goalkeeper.

“We’ve got a lot to play for – we’re still in the FA Cup and we’re in a decent position in the league, so we’ll be on our toes and do our best to win every single game.

“You always look over your shoulders, but you also look in front of you and check the results – that’s natural. But I’m confident we can have a very good run-in.

“If we can beat Everton, who are probably the first team to challenge us for the top four, then that would be a massive confidence boost and put us in a strong position. So it’s very important for us.”

Everton narrowed the gap between themselves and the Gunners to four points with a game in hand after completing their fifth straight victory in the league as they won 3-1 at bottom club Fulham.

Although Arsenal chalked up their third game without a win the previous day, drawing 1-1 at home to Manchester City, that point might yet prove to be invaluable in the fight for Champions League places.

Saturday’s performance represented a significant improvement on those two previous fixtures – a 6-0 thrashing at Chelsea and a 2-2 draw at home to Swansea – and Szczesny feels it should be viewed as ‘half a positive result’.

“Losing 6-0 was embarrassing for players representing this club, and you want to prove to yourself and everyone else that you’re better than that,” said the Polish international.

“We’ve not had a great time over the last couple of games and then going behind against one of the best sides in the country – one of the best sides in Europe – our heads could have gone down.

“But we kept going, we came out really strong in the second half and dominated the game. The fans got behind us as well – they could see we really put in the effort to come back into the game.

“They saw a positive response from us and they reacted to that. It was half a positive result and I think we owed it to the manager, the fans and everyone at the club.”

Latest Sport Stories

Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino says there are many ways to run a football club and create a successful team, but the key is to show absolute belief in your plan to inspire confidence around you.

Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino says Tottenham’s decision not to sign a striker in January is part of a long-term strategy which will help them through “a very tough period” during the construction of their new £400million stadium.

Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino says talk is cheap and that actions speak louder than words when it comes to Tottenham’s title chances.

Tottenham's Dele Alli. Pic: PA

Mauricio Pochettino says Dele Alli will undergo tests in an attempt to discover why he felt dizzy against Norwich on Tuesday – but he expects the 19-year-old to be available to face Watford on Saturday.

Harry Kane (left) and Toby Alderweireld

Toby Alderweireld says he wouldn’t swap his Tottenham team-mate Harry Kane for any of the world’s strikers.

Wed, 16:45
Saracens' Maro Itoje (right) tries to barge his way past Bath's Horacio Agulla at Allianz Park on Saturday

England coach Eddie Jones believes Maro Itoje delivered his best performance for Saracens in Saturday’s record fightback against Bath.

Wed, 16:28
Kingstonian goalkeeper Rob Tolfrey denies Wingate's Ahmet Rifat (centre). Pic: David Stevens

Wingate & Finchley striker Rob Laney bemoaned the brilliance of Kingstonian goalkeeper Rob Tolfrey as the Blues were defeated 2-1 on the road on Monday.

Wed, 16:16
Shaun Dixon in action for Highgate Harriers. Pic: Dieter Perry

Shaun Dixon and Ben Noad helped Highgate Harriers to repeat their 2012 success with victory in the South of England Championships on Saturday.

Most read sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Sony Smart Ultra HD 55'' LED TV

Enjoy the ultimate entertainment experience in your living room with the Sony Smart Ultra 55’’ LED TV. Be the envy of all your friends with this huge TV- you can change your living room into your own cinema! Get the boys around to watch the football or get the girls around to watch the DVD of 50 Shades.. this is a prize that everyone would enjoy! Stand a chance to upgrade your current entertainment system by wining this fantastic prize.

Surface Pro 4

Technology is ever evolving. We are constantly being shown new technology that is innovative, revolutionary and designed to make life easier for us all. Gone are the days of dial up modems and computers so large you needed half a room to store it. We are in the age of smooth, small and sleek. Companies are all trying their best to create technology that is easy to transport and guaranteed to be user friendly.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe