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 Hampstead & Highgate Sports News

Yesterday, 13:15
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino

Tottenham were defeated in Melbourne for the second time this week after a 1-0 loss against a strong Atletico Madrid side in the pre-season International Champions Cup tournament.

Thu, 22:41
Essex's Ashar Zaidi

Pakistan all-rounder Ashar Zaidi blazed an unbeaten half-century to strengthen Essex’s chances of joining Middlesex in the NatWest T20 Blast quarter-finals.

Thu, 09:14
Sean Cronin leaps to win a header during Monday's victory over Maidenhead. Pic: Martin Addison

Sean Cronin is hoping his experience at the back can enable Wingate & Finchley to challenge for the Ryman League Premier Division play-offs this season.

Thu, 07:06
Nathan Sowter has become a regular member of Middlesex's T20 side. Pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Leg-spinner Nathan Sowter is seeking to play his part in a rare Twenty20 double for Middlesex this season.

Tue, 18:52
Spurs Ladies forward Bianca Baptiste (right). Pic: Clive Jones

Spurs Ladies won a cup double last season and forward Bianca Baptiste would love to go one better and secure a treble this term – but she believes the focus should be on the league and a top-three finish.

Tue, 18:35
Lyon's Alexandre Lacazette

Lyon have refuted reports that they have received a second bid from Arsenal for star striker Alexandre Lacazette.

Tue, 15:14
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino has shown his willingness to put his faith in Tottenham’s youngsters on plenty of occasions, and they will usually thank him for it.

Tue, 07:30
North London players celebrate a wicket from Jordan Gregory in their five-run win against Brentham. Pic: Max Flego

Captain Sam Bardon has urged North London to maintain the impetus of their seven-match unbeaten run as they prepare to face the top two sides in Middlesex County League Division Three.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Most read Hampstead & Highgate 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

Which book character do you share cleaning habits with?

Whether you have more in common with put-upon Cinderella, emotionally turbulent Jane Eyre, or easily distracted Mole, you’re sure to appreciate that one lucky winner will receive four sessions of free cleaning. Enter our quiz for your chance to win. All runners up will get £10 off their first clean when making a repeat booking.

£15k prize bundle

Imagine having the opportunity to win an incredible £15,000 bundle of some of the most amazing prizes available. Well, for one lucky contest entrant that dream could soon become a reality because we at MyOffers are offering an incredible free prize bundle that will make even the most hardened person wild with excitement.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now