Mikel Arteta may have been keen to play down the idea of Arsenal going all out for the Europa League this season, but there’s nothing else for them to play for after the loss against Everton tonight.It was a strange game as it seemed to play a secondary role to the protests going on outside the ground tonight, and it can be seen as further proof of Arsenal needing some serious investment if they want to compete for the top four.Mikel Arteta can use the excuse of having several stars out injured and some of this team selection was makeshift in attack and defence, while the usually dependable Bernd Leno produced a shocking error that decided the game.READ MORE: Video: Bernd Leno gifts Everton the lead vs Arsenal with a shocking mistake for an own goalArsenal do have several promising youngsters on the books just now so the future does look bright, but it also suggests that someone like Eddie Nketiah may need to move on.Perhaps tonight was one final chance for him to prove that he deserves more chances to play, but it looks like some fans have seen enough and would rather see Martinelli and Balogun get a chance instead:
Martinelli offered so much more threat than Nketiah. Arteta and his flailing line ups cost us once more.
I saw Eddie start, I knew we’d be toothless up front.
— ? Chris ? #KroenkeOut (@afcgilberto) April 23, 2021
Look at Martinelli man, I can’t believe Nketiah started
— Cameron Giles?? (@Jay_SaidIt) April 23, 2021
Nketiah isn’t good enough, Leno is shocking. Need to sort this mess out in transfer market
— Harry Franklin (@harryfranklin24) April 23, 2021
Not a single shot on target from Nketiah, needs to be sold with immediate effect
— KP10 (@SaffaGooner10) April 23, 2021
Martinelli should have been on from the start Nketiah not good enough
— Rødders???? (@gunner_irish) April 23, 2021
SELL NKETIAH. HE IS NOT A STRIKER !!!
— BENCOURAGE (@seer_ben) April 23, 2021
DON’T MISSBernd Leno own goal Arsenal vs Everton
Barcelona prepare new three year contract for Lionel Messi
At one point this season it appeared that Lionel Messi’s departure from Barcelona was 100% going to happen, so it was just a case of figuring out where he could go.Barcelona were in a bad place and Ronald Koeman’s tenure didn’t get off to the best start, but there was always going to be a problem if finding a club who could meet his demands.PSG were an obvious link but they appear to be focussing on keeping Mbappe and Neymar, while they are getting closer to a Champions League trophy so that looks like the right way for them to go.READ MORE: PSG leading Barcelona in race to sign Arsenal star this summerMan City were another who could makes sense but there’s no sign that anyone is willing to pay him at this point, while Joan Laporta’s arrival as Barca President and the recent turnaround in form have given some hope.ESPN have now reported that talks are planned over a new three year deal – it’s sounding likely that he’ll only stay for two more before ending his career in MLS, but Barca will pay him over the three years so make it easier for them to afford.It’s a creative way of getting over the short-term financial hit, but it’s also pushing the problem into the future so they may find themselves in a situation where they are trying to replace Messi while also paying him after he’s gone.At this point it must be stressed that the deal isn’t done, but it’s confirmed that Messi’s agent has flown in for the talks so they should happen soon, while there’s clearly a belief from Barca that this will be agreedIt’s also fair to suggest from the recent ESL shambles that a lot of clubs might not have as much money as previously thought, so staying at Barca could make sense.Real Madrid have a ton of debt and several first team players are reaching the end of their career so they could have a transition period soon, while Koeman’s team are on the up and have a young core to build around so it’s an enticing place for Messi to play his football again.
Arsenal goalscoring stat at the Emirates is especially poor
It’s so easy to forget that Mikel Arteta looked like he would be sacked earlier this season as Arsenal flirted with the prospect of relegation.Ultimately that didn’t happen and they went on a cracking run of form, while nobody is really going to complain if they win the Europa League and secure Champions League football next season.The problem with that is they don’t look capable of winning the competition based on current form, and you do have to wonder when the scrutiny on Arteta will start again.READ MORE: Video: Bernd Leno gifts Everton the lead vs Arsenal with a shocking mistake for an own goalThe defeat tonight means Leeds and Aston Villa could push Arsenal down into the bottom half of the table if they take advantage of their games in hand, while it doesn’t look like there will be a lot of money to spend in the summer either.This stat has also emerged, and it shows where one of the major problems is and it’s damning on Arteta and his style of play:
? Arsenal have failed to score in 8 of 17 league games at Emirates Stadium this season. Only West Brom (9) & Fulham (10) have failed to score in more home PL games in 2020-21 #ARSEVE pic.twitter.com/tAHPwZimon
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) April 23, 2021
He’s got some terrifically exciting attacking players at his disposal so they should be scoring more than this, although perhaps they need the fans to return to give them that boost at home.If that continues into next season then he’s going to have some serious issues, so the first few months of the season will be huge for Arteta and Arsenal.
Bernd Leno own goal Arsenal vs Everton
It’s clear that Mikel Arteta and his coaching staff are really keen on Maty Ryan as he got a chance to play recently, and there could be a genuine competition for that number 1 spot.Bernd Leno is usually seen as a safe pair of hands and it would be a surprise if he’s dropped, but moments like this will not help his cause:
That is an absolute shocker from Leno.
? Watch on Sky Sports PL? Follow #ARSEVE here: https://t.co/Mcmq2p3dGj? Download the @SkySports app! pic.twitter.com/UEXfcZeTxn
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) April 23, 2021
Pictures from RMC SportThe game does seem less significant than usual because of the protests going on outside the ground, but this will still be a bad loss if they can’t find a way back into the game.