These are worrying times for Arsenal Football Club.
Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Everton at Goodison Park marked their seventh Premier League defeat in their last 10 matches, leaving them just four points above the relegation zone at Christmas.
An own-goal from Rob Holding, who was sporting the captain’s armband in place of the injured Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and a bullet header from Everton defender Yerry Mina either side of a Nicolas Pepe penalty sealed a third consecutive win for Carlo Ancelotti’s players, leaving Mikel Arteta, the Arsenal boss, to dissect a fourth defeat in their last five Premier League matches.
At this moment in time, Arsenal are a club in crisis, with victories proving hard to come by, goals in short supply and the unthinkable of suffering relegation to the Championship a genuine possibility.
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With Arsenal stuck in a real rut at this moment in time, Arteta and his players are continuing to hammered by the supporters and pundits, including former Newcastle United and England striker Alan Shearer. During Saturday evening’s Match of the Day, Shearer insisted that it was a real possibility that the Gunners could be relegated if the players do not start to change their attitudes.
Shearer, when asked if the Gunners would avoid relegation this season, told BBC Sport: “I wouldn’t be so sure, not with that starting team, not with that attitude of some of those players.”
In times like these, it is the players’ responsibilities to roll their sleeves up, work twice as hard as always and make things happen.
Right now, though, Arsenal, by and large, are lacking that fighting spirit and belief throughout the team.
And one man who is receiving more criticism than others is Pepe, with the Ivory Coast international failing to hit top gear, despite scoring in the…