MIKEL ARTETA may have wondered where the last two years had gone in the time before the first whistle.
Certainly many of the players that showed up on his first day in charge as Gunners manager would have done the same.
Of the teams that started the 0–0 draw with Everton on December 21, 2019 at Goodison, only three of them still have room when the teams kick off tonight.
Granit Xhaka, Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka in the lineup Arteta accepted slaps back into the main stand before officially starting for the next match – 1-1 Boxing Day draw with Bournemouth.
Emile Smith Rowe will also play, but with a knee injury.
However, while the former Everton midfielder has changed a lot of the personnel he inherited, the difference in his two years in charge is almost invisible.
True enough, one of Arteta’s new boys, £35m-rated Martin Odegaard, scored two minutes early in the first half with a delicious left-footed volley.
But Dane’s strike was only the Gunners’ second touch in the Toffees’ box to that point.
Minutes earlier Richarlison was denied his first goal because VAR decided his right arm to be offside.
The Brazilian was even more frustrated in the 13th minute of the second half as his right foot crossed the line allowing VAR Stuart Attwell to deny Rafa Benitez’s equalizer.
Arteta has always had a serious task at hand to give Arsenal a new vision following the sacking of Unai Emery.
And when he bought Odegaard, Ben White, Aaron Ramsdale, Thomas Partey and Takehiro Tomiyasu, he got rid of some sloths pulling Arsenal down.
But Richarlison finally had a chance with a header in the 80th minute to equalize.
Demarai Gray then grabbed the winner for the team that forgot to win.
That killing blow has proven it ever since happy date not much has changed.
After this third consecutive away defeat, Arteta now risks finding himself in the same situation as the man he succeeded – out there.
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https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/football/16959787/mikel-arteta-arsenal-everton-two-years-axed/ Mikel Arteta took over Arsenal while in the stands at Everton and not much has changed in the two years since