Arsenal FC has developed an annual habit of imploding spectacularly. No matter how well they do in the first half of the football season, by the time the end draws near, their place in the top 4 is hanging by a thread.
It is no doubt bitter for the Gunners this year, having spent a sizable chunk of the 2013-14 season as Premier League leaders.
In the past, Arsenal has been able to rally at the last possible minute to squeak into the Champion's League playoffs with a 4th place finish at worst.
Unfortunately for Arsenal this season is not like past seasons; the league's top four is truly the most competitive it's been for a long time.
Arsenal now finds itself in danger of being forced out of the top spaces by a Liverpool football renaissance. Liverpool FC is currently in a three horse race for the league title. Under new manager Roberto Martínez, the Everton squad seems poised to steal 4th from under the feet of a shaky Arsenal.
With a crushing 3-0 defeat of the Gunners, it appears the Toffees have made their intent clear to all.
— Everton (@Everton) April 6, 2014
Within the first couple of minutes of play, Arsenal found themselves under pressure courtesy of a Leon Osman near goal. It would prove an grim omen for the London visitors.
Twelve minutes later, Steven Naismith found the back of the net for the home team. The goal came following a successful block from Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczęsny. Szczęsny did his best, but the ball went in anyway.
It was in the 34th minute that the ever dangerous Romelu Lukaku scored with an assist from Kevin Mirallas.
Arsenal's team spirit after going 2-0 down: pic.twitter.com/FHeryd37nw
— Football News (@EPLBible) April 6, 2014
The Arsenal defense put on a shambolic performance and it was the same throughout the second half.
Defender Mikel Arteta actually gifted Everton a third goal through an error with roughly thirty minutes left of regular time.
There was no answer from Arsenal, whose thin squad lacks the bite necessary for any kind of comeback against truly feisty opposition. No doubt the clubs they have left to face are taking note.
The 4th place London club had benefited from a four point gap prior to their trip to Goodison Park. Now Everton sits in 5th place and is just a single point behind. Arsenal has a good reason to be worried—The Liverpool team has a game in hand.
This means that the Toffees can hop ahead of the Gunners thanks to playing an additional game. With a handful of games left to play, there is not much left for Arsenal to do in order to assure Champions League football next year. They are literally at the mercy of Everton.
Half of Arsenal fans want Arsene Wenger to quit if club don't win FA Cup and make top four http://t.co/O2Av6nLFnp
— Getnaija (@Get_naija) April 6, 2014
I truly believe we can still get 4th spot. But the lads must get their heads together and believe this too. Love you always Arsenal. <3
— Ms Jones (@khima88) April 6, 2014
Arsenal simply cannot afford to surrender points at this stage of the season. A loss or draw could put the London club out of CL contention for the first time in fourteen years.
Image via YouTube