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The Gunners legend is adamant that the north London giants will not go down, but he admits that money will need to be spent in January

Ian Wright fears Arsenal could be “dragged in” to a relegation battle this season, with the Gunners great warning Mikel Arteta’s side that rivals “smell blood”.

The north London outfit suffered defeat once again in their most Premier League outing, with a trip to Everton delivering a 2-1 reversal.

Arsenal have now gone seven games within a win in the English top-flight, with their last success coming against Manchester United on November 1.

A sorry run of form has left them languishing in 15th spot at Christmas, with just a four-point buffer separating them from the drop zone.

The general consensus is that the Gunners will have enough to steer clear of trouble, with key men such as Thomas Partey set to return from injury at some stage, but Wright admits that things may get worse before they get better.

The Arsenal legend told DAZN after witnessing another frustrating performance at Goodison Park: “I think they’ve come out and backed him [Arteta] – and rightly so, he’s a good coach – and they’re going to have to have to do something for him in January.

“I think with the current players he’s got – I’m not saying Arsenal are going to go down, of course I’m not saying that – if you can’t arrest that slide, you will get dragged in.

“And then you’re going to be under real pressure to get yourselves out of it, then people have to perform to a certain level to get yourselves out of it. Because other teams can smell that blood and they will go for you. It’s a very ruthless league.

“What we saw, especially with the goals [conceded] and the way they’re playing, not a lot of creation and even when they did there weren’t enough people in the box.

“What you want is, if you’re not scoring enough, you make sure you’re defending resolutely. You’ve got to be tighter on people.

“I thought the set-piece goal was poor. I thought the lead up to Everton’s first goal could have been avoided and all about hard work, getting close to people and making it more difficult for them.

“Arsenal are going through a phase at the moment where they do not seem to be able to create the kind of chances that are giving them opportunities to score, so they have to be exemplary in another area and it’s defending.”

Arsenal have kept just seven clean sheets in all competitions this season and gone seven games without one, with that run stretching back to a Europa League win over Molde on November 23.

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December 21, 2020
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