Everton’s struggles against Arsenal down the years are well documented, and there are likely to be some rather unfavourable articles scribbled over the course of the next few days as the clock ticks down to another visit to North London.

Of the sides to have preserved a top-flight standing throughout the Premier League era, no team has proved as tough a nut to crack for the Toffees than the Gunners.

Only six three-point hauls have been collected from 46 previous meetings, while only Manchester United have secured more victories over Everton (32) than Arsenal’s haul of 27.

That, then, is the size of the challenge facing Roberto Martinez’s men this weekend.

A positive response will be sought to a lacklustre showing against United, with that hoodoo returning to Goodison following a productive run against the men from Manchester, but it will take a brave man to back the tide turning in the capital.

It is not often that you will find Everton long odds to emerge victorious in any top-flight fixture, but the fact that they head to the Emirates priced at 7/1 on the exchanges at betfair when this article was produced tells you all you need to know about what lies in store.

It beggars belief that by the time the two sides take to the field on Saturday, close to 20 years will have passed since the Toffees last left that part of the world with a victory to show for their efforts.

Since then, 22 outings, 19 in league competition, have delivered scant reward – a rather miserly return of four points and a few cup exits.

Runs such as this are there to be broken, though, and Everton can at least point to one success as offering the blueprint of what is expected.

Back in January 1996, having fallen behind to a first-half effort from Ian Wright, the Toffees hit back shortly after the interval through Graham Stuart, before Andrei Kanchelskis snatched an 84th-minute winner.

Also included in the side that day were club stalwarts such as Neville Southall, Dave Watson, Gary Ablett and Barry Horne, while talismanic/enigmatic presence was provided by Kanchelskis, Daniel Amokachi and Duncan Ferguson.

The side Martinez sends into battle this weekend could have a similar feel to it, with long-serving performers such as Tim Howard, Phil Jagielka and, potentially, Leon Osman, complemented by pace and power from Aaron Lennon, Ross Barkley and Romelu Lukaku.

Who knows, maybe all of the ingredients to buck a 20-year trend are there after all?

About The Author


Editor of GrandOldTeam.