And, just like that, the mood changes completely.

It’s often said that ‘a week is a long time in football’ but, as we know as well as any other fanbase, the feeling around the team can change within the space of an hour.

Or even just five minutes.

Wednesday night seemed like a real low, not only for the season, but the recent history of the club.

Reaching a point when we were escaping financial austerity, we were finally handed a draw which, make no mistake, saw our best chance of making Europe’s last eight in five years.

We can only hope now that the performance and ultimate capitulation in midweek doesn’t have an impact on what has been, until now, a brilliant run of form domestically.

In Everton we face what is far from a simple test.

With The Toffees gaining a morale boost in their very own European campaign on Thursday, Roberto Martinez brings his side to London knowing they haven’t won an away fixture against Arsenal since January 1996 – before Wenger even took over at Highbury.

Team News

Arsène Wenger may well be extremely tempted to ring the changes after what passed on Wednesday night.

Players may be given a chance to stake a claim but, alternatively, he could try and take the pressure off the players involved in midweek by selecting a team with a bit more distance from the memories of midweek, which will no doubt be lingering in the squad.

Wenger’s press conference on Friday confirmed that Jack Wilshere has undergone minor surgery, but he could be back as soon as next week. Aaron Ramsey and Mathieu Flamini trained on Friday but the manager insisted that Sunday’s game comes too early for the midfield pair.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain may be ready to start now, but more likely would be the inclusion of Tomas Rosicky.

Since returning from injuries the likes of Mesut Özil, Alexis Sánchez, Danny Welbeck, and Olivier Giroud have pretty much started every game and maybe the game against Everton provides an opportunity to make a change there.

Theo Walcott will probably come in, with Rosicky and Oxlade-Chamberlain also providing options in the final third.

Further back David Ospina may be sweating over his place, with Wojciech Szczęsny still awaiting the chance to reclaim the number one jersey, and Nacho Monreal will probably come back in for Kieran Gibbs.

The last decision to be made is over Per Mertesacker.

The German has played more minutes than anyone else this season and, to be quite frank, it showed on Wednesday night.

We have signed a new centre-half in Gabriel Paulista, so why not give the German some time off?

Possible XI: Ospina; Bellerín, Gabriel, Koscielny, Monreal; Coquelin, Cazorla; Walcott, Özil, Alexis; Giroud.

The Opposition

Everton aren’t exactly enjoying a season to remember.

Having only won one of their last 10 Premier League games, the blue half of Merseyside could even be contemplating a relegation scrap if they don’t pick up some points soon.

The tactics have become more direct after the players held a meeting with manager Roberto Martinez over the New Year, but results haven’t improved accordingly.

The defence, however, has looked much better upon the return of England youngster John Stones who has replaced Sylvain Distin at the back and is forming a solid partnership with Phil Jagielka.

The pain of an FA Cup defeat to West Ham and terrible form in the league have been tempered, however slightly, by good performances in Europe. Everton completed a 7-2 aggregate victory over Young Boys on Thursday night to go into the last 16 of the Europa League.

Romelu Lukaku’s form has improved lately after his big money move in the summer with eight goals in ten games, but the big Belgian is yet to score against any of the top seven.

Everton themselves have failed to win in six of the seven league games following a European fixture, including a 2-2 draw with Leicester City last weekend.

Gareth Barry is back from suspension this weekend, with Leon Osman and Steven Pienaar also close to returning.

Everton rested left-back Leighton Baines in midweek but Aiden McGeady is out and set to be replaced, once again, by Aaron Lennon, on loan from Tottenham.

Possible XI: Howard; Coleman, Stones, Jagielka, Baines; McCarthy, Bešić; Lennon, Naismith, Mirallas; Lukaku.


Is a big reaction with stunning performance required necessary? I’m not convinced.

Midweek against Monaco simply was not good enough.

Arsenal desperately need a result on Sunday in response.

I don’t know so much about a huge performance to offset to the disappointment of midweek, simply winning would be big for the team.

From there we could take it step by step.

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Usually found watching or talking about English or German football. Interested in tactics (but often despairing a lack of them). Favourite players: Bergkamp, Arteta, Özil