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GUNNERS CRISIS Fresh speculation over Mikel Arteta's future at Arsenal after yet another disastrous defeat

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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta was left dejected (Jon Super/PA)

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta was left dejected (Jon Super/PA)

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta was left dejected (Jon Super/PA)

There will be no merry Christmas for struggling Arsenal as a 2-1 defeat at Goodison Park made it seven league matches without victory to increase manager Mikel Arteta’s woes.

While his former club are upwardly mobile again after three victories in eight days moved them to second in the table the Spaniard is struggling to see where his next three points are coming from.

If there is any encouragement for Arteta it is that before victories over Chelsea, Leicester and now the Gunners Carlo Ancelotti’s team were on a run of one win in seven.

But to turn things around they are going to have to either improve on just the three shots on target – one Nicolas Pepe’s first-half penalty equaliser – they managed on Merseyside or take a leaf out of the Toffees’ book who scored two from just one attempt on target as Rob Holding’s own goal opener was followed by Yerry Mina’s header on the stroke of half-time.

Despite another limp display, Arteta tried to suggest his side were merely lacking in fortune at Goodison Park.

"Without conceding much we lost the game on two key moments," said the Spaniard. "We reacted really well. We dominated the game. We created enough chances at least to not lose. We hit the bar. We don’t have the luck.

"We are in a big fight. We lost against Burnley without them having a shot on target, and now we lose because of a couple of chances.

"It’s really difficult when you play a team who are defending low and wasting time. We make it difficult for ourselves conceding the first goal.

"I think we had 15 shots but only two on target. We need to improve our rate, that’s the reality.

"We need to generate more to win football matches. When it comes to small details, the other team wants it more. The boys are absolutely still fighting. They’re hurt right now."

Everton moved up to second place in the table with their third successive win, much to the delight of boss Carlo Ancelotti.

"This season we started well, then we had a difficult moment, but right now I’m really pleased," stated Toffees boss.

"We have fantastic players on set-pieces we score lots of goals. We work on this because we are very dangerous.

"We are pleased; the position in the table is really good. But as I said last week it is not the end of the season, we have to keep fighting, but it was a top, top performance today."

Arsenal were not helped by the absence of top scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang with a tight calf, but they conceded possession from the off and lacked any intensity or desire to break up their opponents’ play.

Now Arteta faces a Carabao Cup quarter-final against Manchester City and his mentor Pep Guardiola on Tuesday, with odds plummeting on him losing his job in the coming days.

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