Iconic Arsenal midfielder talks-up 'massive test' for Arsene Wenger

Paul Merson

Paul Merson believes the upcoming encounter with Everton in the Premier League will test Arsenal.

Arsenal are yet to hit top gear having laboured to victory over Crystal Palace last weekend and being held to a goal-less draw in Turkey versus Besiktas in mid-week, however, they have it tough on Saturday afternoon when Premier League competition resumes, according to former Gunner Paul Merson.

"This is a massive test for Arsenal," commented Merson in his Sky Sports column.

The ex midfielder is, of course, referring to the club's trip to Goodison Park to challenge Everton, a side who will be more settled this season having completed permanent deals for last season's loan stars Romelu Lukaku and Gareth Barry, while Muhamed Besic could also prove a shrewd acquisition.

"I thought they were lucky against Crystal Palace, but they got a very good result at Besiktas on Tuesday, which was one of the best 0-0 draws you’ll see," added Merson.

"Last season they beat all the lesser teams and struggled against the big ones, including the trip to Everton when they got absolutely rinsed."

At Goodison in April, earlier this year, Arsenal slumped to a 3-0 defeat thanks to goals via Steven Naismith, Lukaku and an OG from Mikel Arteta.

In that game, Bacary Sagna and Thomas Vermaelen featured - both of whom have been sold, however, the club have improvements on other starters such as Tomas Rosicky and Lukas Podolski as Mathieu Debuchy comes in for Sagna, Calum Chambers is on hot form at centre back and Alexis Sanchez was brought in as a marquee recruitment from Barcelona.

"They need to get a result to show they have improved and if they can go there and get at least a draw it would be a step forward.

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"If Everton get their best players on the pitch they can give anyone a game, but with all the money they have spent there is pressure on them now.

"They haven’t bought the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Gareth Barry and James McCarthy to finish seventh!"

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