Everton can counter 'defensively weak' Arsenal, says Allardyce
LONDON: Everton manager Sam Allardyce believes Arsenal are defensively weak and their tendency to commit players going forward will leave counter-attacking opportunities for his team when they visit the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.
Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last seven Premier League matches and were punished for some glaring defensive errors in a 3-1 defeat by Swansea City on Tuesday.
“I always felt defensively they are weak,” Allardyce told a news conference on Friday.
”Swansea managed to get a result against them but the Emirates is a different kettle of fish. It’s about nullifying the strengths of Arsenal.
“Arsenal’s attacking force is something you have to manage. Even though they haven’t scored as many goals this year as they have in recent years at this stage of the season.”
Theo Walcott is one of the Everton players Allardyce could use on the break, with the forward set to play against Arsenal for the first time since leaving the club last month.
The 28-year-old England international has made a good start at his new club, contributing an assist in Everton’s 1-1 draw against West Bromwich Albion before scoring twice in a 2-1 victory over Leicester City on Wednesday.
Allardyce expects Walcott to improve further and build a partnership with fullback Seamus Coleman, who made a return to the starting lineup against Leicester following 10 months out of action following a double leg break.
“He’s (Theo) got an opportunity to be a key player at Everton now. He played 30-plus games last season and scored 19 goals. Hopefully, he can have as good a performance at the Emirates as he did Wednesday night.”