Premier League: Arsene Wenger sees Everton as a rival for Arsenal
Last Updated: 22/08/14 2:08pm
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger sees Everton as one of the rivals he can use to measure his own side's progress.
Wenger takes Arsenal to Goodison Park on Saturday evening looking to follow up the last-gasp 2-1 win they enjoyed over Crystal Palace on the opening day of the Premier League season.
The Gunners were beaten 3-0 by Everton in this fixture towards the end of last season, a result that seriously dented their hopes of finishing in the top four before the five-game winning streak which ended the campaign and saw Roberto Martinez's side miss out instead.
"A team is life and life is movement. That means the team doesn't stand still, we move forward and improve," said Wenger.
A team is life and life is movement. That means the team doesn't stand still, we move forward and improve.
"We have young players, which means that every year they can be better, also the team improves with success, which we had a reasonable (amount of) last year.
"We have a good opportunity on Saturday to show that we have moved forward and that we are stronger than last year.
"It will be interesting, because Everton are a team now flirting with the Champions League places.
"They were close last year. They lost some pivotal games which allowed us to get (back) in front of them after they beat us, but they have the quality, so it is a good, good test."
Summer signing Mathieu Debuchy is excited by the return of Per Mertesacker, Lukas Podolski and Mesut Ozil to the Arsenal squad for Saturday's match.
The German trio were given extra time off after their World Cup heroics and Debuchy feels Arsenal's squad will be 'incredible' once they have been fully integrated back in.
"It is fantastic for me to be part of this team. When I see the squad now and I think that Ozil, Mertesacker and Podolski are still missing, it is incredible. It is an amazing squad," Debuchy told the September edition of the official Arsenal magazine.
"Playing with them is pure happiness, even at training it is top level. You have to give your best all the time because the level required is immense.
"This is another dimension. If you compare the training grounds for example, nothing at Lille or Newcastle can match the one at Arsenal. It is another world.
"Everything here is made to optimise your preparation and you as a player so you can be in the best condition to play and win football games."
Watch Everton v Arsenal on Sky Sports 1 HD from 4:45pm on Saturday.