Tomiyasu on Everton, landmarks and bouncing back

Takehiro Tomiyasu celebrates beating Manchester United

Takehiro Tomiyasu believes that in order to beat Everton on Wednesday night, we have to be prepared to put in a shift - mentally and physically.

The Japanese defender appeared off the bench at Goodison Park just over three weeks ago as the Toffees claimed a 1-0 victory in Sean Dyche’s first game in charge, but Tomi feels that lessons have been learnt since then.

He reveals that Mikel Arteta was unhappy to see his side cover less ground than their opponents on Merseyside, and believes that won’t happen again when Dyche brings his team to north London with three vital Premier League points for both teams at stake.

Analysing the previous encounter, Tomi said: “We learnt a lot of things, the biggest one was we ran less than them. After the game, Mikel told us we had to run extra hard so first of all, we have to run more than them. Then we have to compete, and we have to focus on the basics.

“That game they changed the manager and it was his first game for them, so now we know what they want to do. They like to fight, they like to run and they want to put the ball in the box a lot, so we have to defend our box.

“We have to prepare right and be ready for the fight, because we have to take three points.”

Takehiro Tomiyasu in action against Everton

Should he feature at Emirates Stadium on Wednesday, the defender will clock up his 50th Arsenal appearance in the process. 

It’s a statistic that has crept up on him and caught him by surprise, but he is thrilled to be edging closer to his first milestone as a Gunner, even if he has seen opportunities to add to his tally harder to come by in his second campaign at the club.

“I didn’t know, it’s come so quickly!” he responded to the news. “It’s special to me because Arsenal is one of the biggest clubs in the world, and I’m happy to play for this club. 

“When you play for one of the biggest clubs in the world, there is big competition all the time and Ben White has been playing very well, so I just have to be patient. When I play, I just give everything for the team, so I need to be ready all of the time.

“When I arrived here, I didn’t know what to do for the team because I didn’t know how Mikel wanted me to play, but now I understand. Hopefully I am better than when I arrived here!”

The 24-year-old is one of a core of youngsters within our squad, all developing together and enjoying the challenge of getting better collectively as well as individually. That has helped create a strong team spirit, which came to the fore when Tomi under-hit a backpass against Manchester City that allowed Kevin de Bruyne to open the scoring.

Takehiro Tomiyasu is consoled by Jorginho against Manchester City

Immediately, he was encouraged to move on and forget about it by his teammates, and Tomi believes that support was hugely beneficial to help him get over it and use that setback as motivation to continue improving.

“We are a young squad and I feel like I’m part of the family,” he said. “I remember the game against Man City at home I made a mistake and I gave them the first goal, but after that everyone came to me and just told me to keep my head up. They helped me a lot.

“Unfortunately we couldn’t win the game but afterwards I told myself that this game has to be a process. I need to learn from the mistake and I need to bounce back because it’s finished now. I needed to be positive and they helped me.”

As well as the backing from his teammates, Tomi was boosted by the reaction of the Emirates crowd, who chanted his name in an attempt to show him forgiveness.

He admits he is loving playing amongst the atmosphere generated by our supporters this season, and hopes to sample it again against Everton as we aim to go five points clear at the top of the Premier League table.

“It’s going to be an important game for us, but we’re playing at home where our supporters get behind us, so we have to win,” he added.

“The atmosphere is even better [than last season], especially after we concede a goal and the crowd gets more excited. Normally when you concede a goal at home, the crowd are down but when you play at the Emirates the crowd are the opposite. 

“Our supporters are amazing and they give us a lot of energy all of the time. They are top! I’m so excited to play in front of them at home, but the most important thing is to take three points so that’s what we’ll focus on.”

See Full List

Fixtures & Results

Friendly Match
Ticket Info