Morgan Schneiderlin says Everton can set the tone for next season’s away form with a win in the final game of the campaign, while also paying tribute to the impact of Arsene Wenger at Arsenal.
The Blues head to The Emirates on Sunday looking for a first win at the Gunners’ newest home that was opened ahead of the 2006/07 season.
Despite knowing a seventh-place finish and European football is guaranteed, Schneiderlin believes the target of breaking that hoodoo provides plenty of motivation.
He also believes it would set the ideal foundations as Ronald Koeman’s side look to reproduce their impressive home form on the road next campaign.
“We want the victory to take into summer and next season,” the midfielder told evertonfc.com. “We had a few up and down results but we finished well at home [against Watford] and now we want to finish the season well, too.
“It’s going to be a hard game because Arsenal still have to play for the Champions League. It is a question of being ready. The main thing we want to do is improve our away form next season and if we can find a bit of confidence, a bit of a buzz in our last game then we will take it into next season.
“We need to find a good balance and not have such different results and performances at home and away. If we do that, we can have a great season and maybe get a place in the top four. The main thing for this football club is to improve our away form next year and we will see where that takes us.”
France midfielder Schneiderlin has also hailed Wenger’s influence on the English game, and what he has done for French players in the Premier League.
Like Schneiderlin, Wenger played for Strasbourg before heading into management with Nancy, Monaco, Nagoya Grampus Eight and then Arsenal in 1996.
Since taking the managerial reigns in north London, Wenger has won three Premier League titles, including leading ‘The Invincibles’ side that completed the entire 2003/04 term without tasting defeat, and six FA Cups.
“I have a lot of respect for him, of course,” explained Schneiderlin. “Now he gets some criticism but people are a bit forgetful of what he has done with Arsenal. Even in the last couple of years when they haven’t won the league, they have always qualified for the Champions League. They have good quality footballers and a good quality of football. To stay in a club for such a long time is very difficult, especially for a manager. What he has done for Arsenal is great and he is very much respected in France.
“He changed the way Arsenal play football. They were a little bit the Barcelona of England. Now a lot of teams took what Wenger did and what they did to play like it. Now there is a lot of foreign managers and players but it’s good because everyone brings their own idea of football.”
Growing up with a dream of making it professional, Schneiderlin reveals he looked up to some of Wenger’s teams and compatriots such as Patrick Vieira and Emmanuel Petit, in particular, in a bid to improve himself.
He added: “I always looked at the best players to try to improve my own game and, of course, Arsenal were always a team who played attractive football.
“It was nice to watch them and they had players like Patrick Vieira and Emmanuel Petit, so you look at them and see where you can improve. They were amazing players and had great seasons together.”