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Arsenal players react to the winner scored by Everton defender Ashley Williams, December 13, 2016Reuters

Arsenal are one of those clubs – and it just goes to show how difficult a job Arsene Wenger has and how remarkable it is that he has stayed at the helm for more than 20 years – where if they lose one match, the team is immediately put in crisis mode. Irrespective of the manner of the defeat, what the position of the team might be and what form they have had over the last few matches, when Arsenal lose, the reaction always seems to be on the over-the-top side.

That feeling was palpable around the away fans at Goodison Park and beyond after Arsenal went down 2-1 to Everton, allowing the home team to come back from a goal down and pick up all three points. It was a poor match for Arsenal, one where they showed their susceptibility when a team decides to go up and at 'em, leaving Arsene Wenger searching for answers and excuses to try and deflect the poor showing on the pitch.

Wenger took the "referee made mistakes in the build-up to the winning goal" route, but good refereeing or not, what could not be masked was a rather spineless performance from their team, who seemed to go into their shells when the pressure was cranked up by the Everton team on the pitch and the home faithful in the stands.

Therefore, it is easy to make lazy judgements on Arsenal, and say that "Oh, here we go, again they show they cannot sustain a title challenge and do not have the belief or ability to stay with the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City", but the reality is a little different.

This was Arsenal's first away defeat in the Premier League since February; their first loss in the league since the opening day of the season. They are still only three points behind a Chelsea side on a nine-match winning run, even if it is likely to become six considering the Blues play bottom club Sunderland on Wednesday. They topped their Champions League group this season, have shown plenty of signs of that "style and steel" that Wenger likes to talk about and have a deep squad, capable of lasting the distance.

Whether the mentality is there to do that will be known as we head into the second half of the season. Fixtures come in thick and fast in the Premier League in December and Arsenal will have an opportunity to bounce back on Sunday, even if it will be another difficult away game – against Pep Guardiola's Manchester City.

As long as they are there or thereabouts after the festive run-in, be that with wins of their own or by their title rivals tripping up, Wenger will be relatively satisfied. The Arsenal manager, though, will also know that his team need to do better away from home against top opposition – only two points have come from matches at Tottenham, Manchester United and Everton this season.

A performance against City will be a great start, but no matter what happens, it is too early to go into "Arsenal are in crisis" mode. Give this team time and the benefit of the doubt – they have the talent and depth to go a long way this season, and if they suffer another meltdown in February-March, then those scathing pens can be brought out.