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Other SportsArsenal boss Arteta not encouraged by Manchester City wobble

Arsenal boss Arteta not encouraged by Manchester City wobble

Mikel Arteta is not getting carried away with Manchester City’s recent wobble and insists his Arsenal players provide all the hope he needs that they can land the Premier League title this season.

The Gunners could move five points clear at the summit tomorrow night – for 24 hours at least – with a win at Luton with main challengers City currently on a three-game winless run stretching back a month.

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Arteta is not spending too much time looking at matters elsewhere, however, and is focused on a difficult test at Kenilworth Road.

Asked if he was given encouragement by City’s recent blip, he said: “Encouragement? No.

“That comes from watching my team play, watching them behave every single day, how hungry and willing they are to play every game, how they approach every training session. That gives me encouragement, what the others do we cannot control.”

Arteta spent yesterday watching title rivals City, who drew 3-3 with Tottenham, and Liverpool, who earned a last-gasp 4-3 win over Fulham, struggle but the Spaniard was not surprised given his belief that the Premier League has got better this season.

He added: “The league is different, it’s gone up another level.

“I was watching the games yesterday afternoon, and it’s incredible, how games change, the momentum changes, the quality of the opponents, the quality of the managers…

“We don’t know how it’s going to continue but, at the minute, we are in a good place. If we want to be in a better place tomorrow night, we are going to have to play very well.”

Luton’s rise from the Conference to the Premier League has impressed Arteta, as has the work done by his opposite number Rob Edwards, and he is expecting a tricky encounter at the Hatters’ tight, intimidating home.

“It’s an inspiring place and what they’ve done is remarkable,” said Arteta.

“What Rob did with the team last year, how they did it. What they transmit as a team…it’s an amazing story. They deserve all the credit they are getting for the way they are playing and the results they have got. Tomorrow we are going to have an intense and difficult match.

“I think they are a really good team, the table doesn’t reflect what they’ve done. To play there is something we have already discussed with the players. It’ll be different but positive as is the tradition of English football.

“It’s incredible the way they’ve done it. It’s a leading example for any Premier League club and gives hope to any club that wants to emulate that.

Arteta did his Pro Licence with Edwards and was full of praise for what he has achieved in Bedfordshire.

“He’s a great coach and a really special person,” he added. “You can tell by the way he coaches this team and the way his players behave.”

Bukayo Saka is set to make his 200th appearance in all competitions for Arsenal tomorrow night with Arteta labelling the 22-year-old “a special guy”.

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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