Mikel Arteta has admitted Tottenham deserve to be top of the Premier League “because they’ve done things better than Arsenal ”.
Gunners boss Arteta finds himself under pressure as Arsenal are stuck in 14th place after their worst ever start to a Premier League campaign.
But Arteta insists the table does not lie and Jose Mourinho has turned Tottenham ’s fortunes around after a good transfer market last summer and flying start to the season.
Arteta said: “The table is like that because they deserve it more than us and they’ve done things better than us.
“I think it’s very early in the season to see who is title contenders or not but what you can say is what I said before is that they are in the position they are because they are doing things the right way.
“We have to accept that. But we want to go there and make that gap three points smaller. We have to look at is where we will be after 38 games in the league. Now what is going to happen after Sunday, we want to be close and finish three points closer to them.
“We go into the game to win and this is the only way we are going to prepare any game at any ground. Have the confidence and belief that we can go there and win the football match.”
There was also an underlying message about Tottenham’s in-form strike duo Harry Kane and Son Heung-min who have spearheaded the club’s title charge while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has managed just two Premier League goals this season and just one since signing a new deal.
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“They are in a great moment, they are full of confidence and you can see how much belief they have in what they do,” said Arteta about Kane and Son.
“When they have moments of difficulty, they stick to the plan and they believe they will get the result at some stage and at the moment it’s happening for them. They’ve been doing really well and that’s the reason why they are where they are.”
Tottenham will also have the advantage of 2,000 fans in at White Hart Lane but Arteta insists he will not complain and insists his players can feed off the energy in the stadium.
Will Harry Kane and Son Heung-min inflict derby defeat on Arsenal? Have your say here.
Arteta said: “We’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time and I’m not going to complain. Honestly, I’d rather play in a stadium with an atmosphere, with some fans and at this moment it’s going to be for them with their supporters and the next week it will be us.
“We’d better get real with that. We will bring more fans back when it’s safe and, as a professional, it makes sense when you have to handle that extra pressure, when you have fans pushing you, giving you extra energy and this is our profession and the beauty of it is that we can share is with them.
“It gets hectic in a derby, because with every ball, every single fan is living that ball, pushing towards their team and you feel that energy.
“You cannot deny that and, as a football player, when you are touched, when you can feel your fans and are playing with intensity and when the game has such a meaning, it is a massive lift.
“A derby without fans is not the same. It counts for every game. You go to certain grounds in the Premier League and, with or without fans, I’m sorry it’s different.
“There are certain things that the fans produce. The momentum they are able to give throughout the game and without them it’s not the same.”
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