Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta believes that the forth coming North London Derby cannot be the same again without the presence of fans. He spoke ahead of Arsenal’s cross town trip to their long time rivals Tottenham Hotspurs in an English Premier League clash on Sunday. Arsenal will be going into this one with a four match unbeaten streak and looking on to capitalize on the same and increase their tally. And while reflecting about the upcoming clash, Arteta vividly relieved his playing days ahead of such matches.
He played in nine such London derbies and he was candid about how the energy and the expectations often rise among the players and the fans in the lead up to the big day. While terming it as a respectable rivalry, he remembers how such matches often mean a lot for players and supporters; to try to play well for the badge and the colors. There often were the requisite energies and will power for all three points in and out of the stadiums, and devoid of hate and collisions. An atmosphere that would truly be missing as the two teams go head to head behind closed doors at Tottenham Hotspurs stadium.
He expressed his delight at having to take a trip back to Spurs again, but noted that it was going to be a completely different game altogether. Currently at position 8, one place and one point above Spurs, Arteta’s men will be alive to the daunting task of bagging all three points from a team that appears to be struggling for convincing form. Arteta was also full of praise for Mourinho all the while reflecting upon their days at Barcelona B when Mourinho was the then coach. He described Mourinho as a world class coach who is very supportive and with incredibly high energy.
He also responded at Shkodran Mustafi’s resurgent form, having been featured in all premier league matches since the resumption of the league. Mustafi seems to have redefined himself from his error-strewn performances under Unai Emery, and he’s now more solid, composed and clinical at the back line. This has led to increased speculation about a looming contract extension on his current deal that runs up to June 2021. With Arteta expressing his happiness with his recent game play saying that on matters to do with the contract Mustafi knows what he feels about it.
So just who will laugh last?..
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