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‘They’ve done things better’ Arteta calls on Arsenal to close the gap to Spurs

The Gunners travel to their north London neighbours on Sunday eight points behind them in the Premier League

Mikel Arteta admits Tottenham have ‘done things better’ than Arsenal this season, but says his side go into Sunday’s north London derby determined to close the gap on their neighbours.

Spurs have lost juts once in the league this season and currently sit top of the table, while Arsenal – who have lost five of their opening 10 games – are languishing in 14th place.

But victory for Arteta’s side at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday will see the Gunners move to within five points of Jose Mourinho’s side and Arteta is adamant that is all he is focused on.

“The table is like that because they deserve it more than us and they’ve done things better than us,” said the Spaniard.

“In certain moments in certain games, they have and they have got the results. We have to accept that. But we want to go there and make that gap three points smaller.

“I think it’s very early in the season to see who is title contenders or not but what you can say is they are in the position they are because they are doing things the right way.

“They are in a great moment, they are full of confidence and you can see how much belief they have in what they do.

“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.”

Arteta added: “What 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 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.”

Sunday’s north London derby will be the first time fans will have been inside the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium since football was suspended in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Spurs will be cheered on by 2,000 of supporters, just as Arsenal were when they hosted Rapid Vienna in the Europa League on Thursday night.

Boosted by their home support, Arteta’s side ran out 4-1 winners and the Gunners boss admitted after the game that the fans had made the difference.

But despite that, he is not concerned by the advantage Tottenham could get this weekend, insisting that getting fans back into a stadium is good for the game.

“A derby without fans is not the same,” he said. “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.

“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.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen. What I can control is our players, what we do and what mindset we have and what mindset we take to White Hart Lane.

“These kind of goals, we must try and achieve them in the best possible way because we can’t control what sort of reaction they will have to their team depending on what is happening in the game. It’s up to them. We will do our best.”



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