Journalism in the service of society

Arteta aims to knock Man United out of top-four race, dismisses Ten Hag impact

ARSENAL manager Mikel Arteta has emphasised the club’s desire to qualify for next season’s UEFA Champions League as they host Premier League top-four rivals Manchester United on Saturday.

The Gunners are three points ahead of United, who have played one game more, and a home win at the Emirates Stadium will almost certainly knock the Red Devils out of top-four contention.

“I think there are going to be a lot of twists still,” Arteta said on Friday during his pre-match press conference.

“That’s what we have to do, perform and play well tomorrow to deserve to win the match which I think will be difficult.

“I am very excited about the options we have ahead of us and we are going to give it a go, and try our best to try to reach that.”

After losing three Premier League matches in a row, Arsenal bounced back with a stunning 4-2 win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday. Still, Arteta hints he might not stick with the same side that produced that result.

“It is hard (to change a winning side), but fortunately that’s been the case in many weeks when had to pick others that have to step in and they’ve done well for the team because they always prepare well,” the Spaniard explained.

“That’s what we expect, that doesn’t mean we are always going to repeat the same line-up. We have options to change and we have options to change again tomorrow and play in different ways.”

Arteta admitted that United have appointed a good coach in Erik ten Hag, but waved off the impact of the timing of his appointment.

The Dutchman was named as the successor to Ralf Rangnick on Thursday, two days after the humiliating 4-0 defeat at Anfield.

“Yes, I think he’s been really good what he did a couple of years ago in the Champions League, especially the way his teams play,” Arteta noted. “It’s a Man United decision, there’s nothing more to say.

“For us no (impact of announcement), for them I don’t know what’s going to happen but for us nothing changes.”

Arteta also refused to condemn United for the pitiful surrender at Anfield, instead praising Liverpool.

He said: “I’m not here to assess anybody’s performance. I watched the game, it was an exceptional game. The first half especially, the way Liverpool played was outstanding.

“We all know how difficult it is to go to Anfield. They have really good moments in the season, they have exceptional players and they have the ability to beat any team.”

Comments are closed.

Naija Times