ARSENAL manager Mikel Arteta has admitted that his side will have to find a new approach when they face Tottenham Hotspur in tomorrow’s north London derby at the Emirates Stadium.
For the first time in years, Tottenham are without their all-time top scorer Harry Kane, who left to join Bayern Munich in the summer after scoring the most north London derby goals in history.
“A new challenge, a new opportunity. Obviously they have a new manager who has done really, really well and changed the vibe and everything around the club,” Arteta said during his pre-match press conference yesterday when asked how his side would approach the game.
“It’s a different style as well, so adapt to that, be ourselves and produce the performance that we need to beat them.
“We tend to forget quickly (that Kane is top scorer in north London derbies)! We just focus on the team that they have and especially what we have to do to play the best possible way to create problems for them and that’s what we’re going to try to do on Sunday.”
The Spaniard acknowledged that Spurs have also had to adapt to life without the prolific England striker, with new manager Ange Postegoclou having to develop a more fluid style.
“Well obviously he’s a special player and everything was going through him. He was the one that glued everything together and he did it in many different ways from many different areas of the pitch,” the Arsenal boss noted.
“Now it’s a bit different. I think they have a different style from the last two coaches as well there for sure. They have some specificity in some movements that they make with certain players, so I think it’s a very different team.
“I really like him (Postegoclou). I had players and I know players who had him and they always speak really, really highly of him. That’s not a coincidence, and you can tell straight away he is fitting in the right way. That’s the beauty of this league, we have top, top managers, top competition and every game is very difficult.”
Arsenal have won four of the last five meetings between the two clubs, including both fixtures last season, and former Gunners midfielder Arteta has fond memories of the derby.
He said: “I have many (memories). The recent ones from the last years as well are beautiful.
“Living those moments with our supporters when you manage to win the game and that satisfaction that you give to everybody, because it’s a special day for everybody.
“Hopefully we can produce that again.”
Arsenal and Tottenham have both begun the campaign impressively and are both on 13 points from five games, two behind leaders and champions Manchester City.