Arteta looks ahead to North London derby - My Arsenal Blog

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Arteta looks ahead to North London derby

Posted on January 15, 2022 by Harry Kettle

It’s been a long and strange few days for Arsenal Football Club and in the next 24 hours, it’s about to get even more bizarre after the Gunners requested that the North London derby against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday be postponed due to injuries and COVID-19 cases within the camp. As of this writing it’s not quite clear as to which direction the Premier League will go in but with the game taking place tomorrow, time is running out to make a decision.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta spoke to the media as the uncertainty continues.

On the latest team news:

We had concerns already before the match against Liverpool, and after the game we had some more issues. We haven’t been able to assess the squad yet because we couldn’t fly last night, so we just arrived to the training ground and all the boys are being looked after. So we don’t know.

On whether the performance last night shows we’re getting closer to the top teams:

I think we are in the right direction. Yesterday we had to play an extremely difficult match, 70 minutes with 10 men, but I saw a lot of leadership on that pitch from very young players and that gives me a lot of encouragement because they understood what was needed, they were up for the challenge and they showed a real fight and resilience to do what they did.

On Tottenham under Antonio Conte:

What Antonio brings is a lot of clarity of his way of playing. He masters what he has done, he is an extremely successful coach. They play differently, they have different principles they apply and it will be a really difficult match. We know that what happened in September has no value now, it is a new match and a really important one for us.

On what it would mean to do the double over Tottenham:

It would be great because I know how much that means to everyone at the club, our supporters and how important it is as well for the league table and for our success.

On how much the team will gain from the performance at Liverpool:

Well it certainly gives them the experience that they are able to do that. That resilience to do what they did last night is based on your spirit, your belief and the fact that you’re never going to give up, and take on any challenge that is facing you – and do you best. Sometimes you have to still extend that and against the team that we played last night, that was necessary and most of the players did it.

On Ben White:

He is one of them that I would certainly apply the words that I’ve just mentioned to his performance. He’s not Tony [Adams] and he cannot be Tony. He’s just moved to our club and he’s just been here just for a few months but he has something and he wants to do it. He’s very demanding with himself, he’s really willing to learn and improve his game and he’s in the right place.

On pairing Ben White and Gabriel:

I have no clue. In terms of the qualities that I saw in him and what is required for us to try to recruit somebody like him with his qualities, it was clear. Then those personalities as well, that chemistry has to exist. We can see they really enjoy playing together, you can see that, that chemistry is there and that’s a massive extra when you are looking to build something at the back.

On the importance of the fans at the north London Derby:

The way our fans helped us last night, it was incredible. I constantly mentioned them after the match, it was like, at some stages, playing at home. They were close to them, they could feel that and it gave them tremendous energy. It’s going to be the same when they go out there [against Tottenham]. I don’t know in terms of numbers if we cannot take that many, but they will make the noise and I’m expecting the same when Liverpool come back to the Emirates in a week’s time.

Quotes via

Will the game be called off?

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