Later News Nov 13

Arteta admits Arsenal’s title charge has been unexpected


Having been tipped by ‘expert’ pundits to struggle to even get into the top-four this season, Arsenal have surprised many by turning into legitimate challengers for Manchester City’s English Premier League (EPL) crown.

 

The last time the Gunners came close to even thinking about mounting a title challenge, the Gods of football laughed so hard they accidentally crowned Leicester City EPL champions.

 

This time, however, the Gods appear to have had a change of heart. Following their 2-0 win over relegation-threatened Wolves this morning (SGT), Arsenal will head into the World Cup break with a five-point lead at the top of the table – much to the horror of Tottenham Hotspur fans who will no doubt spend the next six weeks on their knees praying for the wheels of the Arsenal wagon to fall off.

 

Arsenal’s title charge, however, has proven to be unexpected not just to fans and pundits alike, but also to Arteta.

 

WATCH: Arteta admits WC break kills Arsenal momentum

 

The Spaniard said: “Nobody expected us to be where we are right now. I am more focused on our way of playing, our way of living together, the atmosphere we have around Colney and what we have generated with our supporters in our stadium. That is much more powerful.

 

“It's great to be where we are, we are enjoying that moment. We have a big break, we have to reflect on what we are doing and we are very much prepared for what is to come after the World Cup.

 

“When a team is in the moment you want to carry on playing. It's not possible so we have to use the time now in the best possible way. Our aim is to play better as a team every single day, to have better tools to do what we want to do on the pitch.”

 

Two second-half goals from Martin Odegaard were enough for Arsenal to secure the victory over Wolves at the Molineux Stadium, but the game proved to be more of a slog for the visitors than expected.

 

WATCH: Arteta explains why Odegaard was chosen captain

 

But Arteta believes that his players’ mentality and patience were the key factors that helped his team to all three points against a side that has about as much attacking threat as an elderly wolf with particularly bad oral hygiene.

 

“Today was about being very patient. The game Wolves proposed made it difficult to attack spaces and it was very easy to get impatient and frustrated,” Arteta reflected. 

 

“We wanted to get away from that game because they were waiting for a mistake to catch us on the break. We did better at the end of the first half, we started the second half really well and we created enough chances to win the game.

 

“Mentally this week was a tricky one. We played two-and-a-half days ago, we had to come away from home again. But that is the mentality you have to have if you want to be at the top. It's been a long, long time since we have been in this position. The fans fully deserve it for the full transformation they have created at the club with their energy, passion, involvement, and what they have been able to transmit to the players.”

 

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