Arsenal supervisor Mikel Arteta faces a problem that dwarfs the achievement of the membership’s surge to the highest of the Premier League desk within the pre-World Cup portion of the marketing campaign: Tips on how to hold the inconceivable run going?
The Gunners are hoping to select up their league season the place they left off six weeks in the past once they welcome West Ham within the late Boxing Day fixture that may conclude a program of seven matches on Monday.
Arsenal was the perfect staff within the Premier League throughout the first half of the season and maintain a five-point benefit over Manchester Metropolis however their process can be made that a lot tougher with out talisman Gabriel Jesus, who’s recovering from a knee damage he picked up in Qatar whereas taking part in for Brazil.
In distinction, West Ham, who’re sixteenth, have solely simply managed to remain out of the relegation zone after a sluggish begin that included 4 wins from the staff’s opening 15 matches, however Arteta is just not taking the Hammers flippantly.
“We have to do this (construct momentum) on the pitch. Now we have talked lots about it. We all know the significance of beginning sturdy and we play at house,” Arteta stated. “It’s a really big day in Premier League historical past, it’s a really particular household day to play soccer, it’s an unimaginable environment that day and we wish to profit from it.“
He additionally made some extent of praising his younger aspect’s consistency throughout the opening 14 matches of the season, a stretch that features victories over rivals Liverpool, Tottenham and Chelsea. Nonetheless, sterner exams lay forward.
“In all probability the extent that we confirmed and the consistency we confirmed inside that degree, which with the group and the age we’ve got is just not simple,” Arteta stated. “We confirmed actual maturity in sure moments, particularly towards large opponents.
“The main focus is to play higher each single day, to continue to grow individually, collectively and to maintain deserving to win matches. That’s all we are able to hope as a result of soccer is a really tough sport.“
Whereas Arsenal don’t resume their Europa League marketing campaign till March, the FA Cup will start in January and Arteta is aware of rotation can be key, particularly after quite a lot of his squad had been concerned on the World Cup in Qatar.
The Gunners are set to play six matches over the subsequent 28 days and have a equally busy schedule in February.
“There are going to be durations the place you will have time to coach and different durations the place matches are going to come back quick and you’ve got large congested durations,” Arteta stated. “It is going to be essential how wholesome the staff is, how match it’s and the way a lot rotation may help us to maintain the extent we would like.“
Within the day’s first sport, Tottenham journey throughout London to face Brentford at lunchtime with Spurs supervisor Antonio Conte adamant that the restart of league play is coming too quickly after the World Cup remaining.
The Premier League resumes simply eight days after Spurs duo Hugo Lloris and Cristian Romero battled it out in Qatar for the World Cup.
Whereas Conte has already confirmed the World Cup finalists is not going to play on Monday, the Italian has a choice to make over Croatia’s Ivan Perisic in addition to England pair Harry Kane and Eric Dier after the trio all made the final eight.
“It’s a unusual scenario and truthfully to play so shortly – just one week after the World Cup – I’m not actually comfortable,” he stated. “In a single hand, you’re comfortable as a result of for my membership, Tottenham, to have 12 gamers on the World Cup it signifies that we’re in the precise option to attempt to be aggressive and to attempt sooner or later to win one thing.
“However it’s regular that when you will have so many gamers play a match like this, particularly throughout the season, that now it’s not simple as a result of the bodily situation is just not on the high.“
Within the day’s different video games, Crystal Palace hosts Fulham in one other London derby, Everton welcomes Wolves, Newcastle visits Leicester, Brighton travels to south coast rival Southampton and Liverpool heads to Aston Villa.