Arteta believes title dreams can still come true

Mikel Arteta in training

Mikel Arteta feels the simple fact that the Premier League trophy will be at Emirates Stadium on the final day of the season means everyone involved with the club has to believe we can still be crowned champions.

We go into matchweek 38 two points behind Manchester City and hoping they drop points against West Ham United. If they do, then a win against Everton would see us leapfrog the holders at the last possible moment and get our hands on the ultimate prize.

And with league officials confirming identical trophies will be at both our home and the Etihad Stadium ready to be presented to whichever club is victorious, Mikel is adamant that while anything is possible, we have to keep fighting until the final second of the campaign to ensure the one with red ribbons is unveiled on Sunday evening

Revealing his mindset, he said: “It’s one of the biggest weeks for many of us, and certainly now is the most important moment. I’m really excited and can't wait for Sunday to be in front of us, and I’m very optimistic with the possible outcome.

“We are in the last day of the season playing for the Premier League. The Premier League trophy hasn't been at Emirates Stadium and that was built almost 20 years ago, so that's a long, long time. So yes, we have to be very optimistic. We have to do our duties, and then we have to wait and see what happens.

“We have to do our job which is going to be tough because Everton are in a really good moment, so we're going have to prove again that we can be better than the opponent and win the game. Then we have to wish for the best and for West Ham to have a really good day and help us to fulfil our dream.”

For us, the goal is simple - we have to beat the Toffees to have any chance of clinching the championship, which still might not be good enough if Mikel’s friend and rival Pep Guardiola steers his City side to a win against the Hammers.

Mikel was asked whether he wanted to be kept up to date with the scoreline at the Etihad Stadium, and if so how? That drew a wry smile from the boss.

“I think by 60,000 people?” he laughed. "Plus all the staff, assistant coaches, their families behind their phones, so I think that's enough!

“The atmosphere will be different. I lived it as a player a few times and you just have to focus on what you have to do. You understand with certain reactions what is happening, but stick to focusing on what we have to do.

“The only thing that we have discussed is giving ourselves the opportunity to live a beautiful day on Sunday where the dream is still alive. Once we are there, we just have to live the moment and play like every single week and understand that for that dream to happen, we have to win. Then we have to hope again for West Ham to help us to achieve that dream.”

No team in 35 years has started the final day of an English top-flight season second in the table on the final day and gone on to win the league, but the last time to do so was ourselves famously in 1989.

While it has never happened in 10 instances since the creation of the Premier League, Mikel again opted to remain positive, with a smile.

“That's not going to change you mean? It's a probability - if something happens, then it’s more probable that something else can happen. Let’s wish that is the case.”

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