Arteta hopes to end long wait for victory at Spurs

Mikel Arteta in training

Mikel Arteta has challenged his players to finally taste victory at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, as we search for our first win at Spurs’ new home.

We have left empty-handed in each of our three visits there so far, but having secured overdue league wins at grounds such as Old Trafford and Stamford Bridge during his tenure, Mikel is hoping to add Tottenham to that list and record our first victory at the home of our rivals since 2014 when he was in the starting XI.

“In the last few years there were places we haven’t won for 15, 17 or 20 years,” he said in his pre-match press conference. “I would like to do it all at once. We haven’t been able to do that, so we have a great challenge and opportunity on Sunday to get that done.

“That’s the challenge that we have. We have to beat them at their place. I think the players are in a really good emotional state. We are excited, we are enjoying playing together and we are in a good position. So we have to improve a lot of the things we still have to do, and we have to maintain the things that have taken us this far.”

With the prospect of a league double over our neighbours for the first time since 2013/14 tantalisingly close, trying to maintain our lead at the top of the table and edge further away from Spurs in fifth place, Mikel feels the atmosphere will be even more special than usual.

On derby days, he said: “I just love it - that’s the reason why we’re here, to play these kinds of games. It’s one of the biggest games of the season for us. We know how much it means for us right now and how much it means to our people as well. We have to focus on playing well and doing what we have to do to win the game.

“They’re emotional, very passionate, an incredible feeling when you are on that pitch and look around and see the support, tension and atmosphere around it. When you win, it doesn’t get much better than that.

“Once you are there, you realise the moment and it’s, in my opinion, one of the best things to do - actually realise how lucky we are to be in the position that we are in and having the possibility to affect the game.”

Read every word from Mikel’s press conference

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