Press conference

Arteta on ‘new challenge’ in north London derby

Arteta Tottenham

Described by Mikel as the most special game of the season, Sunday sees us host the north London derby at Emirates Stadium.

It promises to be a particularly exciting clash with Tottenham Hotspur, with both sides in the Premier League’s top four with 13 points from five games.

In terms of how we will approach Sunday’s derby, Mikel is expecting a different challenge to the Tottenham sides we’ve faced in previous seasons.

“A new challenge, a new opportunity,” he said, in his pre-match press conference at London Colney on Friday morning.

“Obviously they have a new manager who has done really, really well and changed the vibe and everything around the club. It’s a different style as well, so [we need to] adapt to that, be ourselves and produce the performance that we need to beat them.”

Asked for his own memories of playing in the north London derby, Mikel opted to focus on his recent managerial successes against Spurs.

“I have many,” he said. “The recent ones from the last years as well are beautiful. Living those moments with our supporters when you manage to win the game and that satisfaction that you give to everybody, because it’s a special day for everybody, hopefully we can produce that again.”

Mikel was also quizzed about Tottenham without Harry Kane, and how much of an impact that will have on Sunday.

“They have many other qualities and many other players that can create and make a difference in the game,” he said. “Probably, for them, it’s a big change, but I think they have adapted well to it.”

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