Ahead of this afternoon's Community Shield meeting with Manchester City, Mikel Arteta spoke to the official matchday programme looking forward to the game.
The boss spoke about the importance of the fixture, the respect he has for our opponents and how pre-season has gone so far, as he aims to win the trophy for the second time as our manager.
Here is everything he had to say:
We’re proud to be playing in the FA Community Shield here at Wembley Stadium. This is a match which recognises two clubs who had a good year, with a traditional place in our football calendar at the start of the new season. And of course, it’s a great opportunity for the supporters to come to Wembley for a competitive match before the Premier League starts.
The FA Community Shield is a trophy. When there is a trophy on the table, you want to win. This will be our approach today against a very good Manchester City team. Of course, we know what we are up against today.
We have full respect to City and their achievements last season. For me, they have raised the level, along with Liverpool, over the last six years to somewhere that the league has never experienced. And they've done it in a context where the overall level of the league is much higher than in the last 20 years, that's for sure. So we know that to win the Premier League, you know you are probably going to need about 96 points or 100 points.
It’s been a busy summer for all clubs. At Arsenal, we’ve enjoyed a pre-season training camp and matches in the US, visiting Washington DC, New Jersey and Los Angeles. It was a good opportunity for us to meet many of our supporters in the US, and also work together in great conditions, enabling our squad and our new signings to integrate.
There has been a lot of transfer activity throughout the clubs already this summer. You can tell that clubs are really ambitious. Obviously the more strong teams you have, the more competition you have in the league, so the competition this year is going to be even bigger than last year.
Like us, Manchester City have been travelling this pre-season. They were in Japan recently, and from what I’ve seen they have been really consistent in a lot of things. Obviously they have changed some details which are slightly different to the year before, but in general, we know their strengths and they've been really successful. So we are looking forward to today, in what will be a good challenge for us against a very strong opponent.
As we get closer to the start of the new season, everyone at Arsenal is really looking forward to the challenge ahead. As a club, we are still on a journey and will be working hard to make progress again this season with our fantastic supporters.
It will be great to experience Wembley together again with our supporters. For our last two matches here at Wembley when I’ve been manager, there were no supporters in the stadium, so it’s going to be a great occasion today where we can be together at this wonderful football venue.
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