Arteta won't fret over Liverpool's Man City clash as Arsenal eye top spot

AFP , Thursday 7 Mar 2024

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta insists he doesn't care who wins Sunday's showdown between Liverpool and Manchester City because his side are "still not there" in the Premier League title race.

Mikel Arteta
Arsenal s manager Mikel Arteta looks on prior the English Premier League soccer match between Sheffield United and Arsenal at the Bramall Lane stadium in Sheffield, England, Monday, March 4, 2024. AP


The Gunners are two points adrift of leaders Liverpool and one behind second placed Manchester City as the three-way title fight heats up this weekend.

Arteta's team can temporarily take over in first place if they beat Brentford at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

A draw between Liverpool and City would keep Arsenal in pole position on goal difference.

But Arteta refuses to contemplate Arsenal having the destiny of the title in their hands just yet.

"We can't control that. We just have to focus on our game, try to win and then on Sunday it's a game that should be beautiful to watch for any supporter," Arteta told reporters on Thursday.

"I will sit there with my kids and enjoy watching two of the best teams in Europe."

Arteta would not reveal if he had any preference for the result at Anfield.

Instead, he urged his players to focus on beating Brentford for the third time this season after victories at the Gtech Community Stadium in the Premier League and League Cup.

"Privately and publicly I have no preference (about the result) because it is nothing to do with me," he said.

"We know the demands we have. We know the demands Brentford will put on us, then the fact we are still not there (in first place).

"We want to be better than where we are now. We have to continue to be better."

After blowing an eight-point lead to hand City the title last year, Arteta is desperate to end Arsenal's 20-year wait to lift the Premier League trophy.

'Very powerful'

He believes the experience of that painful collapse could be crucial this time.

"The team want to keep improving, they feel they have another gear or two to go," he said.

"Experience is a factor. They have played more time together and understand the system better."

All three title contenders are in fine form, with Arsenal winning seven successive league games in 2024, scoring 31 times and conceding just three.

They are the first side in English top-flight history to have scored 30 or more goals in their first seven games in a year.

"It's great. It shows the quality and the consistency," Arteta said.

"Not conceding as well, those two ingredients are great. It's very powerful."

Arteta believes the key to Arsenal's surge was their January training camp in Dubai, a restorative break that followed defeats against Fulham and West Ham.

"We had a really tough period before that. We had some defeats and played a lot of games," he said.

"We needed the trip to keep improving, keeping demanding of ourselves too. Everything clicked. It was the perfect timing for us."

Aaron Ramsdale will replace David Raya in goal for Arsenal as the Spaniard is ineligible to face his parent club.

Ramsdale lost his place as Arsenal's first choice keeper after Raya's move from Brentford last year, sparking reports that the England international was unhappy with his demotion.

"He's fully prepared and desperate to play. On Saturday it will be a great day for him," he said.

"He has been brilliant, really supportive and pushing every day in training."

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

Search Keywords:
Short link: