Arsenal’s Champions League group stage win this week was a confidence boost ahead of Sunday’s game against rivals Tottenham Hotspur but the team does not need any extra motivation before a north London Derby, manager Mikel Arteta said.
Arsenal have started the season in fine style, earning 13 points from five Premier League games so far, and enjoyed a triumphant return to the Champions League on Wednesday with a 4-0 hammering of PSV Eindhoven.
Spurs are also on 13 points after four successive wins, with new coach Ange Postecoglou leading them to their best start to a top-flight season for 57 years.
“Winning always helps and maintains the spirit. This game doesn’t need any motivation,” Arteta told reporters on Friday. It’s a derby and a special moment for all of us.
“They have a new manager who has done really well and he’s changed the vibe around the club. They have a different style too so we have to do the best to beat them.”
Spurs manager Postecoglou said he has already got a sense of how important derby will be from supporters. Spurs have not won at the Emirates in the league for 13 years. “People have given me an indication of how they feel about this game and that’s great. I’ve been involved in derbies and one pretty significant one (the Old Firm derby with Celtic),” Postecoglou told reporters on Friday.
“Playing them (Arsenal) at their place is going to be a hell of a challenge for us.”
Form has rarely been a factor in North London derbies in the past but Postecoglou said experience may play a role with several recruits set to get a taste of the rivalry for the first time.
Manchester United are drowning out all the noise about reports of dressing room unrest with the squad and staff pulling in the same direction as they prepare for Saturday’s trip to Burnley, manager Erik ten Hag said.
United are 13th in the standings after a poor start to the season.
Ten Hag was asked about a number of leaks coming out of the dressing room, including one report about players being unhappy with his treatment of former United goalkeeper David De Gea, but the Dutch manager was unfazed.
“I don’t know if it’s a leak but I know opinion, so I know my players,” Ten Hag told reporters. “Everyone is united and at United, you fight.”
Ten Hag also confirmed Jadon Sancho remains exiled from the first-team squad over a disciplinary issue.