Seagulls test for in-form Arsenal
After derby win, Gunners boss Arteta wants to give fans ‘another beautiful day’
Friday, 1st October
Mikel Arteta: ‘The Tottenham game was a special match, winning in front of our fans and the way we did it’
MIKEL Arteta says he wants to give the Arsenal fans “another beautiful day” tomorrow (Saturday) by continuing the club’s winning run in the Premier League.
The Gunners go into their match at Brighton & Hove Albion off the back of a feel-good 3-1 victory over rivals Tottenham – a result that Arteta said was “as good as it gets”.
It was Arsenal’s third league win on the spin, but earning a fourth will be “difficult” as the Gunners tackle a well-organised Seagulls side that has been beaten just once so far this season.
“The Tottenham game was a special match, winning in front of our fans and the way we did it,” said Arteta. “We did it in a convincing way and getting the result that we wanted. We enjoyed it for a little while.
“Now we need to put that aside and all our focus should be on Brighton. We have experienced a beautiful day with our people and we want another one after Brighton and we have to earn that.
“The best way to do it is to focus on that game because there are things that we should improve on as well from the Spurs game.”
Brighton have started the campaign strongly, and go into tomorrow’s fixture at the Amex Stadium just one point behind leaders Liverpool.
Arteta says Graham Potter’s side have earned their place in the table.
The Gunners boss added: “It will be a really difficult game. They’ve been on a really good run. They are playing well and getting the results that they deserve. It’s a really competitive match that we are looking ahead to and we know the importance of it.”
Arsenal travel to the south coast without Granit Xhaka, who has been ruled out for up to three months after picking up a serious knee injury in the win over Spurs.
Arteta described Xhaka’s spell on the sidelines as “bad news”, but expects the squad he has assembled to cope.
He continued: “Obviously, it’s really bad news personally for Granit. He’s had a couple of incidents already this season with Covid, with suspension and now with long-term injury.
“He’s a strong man and he will use this time to focus on other things, and I’m sure he will be back in the right place when he’s back. Obviously, he’s a big player for us, someone who is really important, and he will be missed. Other players now have to step in.”
Arteta is likely to once again turn to youngster Albert Sambi Lokonga to shore up the Gunners’ midfield.