Mikel Arteta will earn three points and local bragging rights if Arsenal beat Tottenham in the North London derby… but sealing a Champions League return would also bring the price of vindication after two and a half years of major appeals
- There’s so much at stake ahead of Arsenal’s clash with fierce rivals Tottenham
- A Champions League spot, three points and bragging rights are on the line
- Taking fourth would also be vindication of boss Mikel Arteta’s methods
There’s so much at stake for Arsenal and Tottenham: a Champions League place and all the perks that come with it, three Premier League points and local bragging rights.
For Mikel Arteta there is the added price of vindication as he bids to bring Arsenal back to Europe’s top club competition, a coveted reward that will be the culmination of two and a half years full of major call-ups.
It controversially ostracized top earners Mesut Ozil and Pierre-Emerick Aubamayeng, among others, for breaking its non-negotiable rules.
There’s a lot at stake for Arsenal in their North London derby against Tottenham on Thursday
Other top officials were released for Arteta’s youth revolution. His decision to trust his small squad, make no additions in January and finish the campaign with just two forwards was also bold.
There have been results-related storms for Arteta during his roller-coaster reign at Arsenal, but he’s so close to being able to say he was right. “The perception will probably be that,” he said.
“But we just try to make decisions in the best interests of the club, the team and try to be consistent with the things we want to achieve and how we are going to develop and the vision we have for the club.
“Then the results will more likely dictate whether you are right or wrong.”
Arsenal will start with a four-point advantage, reducing the pressure on Arteta’s side and their need for victory. They will also have chances against Newcastle and Everton to pick up the points they need.
Still, there’s no question of playing for a draw, keeping Spurs at arm’s length and getting the job done later.
“We always play to win and that’s how we will prepare for this game,” Arteta said.
After maximizing the advantage of not having the workload of European football this season and working their way up to fourth place – having been bottom, useless and scoreless after three games – we have the feeling that it is an opportunity to “seize the moment”.
Taking Champions League qualification with a win would justify Mikel Arteta’s methods
“We’re in a position that we probably didn’t expect at this moment,” Arteta said.
Now there is a chance that Arsenal must seize. Five years out of the competition saw their finances take a big hit – compounded by the impact of the pandemic – their status deteriorated and sparked significant changes on and off the pitch.
Arteta said: “It had big consequences for the club in the atmosphere and the environment around it, financially.” We want to fix that.
This is underscored by the likelihood that this will be one of the special occasions when Arteta will use a long-serving member of staff, as he has done in the past, to give a speech reiterating to his players the importance of what awaits us.
His controversial ostracism of top earners Mesut Ozil (centre) and Pierre-Emerick Aubamayeng (right) has been criticized by many but he is so close to being able to say he was right
He can also call on technical director Edu when needed, with the Brazilian being a member of the Arsenal Invincibles side who won the league at Tottenham in 2004.
Up for grabs tonight is not silverware, but something Arsene Wenger once said should now be taken as an equivalent.
Arteta added: “When you have the opportunity to achieve any of your goals in the season, you just can’t wait to play the game because it’s work and the work you’ve been doing all along. of the season to try to win it.
‘I’m excited about it. It’s a game that can help us move forward faster than expected.