Soccer

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta praises Ange Postecoglou ahead of Tottenham’s visit

Mikel Arteta, left, hailed Ange Postecoglou’s early impact at Tottenham (Nigel French/Nick Potts/PA)
Mikel Arteta, left, hailed Ange Postecoglou’s early impact at Tottenham (Nigel French/Nick Potts/PA) Mikel Arteta, left, hailed Ange Postecoglou’s early impact at Tottenham (Nigel French/Nick Potts/PA)

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta praised opposite number Ange Postecoglou’s impact at Tottenham ahead of the north London derby on Sunday.

Postecoglou’s free-scoring Spurs have netted 13 times in five Premier League matches to make an unbeaten start to the top-flight campaign.

And Arteta admitted he is a fan of the Australian, who has positively changed the atmosphere at Spurs despite the summer departure of star striker Harry Kane.

Ange Postecoglou has started well at Spurs
Ange Postecoglou has started well at Spurs Ange Postecoglou has started well at Spurs (Nick Potts/PA)

“They have a new challenge, a new opportunity, they have a new manager who is doing really well and he’s managed to change the vibe around the club and with a different style too, so we need to be ourselves and produce the performance to beat them,” Arteta said.

“I really like him. I have players who had him before and they always speak really highly of him, which is not a coincidence because straight away he’s fitting in the right way and that’s the beauty of the league where there are top managers, competition and every game is very difficult.

“The recent year has been beautiful (against Tottenham – Arsenal won twice last season) and it’s about being with our supporters when we manage to win the game and the satisfaction that you give to everyone. It’s a special day for everybody and hopefully we can do that again.

“They have many qualities (despite Kane’s departure) so it’s a big change but they have adapted well to it.”

Goalkeeper David Raya has started ahead of Aaron Ramsdale in Arsenal’s last two games, against Everton and then PSV in the Champions League.

Arsenal v PSV Eindhoven – UEFA Champions League – Group B – Emirates Stadium
Arsenal v PSV Eindhoven – UEFA Champions League – Group B – Emirates Stadium David Raya kept clean sheets in his first two Arsenal appearances (Nigel French/PA)

Arteta insisted he understands Ramsdale’s frustration of not starting and highlighted the competition for places which forced a change at number one.

“I understand (his frustration) and it’s very difficult for every player and I suffer and care about every player who’s not playing but this is the competition and this is my job as well to make decisions in the best possible way for the team,” Arteta added.

“He’s been very supportive and good around the place and that’s what I expect from every single player because when you’re on the field there is someone else who’s not so it works both ways. So far he’s been very good.

“It is hard and with other players it’s the same. Aaron (Ramsdale) is an exceptional character and has a charisma and aura around him and we all know that so I fully understand that (why he’s frustrated at being benched), we have to deal with that but I need to make a line-up to prepare for the game.

“I haven’t decided who will start.”

Arteta lauded captain Martin Odegaard after the midfielder signed a new long-term deal at the Emirates.

He said: “He’s got a really good balance (as a captain) and you notice him around the building because he always does the right things, he’s funny and likeable, committed and I’m really happy to have him as a captain.”