Mikel Arteta believes Arsenal’s visit to Tottenham is his ‘most exciting’ challenge as he looks for Champions League qualification.
A win for Arsenal at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium will ensure that they play in the premier European tournament next season, but they come up against a Spurs side who are improving under Antonio Conte.
Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, Arteta said of the job in hand that: “It’s the most exciting one, probably. But we had others when we played finals against Chelsea and Liverpool in the FA Cup and the Community Shield, it was the same.
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“When you have the opportunity to achieve one of your objectives in the season, you just cannot wait to play the game because this is a job, and the work you have done throughout the season to try to earn it.”
The chance to win at the club’s North London rivals is not factored into their motivation for Thursday, the Spaniard claimed.
“The message is clear, if we win against them we are in the Champions League next season,” he said.
“You don’t need any motivation or to tell them anything more than that. The opportunity is there, we are going to play and go for it like we always do. It's how we have got into this position, and it’s how we are going to approach it.
“The winning factor is always the best feeling! It’s different obviously as a player and manager, but in every occasion, it’s not just about winning, it’s about how you win those matches and the experience that you go through throughout the 90 minutes, especially when you play at home in front of your crowd.”
Discussing the difficulty posed by Conte’s Tottenham side compared to the previous derby this season, Arteta was undecided, telling the press: “I don’t know, let’s see tomorrow.
“It’s true that it’s many months ago that game, and we are much closer to the end, and the game has taken a much different level of importance because of the situation that we both are (in).”
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