Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta refused to be drawn on the idea that the Gunners are now favourites to win this season’s Premier League title following their win over Manchester United on Sunday.
Arsenal initially came from behind against a United only beaten once in all competitions since early October, before being pegged back themselves. But Eddie Nketiah scored his second goal of the game to win it 3-2 at the very end.
With half the season now behind them, the result leaves Arteta’s team five points clear of second place Manchester City with a game in hand. What’s more, they have lost only once in the Premier League this season and have shown impressive mental strength to secure results.
Pressed on being given the label of title favourites, Arteta claimed he has no opinion. However, by describing it as ‘perception, the Spaniard appears well aware that people are openly saying it.
“I don’t have an opinion, it can be a perception,” he commented, via Arsenal.com.
“I know my team so well. I know where we are, I know we are here and I know where we want to be, and we are still far from that. I know the level of the other teams, especially one that has won everything in the last five or six years, and we are not there yet.”
Whatever way you look at it, Arsenal haven’t not been in a position like this for 15 years. Their last serious title challenge came way back in 2007/08, while the ‘Invincibles’ generation of 2003/04 remains the last Gunners team to be crowned Premier League champions.
“Extraordinary, I would say!” Arteta said of the first half of the season.
“It doesn’t get much better than that, that’s the reality. I think we deserve the points that we have, I think we have played well enough to win most of the matches, but the reality as well is that we still have a lot of things that we can get much better at, attacking and defending in transitions, in set-pieces and that’s the aim.”