Mikel Arteta not fazed by prospect of facing Man United
(Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Mikel Arteta was remarkably cool about his Arsenal side's upcoming trip to Old Trafford in order to face Erik ten Hag's Manchester United, who go into the game having won three games in a row for the first time since April 2021.

He will take the Gunners - who currently sit atop the Premier League having won all of their opening five matches in the top flight this season - to the North West full of confidence, and rightly so.

Arteta was also asked about the team news ahead of the Sunday afternoon matchup, with various injuries being reported in the past few days that could put a halt to their excellent start.

With it being Deadline Day on Thursday, there was also the topic of any incomings that did not materialise, with the Spanish manager explaining what exactly happened over the course of the final day of the window.

On Man United

This game will be the first in which Arsenal have played against one of the so-called 'big six' this season, with some suggestion that their opening run of games has been relatively generous thus far.

When asked about the potential pitfalls against a Man United side who have won three games on the bounce, including against Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool, Arteta was not particularly concerned about the challenge.

"It is a test every single week in the Premier League," said the 40-year-old. "We will see it in any game played this weekend and don’t expect anything different.

"We've won away before, we have to do it again and I believe we are capable of going there, playing our way and winning the match. I don't think it's an issue."

That confidence comes from the positivity which has enveloped the club in recent weeks, and has been sorely lacking over the course of the past few seasons, when the mood at the Emirates Stadium has been subpar at best.

Now though, there is a positive feedback loop developing in North London, with each win making the crowd more optimistic, and in turn the exuberance of the supporters then boosts the players on the pitch too.

As Arteta explained, "The feeling and energy around the club [is good]. The way the team is playing and performing, it's very fulfilling - the icing on the cake is winning football matches.

"We have to continue to do that, keep doing simple things right and keep playing well. When you have huge talent, hungry personalities and people who love what they do, normally good things happen."

On Team News

Whilst the confidence may be high amongst both fans, players and indeed coaching staff, Arteta will be wary of not getting too far ahead of themselves, especially considering it is still early on in the season.

One of the areas where things may become a little unstuck is squad depth, an area that is of course quite significantly affected by injuries, which the Spaniard gave an update on in his press conference.

"[Aaron] Ramsdale and [Martin] Odegaard have been assessed and we will see more tomorrow,he revealed. "Hopefully they'll be able to train with the team.

"Alex [Zinchenko] missed two games and has not been able to train with the team yet. For Mo [Elneny], we are talking months."

Embed from Getty Images

Such absences, if they are all confirmed, would put a severe dent in the quality of the side Arteta could field on Sunday, with Martin Odegaard in particular standing out since being named club captain in the summer.

Another notable absence that was spoken about was that of Thomas Partey, with the midfielder set to be out for some time according to Mikel Arteta.

The manager explained: "With Thomas [Partey], we are hopefully talking weeks and even shorter than that. We have tried to manage him. A lot has happened since he's joined.

"We are trying the possible way to find reasons for that. [His] attitude is there - he’s really disappointed and wants to get back."

On Deadline Day

Having explained the various absences ahead of this weekend's game, it was natural for the manager to then turn to the topic of whether more cover could have been brought into the squad during the transfer window.

With the window now shut, it is too late to bring in any new additions, but Arteta did reveal that the club were trying to bring in at least one more player to account for the various injuries issues, saying "we had a lot of things still to do with the squad.

"Look at the departures compared to what we've recruited. The club has done a phenomenal job to bring in players with the profile we wanted. Unfortunatlely Tomo [Tomiyasu] got injured in the same place as last time and Elneny has a long term injury.

"We had to react. We tried but have to bring in the right player for the team and for club but didn't manage to do that."

Nevertheless, Arteta remained positive about the players he does have at his disposal, especially with the context of how well they have performed in the opening few weeks of the campaign.

"It's the team we have. For me it's the best squad and team I have available. There is nothing else we can do.

"We have an academy as well that we have to use and we will try to do that [in] the best possible way."

VAVEL Logo