Home Sport Mikel Arteta sticks up for Erik ten Hag as Man Utd field...

Mikel Arteta sticks up for Erik ten Hag as Man Utd field calls to sack manager

Mikel Arteta has defended Erik ten Hag and believes the Dutchman deserves more time and backing at Manchester United. Arteta’s Arsenal go head-to-head with the Red Devils at Old Trafford today (4.30pm) looking for a rare win away at their big six rivals, who have endured a dreadful season.

But Arteta insists United should keep the faith with Ten Hag. The Spaniard said: “I can only talk about what I think about him as a coach. He’s an excellent coach, I admire his teams, Ajax and United.

“I know what he’s trying to do, I know how he does it, I know how difficult it is to prepare against him, so I have huge respect for him. Hopefully he gets the time because we are colleagues and we know how difficult it is in this league and how small the margins are.”

Despite Arteta’s glowing appraisal of his opposite number, Arsenal will be looking to take advantage of United’s struggles and claim all three points at Old Trafford.

And in a damning reflection of just how far the mighty have fallen, the Red Devils are a whopping 6.5/1 with some bookmakers, even though Arsenal have won just one of their previous 16 visits to United.

While Arteta masterminded that sole 1-0 triumph behind closed doors in November 2021 – he now wants his Gunners to win in front of supporters.

The 42-year-old added: “If you want to win the Premier League and big trophies, you have to go to these grounds and impose yourself and beat them. That’s the journey we are on and that’s for sure what we are going to try to do on Sunday.

“Physical presence will be key if Arsenal are to secure a memorable victory over their rivals. This is exactly why recruiting players with height and strength has been a priority for Arteta and Edu in recent transfer windows.

“A winning team that wants to be sustainable needs to have certain ingredients, and that is one, in my opinion. In relation to the players that we pick, we have very different qualities.

“Speed, physicality, leadership quality, the relationships we can build. It is true that the team we have had the last few weeks is more physical in the aspect of size. There are many other aspects but it’s good that we can change the shape of our team.”

Despite the odds being against the Gunners in the title race, Arteta remains optimistic. He believes it’s Arsenal’s destiny to hoist the trophy this time next week.

So much so, he’s been visualising the victory during early-morning drives on the M25. “It happened just this morning, yeah. I am excited to come for work, to see how much the boys want it. Hopefully we can deliver it.

“It has been nine and a half months and you have this objective, this target you are chasing every day. You are constantly trying to do things to get closer and closer to it. You are just hoping that it is going to happen.”


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