Mikel Arteta says Arsenal must believe in themselves ahead of Sunday’s clash with Manchester United and played down talk of a ‘psychological barrier’ despite the Gunners’ poor record at Old Trafford.
One win – achieved behind closed doors in November 2020 – in our past 15 Premier League away games against the Red Devils represents an abject record against a side who’ve been through a fair few post-Ferguson crises.
While the Gunners travel north in a buoyant mood having ascended to the top of the Premier League table with five consecutive wins, Arteta says self-belief will be important.
“It’s not something new,” said the boss when asked in his pre-game press conference what it would mean to win at United.
“We’ve done it, we have to do it again and we have to believe from today, yesterday and straight after the game that we are capable of going there and playing how we want in the match.
“The test in the Premier League is every single week, every opponent that you play. You see it in every game that will be played this weekend and I don’t expect anything different.
Pressed on whether United have a psychological edge over Arsenal in this fixture, he added: “I don’t think so. We have gone through things like that when we hadn’t won at Stamford Bridge for 20 or something years, but you need to believe that you will do that.
“If you can play the way you want to play, you will win football matches. We’ve done it, and that’s the belief that we have.”
After losing their opening two games of the season, United have fought back with three wins against Liverpool, Southampton and Leicester. While they still seem to be finding their feet under new manager Erik ten Hag, they now have momentum.
“When you look at the squad that they have, the players that they have signed the amount of money they have spent in the market, it is no surprise – they are going to win a lot of football matches,” said Arteta.
“The history of Manchester United tells you this is going to happen. They are a big rival, we know that and we are going to compete with them.”
On what he’s most proud of so far this season, the boss said: “The feeling and energy that is around the club, and the way the team is playing and performing, and at the end of the day, the icing on the cake is winning football matches.
“That is the only reason why we are here, and we have to continue to do that. If we keep doing the simple things right and maintain the energy levels, belief and enthusiasm that we have, we’ll keep playing well.”