Mikel Arteta says Arsenal will need to be almost perfect if they are to win the Premier League title this season.
The Gunners extended their lead at the top of the Premier League table to eight points with a 2-0 win at Sp*rs and, in the process, continued the club’s best-ever start to a league campaign.
Having amassed 47 points after 18 matches, Arteta’s side on current form would hit 99 points for the season. Given the Gunners haven’t surpassed the 80-point mark since 2007/08, it’s a pretty remarkable state of affairs.
Whether we achieve that or not remains to be seen but Arteta says any side winning the title this year will have to secure 90 points at least.
“One hundred per cent yes, I do,” agreed Arteta when asked if the eventual winners will surpass that amount.
“I don’t want to do too many calculations. It’s how we are going to prepare for the game against Man United now, to get another three points and play well and deserve to win.
“You ask me about points but it’s happened in the last four or five seasons so it will demand almost perfection.”
In fact, in five of the last six seasons, the eventual winners (Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City) have amassed at least 93 points on their way to glory.
In the immediate aftermath of this evening’s win, Arteta was keen for his players to live in the moment. After all, away wins in the north London derby don’t come around too often; the last was 2014.
“This is a great position to be in and let’s enjoy every single moment and let’s keep focusing,” he said.
“It’s great, I’m going in the dressing room and just feeling the joy and the togetherness around the team and how much it meant for them.
“It’s special and we know that here because of the way we play, the way we behave, the way we are and the way we live together and the unity that we have. So we must not forget that, because tomorrow we must try to do exactly the same to carry on the form that we have at the moment.”
He added: “We have a job where we are really privileged that we can make a lot of people happy and when you have this opportunity, you have to try to do it.
“So the enjoyment of sharing the victory with the fans was a great feeling and then everything that we do, all the suffering, the hours of work, it makes a lot of sense when you have moments like this.”
Arsenal now have a week to prepare for the visit of Manchester United who squeeze in a fixture at Crystal Palace between now and then.