Thomas Partey may have dropped out of Mikel Arteta’s starting lineup for the last two matches but he understands the decision after labelling fellow midfielder Jorginho as “the best at training” in the last couple of weeks.
Having not started a league match since February, the Italy international was his metronomic best against former club Chelsea and followed up with a man-of-the-match performance in the heat of battle versus Newcastle.
The back-to-back victories have helped revive the Gunners’ ailing title challenge
and underlined the importance of squad depth. The competition for places is something that Partey welcomes.
“For me, it is something that always happened. I have always had competition, which is good for me. I enjoy it,” said Partey ahead of Sunday’s match with Brighton.
“I am really happy for him [Jorginho] because for a couple of weeks he was the best at training and then at the end you see that in the game.
“I am really happy for him and also happy that every player is ready to step in, so nobody is able to sleep. I think it is good and I hope everyone in that position will be ready to step in when they have the chance.
“The purpose of the club is to create competition and that helps the club to grow more, and also pushes us to be able to give our best in the game.
“I think it is good. Anytime you have good competition, with no problems, it is the best way to achieve what you want to achieve. This is easy because everyone is ready to give their best.”
Whoever starts in midfield at the weekend, Partey has urged his teammates to keep playing “the Arsenal way” while wary that a wounded Brighton – who come into the match off the back of a 5-1 hammering to Everton – have proved themselves to be relentless competitors this season.
“When a team has that mentality I think it’s hard to stop them,” he told Arsenal.com.
“But I believe in our qualities and I believe in every player. When you win games, you have a better chance of winning the next one because your confidence level is high, so we have to try and be ourselves and try and play the Arsenal way. Whenever we do that, we are able to beat any team.
“You can see [Brighton] play good football and their mentality is strong. They never give up. I think it will be a very difficult game because they want to keep the ball, and we want to keep the ball so we have to be good at doing that and stronger in recovering the ball and keeping it.
“Any team that likes to dominate play has their own weaknesses. You’ll have to see after the game how we will try to hurt them but we are training a lot on that. Every team that is good have their weaknesses but we will try and explore that, play as we know how to play and we’ll be able to beat them.”