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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta praises Jose Mourinho’s start at Tottenham ahead of north London derby clash


Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is expecting a ‘really tough’ match at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium (Picture: Getty)

Mikel Arteta insists he still has ‘huge respect’ for ‘world-class’ manager Jose Mourinho despite his disappointing start at Tottenham and claims the Portuguese has coped well considering the number of injuries he’s had to deal with since his appointment.

Just one point separates the two teams ahead of Sunday’s north London derby but Arsenal, sitting eighth in the Premier League table, will be confident of extending their five-match unbeaten streak when they head to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Ninth-placed Spurs have won just two of their last 11 matches in all competitions and Mourinho appears to be feeling the pressure after he flounced out of his press conference early in the wake of the side’s goalless draw at Bournemouth.

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Tottenham’s lacklustre display at the Vitality Stadium put another dent in their hopes of playing in Europe next season but Arteta only had positive things to say about his rival manager at his press conference on Friday.

Asked what he’s made of Mourinho’s Tottenham side this season, the Spaniard replied: ‘They have had some ups and downs but overall you can clearly see what he wants to bring to the club.

‘He manages the energy, the momentum and establishes a really strong culture in every football club.

‘As well, he makes sure that he wins and he’s won in every single club that he’s been at.

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‘Obviously the situation and the timing when he arrived is different than starting a new project right from the summer.

But I’m sure he will be successful because he always finds the right way to do it.

‘It will take him a bit of time but I’m sure he will do it.’

Asked whether Mourinho remains a ‘world-class’ manager, Arteta replied: ‘Absolutely.’

The Gunners are unbeaten in their last five games (Picture: Getty)

Arteta says Mourinho ‘always’ manages to find a way to be successful and believes Arsenal’s bitter rivals have been unlucky with injuries this season.

‘He has a very clear way of playing and a very clear way of how he manages games,’ Arteta continued.

‘I think clean sheets are a big thing that he wants to do, but don’t forget his teams always score a lot of goals and they are really successful and he’s been able to win titles because of that.

‘I think in a long period they’ve had a lot of injuries so he hasn’t had the chance to be consistent with his team and that’s a big disadvantage that they have.

‘I know that he’s done it and I know people that have worked with him and he always find a way to be successful and I’m sure he’ll do it again.’

Despite Spurs’ disappointing run of results, Arteta is expecting a ‘really tough’ match at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

‘I think a derby has a completely different context to what is happening with the current form and anything like that,’ he added.

‘I have huge respect for Jose, for what he’s trying to do there, and we know to go there and get a win we’re going to have to do everything really, really well.

‘I’m expecting a really tough game.’

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