Wednesday, October 5, 2022

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Mikel Arteta reveals being knocked off first place was used as a motivation for Arsenal’s win over Brentford

Mikel Arteta revealed Arsenal are determined to prove their title credentials and were cheered on at Brentford by losing first place 24 hours earlier.

Wins for Manchester City and Tottenham dropped Arsenal to third but they responded strongly with a convincing win at Brentford to reclaim pole position.

Arteta is now not shy about opening up about Arsenal being among the teams fighting to win the league.

He said: “You can ask me every day. We’re top of the table today, which makes me very happy. ‘Yesterday [Saturday] I was so upset because we lost it and we used that to want to go back and show that we want to be there.

“That’s what we will do – push to be the best we can be. That is the goal. Normally after 38 games the table won’t be flat.’

Arsenal’s humiliation at Brentford on the opening day of last season was clearly fresh in the minds of their players and fans as they retaliated with goals from William Saliba, Gabriel Jesus and Fabio Vieira on his full Premier League debut.

Defender Gabriel was quick to take to social media after the game to take a stab at Ivan Toney, repeating his “nice kick with the lads” tweet after Brentford’s win over a year ago. Arsenal fans also taunted England newcomer Toney as they watched their side drive to victory.

Arteta said: “A lot of people described last season here as a bad day, an awkward day, I took it as a good character building day. You want to be a different team, you have to learn from those moments and live through those moments and then there are days like today where everyone in the dressing room is really happy with how we played. We enjoy our football and it’s another step.”

Thomas Frank, meanwhile, reiterated his commitment to Brentford after being linked with the job at Leicester, where Brendan Rodgers is increasingly under scrutiny, having also previously been mentioned as a potential successor to Graham Potter at Brighton. He said: “Very simple answer. I’m here in Brentford, very happy.”

“I can’t speak for the players but I read very little, these rumours, I’ve been told to pay a little attention if you get questions and of course it’s nice to be associated with that because it’s something is We have done here and done well. That’s positive.”

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