Arsenal face Tottenham in the north London derby on Sunday as the two clubs follow in the Premier League standings.
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But Mikel Arteta, who briefly trained under the 57-year-old coach when he was the Barcelona B player at the start of his career, is convinced that the Champions League double winner is still one of the best in the world. “Absolutely”, he said, when asked if Mourinho was still a world-class coach. “They’ve had their ups and downs, but overall you can clearly see what he wants to bring to the club.”
“He manages energy, speed and has established a very strong culture in a big football club. And he also makes sure he wins and he has won in every club where he has been. The situation, the time it came, is different than starting a new project in the summer, but I’m sure it will succeed. He always has. He always finds the right way to do it and it will take him a while, but I’m sure he will. . “added Spanish
“He has a very clear way to play, a clear way to handle his matches. I think the clean sheet is obviously a big thing he wants to do, but his team – remember – always make a lot of goals. They were really successful and they could win titles because of that. I think for a long time Tottenham had a lot of injuries so he didn’t have the chance to be as consistent with his team and that’s a big disadvantage they have. I know people have worked with him and he finds always a way to be successful and I’m sure he will do it again “, concluded Mikel Arteta.
Arteta takes pressure from the referee
Sunday’s North London derby will work by Michael Oliver, who was the VAR referee in Tottenham’s draw at Bournemouth on Thursday when the Spurs felt they should have received a penalty for a foul on Harry Kane. Match referee Paul Tierney did not grant the penalty and Oliver confirmed the decision after reviewing the events. However, after the match, the Premier League acknowledged that a penalty should have been called.
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The incident came just days after Oliver – again in charge of VAR – refused a goal Kane scored for a hand in Tottenham’s 3-1 defeat at Sheffield United. Mourinho was very critical of Oliver during his interviews after the match in Bournemouth, “like against Sheffield United, the man of the match was not one of the players”, he explained. This has led to the suggestion that Oliver should be taken out of service for Sunday’s game, but Arteta insists he has no worries about taking over the derby.
“I never worry about the judge’s decision”said the Arsenal coach. “Nowadays everything is so professional, dedicated and they are under so much pressure and criticism. I know they are doing their best with the decisions they have to make. They become more and more complicated due to the speed of the game and the speed they have to react to, as well as the pressure they have with the new VAR system. “
“We are here to support them, we need them, they are a big part of them. Now we complain that we do not have fans and we realize how important they are, maybe one day we will” We will not have any judge and we will say, “Wow, they were crucial for this game to work. So we have to support them”, the Spaniard concluded.