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Arteta’s delight as ‘good energy’ starts to flow through Arsenal

The Gunners boss has praised the attitude of his players ahead of Sunday’s Premier League meeting with Everton

Mikel Arteta says he can feel an ‘energy’ around his Arsenal squad following their unbeaten start to 2020.

Thursday night’s 1-0 victory against Olympiacos in the Europa League means the Gunners are the only Premier League side who are yet to taste defeat in all competitions since the turn of the year.

Arteta’s side are now unbeaten in nine games and have won three of their last four, keeping three successive clean sheets in the process.

It’s a run of form that has reinvigorated the club and for Arteta it’s an indication that what he and his coaching staff are doing on the training ground is bearing fruit.

“Honestly, we feel as a staff that the players are willing, are behind us and want to follow us,” Arsenal’s head coach said.

“You try and convince them about what we are trying to do and they are doing every thing they can to always try and execute what we are doing. The energy we have together is good so I am happy.”

Arteta added: “The attitude I want the players to play with is to confront the opponent.

“It does not matter where we play, we have to go there and we have to face them. We have to feel that we are ready to go, not just when we have the ball but when we don’t have it as well, with the same attitude and aggression.

“They are doing it. I can only praise them because they are trying hard – sometimes we can be better or worse but they are very willing.”

Arsenal return to Premier League action on Sunday looking to build on last weekend’s 4-0 thumping of Newcastle United.

Everton will be the visitors to Emirates Stadium and victory for the hosts will see them move above their ninth-placed visitors.

For Arteta, who spent seven years at Goodison Park as a player before joining Arsenal, it is going to be an emotional occasion.

But the 38-year-old knows that the only thing that really matters is winning – with just two points separating the sides in the table.

“Every game that we play is going to have a big impact on the table and we are aware of that,” said the Spaniard.

“The home form is going to be vital if we want to achieve anything at the end of the season.

“We have a short recovery [from the Olympiacos game], obviously, with the turnaround and that is why we need all the players available and fit, with the right mindset, because it will be difficult again.”

Arteta added: “I played there [at Everton] for seven years and I still have some great memories, great friends and people that I love a lot.

“When I was appointed manager I had to go to Goodison and Carlo [Ancelotti] was appointed that day I think. It’s always special for me to play [them] and I’m really looking forward to it.”

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