Mikel Arteta is relishing a ‘battle’ against a physical Everton side who Arsenal have historically struggled to beat away from home .
The last time the Gunners beat the Toffees at Goodison Park dates back to October 2017 — and it is something Arteta is looking to urgently rectify.
He said: ‘Sometimes we cannot avoid a battle. There are certain balls that you have to prove, and they have a certain style of play that they are extremely good at.
‘We have a very different one and when you are trying to impose your way of playing, it is about trying to make sure your opponents’ strengths are completely hidden and yours are coming out every time to fulfil your time.
‘Our record speaks for itself: in the last six years we haven’t won there, so we’re going to have to earn it, we’re going to have to be at our best. That’s something we haven’t managed to do, so we’ll have to start.
Mikel Arteta (pictured) has claimed that his side will need to be ‘at their best’ to end their unwanted six-year wait for a win at Goodison Park against Everton on Sunday
He added that he is looking forward to the physical battle between his team and the Toffees
The Arsenal boss was speaking ahead of his side’s Premier League clash against Everton on Sunday
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‘Before I came here we’ve been to grounds where we haven’t won in 17 years and we’ve done it. We have to look at what’s important, what we lacked in certain games, and it’s just about putting that right and doing it.’
Winger Pepe completed his move to Turkish Trabzonspor last week, and Arteta played down the £72million that was spent to bring him to the club.
‘I wasn’t involved in the process of that deal but what I can say is that he was a phenomenal boy who tried really hard and tried his best, so it’s not his fault the amount of money we paid at the time,’ said Arteta.
Arteta also spoke on Martin Odegaard’s (pictured) contract situation claiming that he was ‘optimistic’
He also spoke about how impressed he was at how quickly new signing Declan Rice (pictured) has settled into life at the Emirates
The Spanish manager delivered an injury update on Bukayo Saka (pictured) saying his achilles injury is ‘fine’ and he had been ‘training normally on Friday’
The game comes as news broke on Friday announcing that Everton had agreed a deal for 777 Capital Partners to buy a controlling 94.1 per cent stake in the club
‘When things aren’t working you have to move on. There is no point trying something when it’s not working for either, so I think it’s best for both parties.’
He confirmed Bukayo Saka ‘trained normally today’ with ‘nothing to worry about’, his achilles pain not causing an obstacle to play. Mail Sport had revealed earlier this week that the forward had been harbouring a niggle from the second half of last season.
On Martin Odegaard’s contract talks, the club hoping to tie him to a longer-term deal, Arteta added: ‘He’s our captain, he’s a massive player for us, and a really important player for us now and for the future. We are extremely happy to have him and want to keep him here for a long time.
‘We really have a good relationship with him and his agent. Whenever it is confirmed, we will announce it.’