Arteta gunning for title Mikel Arteta

LONDON. — Mikel Arteta has finally conceded Arsenal ARE English Premiership football title contenders after becoming the Gunners’ most successful ever manager following 150 games in charge. 

Gabriel’s second half winner against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon saw the Gunners return to the English Premier League summit. 

It means Arteta has 87 wins as Arsenal boss — five more than Arsene Wenger had at this stage. 

Wenger is alongside George Graham on 82 victories after 150 matches, with Harry Bradshaw on 78, Tom Whittaker on 75 and Terry Neill on 72. 

And as Granit Xhaka turned the air blue by hailing the “f****** unbelievable” atmosphere within the camp, Arteta admitted for the first time this season that his team are genuine challengers. 

Arteta said: “We are in contention, today. In football, today and tomorrow are very different. But let’s enjoy this time.

“Manchester City have the best manager in the world, the best team in the world. They have shown it consistently in every single competition. 

“We have to be very, very respectful of that. We are getting much better as a team, competing much better, getting really good results right now. 

“Obviously we are still very early in the season. We have to maintain that. 

“It is going to be a long, long marathon but we have had a really good start.” 

Arteta’s men dominated throughout but needed Gabriel to toe over the line from a matter of inches after Bukayo Saka’s inswinging corner somehow sneaked through the box without anybody getting a touch. 

Arteta was also full of praise for Saliba and his partner at centre-back Gabriel. The Spaniard insisted that it was their performance that was crucial to the win, which has added to his hopes of leading the Gunners to the title.

“I think both of them. I think that pair again, they were outstanding, both of those,” Arteta said of Saliba and Gabriel. “That’s why we sustained them really well, especially when we had to defend open spaces, which it is very difficult against these players – what we defend them to do. But I think they did it, great. — The Sun

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