Mikel Arteta has admitted that nobody expected Arsenal to be sitting top of the league at Christmas.
With Arteta’s side winning 2-0 at Wolves and Manchester City losing 2-1 at home to Brentford, the Gunners enter the winter break five points clear at the top of the league – the first time they’ve been top at Christmas since 2007.
Their strong start to the season has been a surprise to most, and even Arteta admits that it wasn’t expected.
“Nobody expected us to be where we are right now,” said the manager.
“I am more focused on our way of playing, our way of living together, the atmosphere we have around Colney and what we have generated with our supporters in our stadium. That is much more powerful. It’s great to be where we are, we are enjoying that moment. We have a big break, we have to reflect on what we are doing and we are very much prepared for what is to come after the World Cup.
“When a team is in the moment you want to carry on playing. It’s not possible so we have to use the time now in the best possible way.
“Our aim is to play better as a team every single day, to have better tools to do what we want to do on the pitch.”
It took Arsenal 54 minutes to break the deadlock, and Martin Odegaard’s opening goal was set up by Fabio Vieira, who came on for Granit Xhaka after just 16 minutes.
Xhaka’s early withdrawal prompted fears of a possible injury, but Arteta revealed after the game that the Swiss midfielder was simply unwell.