Mikel Arteta praised the ‘maturity’ of his Arsenal players as they cruised to a 2-0 win at Wolverhampton Wanderers and extended their lead at the top of the Premier League.
With Manchester City suffering a surprise home defeat to Brentford in the lunchtime kick-off, the onus was on Arsenal to get a positive result at Wolves and underline their title credentials.
It took a while to break the deadlock, but two second-half strikes from captain Martin Odegaard were enough to snatch the win for Arteta’s side and extend their lead at the summit of the table to five points going into the World Cup break.
Exuding positivity after the game, Arteta told the BBC: “Thanks to the fans for the support and the way they helped transform this club and the energy of everyone and they should enjoy it [being top of the league].
“We showed another kind of maturity today to play their game, in the first 20-30 minutes we struggled to break them down. We were much better in the second half and we had a bit more courage and took risks but also not allowing them to run.”
When asked about the mentality and spirit within the Arsenal camp, Arteta responded: “Unbelievable – without these individuals we wouldn’t be in the position we are. They are growing day by day.”
Arsenal only seem to be growing in momentum and stature this season, and Arteta implied he would rather continue the season than break for the World Cup – but still wished his players the best in the competition regardless.
“I would train tomorrow but unfortunately they’re not here,” said Arteta.
“I wish those going to the World Cup the best and they will look after themselves – I hope they enjoy it because it doesn’t get better than playing for your country.”