Football

Mikel Arteta: Arsenal, Manchester United electrifying moments no longer exist

Electrifying moments that always followed Arsenal, Manchester United matches are gradually fading away, according to Gunners boss, Mikel Arteta.

Electrifying moments that always followed Arsenal, Manchester United matches are gradually fading away, according to Gunners boss, Mikel Arteta.

Arteta spent five years as an Arsenal player and never featured on the winning side against United.

But all the old animosities had gone by then and today’s encounter at an empty Emirates is sure to be played out in relative peace.

Arteta admits: “It’s not only the Arsenal and Manchester United fixtures which have calmed down.

“If you look at the way all the derbies used to get played, it’s not the same right now.

“The game is evolving and we are educating the players in a different way.

“For sure they are not allowed to get away with some of the things they used to do 20 years ago and with VAR that’s even less.

“The game is much more controlled and policed these days so you know you can’t get away with certain things.”

Yet the former midfielder who also competed in the Glasgow and Merseyside derbies believes there is still room in the modern game for a tribal mentality to exist.

He says: “You need to have a passion to defend your position and show you much you want to succeed.

“That’s part of a winning mentality, for sure.

“In the past this match was about desire because both teams were convinced they were better than the other side and much stronger than all the other teams in the League.

“They had the depth of squad and quality that meant that the other teams couldn’t get anywhere near them.

“They knew they were the only two candidates to win the League and that is where the rivalry came from,

“But that’s not happening now because there are six or seven teams who are capable of winning the title and that’s the difference to ten years ago.”“They had the depth of squad and quality that meant that the other teams couldn’t get anywhere near them.

“They knew they were the only two candidates to win the League and that is where the rivalry came from,

“But that’s not happening now because there are six or seven teams who are capable of winning the title and that’s the difference to ten years ago.”

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