The manager of Arsenal football club, Mikel Arteta has described the battle for a top-four finish in the Premier League as a roller coaster ride ahead of his team’s clash with in-form Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Coach Arteta and his boys are looking forward to finishing on the 4th spot on the Premier League table which will qualify the club to play in next season’s UEFA Champions League campaign.
Recall that the last time Arsenal played in the UEFA Champions League was during the 2016-2017 season, over two seasons before Arteta became the coach of the club.
The north London side have occupied the 4th spot a couple of times already this season. They are looking forward to having a permanent grip on the position.
Before they can do that, Arsenal who are currently occupying the 6th spot with 42 points in 23 games would have to overtake 5th placed West Ham United and 4th placed Manchester United.
Aside from the aforementioned clubs, Tottenham Hotspur that are currently occupying the 8th spot with 39 points in 23 games stands a good chance of breaking into the top four.
Even Wolves, Arsenal’s opponents in the Premier League game scheduled to kick off at 20:45 on Thursday, February 24, stand a fair chance of contending for the 4th spot. They are currently occupying the seventh spot with 40 points in 24 games.
Ahead of the Premier League game between Arsenal and Wolves that won five of their last six league games, coach Mikel Arteta told reporters that the top four race this season will be “a bit of a rollercoaster”.
“There are moments when a team opens a gap and then (others) catch up”, the Spanish tactician added. “You see the fixtures we all have to play and they’re extremely tricky.
“(The players) know what every game means for us. We know where we are. That race is going to be right until the end. There are a lot of clubs involved. You see different results than expected. Points at home will be crucial.”
🗣 "It's going to be a bit of a rollercoaster."— Football Daily (@footballdaily) February 23, 2022
Mikel Arteta expects an exciting finish to the top 4 race with every team facing difficult fixtures pic.twitter.com/Okib2zBNCQ
Recall that Arsenal beat Wolves 1-0 in a Premier League away game played on February 10, 2022. Hence, Arteta and his boys are expected to steal another victory from wolves when they visit the Emirates Stadium on Thursday for the rescheduled league game.
When will the contract between Mikel Arteta and Arsenal expire?
After the exit of Arsenal’s veteran coach Arsène Wenger in 2018, coach Mikel Arteta who was a player at Arsenal between 2011 and 2016, was said to be the ordained successor of Wenger.
However, the club’s board decided to appoint Unai Emery as the club’s football manager in 2018. When the Spanish coach was sacked in 2019, Arteta who was then an assistant coach at Manchester City was appointed Arsenal’s coach.
Hence, on December 20, 2019, Mikel Arteta signed a contract that will keep him at Arsenal until June 30, 2023.
Even though he won the FA Cup in his first season as Arsenal’s coach and went on to beat Liverpool 5-4 via penalties to win FA Community Shield, some of the fans of the club agitated for his sack last season due to inconsistent results. Fortunately for him, the club’s board decided to keep him at the club to date.
So far this season, Arsenal have performed fairly better than they did last season as they continue with their push for a top-four finish.
Hence, some sections of the club’s fans are already looking forward to an extension of Arteta’s contract.
In his reaction to the speculation that a contract extension was already in the works for him, coach Arteta stressed that his focus is to build a winning team at Arsenal.
“I am really happy here, my aim is just to build with the club a winning team, a team that people enjoy watching, that they identify with,” Arteta said.
🗣 "I am really happy here, my aim is just to build with the club a winning team, a team people enjoy watching."— Football Daily (@footballdaily) February 23, 2022
Mikel Arteta dismisses any talks of the club speaking about a new contract with him pic.twitter.com/iytcz0UJEp