Mikel Arteta proved he's still got it after getting involved in some Arsenal training matches this week – and he even did a few slide tackles.
The Spaniard was forced to make up the numbers as the Gunners prepared for their trip to Goodison Park on Sunday due to some senior squad absentees, and it sounds like a he had a blast. Speaking to Sky Sports ahead the Everton clash, he admitted: "It was good. It was a good work out. I lost some weight!"
When asked if he went in hard on anyone, a grinning Arteta replied: "I did a few [slide tackles] but I didn't get anyone injured." Continuing, he explained why had to step in: "'It was forced! It was nothing that I wanted to do, but yeah, we had one or two players [absent] and some academy players that could not join."
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Arsenal smashed Everton 4-0 the last time the two sides met back in March, though the Gunners' trip to Goodison the month before ended in a 1-0 defeat. A win today would see Arteta's side keep pace with Premier League leaders Manchester City, who have won all five of their opening matches this season.
The Toffees, meanwhile, are desperate to get their campaign up and running after picking up just one point in four games so far. Sean Dyche's team are 18th in the table and are staring down the barrel of a third-successive relegation dogfight, but a win today would drastically change the mood in the camp.
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When asked how he'd rate Arsenal's season so far out of 10, Arteta said: "I would say if we had 12 points I would give us a 10, but there is always a number of things that we have to improve on and have to do better.
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"Listen we started [by] winning the trophy against Manchester City in the [FA Community Shield] final, we should have won the the four games, that's for sure. We should have won it [their 2-2 draw with Fulham].
"But the margins, they've been too small. And probably that's the thing that we have to do better to kill games earlier. We have the dominance that we have shown already and be more ruthless."
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