Mikel Arteta makes ‘big contenders’ Newcastle United claim amid Eddie Howe praise

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has heaped praise on Eddie Howe for his work in transforming Newcastle United into what he calls big contenders. The Gunners boss was asked about the Magpies head coach and whether he saw any similarities between his own work at the Emirates and Howe’s job at St. James’ Park.

“Huge credit to him,” Arteta told football.london. “He has transformed the club, the environment, the atmosphere and has given his team such belief in what they do so that is a huge compliment to him.

“Every club is different. He deserves huge credit for what he has done, the way he has done it, the way his team plays and the environment he has created.

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“It is fantastic. He has a lot of support and we all need that as well but they are now big contenders.”

Arsenal’s form so far this season hasn’t been as consistent as their early title charge last season, but Arteta’s side are second in the table just two points behind leaders Tottenham Hotspur. The Gunners have previously struggled at St. James’ Park but ran out 2-0 winners when the two sides met on Tyneside last season.

When asked about the change in mentality in big games on the road, Arteta said: “Well, first of all, belief and then performances. You need to first of all be so convinced that you go tomorrow to Newcastle and you fully believe that you’re going to win the game, and, well, it has to be really clear what we have to do in order to achieve that.

“And then obviously, quality and talent to get the performances that we need and that’s down to the players. You play football, you play for you want to play in those atmosphere like going to Seville you know what you’re going to get.

“It’s an incredible privilege to play in those grounds and you have to embrace the moment and enjoy it and go for it because it’s worth it. This is the arena that you want to be tested in. [St. James’ Park is] An incredible football atmosphere.”

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