Tottenham’s Eric Dier has jumped to the defence of Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta and named the Spaniard as ‘the most exciting young manager in Europe’ ahead of Sunday’s north London derby.
Arsenal and Arteta finished last campaign on a high, beating Chelsea to win the FA Cup, but Mikel is under increasing pressure after a pair of defeats and a draw in the club’s last three Premier League matches.
Top-of-the-table Tottenham are already eight points better off than Arsenal – who are languishing down in 14th place – and Jose Mourinho’s side will be confident of victory at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, with Son Heung-min and Harry Kane and firing on all cylinders.
But Dier stressed the clubs’ position in the standings was ‘irrelevant’ at such an early stage of the season and expects a ‘great game’ between the two bitter rivals in couple of days.
‘The position in the table is irrelevant and I think it’s very early on in the season for both teams,’ he told Sky Sports. It’s going to be a great game either way and one we’re really looking forward to.’
The England international insisted the Gunners were in ‘good hands’ despite their poor run of results under Mikel in recent weeks.
Asked whether their results are likely to improve, eric replied: ‘Yeah, of course. They’ve got a lot of quality in their team and I think they’ve got a very exciting young manager.
‘I think he’s maybe the most – personally, obviously I’m not on the inside! – but from what I see, the most exciting young manager in Europe, for sure
‘I like his way and the way in which he seems to be as a manager so I think they’re in good hands in that sense.’