Mikel Arteta reflects on maturity after Bournemouth win – but warns it could take ‘five or ten years’

Speaking to the media after his Arsenal side cruised past Bournemouth to remain at the top of the Premier League table, Mikel Arteta expressed that he is feeling ‘very excited’ about the club’s remaining games.

‘We have done it for nine and a half months now,’ he explained, ‘so now it’s two weeks to go.’

‘We really want to get it done. We’re closer to where we were yesterday, and hopefully we can bring that title here.’

Last year, Arsenal faded out of the title race in the last few weeks. This time around, the Gunners appear to have peaked at the right moment – as Arteta reflected on during his pre-match press conference on Friday.

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But when asked if there’s been an improvement in maturity, the Spaniard questioned: ‘Is a year is enough to do that?’

‘For some, it takes five or ten years to achieve that,’ he warned, ‘but yes, at the end we are trying to do the right things. The energy and the commitment from the boys in everything we do is unbelievable. And hopefully it will pay off.’

Arteta also piled on the praise for Kai Havertz, claiming that the midfielder ‘was unbelievable today, honestly.’

‘Everything that he did [was] intelligent: timing, the movements, how he keeps the ball, the way he goes to the press, how he links the play, understanding of the game. He was unbelievable today.’

VAR’s involvement in the match was once again a talking point, but Arteta joked with reporters that he hadn’t watched the decisions back because he ‘knew you would ask me!’

‘The analysts asked me if I wanted to watch it and I said no because then I can tell the truth and say I haven’t seen it,’ he laughed.

‘I can have an [initial] impression. The one on David, the foul, I cannot see because it’s too far. The one on Bukayo, is it on purpose or not, I don’t know. It’s difficult for me to judge.’