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Arsenal boss Arteta opens up on why Jose Mourinho is ‘special’ ahead of North London derby

Mikel Arteta has lavished praise on his opposite number, Jose Mourinho, ahead of Sunday afternoon’s North London derby.

Arsenal and Spurs go into the game in wildly contrasting form, the Gunners down in 14th while their rivals came into the weekend at the top of the Premier League tree.

Spurs‘ form has seen talk increase about a potential title challenge, with Mourinho having won trophies at every single club he has managed. Speaking ahead of the game at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium, Mikel Arteta explained why the Portuguese is such a ‘special’ manager.

“There are two things with Mourinho, first of all what he transmits to the team,” the Spaniard said at his pre-match press conference.

“The head coach, the manager, whoever it is, what he needs to create is a level of engagement with the players and the club and fans, and a level of belief in his ideas — that they buy into him.

“If you don’t get that, you won’t last long.

“Mourinho has something really special: whatever he wants to get into the football club, he manages to do it and he believes in a way and players execute what he wants to do.

“Whoever does not do it is not part of that.

“When I talk about being ruthless, it’s not only on the pitch but as well with some decisions you have to make.

“The second one, I would say, is how you navigate difficult moments.

“The important part is how you react in difficult moments and how the club and the fans react in difficult moments, because I have never seen a rebuild of a team or a squad or a club when everything goes steady.”

Arteta did however refuse to compare the two sides’ current fortunes: “I don’t like to compare,” he said. “I don’t know what they have been doing or what they are trying to do.

“We know we are at the beginning of a long journey. We know where we want to get and the things we have to go through together.”

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