Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta believes the Premier League title race will do down to the wire and expects the table to be ‘open right until the end’.
Arsenal are top of the Premier League table after a last-gasp win at Luton in midweek, though just six points separate the top four teams in the division.
The Gunners travel to face in-form Aston Villa on Saturday evening, with the latter having moved into contention after a superb start under former Arsenal manager Unai Emery.
Villa have won 14 consecutive home league games and beat Manchester City 1-0 on Wednesday, a result which saw Emery’s side climb above the beaten Premier League champions in the table.
Arteta believes the opening months of the season and have shown the ‘quality and competitiveness’ of the Premier League and expects the title race to be open ‘right until the end’.
“When you look at the competition it’s so open and it will be open right until the end,” Arteta said at his pre-match press conference.
“It shows the quality and competitiveness of the league.”
Arteta will be banned from the touchline for the trip to Villa, following his celebrations after Declan Rice’s 97th-minute winner at Luton. On his ban, the Spaniard said: “I’ll have a nice view! I don’t know how to stop it when it’s such an emotional moment. I lost where I was.
“It’s unfortunate because I can’t be on the touchline, but if you look at the rules then you know you can’t do what I did. In the moment you can get carried away.”
Asked whether he thinks the ban on managers celebrating with their players should be removed, Arteta said: “If I was given the opportunity then no [there shouldn’t be a rule] because I want to be there with my players. When you get those moments you should be able to be there, but I get there has to be boundaries and I crossed that.
“Hopefully they’ll play better! We have experienced coaches that will be next to them. We’ve done it in the past from home, so let’s do it now. At least I have a little experience!”