Antonio Conte insists Tottenham will face an ‘improved’ Arsenal team

Antonio Conte says Tottenham face an “improved” arsenal this weekend.

Spurs beat their rivals to finish fourth at the end of last season and qualify for the Champions League after winning 3-0 in the last derby in north London in May.

It hasn’t stopped Arsenal from investing heavily in their squad this summer as Oleksandr Zinchenko and Gabriel Jesus have signed from Manchester City and Mikel Arteta has guided them to the Premier League summit after eight games ahead of Saturday’s clash at the Emirates .

While Conte and his opponent Arteta have exchanged blows in the past, the Italian was full of praise for the work done by the ex-Gunners’ captain ahead of this latest encounter.

“I think when I see what has happened at Arsenal, they are a club that has supported Arteta over the years,” Conte noted.

“You see when you trust a person and Arsenal have shown that even in a difficult period where Arteta (by) supporting him at every moment, now they have good results. Don’t forget that last season they were in the Champions League (places) for the last three games.

“You had a good step. I think this season they are better than last season. They made good signings, especially Jesus and Zinchenko from a club like Manchester City, two players who are used to winning and have a winning mentality. It’s important because I can see they’ve improved the level. Not just the quality, but also the mentality at Arsenal.

“I think they’re doing a good job. In my opinion it’s always very, very important to go together, with the coach and the club. If you want to build something important, you have to stick together to have a good relationship.

“I think the manager has to give the club a good explanation of ‘why I want this player and not that player’ in every decision he’s going to make.’ It is right that the manager shows the vision that you have and then the club has to agree with the manager. To have a great connection, a great connection between the manager and the club, you certainly have a much brighter future than the present.

Conte has been consistent on his vision and Spurs direction on several occasions this season and he repeated that again on Thursday.

The 53-year-old has also preached patience despite Tottenham winning Champions League football last season and enjoying a summer spending spree that saw six players added to the first-team line-up.

He added: “It will be very important to keep working in the right way. Personally, I know we need time and a bit of patience to find a way to become seriously competitive with City, Liverpool, Chelsea, also United I think and Arsenal.

“It is important for me to recognize this and understand that we need time and patience. Then, I repeat, I enjoy working with this club and it is very important to have a good relationship with the owner and with Fabio (Paratici) to stay in the same line and vision.”

When Spurs beat Arsenal on home turf last May, footage of the visitors’ dressing room was captured by Amazon Prime’s cameras, which were making a documentary about the Gunners.

Tottenham boss Conte announced he has started watching the eight-part series, but revealed: “I haven’t finished watching it but going forward I will certainly finish this documentary.

I enjoy working with this club and it’s very important to have a good relationship with the owner and with Fabio (Paratici) to stay in the same line and vision.”

“I did the same with Tottenham, Manchester City and Juventus because I’m really curious how to handle the situation for the manager.

“I think it was really, really interesting but Arsenal’s documentary that I started but didn’t finish. In the future I will surely finish. I think it’s positive because this documentary shows behind the scenes.”

Asked if he saw the ending, which shows Tottenham beating Arsenal to qualify for the Champions League, Conte smiled: “Yes, but I saw that episode.”

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https://www.newschainonline.com/sport/mens-sport/football/antonio-conte-insists-tottenham-will-face-improved-arsenal-team-295395 Antonio Conte insists Tottenham will face an ‘improved’ Arsenal team

Mike Fahey

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