Mikel Arteta says Eddie Howe has “transformed” Newcastle as he prepares to take his unbeaten Arsenal team to face the high-flying Magpies at St James’ Park on Saturday.
Arsenal, last year’s Premier League runners-up, are second in the table behind Tottenham after seven wins and three draws in 10 games.
But they suffered a chastening 3-1 midweek defeat against West Ham in the League Cup, on the same evening that Newcastle beat Manchester United 3-0 at Old Trafford.
“We know the standards and we know that the way we played, especially in the second half the other day was not good enough,” said Arteta, who made multiple changes at the London Stadium on Wednesday.
The Spaniard said St James’ Park was one of the “toughest places” to win.
“We’ve done it and there is nothing new to it, we know what we’re expecting,” he said. “It is very clear what they do, what their strengths are, and where the opportunities are for us. We will try to take the game where we want.”
Arteta said Howe deserved huge credit for the job he has done since taking over late in 2021, weeks after a Saudi-backed consortium bought the club.
Sixth-placed Newcastle beat struggling Manchester United despite a much-changed line-up and are also playing in the Champions League this season.
“I think he has transformed the club, the environment, the atmosphere and what he created in the team as well,” said Arteta.
“They have such a belief in what they do and that’s a huge compliment to him for what they’ve done.”
Arteta said the Premier League was becoming ever more competitive, with a clutch of clubs within striking distance of early pacesetters Tottenham.
“What has happened in the last five years is unprecedented,” he said. “It never happened with the amount of points and level of the teams.
“Now it’s the amount of teams with that level that is increasing and increasing. That’s why comparing to the past in this league is a waste of time.
“It’s very different to what it used to be, and that puts the demands of what we do every single day in a different scope.”
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