ESPN FC: Life without Walcott
Mikel Arteta has said he believes Arsenal are being shown more respect by their rivals this season after they bounced back to form following a dip in results in December.
Four wins in a row since the goalless draw against Chelsea just before Christmas have seen the Gunners return to the top of the Premier League and progress in the FA Cup.
And Arteta told Arsenal’s official website: “I think teams are showing us more respect because we are the most consistent team in England through the last year.
“That’s what we have to keep doing now through the last three or four months of the season.
“We are where we deserve to be. We had a little spell where we had a difficult time but we’ve come back, we’re on four wins in a row and we’re feeling good.”
And he added that he felt Saturday’s convincing 2-0 FA Cup third round win against North London rivals Tottenham was a sign of growing belief in the Arsenal ranks. “We want to continue in the FA Cup as we were so disappointed last year after what happened here against Blackburn,” he added, reflecting on their shock fourth round exit.
“It’s another opportunity to win a title and one that we wouldn’t want to miss. It gives the whole club a lift. It shows the things we’re doing are good, and we want to continue like that.”