Mikel Arteta has admitted that Arsenal against Manchester United is not the heated game it once was, and says the introduction of VAR has played a big part in the change in the game.
The Gunners and Red Devils have experienced fiery clashes over the years, with Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson in particular overseeing some monumental battles.
Arteta’s men face Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side in the Premier League kick-off on Saturday night, and the Spaniard doesn’t expect the clash to be blood and thunder which we had grown used to once, although he says the change is not Arsenal v Manchester United specific.
“He calmed down, but not only with Arsenal and [Manchester] United matches, ”Arteta said at his last press conference (as quoted by the Daily Mail).” Usually you see the way derbies were played and it’s not the same now.
Arteta added that he believes the introduction of VAR and the way players are educated in the game have had a big impact on the evolution of Premier League football.
“The game is evolving,” he said. “We educate the players in a different way and for sure now they’re not allowed to do some of the things they used to do. With VAR, even less. You are much more controlled and watched, so you know you are not going. to get by with certain things. “
The Gunners have enjoyed a dramatic recovery in the form of falling behind and are currently undefeated in their last six league outings.
Arteta acknowledges that the clash with United will be a huge test for his young side, and he says his side must stand together if they are to defeat Solskjaer’s men and push for a place in the top four.
“You need that passion to defend your position and show how much you want to win,” he added.