West Ham striker Michail Antonio has claimed that he has “heard from someone who works at Arsenal” about their thoughts on Man City’s recent form.
The Gunners are enjoying a remarkable season as they are mounting a serious challenge for the Premier League title. They have been at the top of the table for most of this season.
As they often do, Man City are coming on strong ahead of the final few weeks of the 2022/23 campaign.
Pep Guardiola’s side have won five games in a row to close the gap between themselves and leaders Arsenal.
The Londoners will be seven points clear of Man City if they beat Southampton on Friday night, but their rivals will have two games in hand. The title challengers also come up against each other at the Etihad next week.
Arsenal have dropped points in back-to-back games against Liverpool and West Ham this month. Hammers forward Antonio has now indicated that the Gunners are “feeling the pressure from City”.
“I’ve heard this from someone who works at Arsenal. All season, they’ve been concentrating on themselves, playing how they play,” Antonio said on the Footballer’s Football podcast.
“Last week, when they drew with Liverpool and City got a bit closer, it was the first time all season that this person heard players start talking about City and how well City have been playing. They are definitely feeling the pressure from City chasing them.”
He added: “Basically, what Arteta has done, he’s been at City, watched everything Pep has done, moved away to Arsenal and just copied and pasted. Boom.
“I’m not caning Arteta, he’s a G for doing it. The skills to do what you’re doing, study it and then pull it off even though the guy who has mastered it is here. And you’re basically beating him at doing his own thing! It’s unbelievable!”
Arteta has confirmed ahead of Friday’s game against Southampton that William Saliba is “not progressing as quickly as we hoped”.
“The picture hasn’t changed from last week. Regarding William, we still have to wait a little bit more,” Arteta said.
“He is not progressing as quickly as we hoped. It’s a bit delicate and we want to be very certain when we push him that he is ready to absorb the load and the risk that we will take and at the moment that’s not possible to do.”
Asked if Saliba will miss the rest of this season, he added: “I don’t know, it’s a bit early (to make predictions).
“Probably next week we are going to have more certainty. There is some evolution, he is doing more activity.
“But he is not there yet to start to throw him on the pitch at the level that the sessions demand to compete in this league.”