• Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal currently sit five points clear at the top of the league
  • They face a tough test on Sunday against title chasers Manchester United 
  • It is the biggest game between the two sides since Alex Ferguson’s reign 

Mikel Arteta has taken Arsenal five points clear at the top of the Premier League

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has been looking to evoke Sir Alex Ferguson’s ‘brutal honesty’ as Arsenal prepare to face Manchester United on Sunday.

Victory for the Gunners tomorrow would put them eight points clear at the top of the league, while United can go level on points with second-place Man City with a win.

It is the most important clash between the two sides in over a decade, potentially eclipsing the Red Devils 8-2 win in the 2011 fixture that confirmed Arsene Wenger’s side as a team in decline.

Mikel Arteta has taken Arsenal five points clear at the top of the Premier League

He has taken inspiration from legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson's 'brutal honesty'

He has taken inspiration from legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson’s ‘brutal honesty’ .

Arteta arrived at the Emirates as a player shortly after that game, and has now reflected on how it influenced his time at the club. 

 ‘Unfortunately it had to be the 8-2 because it was a big result. I don’t think it was just the result that got me here, but it probably helped. After that, the rest is history.’

That win came towards the end of Ferguson’s tenure at United, and Arteta has since spoken of how taken he was with the manager’s frank style.

Sunday's clash between United and the Gunners will be the biggest since Ferguson's retirment

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Sunday’s clash between United and the Gunners will be the biggest since Ferguson’s retirment

He added: ‘What really captured me was his presence, his charisma and the way he talked. How honest and brutal he was about certain opinions he had about players and the game.

‘I had a few conversations, not formally, but with people around him and it was more listening than talking.’

As well as giving Arsenal the opportunity to extend their buffer over the chasing pack, Sunday’s game gives them an opportunity to show they can win big games at home.

Their record is hard to fault this year but Arteta’s side did recently drop points to Newcastle at home, and were beaten by United at Old Trafford last season.

Arsenal can go eight points clear with a win but will face one of their toughest tests so far

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