Arsenal chief Edu hits back at rivals over ‘jokes’ made about Gunners

Edu feels the last laugh will be on Arsenal’s Premier League rivals if the Gunners’ previously-derided approach lands them the title. Since his arrival in the Arsenal hot seat at the end of 2019, manager Mikel Arteta has long gone on about “the process” at the club as they come to terms with the vacuum left by the departure of long-term guru Arsene Wenger.

The club decided that it would take a team of people to replace such an influential figure, and Edu was brought in another former player Edu as sporting director to help shape the future of the club.

Nothing vindicates such appointments as much as on-field success, but Arsenal were given an indication they were headed in the right direction with a clean sweep at the London football awards.

Martin Odegaard was player of the year, Bukayo Saka young player, Arteta was manager of the year while Aaron Ramsdale picked up the goalkeepers’ award.

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Edu said: “When we started, we were talking a lot about our process and people were making jokes about our process. We were quite clear about all the steps that we went through.

“We knew we’d go through some challenging periods because we had to make some important decisions and sometimes unpopular decisions which were going to cause some instability. But, importantly, we internally were together in terms of understanding the process and then we are, where we are.

“I know there’s a lot to do. We are in the middle of the process, there’s still a lot of things to do and carry on doing but also we’re very happy and proud to see where we are at the moment as a club.’

They’re top of the table – so why wouldn’t they be? But Edu says nobody at the Emirates is taking anything for granted.

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“To be fair, we internally never mentioned anything about the title,” Edu said. “We always talk about performing, and how we can perform better every week.

“Mikel is sending those messages every week, ‘Guys, I want to be better, better, better every week. Then let’s see how we’re going to finish.

“We cannot dream if we’re not really living the moment we’re living right now. Let’s keep doing what we’re doing at the moment and let’s see at the end of the season where we’re going to be.”

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