Arsenal v Everton: Mikel Arteta happy for Everton but can't wait to get one over them in Premier League clash

Arteta has praised Toffees boss Roberto Martinez and admits they deserve their fifth place standing

Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta is in no doubt Everton deserve their place at the top end of the Barclays Premier League, but will be out to derail his old side's good form this weekend.

Arteta, 31, left Goodison Park on transfer deadline day in August 2011 following six seasons on Merseyside, where he had become a key player.

The Spaniard is glad to see the Toffees have not come unstuck since Roberto Martinez took over from David Moyes, whom he beat with an impressive 1-0 away win at Manchester United on Wednesday night.

Everton are in fifth, behind Liverpool on goal difference, and trail leaders Arsenal by seven points after the Gunners midweek win over Hull.

And Arteta knows his old side will provide a stern test of just how far Arsene Wenger's men can go in 2014.

"Everton are having a great season and they have got great results against top teams, which is not easy," he said.

"It was a big result (at Manchester United), it was massively important for them and will boost their confidence, so we are going to face a really difficult team for sure."

Arteta added: "I know the fundamentals of the club and I was happy with the way they dealt with the transfer window.

"I think they did really well and improved the team compared to where they were before. They deserve to be (up) there."

Denmark striker Nicklas Bendtner, standing in for rested leading frontman Olivier Giroud, scored his first Arsenal goal since March 2011 when he headed the Gunners in front after just 90 seconds against Hull at the Emirates Stadium on the way to a 2-0 win.

The result was achieved despite Wenger making several changes to the starting XI. The likes of England trio Theo Walcott, Jack Wilshere and Kieran Gibbs were on the bench, along with club captain Thomas Vermaelen and vice-skipper Arteta.

Arteta, who came on as a late substitute for Aaron Ramsey, feels strength in depth will be vital.

"We have struggled in the last years a little bit to do that because of the numbers and injuries and now we have almost everyone fit, apart from Lukas Podolski and Alex (Oxlade-Chamberlain), that is a very good sign," he said.

"I think it (competition for places) is great. Everybody has to be on their toes and everybody is important.

"We are going to need everybody if we are going to achieve something. I think it's a good thing."

There is little respite ahead for Arsenal, who face a difficult away assignment against Napoli for their final Champions League group match next Wednesday before a crunch clash at Manchester City on Saturday lunchtime.

Arteta, though, insists the Gunners squad are brimming with confidence as they chase down a first trophy since 2005.

"Does it matter we don't have the experience of winning the title before? No - as long as you have the quality, the ambition and togetherness that we have, I think we are in a good position to do it," he said.

Josh Kroenke joins Arsenal board

It was confirmed on Thursday that the son of Arsenal majority shareholder Stan Kroenke has been appointed a non-executive director.

Arsenal confirmed that Josh Kroenke will take on the position in a move the 33-year-old said would "reaffirm our family's long-term commitment to the club".

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future