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

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
British musician Mark Ronson arrives for the UK premiere of the film 'Mortdecai'
music
Voices
Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
Sport
footballBrighton vs Arsenal match report
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has spoken about the lack of opportunities for black British actors in the UK
film
News
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us