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Takehiro Tomiyasu outlines ‘big difference’ at Arsenal this season amid title charge

The Japan defender revealed what had changed in north London

Arsenal right-back Takehiro Tomiyasu has put the massive change at Arsenal this season down to their ability to better implement Mikel Arteta’s tactics, hailing the Spaniard as “the best manager I’ve ever played with”.

The Gunners enjoyed a mixed campaign last season, but a defeat-littered final stretch of the campaign saw them drop out of contention for a top 4 spot, finishing fifth behind a resurgent Tottenham side.

That has changed drastically this season, however. At the halfway point of the season, Mikel Arteta and co. find themselves five points clear at the top of the Premier League, with a game in hand on nearest rivals Manchester City, and have racked up an astonishing 50 points already.

As it stands, they are on course for their first Premier League trophy since 2004, though plenty at the club have warned only to look at it game-by-game, something that right-back Tomiyasu repeated.

“We’ve only played 19 games now and it’s too soon to speak about it. We have to play game by game, as Mikel says”, the Japanese defender told Goal.

So, what has changed in north London. Well, according to Tomiyasu, it is the side’s understanding of just what Arteta wants his team to do on the pitch, and their newfound ability to implement it.

“We’ve got depth, we’ve got some new players, but the biggest thing is we understand Mikel’s football more than last season.”

“Last season we understood,” he continued “But we couldn’t express it.”

“But this season we understand and we are showing how he wants us to play. This is the big difference.”

Though they have been knocked out of the FA Cup and the Carabao Cup in early stages this season, the Gunners remain in the Europa League, and perhaps more importantly, remain on course to take the Premier League back to north London for the first time since 2004.

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Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.

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