Manager Mikel Arteta said he is hoping the World Cup break does not impede Arsenal’s momentum, after the north London club defeated Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-0 on Saturday to take a five-point lead at the top of the Premier League.
Captain Martin Odegaard scored both goals as Arsenal beat Wolves to get to 37 points, extending its lead over second-placed Manchester City, which lost at home to Brentford earlier in the day.
There will be a mid-season break after Sunday’s fixtures to accommodate the World Cup, which runs from Nov. 20 to Dec. 18 in Qatar. The league will resume on Boxing Day.
“I would train tomorrow but unfortunately they’re not here,” Arteta told the BBC. “I wish those going to the World Cup the best and they will look after themselves - I hope they enjoy it because it doesn’t get better than playing for your country.
“I don’t know (if the World Cup will disrupt flow), I’ll touch wood and hope for the best. When everyone is back we’ll assess where we are and go from there.”
Despite his concerns over the mid-season break, Arteta added that it would provide Arsenal an opportunity to reflect and prepare for the second half of the season.
“It’s great to be where we are and we are enjoying that moment,” Arteta told a news conference. “Now we have a big break and we have to reflect on what we’re doing and be prepared for after the World Cup...
“When a team is in that moment you want to carry on playing of course, but that’s not possible. We have to use that time as best as possible.”
Arsenal returns to action when it hosts West Ham United in the league on Dec. 26.