Spurs boss Antonio Conte makes Arsenal admission ahead of NLD derby

Spurs boss Antonio Conte and Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta

The Italian coach feels the Gunners are further ahead in their development (Pictures: Getty)

Tottenham boss Antonio Conte feels Arsenal are ‘ahead’ of Spurs in their development and has credited Mikel Arteta with doing a good job of rebuilding the team.

The north London rivals go head-to-head at Tottenham’s stadium on Sunday with the two sides separated by just two points – and one position – in the Premier League table, though Spurs have two games in hand.

Conte is still unbeaten in the league since taking over at Tottenham and is keen to get a measure of how far his side have come since their visit to the Emirates earlier this season when Nuno Espirito Santo was in charge.

Spurs boss Antonio Conte makes Arsenal admission ahead of north London derby

Arsenal blitzed Spurs when they met at the Emirates in September (Getty)

Spurs were blown away in the first half-hour by Arsenal and lost 3-1, though Conte is excited to see how his improving side fare this time around against a team he rates highly.

Asked if Arsenal are at a similar level to Spurs, Conte replied at his press conference on Friday: ‘Honestly I want to play the game and to understand very well [the levels of the two teams].

‘I think they are working, they have started to work to rebuild something important.

‘They have had more time than us. Arteta has had the possibility to work with the players for a couple of years and also to go into the transfer market.

‘I think that they are doing a good job. I think that maybe in this moment, for this reason, they are [further] ahead in the project than us because they have started before with the same coach.

‘And I think now they are having good results. Arsenal are a really good team.

Spurs boss Antonio Conte makes Arsenal admission ahead of north London derby

Conte has been impressed with the work Arteta has done at Arsenal (Getty)

‘But at the same time, we want to understand, we want to play this type of game, we want to know how much we are improving than the last period.’

Spurs were beaten 3-0 on aggregate by Chelsea in the Carabao Cup semi-final on Wednesday while 10-man Arsenal dug in for a morale boosting draw away to Liverpool a day later.

Injuries picked up in that match by the Gunners mean there are doubts over whether the north London derby will go ahead, but Conte says he is preparing the team as normal.

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