Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta says he hopes the World Cup break will not affect Arsenal’s momentum after an impressive run in the campaign that sees them sit atop the table with five points clear.
The north London club trashed Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-0 on Saturday to take a five-point lead ahead of second-placed and holders, Manchester City.
There will be a mid-season break after Sunday’s fixtures to allow for the World Cup, which runs from 20 November to 18 December 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.”
Arteta, however, added that the break 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 return to action when they host West Ham United in the league on 26 December.