Mikel Arteta has channelled his inner Jose Mourinho to play down Arsenal’s Premier League title charge hopes this season.

The Spaniard has heaped praise on Manchester City and Liverpool for their previous successes and insisted that his side need to keep improving if they are to get their hands on the trophy.

Arsenal are currently third in the Premier League table and two points adrift of league leaders Liverpool, who are still in contention to land a sensational quadruple to ensure that Jurgen Klopp bows out in style.

However, the Gunners could find themselves at the top of the table by next week with the Reds set to face City at Anfield on Sunday afternoon. But Arteta is reluctant to get carried away with talk that his side are on course to lift the Premier League trophy.

Instead, he appeared to replicate the mentality style of Mourinho, who played down Chelsea’s hopes of winning the title when a three-horse race unfolded. The Portuguese boss labelled the Blues as the ‘little horse’ to play down expectation levels, and Arteta has tried his hand at the tactic it appears.

Speaking ahead of Arsenal’s clash with Brentford this weekend, he said: “We are third at the moment and we are competing with two (Liverpool and City) of the most successful clubs in Europe in the last decade.

“They have broken every record in the history of this league, they have set the standards that no one else has been capable of doing and I think they merit that recognition. But what we have to do is try to improve and do better than them.”

Arteta was then probed on whether he was enjoying Arsenal’s role in chasing their rivals in the title race, rather than leading the way like last season, to which he replied: “What I enjoy is to be fighting for big trophies in this period and we want to do the same when it gets to May. That is our objective.

“That’s what we are going to try to do. It’s very important, just like winning at Sheffield, then going to Manchester and winning at City. It will never stop – the demands and the number of points that are going to be needed. That will be so high but we also know that’s going to be one step at a time.”