English Premiership

Arsenal can last pace, says Wenger

2016-10-22 07:40
Arsene Wenger (Getty Images)

London - Arsene Wenger believes Arsenal are finally equipped to last the pace in the Premier League title race.

Wenger's side have struggled to match the financial muscle and strength in depth of the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City in recent years.

But the Gunners appear in much better shape to slug it out with their title rivals this season after reeling off seven successive wins in all competitions.

Arsenal have enjoyed similar hot streaks before fading in the past, but boss Wenger, speaking ahead of Saturday's home clash with Middlesbrough, sees a more steely side to his squad this time.

"Before the season everybody would say that it could be a very tight, interesting championship," said Wenger, whose side are behind leaders City on goal difference.

"After the first two or three games people felt that City would run away with it, or Man United would after they won their first three games as well.

"But I believe we are all in the same pack and it's down to being consistent and trying to focus game after game. From Man City to United to Chelsea, everybody has a chance.

"We are consistent at the moment and I feel there is more to come out from our team."

City, still smarting from Wednesday's 4-0 Champions League loss away to manager Pep Guardiola's former club Barcelona, are not in action again until Sunday when they face Southampton at Eastlands.

Should Arsenal and Tottenham both slip up, City could still yield top spot to Liverpool if the Merseysiders, currently two points off the summit following their goalless draw with Manchester United, beat West Bromwich Albion at Anfield on Saturday.

Tottenham face a potentially tricky trip to south coast side Bournemouth, who've won plaudits for the quality of their football under young English manager Eddie Howe.

Guardiola is also known for the courage of his football convictions and he insisted those would not change after he saw Lionel Messi, once his star player, score a hat-trick against City on Wednesday.

To make matters worse, City goalkeeper Claudio Bravo, himself a former Barca player, was sent off for saving Luis Suarez's effort when outside his area after gifting the ball to the Uruguayan striker as he tried to follow Guardiola's call to play out from the back.

Guardiola won his first 10 games as City manager but the club have now gone four games without a victory, a 3-3 draw at Celtic followed by a 2-0 defeat at Tottenham before they squandered two penalties in a 1-1 draw against Everton last Saturday.

"Starting in Glasgow, own goals in White Hart Lane (against Tottenham), missing penalties, we give a lot for the opponents," Guardiola said.

Southampton, by contrast, were unlucky to lose 1-0 to Inter Milan in the Europa League on Thursday after manager Claude Puel made several changes to the side that beat Burnley 3-1.

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho returns to former club Chelsea on Sunday, fresh from guiding the Red Devils to a 4-1 Europa League win over Fenerbahce -- a match in which world record signing Paul Pogba scored twice and veteran striker Wayne Rooney started after three successive club games as a substitute.

Chelsea will look to carry on from their 3-0 win over faltering Premier League champions Leicester.

Despite their domestic problems, Leicester maintained their perfect record in the Champions League with a 1-0 win over Copenhagen on Tuesday and face Crystal Palace on Saturday.

NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
Sunday, 23 September 2018
West Ham United v Chelsea, London Stadium 14:30
Arsenal v Everton, Emirates Stadium 17:00
Saturday, 29 September 2018
West Ham United v Manchester United, London Stadium 13:30
Arsenal v Watford, Emirates Stadium 16:00
Manchester City v Brighton & Hove Albion, Etihad Stadium 16:00
Everton v Fulham, Goodison Park 16:00
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Southampton, Molineux Stadium 16:00
Newcastle United v Leicester City, St. James' Park 16:00
Huddersfield Town v Tottenham Hotspur, The John Smith's Stadium 16:00
Chelsea v Liverpool, Stamford Bridge 18:30
Sunday, 30 September 2018
Cardiff City v Burnley, Cardiff City Stadium 17:00
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Who will claim the Premier League title at the end of the 2018/19 season?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured

The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.