Arsenal FC manager Arsene Wenger has insisted that the Gunners can compete on the pitch with the likes of Manchester City.
Arsenal host Fulham in their next game in the league at the Emirates as the Gunners look to maintain their five match winning streak in all competitions. A win in this game will put a lot a lot of pressure on Chelsea, who face Manchester United at home on Sunday. Arsenal will of course go in as the favourites in this game considering both the team’s form this season, but Fulham have managed two draws in their last two visit to the Emirates, the last of which ended in an exciting 3-3 score-line as Olivier Giroud and Dimitar Berbatov scored a brace each.
The Gunners are coming into this game on the back of a 1-2 win at Villa Park as first half strikes from Olivier Giroud and Jack Wilshere proved to be enough. Villa did fight back in the second half and scored a goal, but Wenger is pleased with his side’s defensive stability in that game.
“Villa offered us a real British game in the second half and we could deal with that area. We certainly were not capable of doing that before.
“Of course what you need is stability defensively. We have seen that against Cardiff, we didn’t concede and in the end we are always capable of scoring a goal.” – The Arsenal manager said.
Arsene Wenger also stressed on the importance of maintain a good record at home in order to sustain their title challenge and emphasized on the importance of winning this derby against Fulham.
“We know that one of the targets in the second part of the season is for us to be strong at home and recently we have done that.
“We want to continue that until the end of the season because we have some big games. One of them is [Saturday] because Fulham for us is always a derby. It is of course a very important game because now we go into a part of the season where every game becomes massive.” – Wenger added.
Although Arsenal lead the points table at the moment, Manchester City are considered as the favourites to eventually lift the title, ahead of Chelsea and the Gunners. But Arsene Wenger insists that although they can’t compete with City’s unlimited resource, they can still perform on the pitch and that is what matters at the end of the day.
“In terms of their resources no [we can’t compete] because they have unlimited resources, but with our resources available, we are ready to fight.
“I believe that you can convince people in two ways – by the quality and consistency of the performances. Let people make Man City or Chelsea the favourites, we can accept that.
“The reality is that on Saturday afternoon at 3pm, that is when you can perform and when we have an opportunity to convince people that we are serious about what we want to achieve.” – He said.
Wenger also believes that one of the biggest reasons why the title race this season is so close and so many teams are competing at the top is due to the growth in the financial power of English clubs.
“For me, it has always been tough. So that is nothing new. It is maybe a bit tighter and you have more teams who fight for the title.
“Every team after the [previous] season analyses that season and tries to improve. The financial resources available are very strong in England for most of the teams and that explains why it is tighter.” – He explained.