Speaking after Arsenal’s win against Watford on Saturday, club legend Nigel Winterburn expressed his belief that manager Arsene Wenger is focusing on winning the Premier League title this season (via Sky Sports). The Gunners have won their last three games in a row in the league, and have produced impressive performances along the way. Meanwhile, our results in the Champions League have been well below par, and we sit at the bottom of our group with no points after two games.
Although tomorrow’s game against German side Bayern Munich promises to be a hotly contested affair, Winterburn believes that the manager has shifted his focus to challenging for the league title this season. The former player highlighted the team selection for the Watford game as evidence; despite the Bayern game three days later, Wenger fielded a full strength side against the Hornets.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Winterburn said, “Maybe he believes his team is capable of challenging for the Premier League.
“That’s the competition he always talks about as being No. 1 because it’s consistency over 38 games. The Champions League is very important, but if you could give him one over the other, I’d say he would take the Premier League.
“I believe Arsenal have got the squad, on the second half of last season’s form, to challenge for the title.”
Arsenal certainly seem to be rediscovering some of that form, and now lie second on the League table with 19 points, only two adrift of leaders Manchester City. With key players like Mesut Özil, Alexis Sanchez, and Aaron Ramsey starting to fire simultaneously, we have a great chance of climbing to the top as well.
However, Arsenal’s problem has always been consistency. Two seasons ago, we were at the top of the table for the majority of the campaign, but fell out of the title race during the business end of the season. Even last season, we enjoyed an unbeaten run and climbed the table only to lose our way in April. Winterburn too addressed this issue, making it clear that the team needs to focus on producing results on a regular basis.
“A title challenge is either leading or being within three or four points of the leaders in April. That’s a title challenge, not in January and February,” he continued.
“Whether Arsenal are good enough to go on and do it…I’d love them to be there to see what happens, put the players under pressure to see if they can cope, but there are other teams that people will say have got stronger squads.”
While a title challenge certainly sounds exciting, it is simply too early in the season to judge whether we are capable. Instead, let’s focus on winning one game at a time, starting with the game against Bayern tomorrow.