Arsenal legend Robert Pires has spoken about the team’s chances of winning the Premier League title, claiming that the Gunners have the potential to do so, but could have their title bid derailed by injuries (via the Daily Star). The former France international also spoke about manager Arsene Wenger’s desire to lift the League title, admitting that the veteran manager was “highly competitive”.
Arsenal currently sit in second place in the league table, level on points with leaders Manchester City. We had a chance to secure the top spot just before the international break, but only managed to draw at home against Tottenham thanks to a spate of injuries in the preceding couple of weeks. Pires highlighted this issue in particular, saying, “The team has done well particularly in the league. I think they are a team that can win the league at the end of the season.
“We are in mid-November and they are doing well but what can trouble them is the number of players who are out injured.”
The current injury list at the Emirates includes the likes of Aaron Ramsey, Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, while Jack Wilshere and Danny Welbeck remain on the long-term absentees list (via Arsenal.com). While we have managed to regain the services of Hector Bellerin, the mini-crisis has once again highlighted the lack of squad depth at the Emirates, something that has been the biggest hindrance to our attempts to compete on multiple fronts over the past few seasons, especially as we head into January and the FA Cup.
Pires did admit however, that the general fitness levels seem to have improved and also praised manager Arsene Wenger, who is hunting for his first Premier League title since the 2004 season.
“Physically, they feel well. Sometimes, I can see similarities with the football we were playing a few years ago: a football played with pace and fluidity,” he continued.
“Of course [winning the title] is possible. It’s plausible because it’s the goal of Arsene Wenger.
“He wouldn’t tell you that, but if he has to choose between the Champions League and the Premier League, he will choose the league because it’s more difficult to win and he is a very competitive person.”
To be honest, progression in the Champions League could well be out of our grasp, unless we manage to pull off some sort of miracle in Greece. Focusing on the Premier League is certainly the best course of action right now, as it will allow us to have the maximum possible amount of rest between games. This will prove beneficial to keep players like Alexis Sanchez fully fit, and should also hopefully prevent too many injuries from occurring. Not to mention, lifting the League title will send out a clear message that Arsenal are ready to compete once more in the top tier of European football.