Arsene Wenger rates Arsenal’s chances of winning the title this season
Arsene Wenger explains why he thinks Arsenal have what it takes to challenge for the Premier League title this season
Arsene Wenger has claimed that Arsenal have a “good chance” of winning the Premier League title this season following the Gunners’ impressive start to the campaign.
The north London side are sitting pretty at the top of the Premier League table, having won six of their seven games in the top flight under Mikel Arteta this term.
Arsenal bounced back from a 3-1 defeat by Manchester United at Old Trafford at the start of September by beating Brentford 3-0 away from home with an impressive performance last weekend.
The Gunners currently find themselves a point ahead of both Manchester City and Tottenham in the Premier League standings after seven games heading into their crunch showdown with Spurs in the north London derby at The Emirates on 1 October.
Arsenal have not won the title since 2003-04, when Wenger was in charge of the north London club, and they have not played in the Champions League since the 2016-17 campaign.
But following the Gunners’ strong start, Wenger has stated that the north Londoners should be considered as serious title challengers, saying that there is a “good opportunity” for Arsenal to lift the trophy for the first time in 19 years.
“I would say that they have a good chance this season [to compete for the title] because I don’t see any super-dominating team,” Wenger told Sky Sports, quoted by Metro. “I believe that there’s a good opportunity this season to do it.
“Of course, it’s a little bit a special season because you have a World Cup in the middle and you don’t know how much that will affect the performances of individuals and the teams. Overall, I believe there’s a good opportunity there this year.”
Wenger also praised Gunners boss Arteta for the way he has been able to build his team around the “values” of the club.
“I would say you need to identify the values of the club and I personally think that Mikel Arteta was very conscious of the values of the club because he’s been educated as well at Arsenal, he was captain of my teams and he wanted to restore values of the club,” Wenger continued.
“Overall, I think he has done that well. After that you need to create a belief and a sense of belonging, that you belong to something special, something that is bigger than you, that you want to serve. On that front, he’s done well.
“I’m still in touch with them and overall I believe they are going the right way. Arsenal is a special club and has special values; a good balance between tradition and forward-thinking. They do that well again now.”
Whether Arsenal can sustain a serious title push this season remains to be seen, but Gunners fans will likely know a lot more about their team’s position to challenge by the end of October.
The Gunners face Tottenham Hotspur (home), Liverpool FC (home), Leeds United (away), Southampton (away) and Nottingham Forest (home) – and will play four Europa League games – in a jam-packed month.
Meanwhile, despite the Gunners’ promising start to the season, Arsenal boss Arteta has refused to get too carried away by his side’s position at the top of the table.
When asked directly whether he thinks Arsenal are in the title race after the victory at Brentford last time out, Arteta replied: “You can ask me every day. Today we are top of the league, I am so happy, yesterday I was annoyed because we lost it and we used that today as we want to get back there and show that we want to be there and that’s what we’re going to do.
“Push to be the best that we can be and that’s the aim and then the table won’t lie after 38 games.”
By winning their first five games in the top flight this season before their loss at Manchester United, Arsenal matched their best-evert start to a Premier League campaign from 2004-05, when they finished second.