Thierry Henry rates Arsenal’s Premier League title chances
Thierry Henry is refusing to get carried away by Arsenal's strong start to the season and says the Gunners still have it all to do
Thierry Henry believes it is too early to get carried away by Arsenal’s position at the top of the Premier League table – but says he is full of “hope” that the Gunners can sustain a title challenge this season.
Arsenal find themselves two points clear at the top of the Premier League table after 11 games following their best start to a top-flight campaign for more than a century as Mikel Arteta looks to steer the north Londoners back into the Champions League for next season.
The Gunners dropped two points in a 1-1 draw with Southampton at St Mary’s at the weekend and will be aiming to return to winning ways when they host Nottingham Forest in the top flight on Sunday.
Arsenal have not won the Premier League title since Henry was still playing for the Gunners back in the 2003-04 campaign – and they have not finished in the top four since 2015-16 under Arsene Wenger.
Gunners legend Henry has been very encouraged by what he has seen from Arsenal this season but says that it is far too early to be sure that the Gunners will be able to keep setting the pace ahead of Manchester City, who are aiming for their third straight title and are only two points behind the north Londoners with a superior goal difference.
“It’s 11 games, you celebrate the title after 38 games, not before that,” Henry told CBS Sports, as quoted by Metro. “That’s me, I have always had that mentality.
“What we are talking about right now with Arsenal is hope. Manchester City can talk, Man City can be loud because we have seen it before with them and we know what it takes for a team to stay with them.
“Look at Liverpool – twice they tried to maintain the rhythm of Man City but couldn’t do it. So, let’s see what’s going to happen to us. I won’t get carried away. But we have hope and I have a lot of hope at the minute.”
Arsenal are currently preparing for their Europa League group-stage clash against PSV Eindhoven in the Netherlands on Thursday night and they know that a victory would secure their spot in the last 16 as group winners.
A win would mean that Arsenal will skip the round of 32 altogether and therefore mean that the Gunners play two games fewer than if they finished in second place in their group.
And Arsenal boss Arteta has talked up the importance of the Gunners securing a win on Thursday night to finish their job in the Europa League group stage with a game to spare.
“Last week we made the first step to qualify to the next round, and now we need to win tomorrow because we want to finish first,” Arteta – who revealed that Arsenal do not have any fresh injury concerns apart from Marquinhos (illness) ahead of the game – told his pre-match news conference on Wednesday.
“This competition is getting harder and harder and how it looks today and what the possibilities are, it looks like the next round will be extremely competitive. That’s why finishing first in the group and avoiding another two games is such an important thing for us.”
Arsenal’s final Europa League group-stage game will be against FC Zurich at The Emirates next Thursday night.