Belfast Telegraph

Wide-open race for glory plays into Arsenal's hands: Wenger

By Staff Reporter

On the eve of another season, approaching his 20th anniversary in charge of Arsenal, Arsene Wenger is more optimistic than ever about his next title challenge.

Arsenal have not won the league for 12 years, but Wenger still speaks like a man whose vindication is just around the corner. The Gunners play Liverpool tomorrow and will be without Olivier Giroud and Laurent Koscielny, who have only just returned for pre-season. Mesut Ozil, Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla are doubts, while Per Mertesacker, Danny Welbeck and Gabriel are long-term absentees.

They have signed just one senior player this summer, Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka. And yet at his press conference yesterday, Wenger was relaxed and confident.

There are at least seven plausible title winners. But for Wenger this makes it easier to win.

"That can make it easier, because it means that everyone can drop points," Wenger said. "There can not be just one team that nobody can catch. The hope will be alive for everyone longer than ever. On that front, if you are consistent it could be easier."

Years of stability, Wenger hopes, will be cashed in, against sides who are still in development.

"That's what we have to show," Wenger said. "Pep Guardiola has come in at City, he's world class. Jose Mourinho has come in at United. Will that click or take time? We don't know. I hope it takes time and we take advantage of the fact we have stability."

Belfast Telegraph


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