Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has revealed that he does not believe that his team are under pressure when it comes for the Premier League title race. The Gunners are currently level with top of the table Manchester City in the table heading into Sunday’s north London derby with Tottenham.
The Gunners head into the local skirmish on the back of a 5-1 defeat at Bayern Munich in the Champions League on Wednesday night. Despite that defeat, Arsenal has won their last five top-flight games, which has put them into a good position.
Their current position in the table has raised expectations, but Wenger insists there is no pressure on his team.
Speaking at his press conference on Friday the Frenchman said: “It’s too early for pressure. I like that kind of pressure, but only 11 games have been played. If there were just five or six to play, then there would be pressure. But I believe we can challenge [for the title].
“You want to be up there at the top and we are at the moment. After the first game against West Ham [a 2-0 home defeat], it is absolutely remarkable what we have done and we want to stay there.
“I believe it is an advantage to be top because it strengthens your belief that you can go all the way. It’s too early to talk about the title. I want to be in the fight. [At] Christmas you start to see, but it’s now down to consistency and you must go into every game with top-level focus.”
Arsenal have a good chance of claiming the title this season and are odds of 13/8 to claim the title in May. The north London side face their local rivals with potentially ten first team players missing from their squad, but still have to be considered favourites for the clash.
Wenger would be naïve to really think that there is no pressure on his players to challenge for the title, or to win the north London derby. The French boss is obviously just trying to protect his players from the expectations.
Arsenal have gone far too long without a Premier League title and Gunners fans tend to get their hopes, up only for the team to let them down when it matters.
Arsenal fans will be hoping that this season is different and that the team’s players are relishing the inevitable pressure that falls on a team who are expected to challenge for the big trophies.
Should there be pressure on the Arsenal players to challenge for the title?