Arsenal FC on a par with Manchester City claims Arsene Wenger
Gunners looking to leapfrog Tottenham by beating City at the Etihad
January 18th, 2015
The bookies make Arsenal underdogs to win this afternoon’s big Premier League clash, although Arsene Wenger certainly doesn’t suffer from an inferiority complex.
The Frenchman believes that the squad of players at the Emirates Stadium is on a par with their counterparts at the Etihad, with the Gunners hoping to stay in the race for a top four place by landing all three points.
“Let’s see on Sunday, but I believe, yes, we are on a level [with City],” he said. “Winning big games makes you stronger and we should not question our potential to do it. We just have to turn up with the right level of performance.
“It is true that in the last two or three years that our record in these games is not good, but if you look at my record over my 18 years as Arsenal manager, it will be very good. Sometimes it depends on how the fixtures fall, sometimes confidence level at the time. I believe there is no reason why we cannot believe we will do well against the top teams.”
Arsenal lost this game 6-3 last season, with the champions running riot and Wenger will be hoping that his defence can stand firm, especially with Sergio Aguero likely to start for City.
Mathieu Debuchy is a long-time absentee along with Mikel Arteta although Wenger isn’t going to panic by signing defenders in the transfer market unless the right ones come along.
“Believe me, we would have bought a defender by now if there was one to buy, but we don’t find one yet,” he told reporters.
“We are not the only one in the world with this problem. We have targets, but this is not a supermarket where you go in and buy a defender. It is a market that is very restricted and the players that can improve the 10 best teams in Europe, you don’t find many. It’s the same for everybody.
“Arsenal is a big attraction, of course we are. If it was easy [to sign a defender], we would do it. We have made enquiries, but who wants to sell a central defender in the middle of the season? They say come back in June or July and maybe we will sell.
“We have lost Debuchy, who could play centre-back and if we have another injury or two it is risky. It’s too risky not to try and sign someone.”