Arsenal looking to chase down United
Posted 14th February 2011
If any team are capable this season, Wenger's men are clearly the prime candidates to wrestle Sir Alex Ferguson's fingers from around the handles of the Premier League trophy. With the news that Manchester United had won their derby against City on Saturday lunchtime, Arsenal knew that should they fail to take anything but three points from Wolves, the side which had just ended United's 29-match unbeaten run in the top flight, but rather than shrinking at the sight of a seven point gap opening up, they went about their job with professionalism and self-belief.
Now with the gap reduced, it heaps the pressure back onto the Old Trafford outfit who have arguably the more difficult run-in as they still yet to play Chelsea both home and away; they have to negotiate tricky trips to Anfield and St. James' Park; as well as having to balance FA Cup and Champions League commitments. But it is a fixture on Saturday 30th April which will excite Arsene Wenger the most – the date on which his Arsenal side host United at the Emirates' stadium in what the Premier League betting odds suggest should be a very tight game.
By that point, given the tough run of fixtures they will have had to endure, it will be hard to envisage Manchester United still having only lost the one fixture. If this is indeed the case then this match may well be billed as not just an old-fashioned six-pointer but also a potential title-decider. Between now and then however, they will need to knuckle down and concentrate solely on their own opponents, but with Robin van Persie showing some form after a run of unfortunate injuries, and Theo Walcott starting to consistently show the world the reasoning which led to Wenger spending over £9m on him as a 17 year-old. The football rumours always suggest Wenger is looking to strengthen his squad, but the team seem to be developing nicely anyway.
They must not lose their focus on the relatively routine task of taking maximum points against the likes of Stoke and West Brom as the juggle domestic aspirations with the daunting task of eliminating Barcelona from the Champions League. Wenger however has waited far too long for silverware to let his side take their foot off the gas now – and should he complete an historic quadruple, then those five years in the wilderness will suddenly all seem worthwhile.