Arsene Wenger demands consistency from Arsenal
Arsene Wenger has called on Arsenal to start building the momentum which can drive them to the Barclays Premier League title with victory over big-spending Manchester City at Emirates Stadium tonight.
The Gunners have so far enjoyed a decent return from their Christmas fixtures, beating Chelsea on December 27, before drawing at Wigan and then seeing off Birmingham 3-0 at St Andrew's on New Year's Day.
Although Arsenal hold a match in hand on City, whom they trail by two points, they will have played one more than leaders Manchester United by full-time tonight when victory could move them back to within two of the top.
Given the likes of Chelsea and Tottenham are also within striking distance, Wenger knows full well it will be the team which is strongest from here on in who are set to be at the summit the only time it really matters on May 22.
"There are five teams in the fight. Some teams have a bit more belief than others, but that can change very quickly. Overall it promises to be a very interesting sprint," Wenger said.
"You always have a team after Christmas who finds a momentum and this team will win the championship."
The Arsenal manager is happy enough with his team's current form, but accepts things could have been even better.
"I have a two-point frustration, but I am very happy with the attitude of the players and the team and of the way we improve from game to game," said Wenger, who had made some eight changes for the trip to Wigan, where his side conceded a late equaliser against 10 men.
Arsenal for once have the majority of their first-team squad available, with full-back Kieran Gibbs likely to be in contention for Saturday's FA Cup tie against Leeds after an ankle problem.
Wenger revealed that welcome scenario would probably now determine his transfer policy during January.
"Midfield and up front, no, but at the back, it just depends on [Thomas] Vermaelen," he said.
"I am just waiting to know more about him, and then at the end of January will have to make a decision."
City are set to add the £27million purchase of Edin Dzeko from Wolfsburg to what has been an unprecedented level of investment seen at any English top-flight club since Sheikh Mansour took over at Eastlands in 2008.
Wenger, though, insisted other teams can have no complaints as they look to get success the best way they can.
"What is fantastic in football is there is no given formula," the Arsenal manager said.
"I personally am a big fan of the way we do it, so I try to be successful with the way we do it.
"You can also do it the way Inter [Milan] do, or Manchester City do - they buy the best players in the world, and it works as well.
"What I want to show is it works our way as well."
Wenger added: "It does not annoy me [the other way] as long as they respect the rules.
"At the moment, the rules are like that and they respect them, so you cannot fault them.
"It is supposed to change, then we will see."
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