Ex-Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says greater mental resilience and weaknesses in Manchester City’s squad could give the Gunners an “advantage” in this season’s title race.
Mikel Arteta’s side dropped just short of securing the title last season, and Wenger hopes that the team has taken the right lessons from that experience:
“I think they learned from what happened to them last year. They couldn’t cope well with that, mentally it was very difficult. I’m sure they would’ve learned from that.”
Wenger also believes the serious hamstring injury sustained by Kevin De Bruyne and the departure of club captain Ilkay Gundogan could give Arsenal another edge in the battle for top spot:
“I believe as well that City having lost De Bruyne for a long period and Gundogan, who was a very important player, even if they are a top team I don’t disagree with that, but maybe they can take advantage of it.”
Wenger is taking the positives from Arsenal’s near miss
Some may argue that losing out on the title in the way they did would leave scars but Wenger is clearly hoping that this young group of players will use it as a learning experience.
It’s certainly a positive outlook and Arsenal’s strong start to the new campaign does suggest that there hasn’t been any hangover from finishing second.
City have shown no signs of weakness
After winning their first four league games, it seems Wenger’s hope that City will be hampered by the absence of De Bruyne and Gundogan may be misplaced.
Of course, over the length of a long, arduous campaign, their squad depth could be put under more strain but, for the time being, Pep Guardiola’s side look as strong as ever. The Gunners may need to be nigh-on perfect to take their Premier League crown away from them.