Manchester United currently sit 8th in the league table after a difficult start to the season under new boss David Moyes. The Gunners manager spoke candidly about his relationship with former boss Sir Alex Ferguson who retired at the end of last season after 26 years in charge.
The Red Devils won their 20th league title under Ferguson but have struggled to find the same form, confidence and level of consistency under his junior compatriot David Moyes.
"You need to give David Moyes time," Wenger said. "He has shown great competence at Everton, he needs time to get a grip of Manchester United, and you can see that in the results.”
The Frenchman clearly called for Moyes to be given more time at Old Trafford but with their ambitions of retaining the title this term in great jeopardy on Sunday, Wenger was cautious to attribute the blame to the manger.
Should United lose at home to the league leaders this weekend, they would find themselves 11 points behind Arsenal but a win for the Red Devils would see their deficit diminished to just five points on the leaders who currently sit five points clear of Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham who make up the top four.
United’s archrivals and noisy neighbours Manchester City sit a point behind Tottenham in fifth place after their 7-0 win over Norwich last weekend. A win against United would likely silence Arsenal’s numerous crititcs that have so far claimed they hadn’t beaten a ‘big team’ but now. A victory away at the champions would surely see them through as genuine title contenders to be in with a shout in May.
However, should David Moyes record a win against Arsenal this weekend, United would regain some ground lost in their title challenge. Asked if he believed United could retain the title this term, Wenger said: “Of course.”
The stakes are higher than they’ve been in years this Sunday – the great rivalry between the two clubs has been missing for some years as Arsenal’s competitiveness and challenge for the title each year waned but their renewed confidence and optimism this season could see the flames of that rivalry reignited on Sunday.
image: © Jason Gulledge