(From BBC) Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes the Premier League title race is still wide open going into 2011.
Manchester City assistant boss Brian Kidd reckons leaders Manchester United are title favourites, insisting: “It’s theirs to lose, it’s in their hands.”
But Wenger said: “It’s an opinion that you can understand because United are top of the league at the moment.
“But what we have learned is that it is very, very open. Four or five teams can win the [Premier League] title.”
After a mixed week in which they beat Chelsea 3-1 on Monday before being held 2-2 thanks to a late Wigan equaliser at the DW Stadium on Wednesday, Arsenal sit third in the Premier League – two points behind both the Manchester teams – as 2010 draws to a close.
Asked about what is needed to surge ahead of other title rivals in one of the most open championship battles in recent memory, Wenger added: “The most consistent team will win it in the end.”
That quality is proving elusive for the league’s top teams, with none of them able to put together a particularly impressive run of form.
And it is the unpredictability of Wenger’s team – who have not won a trophy since 2005 – that raises questions over their own title credentials, a point which the Frenchman freely acknowledges.
Finally the win that Arsenal needed [against Chelsea] to prove they can win the league… surely they had the momentum… but then they make 8 changes and draw at Wigan. What shall we make of this?
“All the bad things are behind me and I believe the best is ahead of me,” he told BBC Sport.
“Every single defeat this year is still very painful in my heart – and I hope that 2011 will be much less painful than 2010.”
Ahead of the January transfer window, Wenger said he was not overly concerned with making additions.
“I don’t say no,” he said. “But at the moment we are not close to signing anybody.
“Manchester City can add more quality because they have the cheque book to do it. To buy is always a risk – but I think they will be stronger if they buy.
“We have some players who deserve to play more but do not get the games they deserve. If Carlos Vela can get [more] games somewhere we would loan him out. We have too many strikers at the moment.”
Wenger also confirmed that Welsh midfielder Aaron Ramsey would immediately return from his loan spell with Championship side Nottingham Forest.
“Ramsey will definitely come back,” he said. “He did not get the number of games [at Forest] that he, or we, wanted because of the snow. He’s not completely ready yet but he should be in February.” from BBC.