Wenger expects United wobble

BY foxsports • February 12, 2011

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes Manchester United could suffer a Premier League wobble after losing their unbeaten run.

Wenger admits his side struggled after their unbeaten record was ended by United, a 2-0 defeat which was followed by the infamous pizza-throwing affair in the Old Trafford tunnel.

The Gunners, currently second in the Premier League four points behind United, face Wolves on Saturday afternoon while United take on Manchester City in the lunchtime fixture.

Wenger revealed his side will watch the first half of the derby with interest before they leave for the Emirates.

Asked if United would find it tough to bounce back, Wenger said:

"We'll see. I will look at it and see how they respond. Usually, they respond well. It is a derby so anything can happen. It is maybe a chance for Manchester City to come back to Manchester United. It will be a very open derby, more than ever.

"It's very difficult psychologically to start again. For us it was 49 games, we lost the 50th game under special circumstances. It was even more difficult to swallow, the sense of injustice. It's always difficult when you are on an unbeaten run and you lose it."

A City victory would give Arsenal a major boost, giving the Gunners the chance against Wolves to peg United's lead to just one point.

And Wenger emphasised how much it would mean for Arsenal to win a Premier League title for the first time since 2004 by insisting the match against Wolves was more important than next Wednesday's Champions League clash with Barcelona.

He said: "The best way to be in a good position to beat Barcelona is to beat Wolves.

"We started in August to fight for every single ball to be in a position to fight for the Premier League and now is the time of truth.

"This is the time for us to make an impact on the Premier League. We are in a strong position. It would be absolutely stupid now not to prioritise the Premier League."

Wenger is confident his side can shrug off their own psychological effects of the 4-4 draw against Newcastle at St James' Park last weekend when they threw away a 4-0 lead and Abou Diaby was sent off after a confrontation with Joey Barton.

Wenger added: "I am confident it will have a positive impact on the players, that we got away with what happened against us without being punished.

"Our distance with Manchester United is not bigger but shorter. Let's take advantage of that in the next games.

"We have spoken about the situation. They have got over it. In fact, maybe the international games were welcome for them. To get a little bit away from that disappointment."


share story