Arsenal legend Arsene Wenger reckons his former side have a chance of winning this season’s Premier League title.
Mikel Arteta’s side sit top of the table after six rounds of fixtures, winning five of their opening matches.
They can head into the September international break in first place if they beat Brentford at the Gtech Community Stadium in Sunday’s midday kick-off.
Wenger led the Gunners to three league titles – including the club’s last in 2003/04, going the entire 38-game season unbeaten – across his 22-year stay in north London, departing in 2018 and taking up a role at FIFA as their Chief of Global Football Development.
The Frenchman seldom comments on his former club, but speaking as a pundit, he revealed his excitement at Arsenal’s hopes of returning to the Champions League and competing for major honours.
“I would say they are moving in the right direction. I honestly think there is no weak position in the team…they are young, promising players and they have bought well this year,” Wenger said.
“There is no completely dominating team this season and Arsenal has a chance with the potential that is there. We used to be in the top four and why not again? You cannot even rule out the fact that they can fight for the title and hopefully they can do it.”
Arsenal have not competed for the Premier League title since Wenger’s exit, while they have not finished in the top four since 2016.
His immediate successor, Unai Emery, led Arsenal to fifth place in his only full year in charge. Arteta oversaw back-to-back eighth-place finishes before coming fifth last season, losing fourth spot to rivals Tottenham in the final week of the campaign.
Chelsea drops Fofana update after initial tests on knee injury
Wesley Fofana’s knee injury is better than initially feared after the first set of tests returned positive results.
The defender suffered a knee injury in a collision with Rafael Leao in the 38th minute of Chelsea’s 3-0 home win against AC Milan, as his night ended in frustrating fashion having scored his first goal for the club earlier in the match.
There is hope that Fofana could return before the World Cup, with Chelsea’s final match before the tournament taking place away to Newcastle on November 12.
The centre-back is likely to miss this weekend’s clash against Wolves and the away match at San Siro against Milan next week.
Fofana was seen leaving Stamford Bridge on crutches on Wednesday night, with his right knee in a brace as there were worries he may have suffered a serious injury.
Speaking in his post-match press conference after Chelsea’s victory over Milan, Blues boss Graham Potter admitted he was unsure how bad it would prove to be for Fofana.
‘We’ll have to scan it tomorrow and see how he is but there’s nothing to report at the moment,” Potter said.
“That’s the one disappointing thing about the evening so we have our fingers crossed. We’re concerned but I don’t want to speculate on it now.
“These things happen. He’s a young guy and a strong guy but we’ll support him.”
Erik ten Hag explains decision to substitute Jadon Sancho in Omonia victory
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has confessed that he was unimpressed with the left side of his team in the first half of Thursday’s 3-2 victory over Omonia Nicosia, leading to him substituting both Jadon Sancho and Tyrell Malacia at half-time.
United were woeful in the first half and trailed at the break after Sancho and Malacia conspired to give away the ball for the cheapest of counter-attack goals, and both were hooked at the interval.
Sancho was replaced by Marcus Rashford, who went on to bag a goal and an assist, while fellow substitute Anthony Martial also scored just moments after being introduced on the hour mark.
Asked to explain his logic behind removing Sancho while his team were losing, Ten Hag said: “It [the goal] was not what I wasn’t happy with, it was the movement with our ball.
“The width on the left side, for me, was no good first-half – the movement from behind the defending line.
“So I hoped with Luke [Shaw] and Marcus we get more effect from that and so in my opinion that happens.”
Asked what he told Rashford and the rest of the team at the break to inspire a comeback, Ten Hag told BT Sport: “More runs, we are too static, we have to make the opposition move to get behind – that is why we made two subs.
“The subs really had an impact today.”
The boss added: “I would call it stay composed. It can always happen, football is a game of mistakes. I agree with you, first 30 or 35 minutes, we played quite well, the only thing we didn’t do was score a goal.
“When you score a goal you make your life easy, we didn’t. Then we concede a goal and it was the worst 10 minutes from the game from us. After half-time, we dealt well with the setback.”
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