Belgian defender Thomas Vermaelen believes that even though Arsenal are surely out of the Premiership title race this year, they will provide the rest of the league with tough competition (in particular Manchester United and Manchester City) next season. The 26 year old international feels the Gunners have to, however, show more consistency, if they want to win their first Premiership title since 2004.
Arsene Wenger's men are in impeccable form for the moment, having won eight of their last nine league games. However, they started the season on a rather disastrous note. They drew their first game, against a Newcastle side who had just returned from the Championship and then lost back-to-back games to Liverpool and United, the latter by the now infamous 2-8 margin.
The Gunners fought on though, recovering key players from injuries and believing in themselves. They have finally stabilised their position in the league and look to be comfortable bets to play in the Champions League next season.
"In some games we have shown a lot of quality and that we can compete with everybody. But you have to be consistent in the league and sometimes that's not been the case for us. But we will try to do that better next year. I'm confident we can do that," The Guardian quoted Vermaelen as saying.
"Defensively it's about the organisation of the team. It's not just about the defenders who defend, the whole shape of the team, and that's really good at the moment so we must be really pleased with that. When everybody is fit we have a really good team and we can compete with everybody," he added.
The Gunners had lost their concentration during their game against Queens Park Rangers which resulted in them being defeated. However, with their win against the Citizens, Vermaelen fells that Arsenal have again regained their concentration.
"The momentum we had, climbing the table by winning seven games in a row before losing at Queens Park Rangers, was really important so it was vital we won again, especially against City who are contenders for the title. We deserved it. We were dominant in the game and it was a really important result because we are in a big fight for that third place," he said.
Meanwhile, Wenger, who was very pleased with his team's effort against City, believes that his side do have a chance of finishing in a higher position in the Premier League.
"This team has grown in the last two or three months and it is a shame that the distance [until the end of the season] is not longer now," Arsenal.com quoted Wenger as saying.
"We are [ten] points behind Manchester City now, [which is amazing] when you think back to where we were at the start of the season. You can think that we were disturbed at the start of the season," he added.
"This was a very big result and we have to have another one on Wednesday against Wolves. You know how easy it is to have a crisis at a big club. If you lose you have to win again straight away and that is why I am so happy we did that. We have 61 points now with six games to go so overall I still think we can make a decent total. Let's really go for that," he futher added.