Arsene Wenger believes that Arsenal's heroics this season in the Premier League is not a false dawn as in 2013/14, when they spent the maximum number of days on top of the league but were found wanting as they approached the business end of the season. However, Wenger believes that their ability to sustain their position at the top with a quarter of the season gone, having played all but Manchester City who finished in the top four last season, should be a reason for encouragement.
The 66-year-old wants to stay in the race till Christmas and look forward from there, given the state of injuries at the club, with 10 players ruled out of their clash against Bayern Munich in midweek. Laurent Koscielny is back in full training and should be available for the clash against Tottenham, but the likes of Aaron Ramsey, Theo Walcott and Hector Bellerin will all be available only after the international break.
The Gunners have an ostensibly easy run-in after the league resumes in the third week and a win over Tottenham at the Emirates is necessary to keep the run going in the league. Arsenal have gone five consecutive games with a win in the league, but Wenger believes it is still too early for him to predict if they will be honestly challenging for the title come the second half.
"We have to be in the fight at Christmas," Wenger said, as quoted by the Mirror. "The desire is there. We need to show it in all our games. What is good, positive for us, is if you look at our fixtures until now, we have played all the big teams and the teams fighting at the top apart from Manchester City.
"When we were top two years ago we had not played all the teams fighting at the top for a while. We had only played the teams in the second half of the table. This time, we are in a strong position."