Arsenal must be very cautious for their New Years Day clash with Crystal Palace, according to manager Arsene Wenger.
The French boss remains weary of the threat posed by Crystal Palace, and expects a revival in fortunes for the South-East London side under new manager Sam Allardyce.
The Eagles have a wealth of exciting players in the side including Andros Townsend, Christian Benteke, Wilfred Zaha and Yohan Cabaye, and will be able to cause us trouble at the back, and Wenger is adamant on pressing that fact.
The Arsenal boss also moved to talk about the importance of changing manager at crucial points in the season due to the gap in income between the Premier League and lower divisions, citing Sam Allardyce as a trusted option in securing a club’s status in England’s top tier.
Wenger said: “Today, the clubs who are in trouble look for experienced managers… the position in the Premier League has become vital for everybody to stay in the league.
“It has become an extremely big problem for everybody and when teams look for managers, he was one out there who had the experience and the quality.
“After that, all the rest is moral judgement. I don’t know how guilty he was of having done something or not [with England], I don’t know. But he was in a strong position as a national team manager, that means that people acknowledged that he had the quality to be there.
“What he did at Sunderland last year, he has been absolutely sensational. The success in every club is at a different level and the job of a manager is to take the best out of the potential of a team and that’s different at every level. Sometimes, to take the best out of a team is to avoid relegation.
“If you are at Hull today and you avoid relegation, you have done a superb job, maybe as good as the one who will win the league. It’s just down to competence and making the right decisions to prepare the team well.”
Wenger expects another big test of his side’s credentials against Palace, and says they must be wary of the Eagles’ attacking quality.
“It’s a talented squad, because they have potential going forward, they are quick on the break and they are very versatile,” he said. “They can be good in the air with Benteke, who is also good technically, and they can be quick in transition with Townsend and Zaha.
“In the last game, they played with Flamini, Puncheon and Cabaye in midfield. They have experience, they have technical quality. It’s a team that can be dangerous for everybody.”
As much as we have to respect our opponents, they are the ones who should have the more worries, especially considering we will be the home team for the encounter. Sam certainly knows how to help a side survive relegation and will no doubt try his hardest to stop us on Sunday, but even he knows he has a huge task ahead this weekend.
Am I too confident of our side this week? Should Sam make us show their side respect, or is there the chance we could end up showing them TOO MUCH respect?