You can easily understand why Arsene Wenger wants Arsenal to treat the Premier League campaign as a completely separate entity to the Champions League, as we have been truly dreadful so far in the latter, losing the opening two games against teams that we were expected to beat without too much fuss.
The Gunners started poorly in the domestic league as well but have largely put that right and, as Wenger reminded us all in the press conference today reported by the Arsenal website, our last game was an excellent away win at Leicester City, a team that had started like a rocket, were playing very well and had not lost a game until last weekend.
The Frenchman said, “It is a special fixture because usually Man United are always fighting at the top. It has an even bigger meaning now because there are three points between the teams, and we play at home in a big game.
“We have just come from a big win at Leicester and we want to continue our run. We are the only team who has beaten [Leicester], so I don’t see why we should not believe we can beat Manchester United.
“At the moment it is too difficult to say that any team dominates the championship. It is so tight that one point more after seven games does not mean you will suddenly make a big difference in the league.
“It is settling at the moment and it is a very important time in the Premier League but you cannot come to a conclusion that one team is above everybody else.”
It is true that Arsenal could actually finish on top of the table after this weekend if results go our way and that is something that should give the players confidence as well as an extra incentive, but is it realistic to think that they could just forget about the trauma of the Olympiacos game?
It will be hard but then we do keep hearing about how the English teams, and not just Arsenal, struggle to adapt our game to Europe. So perhaps the Gunners can approach this big EPL game with real belief and remember that apart from the Chelsea game and the ridiculous refereeing of Mike Dean, Arsenal have not lost since the opening day and are in a good position to make a real challenge for the title. What do you think Gooners?