Martin Odegaard has warned Arsenal’s Premier League title rivals that the Gunners will be “even stronger” and hungrier after the World Cup break.
- Gunners top at Xmas for first time since 2007
- Have suffered only one defeat so far
- Looking for first crown since the ‘Invincibles’
WHAT HAPPENED? Mikel Arteta’s side are guaranteed to be number one at Christmas with domestic action in England having shut down, with 12 victories and 37 points collected from 14 games so far. It is the first time since 2007 that Arsenal find themselves in such a situation, while you have to turn the clock back to the ‘Invincibles’ of 2003-04 to find the last time that a top-flight crown made its way to north London.
WHAT THEY SAID: Odegaard believes the class of 2022-23 can end that barren run, saying of ambition at Emirates Stadium: “I have said many times this club needs to be at the top fighting for trophies and fighting to be there at the top. That’s where we want to be and of course we are at the moment. But there is a long way to go and we are going to stay humble, keep working hard. We still have a lot to improve and we are going to come back even stronger and even more hungry than ever after the break. We have to stay calm. We have said it many times, it’s a long way to the end of the season. There are some good teams around us. We will play every game as a final, as we said, and that’s all.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Defending champions Manchester City remain Arsenal’s closest challengers for now, as they sit five points off the pace, but Newcastle, Tottenham and fifth-placed Manchester United will all believe that they remain in the race.
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DID YOU KNOW? Arsenal are the only side to have scored in every Premier League game this season, while they’ve also got the joint-fewest goals conceded (11) and joint-most clean sheets so far this term (7). Indeed, the Gunners have kept as many clean sheets away from home this season (6) as they did in the entirety of 2021-22.
WHAT NEXT FOR ARSENAL? The Gunners will be back in competitive action on Boxing Day when playing host to London rivals West Ham.