Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Omens Looking Good for Durable Gunners

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Omens Looking Good for Durable Gunners

Article excerpt

Byline: Giuseppe Muro Football Correspondent



ARSENAL showed more signs of being able to last the distance in the title race at the start of a month that may provide answers to any lingering questions about the strength of their credentials.

Winning without playing particularly well, so often the hallmark of successful teams but something Arsenal have failed to do with regularity in recent seasons, will only strengthen Arsene Wenger's belief that his team are ready to end their eight-and-a halfyear wait for a trophy.

After struggling against a resolute Cardiff side looking to impress incoming manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, two late goals ensured they remain top of the Premier League ahead of a potentially defining period of their season.

The transfer window and an inviting run of fixtures gives Arsenal an opportunity to maintain their challenge this month and deliver a message to Manchester City and the chasing pack about their durability.

It is important they do not let this good position slip as they have done in the past. The last time the Gunners were serious contenders at this stage -- in 2010-11, when they were just two points off the top -- Wenger decided not to bolster his squad in January when reinforcements were clearly needed for the run-in.

Japanese teenager Ryo Miyaichi was the only new arrival during the window and Arsenal faded in the second half of the season before eventually finishing fourth, 12 points behind champions Manchester United.

They have yet to convince many pundits things will be different this time but adding to their squad may remove remaining doubts about their ability to stay the pace.

Any second thoughts Wenger had about dipping into the transfer market will surely have gone after Nicklas Bendtner joined Olivier Giroud on the sidelines. …

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