Robin van Persie believes Man City are ‘the team to beat’ in the Premier League this season but also that Arsenal have shown they have the ability to win anywhere.
Speaking to Arsenal Player ahead of Sunday’s game at Middle Eastlands, van Persie said, “Man City are the team to beat, although they did lose against Chelsea. They have a strong team, everybody knows that, with a few good players in midfield and attack. Defensively they are strong as well so they are just a world-class team.
“It’s going to be a big test but we have played against world-class sides before – nobody really expected us to beat Chelsea 5-3 away, but we did it. I don’t see why we can’t surprise again, we’re having a good run, everybody is confident and believes in themselves. The spirit is as high as it can get.”
And although the team have been performing well since that start to the season (words which should be accompanied by a suspenseful background noise) the captain isn’t yet content and has urged his teammates to do more.
“We should have higher expectations every week”, he said, “but for now because we have only played 15 games in the league we are not even halfway.
“I don’t think it’s clever to be excited by fourth, fifth, sixth or whatever. This is not now, we still have to play many games. We need to make sure that we’re surprising people with our results.”
And such is the measure of the team’s progression in recent weeks that a good result on Sunday wouldn’t even be a surprise. And with van Persie closing in Stampy Elbowy Geordie Bloke’s record for most goals scored in a calendar year, they’ve got just the man to fire them to three points.