Arsene Wenger insists his Arsenal side are “going the right way” – but says it’s “too early to guess” who will win the Premier League right now.
The Gunners cemented their place in second with Monday night’s 2-1 victory over Manchester City and now just lie two points behind surprise leaders Leicester going into their Boxing Day clash with Southampton at St Mary’s.
Wenger said on the win over City: “It was an important win for us. What came out of the game is that we had a real strong team attitude and strong team effort.
“We got a positive result against a very strong team who will fight for the championship.”
On Arsenal’s title prospects, Wenger added: “We lost our first game at West Ham so we weren’t sure we’d be here at Christmas.
“Football is pragmatic, no one can predict what will happen in the next 17 games for example.
“We go with the same attitude and spirit.
“If you look back at 2015, we have been consistent overall and have had quite a positive record. Stabilised our defensive record and improved against strong teams.
“We’re going the right way.
“It is too early to guess (who will win the Premier League). We’re only halfway.”
Wenger on Flamini and Ramsey
On Southampton, Wenger added: “I believe the most important thing is to focus on ourselves rather than them.”
Wenger says Arsenal will have an unchanged squad for the game and insists he’s happy to stick with his central midfield axis of Mathieu Flamini and Aaron Ramsey.
“Flamini is a more defensive player and you compensate always, but its most important that the pair works together.
“In this partnership, they’ve adapted quickly and well.
“The cohesion inside the club is very important. The fact they’ve practised a lot together helps.”
Wenger was asked to explain the growing trends for away wins in Premier League and concluded: ” It looks like it is linked with a trend that possession is not rewarded any more like it was before.
“This is the first year that possession does not give you the win like before. Teams are better organised, better prepared physical, in the last 20 minutes.
“Now teams play with the same ability in the last 20 minutes, fatigue is playing less part.
“The transition from defence to attack has also become much better.”