Football

Wenger says Man City must respect Arsenal’s Invincibles

Gunners boss believes 'petrol' money is key difference between Citizens and his 2003/04 unbeaten side

Arsene Wenger doesn't doubt Manchester City can match his "Invincibles", but he was quick to also point out that his unbeaten team of 2003/04 had to do it without the "petrol" money.

The Abu Dhabi-owned City have flown off the blocks this season, stringing together a Premier League record 15 wins on the trot.

                       EPL
ARSENAL NEWCASTLE

Their tally of 49 points from 17 matches is also unrivalled, and is 10 points more than what Wenger's side could muster at the same stage during their historic 2003/04 campaign.

On whether City can go the entire campaign unbeaten, Wenger said in a press conference yesterday: "Why not? It can happen, but there is still a long way to go.

"At the moment, I think everything goes for them inside the games, but maybe as well they have the quality to turn it in their favour."

But he also stressed that Guardiola is managing a City side at a time when they can pick and choose any player that money can buy.

Because of that, he said that his achievement with Thierry Henry and gang has its own place in the history of football.

Look, we had no petrol but ideas, they have petrol and ideas, so that makes it more efficient... They have resources... Money and quality Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger on the difference between his Invincibles of 2003/04 and the current Manchester City team

He said: "Look, we had no petrol but ideas, they have petrol and ideas, so that makes it more efficient...

"They have resources... Money and quality is what I wanted to say, and in their management and players they have everything that is needed to be successful.

"It's still not easy, they still have to respect that achievement."

Arsenal are currently paying the price for two draws in their last two Premiership fixtures.

They lie seventh in the table, 19 points behind leaders Man City, ahead of a home match against an out-of-form Newcastle United tonight.

Wenger believes that their 3-1 home loss to Man United has deflated his side's morale, which explains the subsequent draws against Southampton and West Ham United.

Asked about the defeat by the Red Devils, he said: "It still plays on their minds.

"You need to get that out of the system. When you have so many chances, as we had, and you come out with nothing, it's difficult to swallow and it takes a little while.

"I think the best way is to continue to put that behind us and focus on the quality of our game."

Arsenal have a good chance to return to winning ways against the Magpies who have not won in their past eight league outings.

However, they will have to do it without injured midfielder Aaron Ramsey, and also most likely Shkodran Mustafi and Theo Walcott.

Yesterday, Wenger also took the chance to reiterate that Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Oezil will not be allowed to leave during next month's transfer window.

He said: "I can tell you a global answer - yes. They will all stay.

"I will analyse every case individually and separately, but overall I would say my wish and my desire is that everybody stays." - WIRE SERVICES

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