Gunners boss sees Mexican as a potential threat to his side’s dying title hopes but is still confident that his team can turn the tables in their favour to mount one last push
By Sam Bisby
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has highlighted the threat posed by Manchester United’s Mexican striker
Javier Hernandez, as the Frenchman’s team prepare to face their title rivals.
The two sides go into Sunday’s battle nine points apart following the Gunners’ crushing defeat at the hands of Bolton last weekend.
Wenger has pinpointed United’s signing of the season as the biggest danger of finishing Arsenal’s title hopes once and for all.
The 22-year-old striker has had a stellar inaugural Premier League campaign in which he has scored 12 goals and developed a formidable partnership up front for the Red Devils with the in-form Wayne Rooney.
Bought for just £7 million from Guadalajara last summer, Wenger revealed that he was monitored by Arsenal before being snapped up by United and recognises the threat the striker will possess in Sunday’s showdown.
“Hernandez has been exceptional,” Wenger told reporters. “He was on our radar – we knew him but I do not want to go into that. He has had a great season.
“He puts Rooney in a bit of a different role, more of a playmaker, and Rooney can adapt to everything. At the end of the day, it suits Man United. Hernandez plays more the runner and Rooney more the playmaker.”
Wenger believes that taking all the spoils on Sunday can put his team firmly back in the hunt for the title.He said: “If we can beat Manchester United, we come back to six points and after they play Chelsea you never know they can be under pressure again.
“It is important for us to show we can beat them, and I am convinced we will.”
He added: “It is important for us to show some fighting spirit, some fighting attitude and some pride – there is more at stake on Sunday than just the mathematics.”
With just four games left to capture some form and have one final charge in hopes of the championship, Wenger admits that chasing points is not all he is thinking about, with potential transfers also on his mind for the summer.
“We always have names in mind because we have our scouting reports from all over the world every week,” the Arsenal manager said.
“It is too early to speak about that because it is important to focus highly on the end of the season.”