Gunners in a strong position - Dixon

12 March 2010 05:42
The former Gunners right-back thought Arsenal's challenge was "dead and buried" last month following successive defeats to title rivals Manchester United and Chelsea.

But while Dixon has been cycling across Europe for Sport Relief, Arsenal have got their title bid back on track with four successive league wins taking them two points off the top.

Arsene Wenger's side face Hull on Saturday - one of four games remaining against sides currently in the bottom six - and Dixon insists they must take strength from such a fixture list.

"You look at their fixtures and they are in a really strong position," said the former England international.

"Manchester United have got to play Chelsea and Liverpool so there is going to be points dropped somewhere. As long as Arsenal can keep their momentum going, you have to put them in contention.

"They've got the easiest run-in. It doesn't always work out like that but they have surprised me that they have got themselves back in it.

"And I think to a certain extent Mr Wenger will be surprised because after the Chelsea game they looked dead and buried."

Dixon, who won four championship medals with Arsenal, believes their current momentum could count in May.

"Whenever we've won the league, we've always come with a strong run at the end of the season and that is going to be the important thing, that they keep this confidence right through to the end of the season," he said.

"Take confidence at the fixture list and say 'right, we should be beating them'.

"There is nothing wrong with looking at teams and saying 'we should be beating Wigan at home and doing this and that'.

"Give them respect but don't give them too much respect. Arsenal are a good side and will win games, and you just never know."

Arsenal's sustained title bid is all the more surprising given the ankle injury which ruled out Robin van Persie in November.

Despite the loss of their star striker, Wenger's side are the league's top scorers and Nicklas Bendtner answered his critics with a hat-trick in Tuesday's Champions League triumph over Porto.

Dixon said: "There were bleak times when you didn't know when the next goal was coming from a centre-forward, but then they spread the goals around and are top scorers in the Premier League, which is a phenomenal achievement considering they haven't really had anyone playing up front.

"Although Bendtner is coming back now and scoring a few goals, they still look lightweight at times up front, but they have got goals from elsewhere."

Dixon was speaking at Murrayfield Stadium after taking part in former England rugby skipper Lawrence Dallaglio's charity cycle ride through all Six Nations cities.

Dixon, who rode three legs between his Match of the Day duties, admitted travelling through the Italian mountains was "harder than a George Graham training session.

"I did quite a bit of training but nothing compares to being out on the road and hitting mountains," the 45-year-old said.

"The first day we hit the first snow they had in Rome for 25 years.

"It was like being in the Highlands of Scotland so it was a bit of a shock, but it was good for team bonding."

:: Sponsor Lawrence Dallaglio and his fellow cyclists by visiting

Source: Team_Talk