Man Utd V Arsenal at Old Trafford : Match Preview
Man Utd V Arsenal - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.
Wenger: Show me your title appetite
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has demanded his side show the "hunger" of champions at Manchester United on Sunday.
The Gunners head to Old Trafford on the back of an impressive 1-0 Champions League victory at Borussia Dortmund which put them on course for qualification from Group F.
Even though Arsenal beat second-placed Liverpool 2-0 last weekend to move five points clear at the top of the Barclays Premier League, time will tell whether Wenger's squad can last the distance through to May.
Indeed earlier this week, Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney highlighted Arsenal's failure to maintain their form through the business end of recent campaigns.
While Wenger is too experienced to pay much attention to mind games, the Frenchman understands it will now be down to how much his squad believe in themselves to end almost a decade without a trophy.
"Usually after Christmas we have been very strong every season. For the rest, the comments are the comments - nobody knows what will happen in the future," said Wenger.
He could have England midfielder Jack Wilshere back in his squad at United following an ankle problem.
"What is the most important is that we trust our quality and show the resilience and the hunger to achieve what we can achieve," said Wenger.
"We have made a lot of improvements at the back in our defensive game and we have done well in the last two games, but there is a lot to do.
"We cannot come to the conclusion that we are in a position where we can relax - we have a lot more to achieve.
"We have won nothing at all, we have just won two games, and what is important is what we achieve in the future."
Arsenal will face their former captain Robin van Persie, the Holland forward having left the Emirates Stadium in August 2012 for B#24million and scored 26 goals as Sir Alex Ferguson's men delivered the title.
Wenger admits it still does not sit well to see the player he signed as a 20-year-old from Feyenoord in the red of United, claiming "for me he is an Arsenal man".
Van Persie, of course, was not the first high-profile Gunner to leave the Emirates Stadium in recent seasons in search of success, with the likes of Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri and Emmanuel Adebayor all having moved on for big-money fees.
Wenger accepts it could seem some were perhaps a bit "impatient".
He said: "We have gone through years where we had to be tight financially and we did it in a way that was logical and normal without fading too much at the top level.
"Some players saw the other big clubs buying world-named players and of course they lost a little bit confidence that we can compete with them.
"I think we have always been consistent in the way we thought the club has to be run, but at some stage we can turn the corner. Hopefully we have done it this year."
David Moyes believes Arsenal's flying start to the Premier League campaign underlines the value of managerial longevity.
In a summer of dramatic change at three of England's four Champions League contenders, Arsenal remained an oasis of stability.
Although they had completed eight seasons without a trophy, there was never any question of the Gunners' hierarchy ditching their boss of 17 years.
The decision has reaped its reward in Arsenal charging five points clear at the top of the table, and eight ahead of Manchester United ahead of Sunday's showdown at Old Trafford.
It may be a surprise to some. Not to Moyes.
"People who really know the game did mention Arsenal," said Moyes.
"They've got stability. For the first time in a long time, a lot of the other sides have changed their manager.
"I felt Arsenal would have an opportunity because they are not having those changes. The manager knew all the players and was used to working with them.
"Arsenal have always been a good team, so it should not be a big surprise they have started the season so well.
"It just shows it is the right way for clubs to go in the long-term.
"I do believe that the way to get success is to stick with your manager and give them a lengthy period in the job."
United will be without Danny Welbeck, who is sidelined with a knee injury, although Moyes does have the remainder of his squad available for the crunch clash.
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