Wednesday, February 21, 2024

‘Big Four’ in EPL set to change: Wenger

The Arsenal boss says this year’s title chasers could be elbowed aside by Aston Villa, Tottenham . . . and even Wigan!
The Premier League’s traditional ‘also-rans’ are becoming more dangerous and Wenger puts that down to an overall increase in skill level.
He said: “For me the so-called ‘Big Four’ in England is about to change. It won’t last much longer.
“This year in the Premier League there have been changes which are, in reality, good for football values.
“Manchester United beat Sunderland only in the last minute and drew at Spurs, we were beaten by Stoke and Hull.
“That will continue until March when clubs have earned their safety for next season but won’t be fighting for European qualification. Then these clubs will let things go a little bit.
“But the technical level in our league has increased because players are being bought from all over the world and bringing new talent.
“The other day, for example, Wigan had Kevin Kilbane, Jason Koumas and Amr Zaki on the bench! This is impressive in my view.”
Arsenal welcome leaders Liverpool on Sunday and desperately need a win to keep alive their title hopes.
Champions United are in Japan at the Club World Cup while second-placed Chelsea face a trip to Everton on Monday. Wenger’s men are fifth, eight points adrift of the Kop.
And the French boss has come in for criticism over his failure to bring in the big-name signings to match their closest rivals.
But Wenger insists the current financial climate will change the attitude of many clubs. He added: “I come from a little village of farmers where I was educated that when you earn £100 you do not spend £100.
“For me when you earn £100 and you spend £110 it is like cheating.
“A club must live within its own resources, not artificially supported.
“The economic crisis will force many clubs to rethink the way they are run. It seems too many believe football exists in a bubble, away from the financial crisis!
“Football depends heavily on the financial markets, sponsorship and television rights, all of which are suffering right now. “Clubs will be affected, wages will come down, transfer fees must come down and there will be a bit of calm with the exception of clubs like Manchester City.”

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