Arsenal are not good enough admits Santi Cazorla before crunch trip to Manchester United 

Santi Cazorla has admitted Arsenal still have work to do if they want to be champions next season – but says the Gunners were right to stick by manager Arsene Wenger.

On Sunday, Arsenal face Manchester United at Old Trafford - the scene of an infamous 8-2 defeat in 2011 when fans began calling for Wenger’s head.

But a revival since has seen the Londoners win the FA Cup, and reach the final this year, while ­also challenging for second place in the Premier League.

Midfielder Cazorla, who hadn’t yet joined the Gunners when they were thrashed in Manchester three-and-a-half years ago, says only a tendency to lose key games away from home is standing between the Gunners and a real title ­challenge.

Cazorla said: “In our eyes, Arsenal are always a candidate to win the Premier League, the players really believe that. But over the years we have dropped key points in stadiums where we need to win. That’s our ­handicap and the thing we need to change.”

Victory at Old Trafford – where Arsenal have already won in the FA Cup this season – would be a step towards that goal; and Cazorla believes finishing as runners-up to Chelsea, and lifting another FA Cup, would make it a successful year.

“I would say the season for Arsenal is positive,” he said. “We are in the FA Cup Final and we are fighting for second place in the Premier League.

“Being knocked out of the Champions League was painful because we played our worst game of the year at home against Monaco. That was the low point. But overall it’s been good.”

Cazorla, who has played some of the best football of his career this season, is delighted the club stood by Wenger in the difficult times.

He added: “Wenger is a big coach. I am at Arsenal because he convinced me he could improve my game and give me a chance of winning the Premier League. I am happy with my experience at Arsenal, and that’s true.

“I have worked with good coaches in my career and Wenger is special.

“He’s very demanding, even when we win, and always wants the team to play a good game. His big virtue is the way he gives confidence to young players.”

Despite rumours that he will return to Spain this summer, Cazorla seems happy with life in north London and said: “I have a contract at Arsenal and my head is focused only on this club.”

But he can still spare a thought for Louis van Gaal’s troubles.

Cazorla said: “Louis van Gaal is a big coach... but it’s not easy to arrive at Old Trafford and win titles. The memory of Ferguson is very difficult – for any coach.

“But I’m not thinking about his chances of the title, only Arsenal’s.”

It has been reported that Aston Villa goalkeeper Shay Given was full of praise for Arsenal ace Alexis Sanchez …

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Arsene Wenger targeted Premier League glory after guiding Arsenal to a record-breaking 12th FA Cup win…

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The Unbeaten In Manchester Season

By Goonerholic

I saw talk before the match of Arsene setting up to go with an attacking gameplay having secured victories at City and United this season playing a much more compact game than usual. It was no surprise, given those two results, that once again we set our stall at Old Trafford to defend first and foremost, and look to hit the home side on the counter.

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