Can Arsenal win the English Premier League (EPL)? It’s going to be a miraculous feat, says Nwankwo Kanu, a Super Eagles legend.
Speaking to BBC, the 42-year-old who spent five seasons with the Gunners does not fancy the North London club, who are starting their post-Wenger era after 22 years, to win the league.
“If it happens and they win the league, it’s a miracle,” said the Atlanta ’96 Olympics gold-winning captain who won the EPL twice under Arsene Wenger.
Kanu, who was part of the 2003/04 invincibles team, said Arsenal have done more recruitment – including a new coach and backroom staff – than they usually do, and they would need time to understand themselves.
“It takes time for the newcomers, the new signings, to adapt. We have to allow time for him to bring his own style and the way he wants to play,” he said.
Arsenal have not won the league in 14 years and after the turmoil of recent years which included Wenger being hounded by the fans, the Frenchman bowed to the pressure at the end of last season to step down.
The club hired former PSG coach, Unai Emery, to lead an improbable assault on the EPL crown but Kanu feels it would be a challenge too big for the Spanish manager, despite the fans’ demands.
“For the new manager, it’s going to be a very big challenge; the fans want them to perform in the league in his first year, which is always difficult for a new coach,” the former West Brom and Portsmouth striker said.
However, Leicester City achieved the impossible, winning the EPL in 2015/16 season by somehow managing to pick three points from many unlikely games, and Kanu, who enjoyed a fairytale FA Cup win with Portsmouth, thinks Emery would do well to copy Leicester’s blueprint.
“They have to know how to win games, even if it’s 1-0. All they need is the three points,” he added.
English football returns with its curtain raiser, the FA Community Shield between FA Cup winners, Chelsea, and EPL Champions, Manchester City, this weekend, while EPL fixtures start the following weekend.