Judge Arsenal at Christmas, says Ramsey

Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey believes that if the Gunners are still top of the Premier League at Christmas, they have to be considered among the contenders to win the title – but stresses that they should not be judged either way before then, the Guardian has reported.

Ramsey’s comments come days before Arsenal play the current champions, Manchester United, at Old Trafford, and follow suggestions by United striker Wayne Rooney that Arsene Wenger’s side are liable to fold in the spring, as they have done in years past. Ramsey, however, believes Arsenal’s problem previously has been starting slowly, something they have put right this time.

I think the boss said the other day that from January, we’re the team in the league who have picked up the most points,” the Wales international said. “I don’t think our form has been that bad after Christmas. In the last few seasons, we’ve had to dig in and get a load of points to get fourth place. We’ve managed to do that.

Our biggest problem over the last few seasons has been [not] starting off well but we’ve managed to do that this season,” Ramsey continued. “If we get ourselves into a strong position, then our ability to get as many points as we can in the run-in has been second to none.

After United, Arsenal also play Manchester City and Chelsea before the festive period, the former game coming on the road and the latter at their Emirates Stadium. Ramsey added: “We had a fantastic run-in to last season and after the disappointment of the opening game of the season, we’ve managed to build. If we can keep it going until Christmas, then we know that we have the ability to compete.

Arsenal are currently top of the league by five points, with Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur all level in the chasing pack, separated by goal difference. United are in eighth place, eight points shy of the Londoners.

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