Nigel Winterburn: Arsenal must improve in attack to create ‘perfect performance’

Arsenal legend Nigel Winterburn says Mikel Arteta’s side must improve their attacking output in order to deliver the “perfect performance.” 

Arsenal travelled to the Etihad on Sunday and delivered a stellar defensive performance, limiting Manchester City to just one shot on target and keeping a clean sheet, which is even more remarkable considering Pep Guardiola’s side had scored in 47 consecutive home league games before this match. 

Despite Arsenal being the leading scorers in the Premier League this season (70) and scoring 23 goals in their last six league outings, Winterburn feels if Arsenal can maintain consistency in their attack, particularly in big games, they will be well equipped for the run-in. 

Winterburn, in an interview with, said: “Arteta will want to see more solid defensive displays like this one they put in against City. Combine that with the attacking displays they’ve shown in recent weeks and that would be the perfect performance. 

“Man City have won five of the last six titles. That shows you the level you have to reach to get ahead of them. When you’re playing at the Etihad you have to be so good defensively to keep a clean sheet.  

 “It is hard in a match like that for the forward players when they have less of the ball than normal. Arsenal got pushed back a lot by City so the wide players sit deeper. You have to be exceptional at keeping the ball to try and break out and you have to take more risks against that. It was so difficult for the wide players who were under severe pressure”. 

Winterburn was who was a Premier League winner with Arsenal in 1998 knows exactly what it takes to win a title and expects there to be plenty of more twists and turns to come in the three-horse race for glory. Whilst he believes Arsenal are deemed the ‘underdogs’ in comparison to Liverpool and Manchester City, Winterburn feels not everything will go “according to plan”. 

He added: “As far as the title race is concerned, I want Arsenal to win the league and I couldn’t care less about who comes second and third,” he said. “Looking at the run-ins and trying to pick out where teams will pick up or drop points is always the worst thing to do – it very rarely goes according to plan.  

“Surprises will happen and with three teams involved it will change around a lot. I’m delighted that Arsenal are there again after last season. I’m just hoping they can win it this season. 

“They’re up against Manchester City, who are the best team in the league and have won five of the last six titles, as well as Liverpool who are the only other champions in that period; that makes them the underdogs. One thing that’s for sure is it’ll all change between now and the end of the season.”

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