Posted on March 7, 2014
Stoke City manager Mark Hughes has stated that he is surprised by the good form Arsenal have shown this season. After long been considered as a team incapable of winning a major title, Arsenal have finally managed to put together a title challenge this campaign.
The last Premier league title that they won was back in 2004, but this Arsenal team is in contention with Chelsea and Manchester City for the title. Mark Hughes, who came close to winning the league title with Manchester City a few years ago, says that this good run of form has been unexpected from Arsenal.
His Stoke team take on Arsenal at the Britannia stadium this weekend. Many expected Arsenal’s title challenge to fall off even before the season reached Christmas. However, they have just one point separating them from table leaders Chelsea, although the trip to Britannia stadium will be a huge test for the gunners. They have failed to win in the last two visits there, while Arsenal have got just one win in the last seven trips to the Britannia.
Stoke have several reasons to perform well and get a win themselves. They are just three points above the relegation zone in the 15th place. Hughes will want to end the season comfortably without any relegation fears.
“It has been surprising I think. It would be fair to say I didn’t expect them to maintain it. They have always been an outstanding team and they have great ability within their ranks, but I just felt maybe they wouldn’t have the ability to sustain a challenge. I think there are possibly stronger challengers, stronger teams that could take it away from them. I think everybody anticipates that it is going to be really close this year and is likely to go to the last weekend,” said Hughes.