A delighted Arsène Wenger was quick to heap praise on ArsenalFanTV presenter Robbie Lyle after the latter’s stinging criticisms led directly to an upturn in the Gunners’ fortunes that resulted in the side finding themselves in a strong position to win the Premier League title.

Arsenal currently sit second in the Premier League table, separated only by two points from surprise leaders Leicester City, and Wenger firmly believes that, having taken on board Lyle’s points at the back end of September, the good times are here to stay at the Emirates Stadium.

Speaking ahead of their all-important Champions League tie away to Greek side Olympiacos, Wenger said: ‘Every year I hear the same thing from that channel – we don’t have a decent striker, we’re lacking strength in depth, I don’t know what I’m doing. All of those and more. I think it’s clear that Robbie makes valid points, has the club’s best interests at heart, and is far more knowledgable about football than I. As people say all the time, I haven’t brought the title here since we left Highbury, so clearly I’m now out of my depth.’

The 66-year-old continued: ‘After we lost the home tie to Olympiacos, I watched ArsenalFanTV as I always do, because I have the utmost respect for every person who goes on it, no matter how much their eyes bulge out of their sockets in apoplectic rage, when Robbie urged me to let Mesut Özil off the leash more, give him licence to roam. I thought, why not, it’s worth a gamble, and I’ve got to admit that it’s paid off tremendously. Not only are we on this great run, but people are talking about us as serious title contenders and Mesut’s in the form of his life.

‘So, to Robbie Lyle, and everyone at ArsenalFanTV, thank you. Thank you on behalf of me, the players, and everyone connected with Arsenal Football Club’.

Lyle was unavailable for comment, being in the process of interviewing a guy who was slowly driving up his blood pressure talking about Olivier Giroud’s strike rate.