Wenger: We can silence doubters

21 March 2010 06:12
The Gunners kept up the pressure on Premier League title rivals Manchester United and Chelsea when they overcame the dismissal of defender Thomas Vermaelen to beat relegation-battlers West Ham 2-0 at Emirates Stadium on Saturday.[LNB]Although Wenger's men were back down into second place following Sunday's games which saw United beat Liverpool 2-1 and Chelsea draw at Blackburn, only four points now separate all three challengers.[LNB]Given United and Chelsea, who still have a match in hand, clash at Old Trafford over Easter, Arsenal are very much in the hunt for what would be a first championship since their unbeaten campaign of 2003/2004.[LNB]That is an achievement in itself given the way the Gunners' campaign looked all but over six weeks ago following successive defeats to United and Chelsea.[LNB]However, Wenger's youngsters have since chalked up half a dozen wins in a row, the last two showing real character.[LNB]Many thought the Arsenal manager somewhat deluded when he confidently predicted the title race was far from over in the wake of those comprehensive defeats by their rivals.[LNB]Wenger, though, never lost the unwavering belief in his team to deliver their potential, but accepts some people will not be convinced unless Arsenal finish top of the pile come May 9.[LNB]"If you had listened to all of the predictions, then we should not have even bothered starting the championship," the Frenchman said.[LNB]"When we lost against Chelsea at home, and then later against Manchester United here, which I must say was in a convincing way, everybody got a little bit carried away.[LNB]"You lost against one of the main contenders so convincingly, therefore nobody takes you seriously after that.[LNB]"They do not take you seriously for a while afterwards - and some do not even now. It takes a while to convince people again."[LNB]Wenger continued: "You could not predict that Chelsea would drop the points they lost. Of course, if they had a perfect run-in, then you could not fight for the title.[LNB]"But it was important for us not to give up.[LNB]"We have a young team and if we want to have a future, then we have to show mental quality and not give up, no matter what happens.[LNB]"That is what I wanted to carry on saying to the players.[LNB]"I still believe it is important for the players not to give up and to keep going.[LNB]"I was always happy to work with the squad. They kept a great attitude in training and are always focused."[LNB]Arsenal would appear to have the easier run-in, but Wenger maintains there is no margin for error in their remaining seven matches.[LNB]"With the results we are making, we can only go from game to game - but we have the desire, we have the quality and let's see how far we can go," he said.[LNB]"I believe we can go and win the next games. We have that kind of attitude - we keep pushing for the win rather than the draw.[LNB]"We are nearly there to finish for the top three and qualify directly for the Champions League again.[LNB]"The next step is to go for the championship and to have a chance in that we absolutely have to win all of our games.[LNB]"We are in a strong position, but we have to focus on our quality and continue to improve. Let's be better in our next game.[LNB]"We can show to people that we have improved our consistency - we can turn up every week and win the game.[LNB]"I don't know where we will finish, but let's go for it."[LNB][LNB] Barclays Prem 2009/10 Win Outright: Arsenal 12/5  

Source: Team_Talk