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Wenger on the defensive but insists Arsenal are in good position to win title

By Jim van Wijk

Published 03/10/2015

Frosty: Arsene Wenger lost his cool with the pressure yesterday ahead of the crunch match with United
Frosty: Arsene Wenger lost his cool with the pressure yesterday ahead of the crunch match with United

Defiant Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes his side do have what it takes to win the Barclays Premier League title - and knows he would be "slaughtered" for saying they had no chance.

The Gunners boss was forced to again defend the direction of his team when addressing the media ahead of tomorrow's showdown with leaders Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium.

The 64-year-old batted down continued criticism of his team's apparent lack of defensive cohesion as "very, very, very, very boring" following the on-going inquest into Tuesday night's 3-2 home Champions League defeat by Olympiacos, and then threatened to end the press conference when quizzed on comments from Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho about pressures of the job.

Wenger still sees great promise in his squad, which last weekend returned an impressive Premier League performance in the 5-2 win at Leicester, inflicting the first defeat of the season on the Foxes which left them only three points off the top of the table.

When asked if he continued to believe in a sustained title challenge, Wenger said: "If I tell you now that we are three points behind Man United, playing Man United at home and I don't believe that we can win the Premier League, what do you tell me? You will slaughter me.

"I don't see why we should be absolutely down, we are on the back of three or four good results in the Premier League," he said.

"We had a disappointment in the Champions League, we have to analyse it well.

"It was disappointing to lose but overall every competition is different. You have to go in a different competition in a different state of mind and we have to be inspired by what we did at Leicester."

Meanwhile, Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal does not mind that he will not have the longevity in one job that Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson have enjoyed.

Asked if he wished he had spent a huge amount of time at one club like Wenger and Ferguson, Van Gaal said: "I had a long time at Ajax - at that time I was young, and I took that challenge.

"But it also depends on your character - what do you want? I always want more."

Since his time at Ajax, Van Gaal has added spells with Barcelona, the Holland national team (both twice) AZ Alkmaar and Bayern Munich to his impressive CV.

"I have always done what I have said," he added.

"I said in advance I wanted to coach the Dutch national team, and I was invited. I wanted to go abroad, and I was invited. I wanted to go back to the Netherlands, and I did - then I wanted go to Germany, and I wanted another time to be national coach.

"I set aims and I was very lucky that clubs or national teams wanted me."

Belfast Telegraph

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