Wenger targets second spot
Published 25/02/2013 | 08:46
His team may have spent most of last week on the ropes, but manager Arsene Wenger insists Arsenal can finish second in the Barclays Premier League this season.
This week Wenger has endured one of the most difficult periods of his 17-year reign at the club. The Gunners were knocked out of the FA Cup by npower Championship Blackburn and were then completely outclassed by Bayern Munich, going down 3-1 to the Germans in the first leg of their last-16 Champions League tie.
But Wenger's men beat Aston Villa 2-1 on Saturday to move within just one point of fourth-placed Spurs, and Wenger said: "I'm not sure it will only be a fight with Tottenham. I'm not sure the other places are not reachable. Chelsea are just ahead and even Man City is not out of reach. It could be a tight fight until the end."
For most of the game against Villa, Arsenal looked anything but capable of leapfrogging Chelsea and City into second.
Their passing was often sloppy, their defence edgy and their propensity to try to walk the ball into the goal infuriated a large chunk of the home support.
But after a testing week, Wenger hopes the Santi Cazorla-inspired victory will restore a sense of calm and normality to the Arsenal camp ahead of Sunday's north London derby at White Hart Lane.
"I hope this gives us a bit more quietness for us to prepare our next game. It was a very important day for Arsenal Football Club," Wenger said.
"I am very happy for the players because they have a good attitude and want to do well.
"We went through some difficult times so it was important first to show that we are united, determined and focused to win the game, and we were.
"We were a bit nervous - I concede that - because we are a lot under pressure, we had our backs to the wall and had to win the game."