Belfast Telegraph

Arsenal are still firing for league glory: Wenger

By Matt McGeehan

Arsene Wenger has refused to pin all of his trophy aspirations on the FA Cup and insists Arsenal are still in the race to win the Premier League title.

Following Saturday's derby draw at Tottenham the Gunners are now eight points adrift of leaders Leicester with nine games remaining.

Despite being tipped for the title after a victory over Manchester City before Christmas, Wenger's side - back-to-back FA Cup winners - are currently on a run of three wins in 12 games in all competitions.

They are on the brink of Champions League elimination after losing 2-0 at home to Barcelona and face an FA Cup fifth-round replay at Hull tonight having failed to knock the Sky Bet Championship side out at the Emirates last month.

Since that goalless draw against the Tigers on February 20, Arsenal have lost three of their four games.

But Wenger believes his side are still challenging both Spurs and Leicester for the title.

"You don't think like that," he said when asked whether the FA Cup is now Arsenal's most realistic chance of silverware.

"The Premier League is far from being over. We have beaten Leicester twice so we have done our job against them. We will not give up, we fight until the end."

Wenger has been batting away criticism in recent weeks - with the likes of Graeme Souness, Thierry Henry and Paul Merson all having their say.

But he remains immune to such comments as he looks to continue the good work of the last 19 years having become the longest-serving manager in European football after Ronnie McFall ended his 29-year stint with Irish club Portadown.

"I have always the same pressure," he said. "It is the same. After that, people talk and you have more people talking than 20 years ago. That doesn't change the pressure. The real pressure comes from your desire to win."

A sixth-round clash at home to Watford awaits the winner of tonight, with Arsenal's league game against West Brom to be rescheduled if they advance.

"We had to fit it in somewhere," he said. "Ideally it's not the best position but I couldn't see any other solution. I have to rotate and keep the balance."

Belfast Telegraph

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.


From Belfast Telegraph