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Saturday 3 December 2016

Defiant Wenger: We can still win the title

Arsenal boss says his team can bounce back

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger

Defiant Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes his side do have what it takes to win the 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."

The Arsenal manager sees plenty of reasons to stay positive.

"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."

Wenger is expecting another stern test of his squad's character against Louis Van Gaal's men.

However, the Arsenal manager is not about to abandon their offensive principles for the sake of a positive result.

"The way the teams are structured and the way the Premier League is structured, you want to see people attack. It is part of the success of the Premier League," he said.

"If you play offensive football and you lose everybody kills you, but if you sit for 10 games with a team which refuses to play then you will fall asleep and everybody says: 'why don't you attack?'

"When you don't win the games, you are wrong, not only for the reasons that people analyse. You have to accept that.

"If you attack and you lose the game then everybody says: 'you are naive', and it is true.

"But when Barcelona win the European Cup and attack from everywhere, we say: 'oh, what a fantastic game, it is absolutely marvellous'."

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