Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger insists his young squad should not feel “ashamed” of their season but should be proud of their effort, ESPN has revealed.
The Gunners have gone from chasing a potential quadruple of trophies to fighting for just one over the last three weeks. The north London side lost out on the Carling Cup after losing to Birmingham City in the final, they were eliminated from the Champions League and FA Cup by Barcelona and league rivals Manchester United, respectively, meaning the only title they have the chance of winning this season is the Premier League.
Wenger’s men currently sit second in the league, three points behind Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United, with one game in hand.
The Gunners boss says his players have no reason to be ashamed of what they have done this season but feels they have accomplished a lot throughout the campaign: “If you look at what we did this season, it deserves a lot of credit. You have to put it right until the end of the season and continue to do as we did at the start of the season.
“Would anybody have predicted that we are where we are, in front of Chelsea and Manchester City and fighting for the championship? Nobody. We went out against Barcelona – it’s just one goal, playing with 10 men and we had a chance in the last minute to qualify.
“I don’t think we have to be ashamed of what we did – we should be proud of what we did until now. So let people talk and let us do the job.
Gunners still in title race.
Arsene Wenger believes the race for the Premier League title is between Arsenal and Manchester United and insists that his side have the quality required to lift the trophy this year.
The Gunners sit four points ahead of third placed Manchester City and three behind league leaders United with a game in hand and Wenger is sure that either his or Sir Alex Ferguson’s side will be lifting the trophy at the end of the season.
The Frenchman told the club’s official website: “mathematically it is in our hands or Man United[‘s] hands. The other teams can only come back if Arsenal or Manchester United do not take their opportunities. So it is down to our results. It is simple – for me, we have a good opportunity to win the championship.
“If we do not do it, it will be Manchester United because certainly the other teams are too far away. We have a good opportunity to keep our run going and that is what we want to do. We are on a long, strong run in the championship and we want to continue that.”
Arsene Wenger has had to add Abou Diaby to the growing injury list ahead of the Gunners’ crucial league fixture against West Bromwich Albion this weekend.
Diaby will miss Arsenal’s trip to West Brom and had to pull out of the France squad to face Luxembourg in the Euro qualifier next week with a groin strain.
The midfielder joins captain Cesc Fabregas, Theo Walcott, Alex Song, Johan Djourou, Thomas Vermaelen and Wojciech Szczesny on the list of players unavailable for selection at an important time in the north London side’s season.
The Gunners are hoping that Diaby’s absence is only short-term and there is a possibility that Djourou will be back in action later this month, skipper Fabregas is expected to return to the starting line up after the international break, it is unknown when Walcott and Song will return to the squad but Szczesny is sidelined for at least six weeks and Vermaelen has been ruled out for the rest of the season.