Arsenal v Manchester City: Arsene Wenger 'disappointed' by recent form but admits side can still top the Premier League table

Wenger feels that Arsenal can still challenge for the title and can draw on positives from the 6-3 defeat to City earlier in the season to get a result when they visit the Emirates

Arsene Wenger has admitted that Arsenal came away from their midweek draw against Swansea “disappointed” after the 2-2 stalemate appeared to end any chances they had of challenging for the Premier League title.

Arsenal’s campaign doesn’t get any easier as they welcome Manchester City to the Emirates in Saturday’s evening kick-off, with the memory of the 6-3 thrashing they received at the Etihad earlier in the season still fresh in their memory.

The Gunners’ season has veered off the rails in recent weeks, with their Champions League exit to Bayern Munich preceding the 6-0 humiliation at the hands of Chelsea last weekend. Wenger has stressed though that despite confidence being visibly low within the squad, they remain determined to win every match and can still challenge for the top of the table.

Speaking at a pre-match press conference, Wenger said: “The mood is of course disappointed but we want to prepare for the next game. We gave everything against Swansea.

“We want to focus on our own strengths and we need to have a top defensive performance [against City].

“After every game I don't win, I'm disappointed but I'm just determined to win the next game"

“It will be down to the quality of our collective defending tomorrow. We have to keep going despite our negative results.”

 

The 64-year-old also recognised Everton pose a threat to their top-four placing, but claimed that if the Toffees are genuine rivals for fourth, then Arsenal can still challenge the three sides above them.

“If people say Everton can catch us then we can catch the teams above us,” claimed Wenger.

“We have not given up believe me. It's our attitude tomorrow which will show that. We play at the Emirates where we show big strengths and we want to show that again tomorrow.”

Wenger recognised that while the 6-3 defeat on their visit to Manchester hurt their title aspirations, there were positives that the players could take out of their performance. The problem remains though that Arsenal have capitulated three times against their main rivals this season, while also losing to Manchester United in a season when the Red Devils are going through their worst run of form since the inception of the Premier League.

“There's plenty of positives to take from the game at the Etihad,” Wenger added. “But of course we must defend better.

“We haven't started the big games on the front foot and we want to change that tomorrow.

“There is no other priority other than coming first - that is still our target. We were 17 or 18 times top of the league this season. We need to continue to work well, we have been unlucky with injuries.”

The Frenchman also spoke kindly on referee Andre Marriner, after he mistakenly sent off Kieran Gibbs in the Chelsea defeat for a handball committed by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

“I completely accept the fact that Andre Marriner is a good referee,” expressed Wenger. “He doesn't need to apologise to me.”

When asked whether defender Bacary Sagna, who is out of contract this season, will be leaving the club for a move to City, Wenger claimed that he remains confident of keeping hold of his countryman, but admitted that he will respect any decision that the right-back makes.

“I'm confident Sagna will stay but we will accept his decision and go with it,” Wenger said, before stressing that talk of a three-year contract offered by City to the France international would be classed as an illegal approach.

Wenger also confirmed that Aaron Ramsey, whose early season form saw the Gunners rise to the Premier League summit, will not feature this weekend but is slowly closing in on a return to action after his latest setback in his recovery from a thigh injury.

“Ramsey will be the first back but we still need to be cautious,” revealed the Arsenal manager. “Jack Wilshere needs more time.”

Read More: Arsenal turn attentions to cling on to fourth
Ramsey 'progressing well' after latest setback
Pires backs Ozil: 'I was terrible in my first season too'
Voices
Lucerne’s Hotel Château Gütsch, one of the lots in our Homeless Veterans appeal charity auction
charity appeal
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
tv
News
people

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

Sport
Scunthorpe goalkeeper Sam Slocombe (left) is congratulated by winning penalty taker Miguel Llera (right)
football
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
News
i100
Travel
Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
Arts and Entertainment
Jennifer Saunders stars as Miss Windsor, Dennis's hysterical French teacher
filmJennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress
Life and Style
tech
Sport
Nabil Bentaleb (centre) celebrates putting Tottenham ahead
footballTottenham 4 Newcastle 0: Spurs fans dreaming of Wembley final after dominant win
Voices
Jimmy Mubenga died after being restrained on an aircraft by G4S escorts
voicesJonathan Cox: Tragedy of Jimmy Mubenga highlights lack of dignity shown to migrants
Life and Style
Sebastian Siemiatkowski is the 33-year-old co-founder and CEO of Klarna, which provides a simple way for people to buy things online
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum