Arsène Wenger alone believes Arsenal can win title now

 

Arsène Wenger may be in a minority of one at the Emirates by claiming Arsenal can still challenge for the Premier League title. After his side threw away a 2-0 lead to draw 3-3 at home against Fulham, a defiant Wenger insisted that the Gunners – who have made their worst start to a campaign since the 1982-83 season – can still trouble the top of the table: "I feel yes, of course. Yes, why not?"

But, given his midfielder Jack Wilshere's comments before the game that it would take a "minor miracle" for Arsenal to challenge for the title, it seems Wenger, renowned for his supposed short-sightedness when it comes to incidents on the pitch, is now suffering from a clear case of denial.

Belief, though – or perhaps just mental resilience – appears to be the key issue with the Arsenal team at present. On the day when the leaders Manchester United came back from 2-0 down to secure a fine late win at Aston Villa, Arsenal themselves surrendered the same lead before failing to convert a late siege into a big win as Mikel Arteta missed a penalty.

The manager, however, at least attempted to explain his assertion. He thinks the recent drop-off is down to no more than fatigue. "I think we had three difficult games this week, especially the first two," he said. "We had to recover from Man United where we didn't exist a lot and then we gave it all at Schalke. We overall had a good game for a team that has played Champions League on Tuesday but we were maybe caught a bit on lack of complete urgency when you're 2-0 up."

More interestingly, after Arsenal's backline was completely exposed and often embarrassed by the excellent Dimitar Berbatov, Wenger complained that he doesn't have time to solve any defensive issues and again criticised this week's international fixtures.

"There is no time to train on it because the players go away every three days and you cannot practise too much... there is never a week where you have completely to prepare for the next game. It's part of being at Arsenal.

"I think [the international fixtures are] bad for us. I would prefer the team stays here and prepares for our next game. There's a risk as well with the players that have played three games. You play another one and another one."

Next up for Arsenal is the derby against Tottenham. "It's always huge, no matter what's happening," Wenger stated.

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
voicesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
Life and Style
tech

Apple has been hit by complaints about the 1.1GB download

Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC
tv

Much-loved cartoon character returns - without Sir David Jason

Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Actor and director Zach Braff
tv

News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
Arts and Entertainment
tv

News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife
film

Matt Smith is set to join cast of the Jane Austen classic - with a twist

Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
filmWhat makes the little man tick?
Arts and Entertainment
Meera Syal was a member of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me
tv

Actress to appear in second series of the hugely popular crime drama

Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
Life and Style
i100

Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
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

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week