Wenger on title race


LONDON. — Arsène Wenger says there are “five or six” teams that can still win the English Premier League soccer title. With 14 games remaining, 11 points separate the top six in one of the most competitive seasons in recent history.

Arsenal have not won in five games and Wenger is confident they can get back on track against Bournemouth tomorrow.

“We are in a position where we have to come back first — to win games — which we haven’t been doing recently,” he said. “We have to look at the facts as they are. We haven’t won in four games.

“We want to get back to winning and then look at the results of the others. Look at yourself and get back to what you want to do, and to do that you have to win your next game.

“You look at the table and you can say as many as five or six [can win it]. It makes it interesting – even if we would love it to be a bit less interesting but it is the case and we have to deal with that.

“Every season is special and we have gone through a bad patch but to fight for the Premier League, you have to be capable of dealing with that.”

Wenger is also certain the goals will soon start flowing for Arsenal — and says his side must not become “obsessed” with scoring.

The Gunners have failed to register in their past three Premier League matches, and would equal their longest run without a goal if they do not score at Bournemouth tomorrow.

Wenger admits the team have not started games quickly enough of late, but is convinced they will soon be back to their free-flowing best.

“I felt we were a bit nervous in the last two home games, against Chelsea and Southampton — we didn’t come out of the blocks like we would have liked,” he said.

“We played at Stoke, we played a 0-0 what was not a shame because they are quite strong at home. Against Chelsea we played with 10 men and that makes the game against a good side very difficult. “Against Southampton, we created the chances and couldn’t finish them off. I believe overall, we should not be alarmed, because the quality of our performance was there in every single game. We should take a lot of encouragement from that, even if sometimes in the recent games, we didn’t get the result we wanted.

“We have to prepare without being obsessed with [scoring] – finishing is cyclic and if we create the same amount of chances we will score.”

Wenger says he did not sign a striker in January as there were none available better than what Arsenal already have.

The Gunners have not scored in their last three league games as their title challenge has stuttered somewhat to see them fall to fourth, five points behind leaders Leicester.

A number of strikers, including Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Paris St-Germain’s Edinson Cavani, were linked with Arsenal during the transfer window.

Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson felt Wenger should have signed another striker to help their push for the title.

But Wenger insists there was no player on the market better than Olivier Giroud, Theo Walcott, Alexis Sanchez and Danny Welbeck.

“I have to accept that everybody can have different opinions,” Wenger said.

“You cannot praise the quality of our strikers and on the other hand say that it is a mistake that we have not bought any strikers. — The Daily Express.

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