• Premier League

Arsenal can prove title doubters wrong - Wenger

ESPN staff
January 17, 2014
Arsenal's title chances

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is relishing his battle against the big-spending Manchester City and Chelsea, even though he admitted his club 'cannot compete' with either of the title contenders financially.

Wenger's side head into the latest round of Premier League fixtures at the top of the table, with the Arsenal boss relishing the challenge of taking on free-scoring City and Jose Mourinho's in-form Chelsea.

"People make Man City the favourites or Chelsea the favourites and we can accept that," said Wenger.

"We have an opportunity to convince people that we are serious about what we can achieve. You can convince people two ways; the quality and consistency of performances and results.

"In terms of resources, we cannot compete because they have unlimited resources, but with our resources available, we are ready to compete.

"Consistency is important and if you look at the last 12 months, we have had that. We need consistency against the teams in the bottom half and also some outstanding results against the top teams."

Wenger believes his side's defensive solidity is a key to their title hopes this season, as he paid a special tribute to the leadership qualities of his German central defender Per Mertesacker.

"We are seeing a real leader coming out," he said of the German. "It was always in him, but he is more confident in his own game. He knows better his team mates and he has developed as a player.

"Compare the Mertesacker who arrived here and the stature he has today, he is a completely improved player. He puts focus into every training session. He maintains the focus in the team and this is the sign of a leader.

"You need is stability defensively. You have seen that again against Cardiff [won 1-0 on New Year's Day]. We didn't concede and in the end, we are capable of scoring goals.

"One target in the second half of the season is for us to be strong at home because we have some big games. One of them is tomorrow against Fulham."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
ESPN staff Close