Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere: Why we can still be champions

Gunners still have belief for title run-in, says midfielder

JACK Wilshere does not believe that Arsenal have blown their chance to win the Premier League title despite last weekend’s draw at West Bromwich Albion.

The Gunners fought back from 2-0 down to claim a point at The Hawthorns, but are now five points behind leaders Manchester United.

Arsenal have played a game less, however, and Wilshere feels that with United due at the Emirates for a crunch clash on May 1, the Gunners are still in with a great chance of becoming champions.

“We showed great character to get back to 2-2 on Saturday, but we are disappointed we didn’t win,” said Wilshere. “But we got a point, which is good, and at least we didn’t lose.

“We are still second and I still feel we are the main challengers. In the dressing room we still believe we can win it. At the end of the day they {United] still have to come to the Emirates, and we are going to have to beat them there. That’s the biggest game we have to look forward to.

“Now we have to try and win every game up until then and then beat them in that game.”

Most Read

And Wilshere hit back at the recent critics of Arsenal, who have claimed the side lack leadership after crashing out of three competitions in the space of 14 days earlier this month.

“We have got great leaders out there – Nasri was brilliant when he went in the middle, Ramsey was brilliant in his first start, we have got great leaders like Robin and we have got good character in this side.

“The boss told us we had shown character today and we are a bit disappointed but we’ll look to come back strong after the international break now.”

Arsenal have nine Premier League games remaining, starting with the visit of Blackburn Rovers to the Emirates on April 2, with United visiting West Ham on the same day.

Before that there is an international break, with Wilshere one of 14 Gunners who will represent his country over the next week. The 19-year-old could start England’s Euro 2012 qualifier against Wales in Cardiff, and he admits he is glad to be heading off on England duty without the lingering taste of defeat.

“We knew we couldn’t lose [at West Brom]. It was 14 days until the next game and we knew we had to show character and we did that to get the draw.

“We started sloppy in both halves but we did well to come back and we have to push on now. We have nine games left and we’ve got to go for it.

“There is massive belief in there, Man United still have to come to the Emirates and we believe we can do it. Hopefully the fans still believe we can do it because we need them behind us too.

“I think the fans deserve it – everywhere we have been they have been loud and singing our names and they have been like a 12th man. We really feel like they are behind us at the moment and hopefully they can keep it going until the end [of the season].”