Wenger: I’m not ‘masochistic’ enough to believe Arsenal’s title fight is over – after Gunners beat Everton 2-0
PUBLISHED: 16:10 19 March 2016
2016 The Arsenal Football Club Plc
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger issued a defiant warning to Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur by insisting the club’s Premier League title challenge was still on.
The Frenchman, speaking after his team comfortably beat Everton 2-0 at Goodison Park in today’s early kick off, with two first-half goals from Danny Welbeck and the promising youngster Alex Iwobi – said defeat today would have seen the end of the North London club’s last chance of silverware this term.
However, a determined display from his side saw them pick up three much-needed points and defied his doubters – for the time being at least.
He said: “We are not flavour of the month – but I’m not masochistic enough to consider us out of challenging for the title.
“Mathematically we still have a chance. We have a game in hand at home.
“Let’s just push on until the end of the season and show that we are on for a fight.”
With the Gunners picking up three points, helped by the lively performance of 19-year-old goalscorer Iwobi, Wenger was full of praise for the teenager who has been at the club since he was eight.
He explained: “He’s an intelligent boy who loves football and is very passionate about the game. He is keen to learn.
“He’s improved very quickly. He’s integrated very well into the first team.
“I’m pleased we responded with character today and showed mental strength.”
After two damaging defeats this week to Watford in the FA Cup and Barcelona in the Champions League the manager was keen to explain the situation at the club is not as bad as some critics have been saying, following today’s important victory.
He said: “We have a game based on attacking and a technical level. It is frustrating when we don’t get the balance right.
“But let’s not forget we have some players who have been out for the whole season. Lets not forget Mohamed Elneny.
“We bought him in January and he’s already fitting in.
“When you lose it’s disastrous. But at times this season when we have lost we haven’t been as bad as people have said.
“If we don’t believe in ourselves no-one else will.”
To round off a good lunchtime he also confirmed Mesut Ozil suffered a ‘kick on the ankle’ – rather than any more serious problems – which prompted him to go off injured.
However, Everton boss Roberto Martinez was disappointed at his team’s disjointed display at an expectant Goodison.
He said: “It was a fearful performance by us. Arsenal looked good today but we made it too easy for them.
“Mentally we have to approach our games with more joy. It was a disappointing defeat.”