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Arsène Wenger confident of title challenge despite negativity at Arsenal

Alexis Sanchez of Arsenal and Arsene Wenger, Manager of Arsenal embrace after he is subbed during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield on August 27, 2017 in...

Arsène Wenger continues to believe Arsenal can challenge for the title despite the negativity around the club and he has called for perspective in the face of the early-season crisis.

Arsenal’s supporters went into meltdown after the 4-0 defeat against Liverpool at Anfield before the international break while they were unconvinced by the club’s summer transfer dealings, even though Alexis Sánchez ended up staying. The forward was close to a £60m move to Manchester City but Arsenal failed to get Monaco’s Thomas Lemar as a replacement, so they held on to Sánchez. Mesut Özil also stayed put in the absence of any compelling offers.

Wenger signed Alexandre Lacazette and Sead Kolasinac, and the chief executive, Ivan Gazidis, has argued the pair have improved the quality of the team – particularly as Sánchez and Özil have remained. There is relief in some quarters at the club that the transfer window has shut and they can now get back to the football, even if there is the realisation they must beat Bournemouth at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

“Am I convinced we will be title challengers? Yes,” Wenger said. “Why not? We have only played three games – and two away games. OK, we lost at Liverpool but we can redress the situation very well and very quickly. Some teams who are the new favourites are not in a better position than us.

“I think we are strong enough, yes. Stronger than last season? I think it depends on what period of the season. We had contrasting periods of the season last year.”

The Frenchman added: “We have to show that you can improve by being together and improving together. Last year we made 75 points and we won the FA Cup. This year we know we have to do better.”

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by David Hytner, for The Guardian on Friday 8th September 2017 22.31 Europe/London

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010


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