Mirror Football

Sky Sports | Football

Arsenal News

Football Results

Barclays Premier League News

Arsenal News-Wire

Arseblog - "It"s fuckin" excellent"...an Arsenal blog.

Thierry Henry - Arsenal's Legend

Arsenal FC Blog

Arsenal Times News

Monday, January 11, 2010


Arsene Wenger has warned Arsenal's Barclays Premier League title bid will be "in danger" if they fail to produce their very best in every remaining game.

The Gunners missed the chance to put real pressure on leaders Chelsea, whose match was postponed, when they were forced to settle for a point after coming from behind to snatch a 2-2 draw against Everton at Emirates Stadium through a stoppage-time goal from substitute Tomas Rosicky.

Wenger accepts his team - without both impressive Cameroon midfielder Alex Song and injured captain Cesc Fabregas, who is expected to return from a hamstring problem at Bolton next weekend - did not produce the required standard in the face of a determined opposition.

However, after hauling themselves back into what looks set to be a thrilling conclusion to the title battle, with second-placed Manchester United also dropping points at Birmingham on Saturday, the Arsenal manager expects more consistency.

"Of course, I would have signed for that, to be this close in the race," said Wenger, whose side were some 11 points adrift following the comprehensive 3-0 home defeat to Chelsea at the end of November.

"But you could see from this match that every game is difficult and as soon as you drop your level a little bit, you are in danger.

"That is what happened to us.

"We did not find the speed in our passing to get Everton out of position, and they did very well."

Arsenal had their momentum disrupted somewhat by the midweek postponement of the home clash against Bolton, and failed to find much rhythm in what was their first match since the departure of Song for the African Nations Cup.

Wenger, though, expects his squad to adapt.

"I knew before Song left that he would be missed," said the Gunners boss.

"However, I do not want to draw a quick conclusion because too many players were off the pace.

"We struggled for a while when we lost [Robin] van Persie as well, so we have to find a new balance, new responsibilities, and a share of responsibilities in our game."

Leon Osman headed the visitors into a deserved lead on 12 minutes. However, the midfielder then deflected Denilson's shot past Tim Howard as the Gunners levelled before the break.

A magnificent breakaway goal by Steven Pienaar, finished with an audacious chip, looked to have won it for the visitors on 82 minutes, only for Rosicky to smash home from close range, his shot coming off defender Lucas Neill.

Prior to Rosicky's equaliser it could have been 3-1 when Everton pounced on a loose ball after Denilson fell to the ground clutching his side and released James Vaughan, but Manuel Almunia made a fine save.

Wenger revealed he had told the Brazilian, only just returned from a back problem, if the bizarre situation ever happened again he should try to stop play.

"I said to Denilson afterwards: 'If that happens to you have to commit a handball.' I'm very serious," the Arsenal manager said.

"If you go down, and there hasn't been a foul, you cannot ask Everton to stop their counter-attack and not to score.

"So, if you go down like that, at least put your hand on the ball and it's a free-kick."

Brazil midfielder Denilson, who is 22 next month, believes his injury is not too severe.

He said: "I don't remember what happened. I was just running with the ball and I felt a pain in my side. I couldn't run or stop the ball, but I feel okay now.

"I am going to have a scan and then I will know how long I will be injured, but I think I will be ready for Sunday [at Bolton]."

Denilson believes Arsenal are very much genuine title challengers.

He said: "The most important thing was that we didn't lose. We have one point, we keep the momentum going and we feel good.

"We have more experience this season and we are coming to win this trophy this season."

Wenger, meanwhile, will continue to keep an "open eye" on the transfer window.

He said: "If the right opportunities come up, we will do something, but at the moment I am still only looking." from - football365.com

No comments: