x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Wenger will let Arsenal's detractors talk

Recovery on track but, for a top four finish, the manager says: 'nobody is prophetic enough to say who will finish there'.

Arsenal will look for home comforts to take their revival further after a disastrous start. Matt Dunham / AP Photo
Arsenal will look for home comforts to take their revival further after a disastrous start. Matt Dunham / AP Photo

Arsene Wenger believes his improving Arsenal side have overcome their disastrous start and can finish in the top four.

Arsenal have won five of their seven league matches since an 8-2 mauling at Old Trafford. Wenger wants his side to continue their fine run against West Brom today.

"For us it is of course a vital game because we are coming back into a better position in the league," he said. "We feel, at home, we are managing to win games and we want to continue to do that.

"What was important at Chelsea was that we won the game. That was important for confidence.

"But away from home up until now we have not produced the points you need when you want to play at the top."

He said the midweek Champions League game was a difficult one "because we were on such a high" after the 5-3 victory at Chelsea. "But, having had a chance to watch it again, we produced enough chances to win the game," he said, despite drawing 0-0.

While Arsenal are starting to find a winning rhythm in the league, there remains those who doubt they will finish in the top four.

Earlier this week, the Tottenham midfielder Rafael van der Vaart said the Gunners shgould not get carried away with their win over Chelsea and said Tottenham are the best team in north London.

Asked about the comments, Wenger said: "Well nobody is guaranteed to be in the top four after 10 games.

"Nobody has enough knowledge or is prophetic enough to say who will finish there.

"Historically we have not been bad in there so I don't see why somebody can say that. Let's just let everybody else talk and we will play. If we play better and better, then we have a chance."

Arsenal have been given a kind-looking set of fixtures over the coming weeks, with matches against Norwich, Fulham and Wigan after today's encounter with West Brom.

Wenger knows it will not be as easy as some suggest but highlighted the importance of heading into December with a good points tally.

Robin van Persie will return to the line-up, but Wenger is without Marouane Chamakh (knee), Kieran Gibbs (stomach), Abou Diaby (hamstring), Jack Wilshere and Bacary Sagna (both ankle).