Arsene Wenger takes his Arsenal squad to Bolton on Saturday insisting that they can emerge from their worst run in nine seasons to reclaim the Premier League title. Four draws and a defeat in their last five matches have seen the Gunners slip from the top of the table to third spot, six points adrift of leaders Manchester United.
But with United still to play both Chelsea and Arsenal, Wenger insists his players must keep believing they can overhaul their rivals.
“Not to believe it now would be crazy. That would be a shame because we have worked so hard and fought so hard.
The belief is maybe less strong than when we were five points ahead Certainly now we cannot drop any points in the direct game with Manchester United. We are in a situation where we have to win that.
But before dreaming of the title, we have to show we can be consistent again and win games.”
As Wenger says, dreaming isn’t enough, they need to perform and the Arsenal players now need to step up to the plate and deliver on their fans’ expectations.
Wenger is contemplating resting “jaded” Togo striker Emmanuel Adebayor, who has scored just once in his last eight games.
“He did not score recently because as a team we have made less chances, and also physically he was a bit jaded because he has played in nearly every single game since the start of the season.
I believe he has given a lot this year and that he would need a little breather, maybe.”
Wenger (and Benitez) may have one eye on the Arsenal-Liverpool Champions League quarter-final tie next week, but as both managers know, their games this weekend are just as important in determining their Premier League future.