Wenger happy to silence doubters

Arsene Wenger feels Arsenal have once again shown they possess the

qualities needed to sustain a challenge for the Premier League

title.

Arsenal made it five wins from their last six matches with a

resounding 4-1 victory at crisis club Portsmouth on Wednesday

night.

The Gunners are now just four points behind leaders Chelsea

with a game in hand, a situation which seemed inconceivable

following last month’s crushing home defeat by the Blues.

The visitors were always in command at Fratton Park after

Eduardo’s free-kick had deflected in off Younes Kaboul. Samir Nasri

drilled in a second just before half-time and teenager Aaron Ramsey

smashed home a third on 69 minutes.

Although Nadir Belhadj pulled a goal back, Cameroon

midfielder Alex Song nodded in a fourth with 10 minutes left.

“We were very up for it in midfield and dominated where, a

few weeks ago, people thought we were not capable of that,” said

Wenger. “I am not surprised at what we’ve done since Chelsea. When

we lost 3-0 I think people at that time didn’t believe what I said.

It’s good.

“It shows that not only I can be wrong, but you can all be

wrong too.” Wenger added: “I think the Premier League is completely

open.

“What is interesting this season is that, from Chelsea to Man

City or even Liverpool, everybody could still be in there.

“Every weekend you will wonder who will drop points.” Arsenal

have now chalked up 51 goals in 19 matches, and all without the

services of injured Holland forward Robin van Persie.

“Everybody tells me to buy strikers but nobody has scored

more goals than us in the league,” Wenger said. “We have players

who move the ball well and everybody gets in dangerous positions.

“With the confidence high, everyone can score goals, but we

are still in the market.”

Wenger, meanwhile, confirmed he expected injured captain Cesc

Fabregas to be out for around 10 days with a hamstring problem,

meaning the influential Spaniard would miss the FA Cup third round

tie at West Ham this weekend, while England winger Theo Walcott is

also set for a short spell on the sidelines.

“Let’s say the only question mark we have is does Cesc make

Everton or not [on January 9],” Wenger added. “Walcott is a ripped

muscle [in his side] and about the same, 10 to 12 days.”