AW taken aback by Gunners revival

BY foxsports • December 14, 2009

The Gunners found themselves a massive 11 points adrift of Premier League leaders Chelsea after last month's 3-0 defeat at home to Carlo Ancelotti's side, but moved back up to third on the back of Sunday's 2-1 win at Liverpool - six points behind the Blues and with a game in hand. Wenger did not anticipate how quickly his team would get back in the hunt and believes their current revival is a message of defiance to their detractors. He said: "We feel that we have sent out a message to all the people who wrote us off after we were beaten at home by Chelsea. "We have got ourselves back very close to the leaders - just six points away from Chelsea with a game in hand. "We have come back at them in a very short space of time since they beat us in late November. Even I did not expect that to happen." Arsenal on Sunday became the first side in six years to triumph at Anfield after going behind. Wenger added: "The win at Liverpool is a very significant victory, but only if it is followed by good results now over the next few weeks. "We have to go to Burnley now on Wednesday, a difficult game against a side very good at home, and then we have Hull at the Emirates on Saturday. We must maintain our current form in those games. "We have shown that we have mental strength. For us, we are back into contention following the other results from Saturday. "We knew beforehand that we had to take advantage of others dropping points. We are in a good position with a game in hand and mentally it was a massive game for us." Arsenal have profited handsomely from the fact that Chelsea, Manchester United, Tottenham and Manchester City - and Liverpool - all lost points at the weekend. But the visitors' first-half display enraged Wenger, who suggested to his team at the break that they were not worthy of wearing the Arsenal shirt. He said: "I could not be pleased with what I saw in the first half. Nobody should be surprised that I reacted the way I did with the team. "I was surprised how much Liverpool's form dropped in the second half. They had been playing at 100 miles an hour and it is hard to maintain that kind of pace for 90 minutes." Wenger also hailed match winner Andrey Arshavin, who scored four times in last season's 4-4 draw at Anfield and grabbed the crucial goal against the Merseysiders on Sunday. The Frenchman said: "He had an injured right foot, he has not been able to practice his shooting all week. But when he hit that shot, he forgot all about the pain." Wenger also confirmed Arsenal will continue to investigate the chances of a compensation claim against the Dutch FA following the injury to Robin van Persie while on international duty. He said: "I am looking to re-balance the power more towards the clubs. That feeling is shared by many managers. "We have nothing to say, our players go away with their countries and get injured and nobody cares and we have to just accept the situation. "We have two situations - compensation for competitive games, but none for friendlies. "Why should that be? The risk is exactly the same. If a player is injured early in the week with his country, why does the club doctor not have the right to see the player before he continues to train with his national team? "The national team doctor is under pressure, politically, to keep the players. "After a week the player returns to his club, he is injured and nobody knows why - with our own doctors having been unable to see the player."


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