Football

Wenger urges Arsenal fans to be more united

Arsene Wenger has not steered Arsenal to the Premier League title since 2004.
Arsene Wenger has not steered Arsenal to the Premier League title since 2004. Reuters/John Sibley

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger urged the club's supporters to emulate the supporters of rival teams as his players try to make up ground on leaders Chelsea. Following a 2-1 home defeat against Watford and a 3-1 reverse at Chelsea, Arsenal lie in fourth place 12 points behind the west Londonders. 

Advertising

With 14 games remaining, Wenger said the title race was not yet over and he called on increasingly disgruntled fans to behave like those of Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur.

"Other clubs like Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool have big expectations as well and big histories. We are in a fight in which we have to be united or we have no chance to make up ground. Tottenham, too, are in the fight and all the fans are behind their team and we have to do exactly the same even if we've had a couuple of disappointing results."

Chelsea resented

What galls Arsenal fans has been the fortunes of other clubs especially Chelsea.

In the sixth game of the season, Arsenal humiliated Antonio Conte's men 3-0 at the Emirates on 24 September to rise to third, five points behind leaders Manchester City.

Chelsea produced a run of 13 consecutive wins to go five points clear of second placed Liverpool. Tottenham ended the run on 4 January with a 2-0 win. But since then Chelsea have won three and drawn one of their four games to sit nine points ahead of Tottenham who travel to Liverpool on Saturday. Chelsea play at 12th placed Burnley on Sunday.

"If we are able to win and get the three points, it will put the pressure on Chelsea," said the Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino. "It's true the match against Liverpool isn't a decisive game but it is an important game."

Conte said he had told his players that they face a tough trip to Turf Moor where Burnley have won nine of their 13 games.

"The stats show Burnley are very good at home," he said. "Chelsea is first, Tottenham second and Burnley is third. They are in great form."

The Italian added: "There are six teams who are very strong. Manchester United has a great squad and we must know this. If we think we are very close to winning the title it is a very big mistake."

Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morning