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Wenger: Title is ours for the taking

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger insists the title is there for the taking, but warned his side they must be mentally strong in this season’s race.

The Gunners missed the chance to draw level on points with league leaders Manchester United on Wednesday after they conceded a late equaliser against Wigan.

And Manchester City assistant manager Brian Kidd this week claimed the title is now “Manchester United’s to lose”.

But Wenger remains confident his side can return the title to north London for the first time since 2004.

“Everyone has an opinion on it but I think it’s Arsenal’s title to win,” Wenger said.

“The only thing we have learned from the first six months is that this could be the league of the mentally strong.”

“It’s a league of many ups and downs and the teams who can deal best with that will certainly be the team who wins it.”

“I feel we are on a good track. We are in a strong position but we want to improve our home record. Our away form has been fantastic.”

Arsenal’s trip to Birmingham on Saturday is their penultimate fixture of a frantic festive schedule which has seen them play four games in just 10 days.

Despite starting the spell with a superb 3-1 victory over Chelsea, Arsenal were brought back down to earth by their midweek draw at Wigan.

“I see the Christmas period as a whole. We had a little disadvantage with the way the fixtures were organised compared to some other clubs,” Wenger said.

“At the end of the day we know that Christmas will be very important because we play Chelsea and Manchester City and then have two away games against Wigan and Birmingham.”

“For us it will have a certain impact on the rest of the season so it’s important we have a good game against Birmingham.”

Wenger is set to recall striker Robin van Persie and midfielder Alex Song after they were rested for the trip to Wigan.

Captain Cesc Fabregas is also available again after serving his one-match ban, but fellow midfielder Abou Diaby is unavailable.

“We lose Diaby for a calf strain, (he will miss) three weeks approximately,” Wenger said.

“The squad will be approximately the squad that has gone to Wigan but we get back Song, Fabregas – who was suspended – and Van Persie.”

Fri 31 December, 2010
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