Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says his side are playing catch-up in the Premier League title race after Tuesday’s goalless draw with Southampton left them five points behind leaders Leicester City with 14 games remaining.
A four-game winless streak in the league has seen Arsenal slip to fourth in the table after Tottenham Hotspur’s 3-0 victory over Norwich City took Mauricio Pochettino’s men ahead of the Gunners on goal difference.
“We have to catch that back and we have a difficult programme, especially away from home. We need to respond quickly away from home now,” Wenger told the club’s website (www.arsenal.com).
With Leicester City impressing in their 2-0 win over Liverpool, Wenger believes the spotlight will shine even brighter on Claudio Ranieri’s side and hopes the increased pressure can help derail their phenomenal campaign.
“Leicester won again and now I am sure that everybody will take them very seriously, especially in the media, so they will be under pressure as well,” the Frenchman said.
“But we have not to look too much at Leicester or (second placed) Man City. We have to win football games. We have to focus on how to respond quickly and win our next game, that’s all we can do.”
Arsenal have failed to score in three consecutive league games for the first time since February 2009 and Olivier Giroud called on his team mates to rediscover their killer instinct in front of goal to get their league title tilt back on track.
“It’s a long way to go and we just need momentum. You have to keep the faith and keep believing that you will maybe score. He (Saints goalkeeper Fraser Forster) was always in the right position and did very well and it is frustrating,” Giroud said.
“Now we are five points from Leicester so it is going to be a hard time in the few weeks to go and we need to get as many points as we can. It’s not over, we need to stay positive and be more efficient in the next games to come.”
Arsenal travel to relegation-threatened Bournemouth on Sunday.
I have nothing to prove at Crystal Palace, says Emmanuel Adebayor
Crystal Palace’s new signing Emmanuel Adebayor said he has nothing to prove and does not deserve a reputation of being a disruptive influence in the dressing room.
The Togo striker, who joined his fourth Premier League club last week, made his debut in Tuesday’s 2-1 Premier League defeat by relegation-threatened Bournemouth.
Prior to his move to Palace, the 31-year-old was a free agent after being released by Tottenham Hotspur in the close season and had played just 17 minutes of top-flight football in a little over a year.
“There is a bad reputation about Adebayor. But if you ask every single manager that I have worked under, maybe just one or two would say I am a bad apple in the dressing room,” Adebayor told the Evening Standard newspaper.
“I just want to play football and have happy moments again. I do not have anything to prove. I just want to enjoy my football. I have been there and done it and I am pleased to be back.”
Adebayor said he had held talks with manager Alan Pardew over taking a leadership role in the Palace camp.
“He said I have to be a leader, which means I have to set an example. Which means I have to come on time in training, do my job professionally and that is what I am doing,” the former Arsenal striker said.
“Football is something I love doing and I want to enjoy it.”