Arsenal news

Wenger rates title hopes at five percent

May 7, 2011
By ESPNsoccernet staff

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes his side only have a 5% chance of winning the Premier League title, but insisted the Gunners will keep fighting until they are mathematically out of the race.

Arsene Wenger
PA PhotosArenal are six points behind Manchester United with three games to go

Wenger has endured a difficult 2011, with Arsenal failing to end their six-year trophy drought despite challenging for trophies on four fronts until the end of February.

A disastrous two-week spell saw them lose to Birmingham in the Carling Cup final and exit the Champions League and FA Cup, before going on to lose crucial ground in the Premier League title race.

Victory over Manchester United last week kept the Gunners' slim title hopes alive, but they are six points behind the leaders with just three games remaining.

"Let's say objectively that we are in the title race, but with a 5% chance,'' Wenger said. "However, a top-level competitor takes 5%, and fights for it - that is what we have to show.

"It is in the hands of Manchester United, but we have a little, little, little chance only if we win our games. However, for Chelsea to win at Manchester United will be very difficult.

"No matter how small the chance is, I believe what makes the pride and the quality of Arsenal is to fight with any chance we have until the end.''

The Gunners' next test is a visit to Stoke on Sunday and though Wenger has had some disagreements with Potters boss Tony Pulis in the past - notably over Ryan Shawcross' leg-breaking tackle on Aaron Ramsey last season - the Frenchman insists he respects his opposite number.

"You can have disagreements and [still] respect,'' Wenger said. "I always give my honest feeling about things, that will never change. I respect every single manager in the league."

And Wenger even went as far as praising Pulis for the way Stoke have comfortably retained their top-flight status.

"When you look at the difficulty to remain in the Premier League, the fact Stoke were safe very early is great credit to them,'' Wenger told Arsenal TV Online.

"They have played much better [football] this season, and maybe that is why they have done better as well. There is a logic in the way Stoke build their team and you have to say Pennant has had a good season, delivering many balls for them.''