Chelsea, Man City and Liverpool title claims show ‘fear of failure’, says Wenger

10:50 14 February 2014

Arsene Wenger. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Arsene Wenger. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

2014 Getty Images

Arsene Wenger claims that a “fear of failure” is the reason so many of Arsenal’s title rivals are playing down their chances of glory this term – but insists his side are very much in the race.

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini and Liverpool chief Brendan Rodgers have all, one way or the other, claimed in recent weeks that their sides are not favourites for the crown.

Mourinho started it all with his claim that the Blues are the “little horses” in a three-way race with City and Arsenal, but fourth-placed Liverpool have forced their way into the reckoning after a 5-1 rout of the Gunners last week and a last-gasp 3-2 win at bottom team Fulham on Wednesday.

Afterwards Rodgers, whose side are now just four points off the pace, joked that his side were a “Chihuahua that runs in-between the horses’ legs”.

Mourinho hit back saying the Anfield outfit were in a “privileged position” due to having no Champions League football to contend with.

Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini has has also been drawn into mind games, led by Mourinho’s claims over their spending power.

But asked why all of his rival counterparts are playing down their Premier League chances, Wenger said: “It’s a fear of failure.

“If you declare yourself not in a race you cannot lose it. Simple as that.

“Our job is to be ambitious, try to win and if we do not win to take full responsibility for that. That’s how I see it.

“I say yes, we are in it, yes we’ll give absolutely everything to have a go for it and if we don’t do it I will take responsibility for it.”

The Gunners have led the way for much of the season but were deposed last week after the rout at Liverpool, while Chelsea’s 3-0 victory at Newcastle saw them climb to the top.

That’s how it has stayed after midweek draws for both Arsenal and Chelsea plus City’s game getting postponed due to high winds in Manchester.

The league takes a back seat now as Wenger’s men turn their attention to the FA Cup and the Champions League, against Liverpool and Bayern Munich respectively.

But Wenger still put the pressure back on Blues boss Jose Mourinho, whose side are the current frontrunners, saying: “Only Chelsea can lose it now, because they’re in front, and all the other teams can win it.

“It will be very tight until the end.”

Related articles


Latest Sport Stories

Yesterday, 12:21
Arsenal Ladies' Jordan Nobbs battles with Kathleen Radtke of Manchester City Women (right) during the Gunners' 1-0 win in the Continental Cup

Midfielder Jordan Nobbs is determined to finish her frustrating season on a high by helping the Gunners to regain the Continental Cup.

Yesterday, 11:00
The Camden Swiss Cottage squad

Camden Swiss Cottage’s young swimmers competed in their first Southern Junior Inter League Final on Sunday – and they finished fifth to narrowly miss out on a place in the national final.

Yesterday, 09:00
The 24 competitors from The Hall and South Hampstead High School pose together after their success at the Hemel Hempstead snow dome

South Hampstead High School and The Hall both took three teams to the Caxton FX 2015 indoor British Independent Schools slalom race at the Hemel Hempstead snow dome.

Yesterday, 07:30
Wingate & Finchley manager Simon Lane. Pic: Martin Addison

Wingate & Finchley manager Simon Lane will attempt to lead the Blues into uncharted territory in the FA Cup at the first attempt on Saturday as they host Conference South outfit Weston-super-Mare in the third qualifying round.

Wed, 17:00
Fly-half Jamie Niven (right) touched down twice for Belsize Park. Pic: Paolo Minoli

Belsize Park racked up more than 60 points for the second game in a row, scoring 10 tries to thump Stevenage Town in Regent’s Park and climb to third place in London North-West Division Three.

Wed, 16:00
Highgate Harriers' Andy Maud. Pic: Dieter Perry

Andy Maud stole the show in only his second appearance for Highgate Harriers on Saturday, recording the best time of all the club runners at the National Six Stage Road Relays.

Wed, 15:32
David Cooper (left, on the floor) celebrates his opening goal for Hampstead & Westminster. Pic: Mark Clews

Hampstead & Westminster’s ladies were unable to maintain their perfect start to the season as they suffered their first defeat in the National League – but the men’s team earned a second successive victory in the Premier Division.

Wed, 13:29
Hendon manager Gary McCann. Pic: Steffan Bowen

Hendon manager Gary McCann says his side need to improve their “powers of recovery” when they are trailing after they suffered a second successive league defeat on Saturday.

Most read sport

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot


Angharad Baa Stool in Rare Breed.

Great British Life is offering a sheepskin footstool worth £199 to a lucky reader

You'll be stocked up on toiletries  for a while!

Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more.

You could be splashing the cash at Topshop!

Just imagine what you could do with £1,000 to spend at Topshop.

Digital Edition

Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder