Football: Wenger wants red-hot Gunners to silence critics

Arsene Wenger congratulating Mesut Oezil on scoring against Bayern Munich in the Champions League on Oct 20.
Arsene Wenger congratulating Mesut Oezil on scoring against Bayern Munich in the Champions League on Oct 20. PHOTO: EPA

LONDON (AFP) - Arsene Wenger has challenged his Arsenal stars to silence the critics once and for all by making a sustained challenge for the Premier League title.

Wenger's side have endured plenty of flak from pundits and even Arsenal fans in recent years after a series of underwhelming attempts to win the title for the first time since 2004.

Those doubters grew even more vocal when the Gunners made a spluttering start to the season, but they have responded with an impressive run which peaked on Tuesday with a 2-0 win over Bayern Munich in the Champions League.

Arsenal return to domestic action when Everton visit the Emirates Stadium on Saturday and Wenger wants another strong performance to convince the cynics that they can last the pace in the title race.

"You gain credibility through consistency and when people think this could be a game where we could slip a bit and you respond in a positive way," Wenger said. "It shows that our consistency is questioned by many people which is not based on mathematics and statistics, but more on preconceived ideas and it is down to us to change people's minds.

"The longer we last (at the top), the more people will give us credit for it."