A Blog by @Arsenaltrend
Arsene Wenger insists Arsenal remain on course to qualify for the Champions League even though the Gunners' 0-0 draw against Everton left them facing a nerve-wracking end to the season.
Wenger's side would have moved four points clear of fifth placed Tottenham with a win over Everton on Tuesday, but instead they had to settle for a frustrating point after struggling to cope with the visitors' physical approach at the Emirates Stadium.
The race to finish in the Premier League's top four looks certain to go down to the wire as Arsenal slipped to 4th after Chelsea defeated Fulham 3-0 last night, while both Tottenham and Chelsea have played one game less than their north London rival.
Failure to qualify for the lucrative Champions League would be a massive blow for the Gunners, but Arsenal manager Wenger is convinced his team have the mental strength to cope with the high-pressure situation.
"We should have won the game but it keeps us still in a strong positon in the race for the top four," Wenger said.
"We are on a very strong run with a fantastic spirit so you do not want to complain too much about what didn't go for us.
"We dropped two points but if we win our coming games we will get there. The other teams have games in hand but they play each other.
"My belief was always strong and still is. I'm confident we will do it."
Wenger's belief in Arsenal's ability to cope with the stresses and strains of the run-in hasn't been dented despite Everton knocking them out of their stride with an overtly aggressive game plan.
The Frenchman felt Everton sent out to ruffle his team, but he claimed their tactics would have been scuppered if midfielder Darron Gibson had been sent off for a series of crunching challenges in the first half.
"It was a game of huge intensity, they decided to make it physical to disturb our game.
"I don't blame Everton for that. To say we needed protecting is a big word, we just want the referee to make the right decisions.
"I don't think the referee dealt well with the intimidating physical challenges in the first half."
While Wenger is confident of his side's top-four ambitions, Aaron Ramsey insists Arsenal's confidence has not been dented by their edgy 0-0 home draw with Everton on Tuesday night and he believes that a Champions League finish remains within their grasp.
Ramsey, insists the challenge ahead is tough but the team is focused on what Arsenal have to do and he says that if they can win at Fulham on Saturday, they would be in a commanding position and would have meant earning important 7 points from available 9 in a week.
Ramsey said "We always knew that this week was going to be a big week for us and hopefully now we can finish it off strongly and get a win at Fulham. That would put us in a really strong position."
Aaron Ramsey also clearly showed his delight at his new found versatile in role for Arsenal in recent weeks.
"I'm delighted with the way I'm playing and how the team is playing," he said. "It makes a big difference [being in central midfield]. That's my position and that's where I want to play.
"At the beginning of the season, I was moving all over the pitch, playing left-wing, right-wing, right-back. I was asked to do a job in many positions, which I'm happy to do for the team. If the manager wants me to play there, I'm not going to say no to that. But I've got my place back in the middle and my performances have been showing what I'm capable of doing there."
Ramsey also admitted they lost a chance to secure all 3 points against Everton but "we have to look forward to the next games now. Me and the other players are overly confident Arsenal will finish in the top 4 again this season, but we must work harder for it".
Arsenal lost at Craven Cottage last season and Fulham had already secured a draw against Arsenal at the Emirates this season, the clash against fellow Londoners with more stakes involved for Arsenal than ever.