London, Oct.18 : Arsenal manager and coach Arsene Wenger has predicted that his team has the potential to lift this year's Premier League title, saying its hunger for wins will keep opponents on their toes.
Speaking ahead of today's clash with Everton, Wenger was quoted by The Sun as saying: "We have talent, we have youth. Therefore, I believe we have enough quality to do it. We lack experience in some areas; I would not deny that. But you can't have everything. I believe we can compensate for that with desire to win." While Arsenal has suffered massive setbacks against Fulham and Hull this term, Wenger insists his youth policy is paying off. But he warned the team not to slacken as they trail leaders Chelsea by four points. Having dropped five points in the last two games, Arsenal go into today's clash also suffering a short-term injury crisis.
William Gallas, Bacary Sagna, Johan Djourou and Nicklas Bendtner all suffered knocks on international duty.
It means defender Mikael Silvestre is set to play his first game since joining from Manchester United, although Wenger may leave out England starlet Theo Walcott, fearing the winger could suffer burnout.
"We play Tuesday again, that's four games in 10 days. We know how the players respond to the repetition of games. I felt that Walcott went away with England already tired after the Sunderland game. He's the kind of player who plays with a lot of energy. Every time he goes, he goes 100 per cent," said Wenger. Walcott, 19, has benefited more than most from Wenger's trust in youth this term, missing only one of Arsenal's games so far this season and finally showing his talents on the international stage.
One criticism is that the youngster fails to defend.
But Wenger said: "People say he's not the best at tracking back. I believe his natural game is to create danger going forward, because that's in his head. If you want to play him right back, that's not his strength. He's not naturally a defensive midfielder, he's the guy who can make the difference going forward."