English Premiership

Wenger optimistic after Hammers win

2014-12-29 08:25
Arsene Wenger (AFP)

London - Arsene Wenger believes Arsenal are gathering momentum at the right time after they enhanced their prospects of qualifying for the Champions League with a hard-fought 2-1 win at West Ham.

First half goals from Santi Cazorla and Danny Welbeck at Upton Park on Sunday were enough to help Arsenal leapfrog West Ham in the Premier League table.

And, after a spluttering campaign, the Gunners are back on course to finish in the top four and seal a coveted place in Europe's elite club competition.

"The Champions League is vital for us," Wenger said. "We have done it 17 years so I'm entitled at least to believe we can do it.

"It's still all to do. When you look at the league, everyone fights very hard for it. Southampton, Tottenham, Man United, so many teams who can fight for these positions.

"I always had that belief, but it's far from done. We just want to win the next game and be consistent in our performances.

Another victory at fourth placed Southampton on New Year's Day would be a further step in the right direction for Wenger's side.

"If you look at our recent results we look to be more stable. We have a big game in front of us now at Southampton," Wenger added.

With the transfer window set to open on January 1, Wenger knows there will be speculation about moves in and out of the Emirates Stadium, but the Gunners boss is focused on getting his injured players fit rather than any wheeling and dealing.

Out-of-favour Germany striker Lukas Podolski continues to be strongly linked with a January move to Inter Milan.

But Wenger has played down the prospect of him moving on and is more concerned at seeing the likes of Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere return from spells on the sidelines.

"There's nothing concrete there with Lukas," Wenger added.

"At the moment nobody goes out. Ozil is coming back at the back of January, so of course there is a lot of competition up front."

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