Arsenal have stamina to go for quadruple

Arsene Wenger believes Arsenal have the stamina to maintain their draining challenge for all four major trophies.

Wenger’s side return to Premier League action on Tuesday when they host Everton, just 48 hours after a 2-1 FA Cup fourth round win over Huddersfield that kept the Gunners on course for the quadruple.

Arsenal remain in the hunt for the Premier League title, face Birmingham in the League Cup final, take on Barcelona in the last 16 of the Champions League and have been handed an FA Cup fifth round trip to Leyton Orient.

However, the road to a successful climax may not come without problems as Wenger admitted after Samir Nasri suffered a hamstring injury against Huddersfield which will sideline him for at least three weeks.

Fellow midfielder Denilson also fell victim to injury, forcing Wenger to consider bringing back a number of the young players he sent out on loan.

Wenger said: “History shows it’s extremely difficult. It’s difficult to tell my players not to go for this competition and that competition now as we are in there.

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“We can’t pick and choose. We want to go for everything. It’s the important part of the season not to lose your players.

“When you go into the final sprint, it’s important you have all your best players available.”

Hamper their title bid
Sir Alex Ferguson’s side are five points ahead at the summit with the Frenchman claiming anything other than a win over Everton will seriously hamper their title bid.

He added: “Draws are not enough. We know our best chances to win the championship come with winning our home games. That’s what we want to achieve.

“If you look at Everton’s record it’s surprising where they are as they have lost just six games.

“The difference is that they have had so many draws. It shows they are a team who is difficult to beat, but haven’t won as many games as they usually do. A draw in this league punishes you.”

With Nasri out and Denilson doubtful, Wenger is ready to recall a number of his young players sent out on loan to gain first-hand experience in the lower leagues.

The likes of Aaron Ramsey, Craig Eastmond, Henri Lansbury and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas are all out at Championship clubs and Wenger could cut short their spells amid their injury setbacks.

He explained: “It’s a big ask with the amount of games we are playing. I don’t like it when muscle injuries kick in and hopefully we do not get more as that isn’t a good sign.

“We can recall some players and some we can’t with their clauses in their loan deals. We will have to wait and see what we do.”

Everton have an impressive record against the leading sides this season, having won at Manchester City and drawn at Chelsea.

Louis Saha, who scored in his side’s FA Cup fourth round draw with Chelsea after finding his scoring boots, has challenged himself to produce the goods again against Arsenal.

“It’s very pleasing for me to be scoring again, but the most important thing is winning games,” Saha said.

“It’s a nice feeling scoring goals as a striker because it brings confidence back and every week I feel better.

“I hope to do it against Arsenal as it’s a big game and hopefully I’ll do the same.” — Sapa-AFP


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