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Hill-Wood slams "ridiculous" Wenger speculation

Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood maintains it is "ridiculous" to suggest the board would "lose faith" in Arsene Wenger following a difficult spell that has included five Premier League defeats already this season.

While the Gunners remain on course in Europe following the 1-0 win over Dynamo Kiev earlier this week, their domestic challenge has stuttered.

Despite the recent win over Manchester United, the squad has endured a turbulent both spell on and off the pitch, with former captain William Gallas stripped of the armband following public criticism of his team-mates and the side suffering back-to-back league defeats.

Arsenal head to leaders Chelsea on Sunday some 10 points off the pace and another defeat this weekend would leave their title hopes all but over before Christmas and facing a real fight to get back into the top four.

However, chairman Hill-Wood insists any talk of Wenger not having the total support of the boardroom are wide of the mark, with funds available to strengthen the playing staff when the transfer window opens again in January should he want to spend.

"Of course he has my backing. What he has done for the club over the last 12 years has been fantastic," Hill-Wood told Arsenal TV.

"We are only a third of the way through the season and we have had a few disappointing results - but you do not lose faith in a man like him after three or four bad results. It is a ridiculous suggestion really."

New captain Cesc Fabregas feels there is plenty of football left in Arsenal between now and May and hopes they can push for the title.

"We want to get back into the title race, so we have to win. We could get some points back. The other teams have difficult games as well. We will see,'' he said.

"Chelsea have been playing really well, the times I watched them, they have played good football with quick combinations. I respect them.

"(But) Arsenal never go anywhere for a draw. We always go to win and Chelsea do the same. At the end of the season, we will see what we can achieve but at the moment we are in every competition.

"People can say whatever they want about the title race but we have only played 14 games. It is not over yet."

Meanwhile, AC Milan are weighing up a £5million offer for troubled Arsenal star William Gallas, according to reports.

The Sun suggests that Milan boss Carlo Ancelotti sees the defender as an ideal replacement for 40-year-old Paolo Maldini and will look to bring him to the San Siro in January.


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