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Second place is a success - Wenger

Arsene Wenger has launched an impassioned defence of his tenure at Arsenal as he faces up to the likelihood of another season without a major trophy.

• Wenger unhappy with fixture list
• Blog: Clueless Arsenal

Wenger has come under fire from some sections of the Arsenal support, having been unable to end a trophy drought that spans back to the 2005 FA Cup.

The Gunners were stunned by a late strike from Birmingham in the Carling Cup final, before bowing out of the Champions League against Barcelona at the Nou Camp. In the aftermath of those disappointments, their league form has also stuttered, leaving them seven points behind leaders Manchester United.

And Wenger's claim that the season can still be deemed successful even without a trophy is unlikely to go down well with disgruntled supporters.

"It's the crucial moment where we have to trust these players, show some strength and not listen to some opinions of people who have not worked half a day in football," he said. "They do not know how much work is behind a team like that, and how much mental strength is behind a team like that.

"We are in a strong position. It is a process of real club work, coaching work, it's not just go out and buy a player for X amount of money.

"Success is to do the maximum with the talent you have, to be consistent at the top. It's not that you're good one day and terrible the next, it's that you can turn up every day you work as good as you can. That is, for me, success.

"If there is someone better than you, you have to accept it one day. And that's exactly like us in the competition. If Manchester United is better than us, we have to say congratulations. What is important is that we give absolutely everything to beat them - and that is, for me, success."

Meanwhile, Arsenal will hand a late fitness test to Theo Walcott ahead of their clash with Blackpool on Sunday, while Alex Song is definitely out.

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