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Arsenal manager worried about Champions League qualification after Everton defeat

"I am absolutely 100% determined to fight to make the top four but it will be difficult. "


Arsene Wenger fearing the worst after shabby performance at Goodison Park allows Toffees to close gap in race for fourth place

Arsenal appeared to be challenging for the Premier League title during the first half of the season, although the Gunners are now struggling to make the top four following a 3-0 defeat against a vibrant Everton side who are now just a point behind their rivals.

The Toffees also have a game in hand on Arsenal, the latter of whom have taken just a point from their last three matches, even if Arsene Wenger’s team have an easy-looking run-in which will see the Gunners face West Ham, Newcastle and West Brom at home.

Arsene Wenger is a concerned man following the result at Goodison and claimed that the team might be afraid of failing to qualify for the top four, with Everton enjoying a lot of momentum coming into their final few matches.

“Was there a lack of fight? You could say that,” he said. “It is a massive worry to lose a game like that. We have to analyse it well and come back with a different attitude, with more personality and stronger challenges. We have to go back to basics. Our performance was not convincing, not defensively, not offensively. Everton was better and deserved to win.”

Asked if his side are concerned they may fail to take the club into the Champions League for the first time since the 1996-97 season, Wenger said: “I don’t know. It is very difficult to identify that it is fear. Our big-team defeats away from home have taken something of our charisma from the team. Is that belief? Is it fear? Is it confidence?

“I am absolutely 100% determined to fight to make the top four but it will be difficult. We have a programme that is feasible. We have to first focus on the quality of our performances before we dream of places. Let’s get back to playing better than that. I wouldn’t question the spirit of this team. They are focused and want to do well but they have lost something on the confidence front.

“The fight is very open and is depending not only on us. Everton is in a strong position but we have been confronted with that before and it is how we respond.”