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Worried Wenger admits Arsenal lack belief

Arsene Wenger. Photo: John Walton/EMPICS Sport Arsene Wenger. Photo: John Walton/EMPICS Sport

Monday, November 12, 2012
7:15 AM

Arsene Wenger conceded that Arsenal’s belief is “not at its maximum” after their stuttering season took another turn for the worse as they threw away a two-goal lead to draw 3-3 with Fulham.

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The Gunners have made a worrying habit of surrendering leads in recent seasons and Saturday’s capitulation came just four days after they wasted a two-goal advantage to draw 2-2 with Schalke.

Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski put Arsenal two goals up inside 25 minutes against Fulham, but nerves set in after Dimitar Berbatov pulled one back with a header in the 29th minute.

Alexander Kacaniklic equalised before half time and Berbatov got his second from the penalty spot before Giroud struck again to make it 3-3.

Wenger’s side had to settle for a point after Mark Schwarzer saved Mikel Arteta’s last gasp penalty and the Frenchman admitted their damaged confidence is a big worry.

“The belief is not at its maximum at the moment and as well I don’t think the result at Schalke helped the team,” he said.

“It’s always difficult after the Champions League to win the game.

“We have to digest that today and come back again. That’s the game, that’s football,” he added.

Arsenal have now conceded 11 goals in their last four games, and Wenger admits their leaky defence is another cause for concern.

“It is a concern because we looked quite solid defensively until now and today we looked very fragile,” he said.

“I put that down to the fact that at 2-0 up instead of becoming more aggressive we became a bit easier.

“Instead of continuing to push forward, to close them down we let them play and that was a big problem for us.”

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Arsenal

Nickname: The Gunners.

Ground: Emirates Stadium (capacity 60,361).

Founded: 1886.

Honours: First Division (until 1992) and Premier League: 1931, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1938, 1948, 1953, 1971, 1989, 1991, 1998, 2002, 2004.

FA Cup: 1930, 1936, 1950, 1971, 1989, 1991, 1998, 2002, 2003, 2005.

League Cup: 1987, 1993.

Fairs Cup: 1970.

Cup Winners’ Cup: 1994.

Leading goalscorer: Thierry Henry, 228.

Leading appearances: David O’Leary, 722.