By Chris Harris

Arsène Wenger's targets for the season are based on optimism and realism.

Arsenal have climbed the Premier League table in recent weeks and now sit in seventh place - six points behind fourth-placed Newcastle and 12 adrift of early pacesetters Manchester City.

At Thursday's AGM at Emirates Stadium, Wenger said he was "convinced that we have a chance to qualify [for the Champions League] again". At his pre-match press conference 24 hours later he set his sights higher while admitting that a title tilt was currently a long shot.

"I feel that [a top-four finish] is the minimal target inside the Club that we have always achieved," said Wenger.

"Of course at the moment we are far from Manchester City - 12 points - so today we have to get back to a shorter distance before we can say we will fight for the title. What is important for us is to first get back in a fighting position closer to the top.

"Who would write off the title after nine games? People who do that have nothing to do in this job if you don't believe that you have a chance. But we have to be realistic at the moment, we are not in contention for that. But there is only nine games played so what is important is to fight, to get in there.

"No team has won the championship after nine games. Your [the media's] job is always to predict who will win but it's impossible, no matter how much you know football, to predict who will win the league after nine games."

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28 Oct 2011