By Richard Clarke

Arsène Wenger is not convinced that everyone views Arsenal as realistic title contenders.

The Premier League table certainly suggests the Emirates Stadium side are in the shake-up. The weekend’s results saw them leap to second, two points behind Manchester United and two above Chelsea, who play their game in hand on Wednesday.

It is a far cry from November 31 when defeat to the Stamford Bridge side left them 11 points adrift of Carlo Ancelotti’s leaders.

Despite that 3-0 humbling that day, Wenger famously predicted Chelsea would drop points and his side were still in the race. He has proved to be right but some still consider Arsenal to be the big outsiders of the top three.

"When you lose against one of the main contenders so convincingly nobody takes you seriously after that,” he said. “Some don't even now. It takes a while to convince people again.

"You could not predict that Chelsea would drop the points they lost. Of course, if they had a perfect run-in, then you could not fight for the title but it was still important for us not to give up.

“When we lost against Chelsea and Man United here, and I must say it was in a convincing way, everybody got a little bit carried away, and you have to go a bit overboard.

“But we have a young team and if we want to have a future then we have to show mental quality and not give up, no matter what happens.

"That's what I wanted to carry on saying to the players. And I still believe it's important for the players not to give up and to carry on going.”

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22 Mar 2010