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Dutchman hits out at rivals for believing at the start of the season that Arsene Wenger’s men would not be able to challenge at the top of the Premier League this year

Robin van Persie has hit out at Arsenal’s rivals for thinking they would not have a say at the top of the Premier League this season.

The Gunners currently sit second in the table, five points behind leaders Manchester United with a game in hand.

And the Netherlands striker has now mocked Chelsea and Manchester City for spending big in the transfer window and still being behind Arsene Wenger’s side in the table.

"I still strongly believe in my club's philosophy," Van Persie was quoted as saying by The Guardian. "A club like Manchester City change their philosophy every year and Chelsea spent about €80 million [£70m] this season ... two clubs who had a big mouth before the season, thinking that Arsenal wouldn't play a role in the title race but we are still ahead of them. And just by playing our own game, through our own philosophy."

Van Persie also conceded that Arsenal have not been good enough to win major honours this season.

The Gunners faltered in the final of the League Cup against Birmingham City and were knocked out of the Champions League by Barcelona despite going into the second leg with the lead. And to make matters worse, they also bowed out of the FA Cup to Manchester United.

With the exits all coming in the span of a fortnight, the Dutchman says that the north London outfit were just not up to it.

However, the former Feyenoord man insists that the team wants to "change all that" by sustaining their Premier League title challenge to eventually win top honours.

"We always do our best and of course we always want to win," Van Persie said, according to The Mirror.

"On a number of times we were very close, but at the last moment it's often not good enough and that's the reality.

"It's very frustrating when you lose, especially when we're so close, but we have to look forward and now it's up to us to change all that.

"I firmly believe in the team, Arsenal and myself, and I'm positive we will win prizes."

It has been over half a decade since the Gunners won any silverware, but Van Persie maintained that he has no intention of leaving to join another club.

When quizzed as to whether he could move away from the Emirates, the striker said: "Absolutely not. I'm happy here, I have a contract with Arsenal and I fully respect that."

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