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The Frenchman admits it's probably a little mad, but he's still dreaming of capturing the title...

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger still harbours ambitions that the Gunners can upset the odds and go on to claim the Premier League crown this season, in what would be one of the most surprising title race turnarounds in years.

Wenger's team won 3-1 at Newcastle United yesterday, and the win has got the cerebral Frenchman thinking perhaps a little less rationally than usual, it would appear.

"I still have hope because I am a bit crazy," he told The Times.

"Realistically, we will not win the league, but it doesn’t matter what our chances are – we have to give everything to go as close as possible to the top teams.

"[Manchester] United still have the quality to finish it off, but they had a big disappointment in losing to Liverpool and it can be difficult to recover."

Wenger was less crazy in his assessment of the performance of his rapidly maturing team on Tyneside yesterday, hailing midfielder Abou Diaby's display as being comparable to the great Patrick Vieira.

"There is nothing better than seeing what you work on come together, when you have such a young team and how exciting it can be in the future,” he added.

"[Diaby] has similarities with Vieira and he is still growing at the moment.

"He is only 22, but he has the same stature, the same size as Patrick. There is still a lot of room for him to get where Patrick was, but he is a good role model."

Arsenal have also been handed an injury boost, as a scan confirmed that Theo Walcott's knee injury was not as serious as at first thought, and the England international would be missing for around 12 days rather than the five weeks as initially feared.

Wenger concluded, "You want all your players and it is unfortunate as he was coming back, but the most reassuring thing is there is no serious damage."

Zack Wilson, Goal.com

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