Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has admitted his captain Cesc Fabregas was right in saying the Gunners have been “too scared” against their title rivals.

Fabregas made the comment after Arsenal’s 1-0 loss to Manchester United two weeks ago, allowing the Red Devils to replace them at the top of the Premier League table.

Arsenal also lost 2-0 to Chelsea in October and the Spaniard believes the Gunners have sat back against the top sides rather than taking the game to the opposition.

Wenger feels there is some truth in what Fabregas has had to say and has challenged the rest of the squad to show they can compete with top teams, starting with Chelsea on Monday night.

“When you are conscious of something you can do something about it,” said the Arsenal boss.

“That’s why I believe it’s quite a fair assessment. I’m not unhappy he has said that because Cesc is a winner. The most important thing for the top-level teams and players is to have an honest and fair assessment.

“With that you can correct it. If you hide in front of the truth you can never correct it.”

Chelsea come to Emirates in bad form, without a win in seven games after making a stunning start to the season, making them runaway leaders, now they find themselves in fourth spot.

“I am surprised how things have gone for them because they looked unbeatable for a long time,” Wenger added. “But they remain a strong side.

“Of course I consider it a psychological boost if we beat them.

“I do not feel I need to change our mentality in these kind of games because the Arsenal mentality is fantastic and very strong. This team is hungry and the players want success.

“We want to do well in big games. Does it have a decisive influence at the end of the season? You don’t know in December.”

By freelance writer Dan Leaton.

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