ARSENAL manager Arsene Wenger has hit back at comments from former Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes, who claimed the Gunners were "a million miles away" from challenging for the Premier League title.
Arsenal tackle a rampant Manchester City side – who won 3-0 at Old Trafford in midweek – tomorrow afternoon following the disappointment of conceding a late own goal in a 2-2 draw against Swansea.
That match had seemed set to draw a line under the 6-0 humiliation at Chelsea which ruined Wenger's 1,000th match in charge, with Arsenal coming from behind to lead with two quick second-half goals.
In his role as a TV pundit, Scholes launched a fierce attack on Arsenal under Wenger, claiming they had "midfield players with no discipline" and adding that "there are no leaders" at the north London club.
Wenger, though, insists his squad – which has been hit by injuries to key men like Theo Walcott, Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey – have what it takes to compete with the best.
"If six points (from the top) is a million miles away, then I don't know what the translation from a mile into a point is," Wenger said.
"Everybody has opinions, people who have managed zero games have opinions and we have to accept that.
"What you live with is what you do on the pitch, and all the rest is only opinions."
Wenger added: "We have not given up (on the title), believe me and we can show that on Saturday. It is our attitude that will decide that.
"Champions keep going when everybody else would give up. We have an opportunity to show that we have that mentality."
Former England international Scholes also questioned the development of Wilshere, who had yet to go onto the "next level".
Wenger, though, also rejected those claims.
The Gunners boss said: "You cannot say that, Jack Wilshere is an exceptional player for me who has been handicapped by many injuries.
"Once Jack is back and consistently on the pitch, he will prove everybody wrong about that because he is an exceptional player – and Scholes knows that as well."
Wilshere is currently recovering from a fractured foot suffered when playing for England in a friendly against Denmark at the start of March.