Arsene Wenger demands title 'hunger' from Arsenal players

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has urged his players to show the self-belief required to sustain their title push.

Arsenal could move 11 points clear of Manchester United with a win at Old Trafford on Sunday.

But United manager David Moyes and striker Wayne Rooney have questioned the Gunners' staying power.

Wenger said: "What is most important is that we trust in our quality and show the resilience and the hunger to achieve what we can achieve."

Arsenal have 25 points from their opening 10 Premier League games this season and are five clear at the top of the table heading into the weekend, while they are also on a run of 14 wins from their last 15 unbeaten away games.

Arsenal at Old Trafford since 2006

3 Nov 2012: Man Utd 2-1 Arsenal (Premier League)

28 Aug 2011: Man Utd 8-2 Arsenal (Premier League)

12 Mar 2011: Man Utd 2-0 Arsenal (FA Cup)

13 Dec 2010: Man Utd 1-0 Arsenal (Premier League)

29 Aug 2009: Man Utd 2-1 Arsenal (Premier League)

16 May 2009: Man Utd 0-0 Arsenal (Premier League)

29 Apr 2009: Man Utd 1-0 Arsenal (Champions League)

13 Apr 2008: Man Utd 2-1 Arsenal (Premier League)

16 Feb 2008: Man Utd 4-0 Arsenal (FA Cup)

But the Londoners have not won at Old Trafford since 2006 and have been beaten on each of their last five trips to United, including an 8-2 defeat in August 2011.

Earlier this week Rooney suggested it was too early to back the Gunners for the title given their history of fading away in the second half of the season.

It was a theme picked up by Moyes in his pre-match press conference as he warned Arsenal that there is still a long way to go in the title race.

"By the end of the season you play every team twice and that's when things are decided and sorted out. That's when we will find out who is the best team," Moyes said.

"Arsenal have the same chance as everyone else to win the Premier League. It is an open Premier League and they have made a great start but they only decide it at the end of the season.

"We will try to make sure it is not the situation that we are 11 points behind. If it is then we will need to make it back but I think there is a lot of football to be played. It's early in the season."

Wenger, however, defended Arsenal's record in the later months of recent campaigns as he challenged his players to maintain their recent form.

"Usually after Christmas we have been very strong every season," he said. "For the rest, the comments are the comments - nobody knows what will happen in the future.

"We have made a lot of improvements at the back in our defensive game and we have done well in the last two games, but there is a lot to do.

"We cannot come to the conclusion that we are in a position where we can relax - we have a lot more to achieve.

Old Trafford before Ferguson

On Arsenal's last visit to Old Trafford before Sir Alex Ferguson's appointment, Charlie Nicholas scored to earn the Gunners a 1-0 win over Ron Atkinson's side on 21 December 1985

"We have won nothing at all. What is important is what we achieve in the future."

Wenger added that Sunday's trip to United would be "a bit strange" without Sir Alex Ferguson in charge of the champions.

The pair were the longest-serving managers in the English game before Ferguson retired as United boss in May.

Robin van Persie is set to face Arsenal for the third time since leaving Emirates Stadium to join United in August 2012.

The striker went on to score 26 goals to help the Red Devils win last season's title.

Wenger believes that the work of Dutchman Rene Meulensteen, who left Old Trafford when Moyes took over, was key to persuading Van Persie to move.

He said: "Robin van Persie had been convinced by the Dutch coach who was at Manchester United, [so] that played a big part.

"It was more the fact that I had the conversations I had with Robin van Persie that convinced me [to sell him]. It is not the talk with Alex Ferguson that convinced me to sell Robin."