Arsene Wenger was hoping the bookmakers are as wrong about Arsenal's title odds as they were over England's doomed World Cup bid after watching his side go top of the Barclays Premier League by beating Fulham.
Wenger acknowledged the Gunners are "not favourites" to finish as champions come May but insisted they are definitely good enough to do so.
Yesterday's unconvincing 2-1 win over Fulham failed to move the bookies, who still have Arsenal behind Manchester United and Chelsea in the title stakes.
Yet, they also had England as favourites to win the right to host the 2018 World Cup - admittedly, eventual winners Russia did head the market for a period as well - before they secured a humiliating two votes.
The only statistic Wenger was interested in was the Premier League table, which shows his side one point clear - especially after they found themselves five adrift following last month's shock home defeat against Newcastle.
"We were five points behind the leaders and we had to go to Wolves and to Everton," the Gunners boss said.
"So, three weeks later, to be top shows we have kept going and given it our best shot.
"We are not favourites but we are where we are."
Pressed further, he added: "Look at the odds!
"You should have looked at the odds as well for the World Cup..."
Arsenal won yesterday despite showing the same defensive frailties which led to back-to-back home defeats against Newcastle and Tottenham.
Wenger admitted such lapses last season were fatal for his side but suggested that may not be the case this term.
He said of the previous campaign: "Overall, I think our defensive record was not good enough to win the title.
"Last season, Chelsea didn't drop points like they've done this year."
Yet, Arsenal cannot rely simply on the reigning champions and United slipping up to clinch their first championship since 2004.
"We have 32 points and I believe that we can become stronger as a unit defensively," said Wenger.
"We want, of course, to improve our defensive record. That is needed."
Arsenal must also address their wastefulness in front of goal.
They should have been out of sight yesterday before Fulham punished their latest defensive error.
Worryingly, Diomansy Kamara's equaliser - and the loss of Laurent Koscielny after a sickening clash of heads with Sebastien Squillaci - seemed to knock the Gunners completely out of their stride.
"You could sense suddenly in the team that we had not the drive any more to go forward," Wenger admitted.
"We became hesitant and we invited them to come to us.
"We were punished, because Fulham are a good side."
Wenger's "gamble" of flooding the pitch with forwards after half-time paid off when Samir Nasri netted his second sublime solo goal of the game but it could easily have backfired, especially as Arsenal were already set up in an attacking formation.
Wenger admitted this meant his side were in trouble every time they lost the ball but insisted it was worth the risk, adding: "My philosophy is not to be in trouble but to put the opponent into trouble!"
Wenger's side have a golden chance to convince the bookies when they travel to Old Trafford next Monday but Fulham boss Mark Hughes was adamant they would not get away with defending against United like they did yesterday.
"It would be more difficult for them, I would suggest," said the former Red Devils striker, who felt Arsenal are even weaker at the back this season than they were last and did not think they played like champions yesterday.
"We were up against a top team and made them look quite ordinary."
And neither did Fulham look like relegation fodder, despite their defeat now seeing them outside the bottom three on goal difference.
"We're in a difficult situation but we'll pick up points without a shadow of a doubt," said Hughes, who reckoned his side would carry confidence from their battling performance into Saturday's clash with Sunderland.
"It would've been more difficult to prepare for that game if we'd been beaten four or five which, after the first 10-15 minutes, there was a possibility of."