Wenger rues missed opportunity

Arsene Wenger admits Arsenal have missed a huge opportunity to end their nine-year wait for a Premier League title.

Last Updated: 23/01/13 at 07:55 Post Comment   

Arsene Wenger: Frustrated by struggle

Arsene Wenger: Frustrated by struggle

Arsene Wenger admits Arsenal have under-performed this season and missed a huge opportunity to end their nine-year wait for a Barclays Premier League title.

Wenger's early years at Arsenal were laden with success but the Gunners are no longer considered realistic title challengers and have not won a trophy of any kind in seven-and-a-half years.

The north London club welcome West Ham to the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday night knowing defeat would leave them seven points off fourth-placed Tottenham and some 22 behind their former arch-rivals and current league leaders Manchester United.

Despite their domination of the league, United have looked a pale imitation of Sir Alex Ferguson's former teams while despite their lavish spending, second-placed Manchester City have also failed to reproduce the level of form they showed last season.

And after watching Tottenham batter United on Sunday and emerge with a draw, Wenger reflected on the fall in standards that he thinks Arsenal could have taken advantage of this season.

"I saw Tottenham v Manchester United and you think (about) the difference between us and Manchester United when you see them play..." Wenger said.

"It was a fantastic opportunity (to win the league) this season. To catch Manchester United now is out of sight at the moment.

"We have to get closer to the people in front of us first before we can think that. Man United is far but there is no untouchable team in the country at the moment. It should not be difficult (to get in the top four) but it will be tough."

Key to Wenger's struggles, of course, has been the departure of Robin van Persie, who has repeated his superb form last season with his new employers at Old Trafford.

Inconsistency has also been a major problem, with the highs of putting seven past Reading and then Newcastle outweighed by the low points - home defeats to City, Swansea and Chelsea, not to mention the embarrassing Capital One Cup exit as part of npower League Two side Bradford's shock run to the final.

Theo Walcott, who last week signed a new contract, said there is a lack of self-belief in the Arsenal camp and his manager concurs.

"I agree with him," Wenger said. "The players come out and think 'we could have done better'. But when you look at the first half (against Chelsea on Sunday) we lost goals we shouldn't lose, 50/50s you cannot lose in big games.

"Last year we could win big games and on Sunday you come out of the game and think 'what is happening?"'

Wenger hopes to sign two players before the transfer window shuts, with defensive midfield a possible priority given Mikel Arteta and Francis Coquelin are out injured and Abou Diaby has just returned from a long-term thigh injury.

Wenger professed his admiration for West Ham player Mohamed Diame, saying: "He has a great presence in the games. I've seen him in games where he's had a big impact. They have many players who can be dangerous, but he can drive the midfield."


Click here for completely free £10 bet with Sky Bet & £5 free every week


Related News

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

H

e was right to leave, but not just because of the money City were coming into. If I remember rightly he had a reasonable amount of chances to shine at City, but he never passed the bloody ball. Loads of aimless dribbles and 40 yard shots and not much else. I would say that if he had learnt to be a bit more of a team player he may have done better at City.

bright and edgy
Sturridge: Right to leave City

O

h! And.... has it gone in!?' Well John, it is quite literally your job to tell me, so stop phrasing it as a question.

ajsr1982
Eye On The Experts: John Motson

M

an who resembles bond villain complains about spies ....brillliant

mrjackson
Palace deny spying accusation

Footer 365

Probert to referee FA Cup final

Lee Probert will referee the FA Cup final between Arsenal and Hull next month, the Football Association has announced.

Premier League: Liverpool upbeat on Daniel Sturridge's injury ahead of Norwich game

Liverpool are optimistic that striker Daniel Sturridge will be fit for this weekend's game against Norwich.

Premier League: Aston Villa chairman Randy Lerner hails Paul Lambert in bullish statement

Aston Villa chairman Randy Lerner has issued a bullish statement in reaction to the suspension of two of his coaches.

Mail Box

Fatigue No Excuse For Giroud Being Cr*p

We have a long mail on why Giroud isn't very good at all, plus some more thoughts on neutrality. Plus, who do you want out of you club this summer and Liverpool moving buses...

Will Liverpool Cope With Parked Buses?

That's the real problem they're going to face next year, says one Man United fan who's already looking forward to the end of this campaign. Plus, thoughts on neutrality...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property