Arsenal must 'be realistic' says Arsene Wenger, as Gunners boss concedes Premier League title challenge is over after Swansea draw
The Gunners boss will now focus on ensuring the club remain in the top four
Wednesday 26 March 2014
Arsene Wenger admitted that Arsenal can no longer think about winning the title after their 2-2 draw with Swansea City.
Arsenal are now fourth, six points behind Chelsea but six points ahead of fifth-placed Everton who have played one game fewer. Wenger acknowledged that Arsenal's main priority is to hold off Everton's challenge rather than chasing down Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool. Arsenal host City on Saturday before going to Goodison Park on 6 April.
“I think at the moment that's not our biggest worry,” Wenger said, when asked about Arsenal's title challenge. “We just have to try to be realistic and we have to come back into the next game. We have to look behind us and of course we also have to look in front of us, but as well behind us.”
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Arsenal play Manchester City on Saturday and could finish the weekend just three points ahead of Everton and nine points off the lead. “Manchester City had a good result tonight, they look a bit unstoppable and are favourites because they still have two games in hand,” Wenger said. “Them and Chelsea are the favourites for the title. We don't have too much room to come back into it.”
Since beating Crystal Palace 2-0 at the Emirates on 2 February, Arsenal have taken eight points from a possible 21, beating only Sunderland and Tottenham Hotspur. They were knocked out of the Champions League by Bayern Munich and must now hold on to fourth and try to win the FA Cup with many of their best players still injured.
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Wenger had no good news about his injury list, with Aaron Ramsey still at least two weeks away from return after a long-running muscle problem. “We have to get some players back, it is difficult to fight with half the team out,” Wenger said. “None of them are close to coming back. Laurent Koscielny is out for a while, after that Mesut Ozil is at least two or three weeks.”
“Ramsey is maybe the closest, maybe two weeks. He has had a setback. He's had some scar tissue, then you have to slow down and the tendon is in a sensitive place. You always have to push but not too far.”
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