No points target for Gunners, says Arsene Wenger

 

Arsene Wenger has refused to set Arsenal a points target to finish third in the Barclays Premier League ahead of tonight's trip to Wolves.

The Gunners are overwhelming favourites to sink rock-bottom Wanderers at Molineux and open up a five-point gap on arch rivals Tottenham in the race for the Premier League's final automatic Champions League spot.

That would be a significant cushion with just five games remaining, of which Arsenal could probably then afford to lose at least two.

But manager Wenger said: "The only target we know we can do is if we get our resources together for the next game. That is the only way to do it.

"You don't know what the others will do, so let's just win our games."

Pundits have been scouring the run-ins of Arsenal, Tottenham, fifth-placed Newcastle and sixth-placed Chelsea to try to glean where points may be won and lost.

Wenger said: "For some people these predictions are their job.

"Believe me, they don't know much better than you or me and the result of every game is just a consequence of your performance on the day.

"Nobody can really predict that because your performance on the day depends on you, but also depends on the other team as well. To predict both is nearly impossible.

"You can have an idea but football has surprised us so many times, especially recently in the last two or three months."

He added: "Let's not anticipate, that is something else that is important.

"When it gets to the last sprint, focus on the next game becomes the most important part because you are always tempted to anticipate."

Arsenal fans were certainly anticipating victory in their last away game at QPR but they were given another rude awakening when their six-match winning streak came to a shuddering halt.

That was the first ever league defeat for the Gunners while playing a back four made up of Bacary Sagna, Laurent Koscielny, Thomas Vermaelen and Kieran Gibbs.

Koscielny will be missing for the next two games after picking up a two-match ban for his 10th yellow card of the season.

Wenger confirmed Johan Djourou would deputise tonight and backed the Switzerland star to fill the void.

He said: "Djourou has done well recently when he came in. He will come in again on Wednesday night and I am confident."

Wenger questioned Koscielny's punishment after he failed to make the yellow card amnesty by a matter of hours.

"As we understand the situation, with a red card he would have been less suspended than with one yellow," he said.

"It is not completely logical but we have to take it on board and he will be suspended for the next two games."

PA

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