Arsenal are off to their worst start to a season under Wenger, they are already nine points behind leaders Man Utd, with only a quarter of the season gone, and the Arsenal boss knows it is going to be a long season at the Emirates.
“We’re very far behind now,” he admitted, when asked how Arsenal’s current squad could hope to keep pace with the likes of United, Manchester City and Chelsea.
“At the moment you cannot say that [we are good enough to challenge the top three], because we are far away.
“But that’s what we have to show, and that’s what the target is at the end of the season. We’ve played away at United, City, Liverpool and Stoke – so we’ve many difficult away games.
“But we were poor defensively here. There’s no obvious reason for that, apart from the fact we didn’t start well and United have quality up front.
“They score goals against everybody and they are better than us. It’s as simple as that.
“Away to Manchester City we drew 1-1, a good result, and didn’t suffer by comparison.
“Here, I just think we were not on full cylinders and looked much more vulnerable defensively than we did at the start of the season.”
Since taking over at Arsenal in 1996, the Gunners have not finished outside of the top four, a remarkable achievement, but a record that will be under threat this season.
No team can absorb the loss of Robin van Persie, Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri and Alex Song over a 13 month period and still expect to compete with the top teams in England and Europe.
Harry Redknapp said recently that if Arsene Wenger can finish fourth this season with this Arsenal squad it will be his coaching job ever. Better than when he won three titles, and better than “The Invincibles” season. That is a pretty telling commentary on how poor this Arsenal squad is.
Do you think that Arsenal will finish in the top four this season?