Despite Arsenal’s excellent form in the Premier League, Arsene Wenger admits his side may have left it too late to launch a genuine bid for the title.
The Gunners are the in-form team in the top-flight at the moment, with the 4-1 win over Liverpool on Saturday being their 13th success from their last 14 league outings. This has lifted them to second in the table, albeit a position they will surrender to Manchester City if the champions win their game in hand at Crystal Palace on Monday, but they are still seven behind leaders Chelsea.
Jose Mourinho’s side also have a game in hand, against bottom-placed Leicester City, so it is perhaps fair to assume the Stamford Bridge club are 10 points ahead of their London rivals and they also have a better goal difference. But as the Blues have struggled to find their early season form and Arsenal continue to improve, there have been a few whispers of a late bid for the title.
However, whilst Wenger is unlikely to rule anything out whilst it is mathematically possible, he accepts that it would take something extraordinary for the Premier League trophy to be presented at the Emirates Stadium when West Bromwich Albion visit on the final day of the season. And the French coach is left to think what might have been had his players found this form earlier in the campaign.
“If there was 15 (league) games to go, you would not complain,” he said. “We had a very slow start this season, when we had many important players out together, and we dropped too many points. But now you can see that when we have everybody back, we can compete and the number of points we have made shows we have the quality to fight at the top. For the title we need us to be perfect and Chelsea not to be perfect, so let’s focus on what we can master which means our own performance.”
Arsenal resume their league campaign with a trip to Burnley next weekend, which is followed by an FA Cup semi-final against Championship side Reading at Wembley. And then it is the visit of Chelsea in a match they would simply have to win if they are to have any say in the destination of the title, although as Wenger admits, it would take a huge collapse from Mourinho’s men now.