Arsene Wenger has admitted that Arsenal are "nowhere near" the Premier League title or its current leaders Chelsea, though this pretty straightforward observation is apt for more than just this season.
Speaking ahead of another must-win Premier League clash away at QPR on Wednesday evening, the Gunners boss was asked if he still had any title ambitions after the 2-0 win over Everton at the weekend took them within nine points of Chelsea.
Chelsea do have a game in hand though as they were busy defeating Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 in the Capital One Cup on Sunday. Manchester City's defeat to Liverpool on Sunday meant Arsenal went within four points of the defending champions - perhaps a more realistic target.
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Asked whether he thought his team may be able to stage a remarkable charge and overhaul Jose Mourinho's men, Wenger wasn't about to get drawn into a debate over their chances of taking the title and was realistic about the current predicament.
"At the moment we are nowhere near to winning the Premier League, and nowhere near close to being in the race," he told reporters.
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In fact the Emirates Stadium tactician claimed that the Gunners should be wary of the teams currently sitting behind them in the table before worrying about who they can catch. Manchester United are only a point behind in fourth and Liverpool a further two points, with the latter on a very good run of form.
"But what we want is to do as well as we can without speculating on the weakness of any team. The only thing you can say is that it's very tight," added the Frenchman.
"You look in front of you, Manchester City are four points ahead of us, and you look behind you, there's plenty of people chasing us.
"That will be very, very tight and it will be down to consistency in our results and mental strength. That will certainly be needed again on Wednesday night."
Wenger Is Correct
Wenger is correct about his side not being anywhere near the title race and they never were at any point this season. The problem for him is that they do not look like they will get anywhere near the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City at any point in the near future.
Defeat to AS Monaco in the Champions League last week was further evidence that Wenger and his players don't have the mettle to thrive in the biggest matches any more. They crumble when the pressure is on and the kind of implosion witnessed against the Ligue 1 side is not unfamiliar.
Unless things change drastically pretty quickly, Wenger is showing this season that he has have the capacity to take a team all the way in the league. Resources are there, so are the quality players, but it looks as though this being undermined by poor judgement.
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