Arsene Wenger thinks Arsenal might not even finish in the top four

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Arsene Wenger has finally given up on winning the Premier League title after Arsenal's 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace - and now the Gunners boss has a further warning for his players.

Wenger's side were expected to take advantage of a relatively weak league this season, but now find themselves 13 points behind pace-setters Leicester, and 5 behind bitter rivals Spurs.

Nervous finale

Catching Spurs is still possible, but the veteran French manager insists Arsenal should, in fact, be looking over their shoulders at Manchester United, who are now just four points behind them.


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"I am not in the mood to dream about the Championship", said Wenger.

"It could be a fight until the end to get the place in the top four."

An unthinkable scenario 

Gunners fans may be used to disappointing finishes to their title bids, last winning the league 12 years ago. But to not even make the top four would be unthinkable.

It has never yet happened under Wenger, but if they don't secure a Champions League place, the Professor would surely be under huge pressure to go.

Until Saturday, Arsenal sat third, but Manchester City's 3-0 win over outgoing champions Chelsea saw Manuel Pellegrini's side storm ahead.

Frustration yet again

The most agonising thing for the Emirates faithful is that their team are certainly not the fifth-best team in the country. Some of the football they have played this season, as always, has been exquisite. Frustratingly, however, as they once again proved against Palace, they are not always able to translate that into goals.

Wenger may have some lessons to learn from Leicester, if he is in charge at all next season. Claudio Ranieri is not interested in possession; in fact, if the table was decided on possession alone, Leicester would be in the relegation zone. But their willingness to sacrifice playing style in favour of results is what has got them where they are. Exactly the reverse is true of Arsenal.

Despite Wenger's pessimism, it is hard to see Arsenal finishing outside the top four. Their last five games consist of West Brom, Sunderland, Norwich City, Manchester City and Aston Villa.

They should expect a return of 12 points from that run-in, but if they slip up like they did against Palace, perhaps the manager is right to be concerned about their Champions League future.

Should Arsene Wenger stay regardless of where Arsenal finish? Have your say in the comments box. 

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