Arsene Wenger believes Arsenal have shown enough potential to suggest a long-awaited Premier League title may be around the corner.
Arsenal took a giant step towards qualifying for next season’s UEFA Champions League with a comfortable 3-0 win over Newcastle at the Emirates on Monday.
The London club are now four points clear of rivals Everton in fourth position with two games remaining.
Despite a 17th consecutive season in Europe’s prestigious club tournament looming, Arsenal’s Premier League trophy drought is now into its 10th year after a poor run of results saw them slip out of contention.
However, under-fire Wenger says Arsenal are close to claiming their first league title since the 2003-04 season.
“We were on top of the league for 17 weeks,” Wenger told reporters on Monday.
“At the crucial period of the season we lost many players and we went to the FA Cup final having played against Liverpool, Everton, Tottenham.
“In the Champions League we went out to Bayern Munich with 10 men, so we have shown we have potential.
“But we want more next season and hopefully we can do it.”
While it was an enjoyable night for Arsenal, who recorded their third successive Premier League win thanks to goals from Laurent Koscielny, Mesut Ozil and Olivier Giroud, it was a forgettable evening for ninth-placed Newcastle and manager Alan Pardew in particular.
Pardew was subjected to boos and taunts from the travelling Newcastle fans as the club slipped to their sixth consecutive loss.
Counterpart Wenger admitted he felt for his former nemesis, with Newcastle having little to play for during the closing stages of the season.
“We have had some disagreements in the past but that has been arranged,” said Wenger, who was involved in a touchline row at Upton Park during Pardew’s stint as manager of West Ham in 2006.
“They are going through a difficult period but they have been safe for a long time.
“They cannot be in Europe or go down, so it is hard to maintain the focus when there is nothing really to go for.”
Arsenal end the season with fixtures against lowly West Bromwich Albion and Norwich City.
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