After weeks of playing down Arsenal’s lack of success this season, manager Arsene Wenger gave a brutal assessment of his team’s campaign.
Wenger – who previously said he was proud of his record of keeping Arsenal in the top four as rivals like Manchester United and Chelsea falter – said his side’s second-placed finish was not what he wanted from this season.
Arsenal won their final game of the season 4-0 against an already relegated Aston Villa on Sunday and leapfrogged arch-rivals Tottenham into second place as a result but Wenger said that topping his club’s cross-town London rivals was nothing to write home about.
“We are second in the league and we want to be first,” the Frenchman said.
“But if you’re not first, you might as well be 10th or 12th.
“You might as well say first is good and the rest is rubbish.
“In sport, when you work in a football club you know that every win you have to fight and prepare more.”
Wenger defended his team’s record, saying their points-haul of 71 was respectable, despite being 10 off champions Leicester who Arsenal beat twice.
“We want to win more. We want to be first. But as well, we have made over 70 points in the Premier League and it is not easy,” he said.
“You have to say Leicester have pulled off an exceptional win. They lost only three games. But we have beaten them twice.
“So you should look at all the other teams. We are not happy by being second but 18 other teams behind us would be happy to be in our position.”