Arsene Wenger believes that a Manchester City collapse handed the title to rivals United, rather than simply Robin van Persie’s impact.
The Arsenal boss will welcome the Dutchman back to the Emirates Stadium for the first time since he left the club on Sunday and believes that, while the forward has undoubtedly helped the newly-crowned champions, City have “dropped off” from last season.
“Robin has made an impact, of course,” Wenger said.
“But the other teams are not as close this year — like Man City, who were always top last year. It was very tight last year. This year it was one-way traffic.”
Arsenal, after suffering a sticky mid-season patch of form, are currently on a good run, having not lost in the league since defeat in the north London derby against Tottenham on March 3.
Wenger said it was a case of having a poor start to the season, which saw his side drop points against Sunderland, Stoke and Swansea in the first half of the campaign.
He also bemoaned his charges’ ability to compete with the bigger teams such as Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City, all of whom have beaten the Gunners this season.
“We are 21 points behind. That is linked to our bad start,” he said, comparing the situation to Borussia Dortmund, who have been unable to keep up with new champions Bayern Munich in this year’s Bundesliga.
“Against the big clubs we didn’t do well.
“In Germany, Borussia Dortmund are 20 points behind Bayern Munich and they just beat Real Madrid 4-1.
“The same people that say we are 20 points behind United, may say Dortmund are the best team in Europe.”