Saturday, June 24, 2017

Wenger must face the truth about the title race

David Nugent in Editorial, English Premier League 9 Feb 2017

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Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is refusing to give up in the title

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger seems to live in his own little world. He seems to put his head in the sand whenever situations arrive that are likely to reflect badly on him or his team.

Last weekend Chelsea showed why they are likely to win the title and Arsenal are not, as the Blues recorded a comfortable 3-1 win over the Gunners at Stamford Bridge. They simply showed more nous and quality than the visitors.

The defeat means that Arsenal are now 12 points behind the Blues in the race for the Premier League title. Most right-minded Arsenal fans will believe that their team are not looking like champions and also that they are unlikely to win the title this season.

Wenger says the title race is not over

Arsene Wenger is starting sound like a broken record. There seems to be an annual announcement of the Gunners not conceding the title by Wenger, usually in February. Bang on queue he has produced his speech.

Asked if the Gunners title race was over the veteran Frenchman said: “It is never over; we are not to behave like that. Even if you [reporters] think like that, I don’t,”

“We look at the teams who surround us, we are all in a pack that is very tight and the fight for every position is massive as it has always been in the Premier League – maybe even more so this season.”

“[Top four] is always difficult but maybe even tighter than ever. The way we respond to a disappointing result last Saturday is vital,” he continued.

“If it is over [ the title race] for us then it is over for everyone else because we are in a pack there.

“They [Chelsea] have an advantage – they don’t play in Europe, they play for nothing and have no midweek games.”

I suppose he has to say that in public. However, to the majority of Arsenal fans, it will just seem like a case of groundhog day. Statements like this just make Wenger sound delusional.

Difficult to catch Chelsea for any team

In truth, Chelsea have just been so consistent for much of the campaign that it is difficult to see any team stopping them winning the title. The Blues lead second-place Tottenham by nine points, having already visited White Hart Lane, the Etihad Stadium, Anfield and the Emirates Stadium.

Under Antonio Conte, they seem to have the ability to grind out results, even when they are not playing particularly well. That is the sign of a very good team. Under their Italian boss, the Blues have become a very good team.

It is difficult to see the Blues losing three more Premier League games this season and their rivals winning basically all their games, which is probably what it would take to knock Chelsea off the top of the table.

Arsenal chasing a top four place

It would now take a minor miracle for Arsenal to win the Premier League title this season. Gunners boss Wenger may just be trying to keep spirits up in north London, but deep down he must know that his team are once again just in a fight for a top-four position.

The Gunners are fourth in the table. However, they are in a fight with the likes of Manchester City, Tottenham, Liverpool and Manchester United to stay in the top four this season.

At odds of evens to make the top four, some bookmakers do not believe the Gunners will finish in a customary top four position this season. It would be foolish to write-off Arsenal’s hopes of finishing in the Champions League spots.

The Gunners always finish in the Premier League top four and will probably again. However, veteran boss Arsene Wenger must know that his side will not win the title this season.

If they do then it will be a major story, as Chelsea do not look like self-destructing anytime soon, something the Gunners seem to do on a regular basis. Arsenal would also need all their other top-four rivals to do similar and it seems very unlikely to happen.

Are Arsenal out of the Premier League title race?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Nugent


David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The 33-year-old has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.

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