Arsene Wenger says Arsenal have shown potential this season but accepts that qualification for the Champions League – should they secure it on Sunday with a win over West Bromwich Albion – does not constitute a fulfilment of the club’s ambitions.
The Gunners beat Newcastle United on Monday night to move within touching distance of a top four finish for the 17th consecutive season, however, having topped the table for so long the boss couldn’t help but lament the injury problems that have blighted his squad’s title ambitions.
“One more win will be top four for sure,” he said last night after the 3-0 victory at the Emirates.
“It will show that the club has been consistent over the years, but we want more. Overall this season I think we have been 17 times top of the league, but at the crucial period of the season we have lost many players.
“We have got to the FA Cup final having played against Liverpool, Everton, Tottenham and in the Champions League we went out against Bayern with 10 men. We have shown we have potential, but we want more next season and hopefully we can do it. But first let’s finish this season.
“We have to live with reality. We have shown quality but at the moment we have 73 points, we can make 79. Let’s finish as high as we can and analyse after where we can improve, what was right and what was wrong.”
The Gunners have netted nine goals in three games since Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil eased their way back into action and the boss was quick to point out their importance to his side’s attacking fluidity.
“I think they make a difference, but at the same period we had Walcott, Wilshere, Ozil, Ramsey and Koscielny all out. Of course you can sometimes miss one or two, but four or five? Every team feels that.”