Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger claims that defeats against Swansea and Manchester United in early March, combined with injuries to the Arsenal squad, led to the Gunners’ title slump.
The Gunners suffered a 3-2 defeat at Manchester United in late February and were left reeling as they went down fighting 2-1 against Swansea at home just a few days later. Arsenal have managed only three wins since the Man Utd loss and manager Arsene Wenger believes that failure to win those league fixtures along with injuries at critical moments blew his side out of the title race.
“There were two turning games – Man United and Swansea. At the end of the day, we had many injuries and it was the first time where we could not do a lot about it,” Wenger told Sky Sports.
“We didn’t have Welbeck, Wilshere, Cazorla, all traumatic injuries, not muscular. The positive thing is we discovered players like Elneny and Iwobi. But we were not clinical enough.”
Wenger further pointed out that Arsenal’s quality of game was good for most of the season, but failure to accumulate pointed hampered their title hopes.
“The quality of our game collectively for most of the season was good and in March and April, but we didn’t get the points we needed and we were in a position where we had to win every game so it makes it more difficult.
“Then the coincidence of fixtures. Now we play Sunderland, and we could have played a Sunderland on holiday with nothing to go for, in March and April that has a big influence. I have seen games recently where teams didn’t turn up. That has changed a bit in the Premier League as well.”
Another disappointing season for Arsenal
It has been more than a decade since Arsenal last won the English Premier League title, with their most recent triumph coming in the 2003-04 season. Despite Arsene Wenger’s men playing beautiful football at times this season, once again there is nothing the Gunners have to show for it. The fans’ backlash against the French manager has arguably never been as strong or as vocal before, and there is a growing sense that the 66-year-old’s days at the Emirates are numbered.
There is no doubt that Wenger has built the club and taken it to where it stands today, but his continued inability to win the Premier League trophy could very well see him end his time at the North London club on a negative note. With Manchester United, Chelsea and even Manchester City facing a torrid season, Arsenal should have mounted a serious challenge for the title, but as it stands, the Gunners will be competing for the Champions League places yet again.