Arsene Wenger has reiterated that fourth place is his minimal target for the season as he wants his side to be pushing for the title.
The Frenchman has been guilty in the past of claiming a top four finish is a ‘trophy’ in itself, leading to fans feel that was his sole motivator. While the Gunners boss is happy with the achievement of 15 consecutive years in the Champions League, he has clarified that he is striving for glory and not the bare minimum.
Arsenal have undergone a transitional period over the past two seasons that have seen plenty of new faces become integral to the new-look side as a result of several star players leaving. The side has gelled more as the season has progressed and Wenger has called his side to continue their fine form in 2013 to claim the last UCL spot.
Wenger said at his prematch press conference:
Last year we made 70 points and finished third. This year, we can make 73 points and finish fourth so what you want to do is have a consistency and fight for the Premier League.
What I said is [finishing fourth is] the minimum required. You could see that when Chelsea’s Champions League position was under threat, they came out quickly and said ‘no, what is most important for us is to be in the Champions League next year.’
It is difficult to achieve but we have done it over the years. Is it enough? No. We want more. But this year, Manchester United was above everybody else.
And why were United above everybody else? Because we gave them the Premier League’s greatest weapon. That still bugs me, and Wenger wonders why Gooners feel there’s a lack of ambition…
But this season they have demonstrated a togetherness that Arsenal have not had for some years, we have an excellent foundation for a title winning side for next season, we just need a couple of tweaks to the squad this summer and then the Gunners can finally challenge for the title again.