Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Arsene Wenger: Spurs Deserved to Win and the Title Race Is Over

Following their 2-1 defeat to arch rivals Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger told his team to forget about the title race and that they were second best to the Spurs on the night.
The loss effectively rules Arsenal out of becoming English Premier League champions for another year, their sixth without a trophy.

"We must forget the title race and try to finish as high as we can," he said.
"It shows that we're not mature enough, because you can't afford to lose these games if you want to win the league."
"We have made progress this season but had too many players missing tonight," said Wenger, making excuses for the defeat. But the manner of the loss will leave him thinking on certain players' futures long and hard through the summer.
Arsenal were second best for the vast majority of the match against a team who are suffering their own fair share of injuries.
"You need a miracle to make it happen like that. Tonight our weaknesses were exposed."
"We'll continue to fight but even a point wasn't enough from tonight - we needed three points."
"Van Persie hasn't kicked a ball for five months. You could see straight away he gave us something different and something special," said Wenge, but questions will now rise as to why he did not start his star striker.
"Tottenham defended very well and we were not good enough with our final ball in the final third. 
"That was the story of the game until Van Persie came on and transformed our game in the final third.
"When you look at the way we conceded the second goal that is not good enough if you want to challenge for the title." Tottenham's second goal was scored by Gareth Bale after a defence splitting pass by Jermaine Defoe ripped the entire Gunners back line apart.
For Arsenal to be still involved in the title chase at this stage of the season is nothing short of a miracle. Arsene Wenger has worked wonders to cajole, coach, and bully this side into being a title contender, right into the final stretch.
But how they got there carrying the likes of Manuel Almunia, Mikael Silvestre, Theo Walcott, Niklas Bendtner, without a real striker of substance for six months is amazing to say the least.
Many Arsenal fans had used Manchester United as the yardstick to measure their team against, but this current Red Devils team are in decline and are in real danger of doing a Liverpool next season unless massive investment is put into the team.
The team that everyone should be measuring themselves by are Barcelona. The gulf between them and the Gunners verged on the embarrassing as they destroyed Arsenal over the two legs.
For the Gunners to become a real team, Arsene Wenger will need to invest heavily.
A new goalkeeper, new centre half, new centre midfielder, a new right sided midfielder, and a centre forward of quality should all be on Le Prof's shopping list in the summer.
Without that kind of investment the Gunners will not challenge in Europe and run the risk of not even challenging for the Premier League.