Arsene Wenger still eyes title

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes his rejuvenated squad are not out of the title race yet.

He even believes that his current cohort can emulate the class of 1997/98.

With Chelsea and Manchester City drawing 1-1 at Stamford Bridge in Saturday’s late kick-off, the Gunners are now 14 points off the pace, before their game against Aston Villa today.

It is a similar scenario to that faced in the 1997/98 campaign, Wenger’s first full season in charge.

Arsenal trailed United by some 12 points at the end of February before embarking on a nine-match winning streak which saw them go on to lift a first title in seven years and then complete the double with victory over Newcastle in the FA Cup final at Wembley.

Given the likes of Theo Walcott and Mesut Oezil, who both scored in the FA Cup fourth-round win at Brighton, are back from injuries, and with Jack Wilshere also around a month away, Wenger feels the ability is there to put together the needed run of results.

Back from injuries, Theo Walcott and Mesut Oezil. Photos: Action Images and Reuters

Said Wenger, 65, the current longest-serving manager in the English Premier League: “It (to challenge for the title) is our target, but we have to be realistic.

What we want is to win every game we can, but at the moment we are 14 points behind Chelsea, they need to lose five games, and they have lost only two until now.

“What we want to do is focus on our performances and show that we can produce consistent results. After, where we will finish, it is difficult to say.”

Wenger added: “Yes, it is true that I have some real selection dilemmas.

“We have got three players out (on loan) — (Yaya) Sanogo, (Lukas) Podolski and (Joel) Campbell — so you imagine before the number of offensive players we have.

“Now we have a good squad, compact, but of quality and with the competition it will be very hard.”

Source: PA Sport.