Now it has become completely clear that Arsenal would not have the opportunity to leapfrog the league leaders Chelsea and pip them to the Premier League title, the Arsenal fans and everyone concerned with the club have begun to look at the season on the whole and look for the reasons why Jose Mourinho´s team was able to find themselves in such a comfortable position.
Arsene Wenger gave his own take on the situation in today´s pre-match press conference, reported on the Arsenal website, and the manager clearly feels that the current performances and run of form the Gunners have been showing has come too late. The Frenchman declared that the injury problems and the extra fitness issues resulting from the World Cup finals in Brazil last summer had a very negative effect on the start of the season for Arsenal.
Wenger said, “I’ve said many times that we had big injuries at the start of the season, after the World Cup, and that we only got our squad together more recently.
“Even then we still lost players like Jack Wilshere in November, and then again afterwards. We were not all together. It took us some time to find a good balance in the team and we dropped some points because of that.
“When you look at games like Stoke away, the big disappointment for us was that we had a very young defence on the day and missing players was certainly detrimental to our results.
“I look at it in a positive way because what you want from a team is to show during the season that you can grow together and become better.
“We faced a big challenge because Chelsea didn’t drop their level in the title race, and they were more consistent from the start until the end, and that’s why we didn’t catch them up.
“Overall we feel we have made progress.”
It would be nice to see if Arsenal really do have what it takes to be crowned Premier League champions again. Last season started well but was then disrupted by the usual injury crisis. But now the club seem to have sorted out the underlying injury problems. There will always be a few over the course of a season of course, but as long as we don´t have lots more than our rivals for once, Wenger will have a great chance to prove that injuries and not lack of quality or fight have been our problems over the last couple of years.
But will he be proved right and if not, will it be time for a new manager at Arsenal?