Despite the fact that Arsene Wenger has been speaking recently about Arsenal fighting until the end of the season, he was well aware that any chances of us challenging for the Premier League title had long gone. So I don’t really understand why the boss was surprised at the downbeat atmosphere at the Emirates stadium as the Gunners beat West Brom on Thursday night.
Maybe, though, just maybe he is starting to get it because he actually admitted in an interview with Sky Sports this week that he and the players do feel guilty about not being in line to be champions of England when the dust settles on another disappointing campaign.
The Frenchman was also asked about why he thought that Leicester had done so well this season and his reply was perhaps more telling than he intended. The Foxes are hungry for it he said and that immediately prompted the interviewer to ask whether Arsenal lacked it and of course the manager then backtracked a bit.
Wenger said, “It’s very simple. We all feel guilty and we are all looked at like it’s a shame we are not winning the league because Leicester are at the top.
“But on the other hand, you have to say Leicester have not stolen the points. They have earned them, they have quality. If you look at the PFA Team of the Year, they have many players in there, so they are good players.
“It will be interesting psychologically to study Leicester because it’s a very interesting case. There is a theory that says to go to the absolute utmost of your talent you need to suffer in life. When you look at the Leicester team, not one career of all these players was obvious, like starting on the red carpet at 18 years of age in the Champions League.
“Many of the players have been rejected before… it is an interesting case. N’Golo Kante, nobody wanted him in France for a while. That is a good explanation for his character.
“These players had a dream that was not easy to obtain, but when they are in a position to reach it, they are ready for the fight. The lesson of the season is Leicester. Maybe they are not the most prestigious in quality of the passing, but they found a way to be efficient and have shown mental qualities that are absolutely top.”
Then asked about them being hungrier than us he said, “That is the difficulty of being honest in the media today. As soon as you come up with a quality it shows that you don’t have that quality. They were hungry and efficient. My team is hungry also, but we have to deal with many problems and many competitions as well.
“When you play on Wednesday in Barcelona and then Saturday morning, you go to Crystal Palace or Everton, it changes things. Next year, I predict that Leicester will have more problems.”
Does it sound to you as if our manager is really feeling guilty and sorry to the fans? And what do you expect him to do about it?