Mind the Gap: Arsene taking it one match at a time in Premier League run-in
Arsene Wenger played down Arsenal’s chances of mounting a late challenge for the Premier League title, and is expecting a tight finish in the race to finish in the top four.
The Gunners have won 13 of their last 15 games in all competitions, including five successive wins in the Premier League.
Arsenal have moved to within a point of second-placed Manchester City, and now trail leaders Chelsea by six points.
Speaking ahead of Arsenal’s trip to St James’s Park to take on Newcastle United on Saturday, Wenger said that Chelsea have a “very good cushion” at the top of the table.
“At the moment we are too far away from Chelsea,” Wenger added. “But we have an opportunity every week to get closer and for that we need positive results from us, and negative results from Chelsea.
“The only thing we can master is positive results from us. I believe Chelsea still has a very good cushion and very good security. They still have a game in hand (against bottom club Leicester City) so I believe they are too far apart at the moment.
“It is very tight. We are on the neck of Manchester City but straight behind us we have Manchester United and Liverpool. Even Tottenham and Southampton are not completely out of it.
“It is down to our performances until the end of the season. I do not say second is good. I just think how can we win our next game at Newcastle, after giving it all on Tuesday night.”
This is what Wenger had to say on Newcastle United: “We have good memories at Newcastle but they are always very tight, very difficult games. They are in a position where they are not under threat to go down. They always have a very motivated crowd and they always play well against us, which makes it a tight game.”
Since Alan Pardew’s departure to Crystal Palace, John Carver was place in interim charge of Newcastle United. This is what Wenger had to say on the managerial merry-go-round “The length of our permanence today is very difficult to define. The average life expectancy of a manager in England is 12 months, so it is very difficult to predict how long any of us will be in charge. He has the qualities to do the job.”
On the team news for the visit to the Toon, Wenger said “We have no new big injuries, we have some knocks, but nothing major. Mathieu Debuchy is two or three weeks away, Mikel Arteta and Jack Wilshere as well. Arteta will maybe back after the [international] break. Tomas Rosicky is hopefully available again for the weekend.”