‘Top-four finish the minimum requirement for Arsenal’
Wenger refuses to write off Arsenal's title chances and says a top-four finish is a "minimal target" this term
ArsÃ¨ne Wenger has highlighted a top-four finish as the minimum requirement for Arsenal this season despite a difficult start to their league campaign.
The Gunners manager is still refusing to admit defeat in the title race but concedes his side’s current aim is to climb back up the table and into the top four.
Arsenal, who have already suffered four league defeats this term, currently trail fourth-placed Newcastle United by six points, while leaders Manchester City are 12 points ahead of Londoners.
“I feel that [a top-four finish] is the minimal target inside the club that we have always achieved,” said Wenger.
“Of course at the moment we are far from Manchester City – 12 points – so today we have to get back to a shorter distance before we can say we will fight for the title. What is important for us is to first get back in a fighting position closer to the top.
“Who would write off the title after nine games? People who do that have nothing to do in this job if you don’t believe that you have a chance. But we have to be realistic at the moment, we are not in contention for that. But there is only nine games played so what is important is to fight, to get in there.
“No team has won the championship after nine games. Your [the media’s] job is always to predict who will win but it’s impossible, no matter how much you know football, to predict who will win the league after nine games.”
Arsenal travel to Chelsea on Saturday as Wenger looks to extend his club’s record as the most successful visiting team at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League era.