3rd October, 2011
Arsene Wenger admits Arsenal cannot be regarded as title contenders after falling 12 points behind leaders Manchester United following their 2-1 defeat at north London rivals Tottenham yesterday.
Fifa.com reports that Wenger endured another frustrating day as his side crashed to their fourth loss in seven league games at White Hart Lane.
The Gunners’ disappointment was compounded by a potentially serious injury to Bacary Sagna who was taken to hospital with an ankle problem that was later diagnosed as a broken leg.
Arsenal’s dismal start to the season mean they sit just two points above the bottom three and Wenger accepts it is unrealistic to consider his side to be likely challengers for the championship while they are in their current plight.
“I think at the moment we have to set realistic targets like to say today we want to get in the Champions League positions,” Wenger said.
“At the moment we are 12 points behind Man United and Man City, it’s not realistic to say today we will win the league. We have to fight to come back into a better position, that is the reality.”
Tottenham full-back Kyle Walker secured his side’s victory with a 73rd minute goal after Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey cancelled out Rafael van der Vaart’s first half opening goal.
Sagna was forced out of the game in the 68th minute of the game when he collided in mid-air with Spurs left back Benoit Assou-Ekotto and landed against the perimeter fencing. “We are very worried about his injury. He is in hospital at the moment but the first signs don’t look good at all. It is fibula and ankle that has to be checked,” Wenger said.
Wenger was clearly frustrated by the outcome and was involved in a confrontation with Clive Allen, one of the Tottenham coaching staff, as they made their way towards the tunnel after the final whistle.
Spurs manager Harry Redknapp said: “Arsene shook hands with me. I was pleased he shook hands with me. I think Clive went to shake hands with him and he missed Clive – he didn’t see him.”
And Wenger confirmed: “I shook the hand of the manager and the assistant manager. How many people do I have to shake hands with? Is there a prescription? There were no words exchanged.”
The win was Tottenham’s fourth successive league victory and takes Redknapp’s side up to sixth having played a game less than most of their rivals.