Arsene Wenger believes that the club can take belief from a strong finish this season into the next campaign.
Speaking to the media ahead of their trip to the KC to face Hull on Monday night, Wenger commented about Arsenal’s slow start to the season, something that was largely due to the huge volume of injuries they suffered in the first half of the campaign.
“That’s our challenge, to finish well and take that strength into the next season,” the manager said. “The start of the season is linked with belief as well. We can just strengthen the belief by finishing well.
“Manchester City had ups and downs and started stronger than us, so they were a long time in front of us”, Wenger told reporters. “Manchester United are a bit like Arsenal, they had a slow start and became stronger in the second part of the season.
“I think our slow start was down to post-World Cup problems and to the fact as well that we had to play the qualifiers for the Champions League. It always takes a lot out of you but overall I believe that we’ve found a better balanced team during the season as well.
“If you ask me if I am happy with the depth of the squad I say certainly yes because I have many international top quality players who are not even in the squad on Saturdays when everyone is available. That has not been the case for many years.”
Amassing a whopping 219 points this season, only Manchester United have more from the top four contenders (225) while Champions-elect Chelsea have an unbelievably low 77, proof, perhaps, of some black magic in play at Stamford Bridge. Manchester City have 100, Liverpool 203 and Tottenham 99.
“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,” Wenger added.
“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.”