Wenger sets points target for top four finish

SoccerBy Kevin Palmer
Wenger eyeing up more Champions League football
Wenger eyeing up more Champions League football

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has given his verdict on what will be required to secure Champions League qualification this season - with 72 points the total he suggests his team will need to seal a top four finish.

Wenger's side are currently sitting in third spot in the Premier League and look on course to secure another appearance in Europe's elite competition next season, with the Gunners boss offering this verdict on what is needed to get there. 

"Seventy-two," was his thoughtful response when asked how many points are required for a top-four finish.

"People have finished in the top four with 67 points, but if you look at this year we have 51 points now. So it will be in the 70s. It is a tough run-in but it will be similar to last year.

"Look, have you seen the quality of the teams behind us? Southampton, Tottenham, Liverpool, Manchester United. The best way is to look forward and go as fast as we can.

"It will be down to consistency because mathematically it is not impossible for the guys behind us to catch us, but also for us to catch the teams in front of us. You just have to focus on yourself and win the next game."

A season-ending tally of 72 points means Arsenal require another 21, or seven wins, to reach that target, but Wenger also conceded he would like to remain in the top three and thus avoid the need to play in a qualifying round early next season to reach the Champions League group stages.

"It is better that you finish in the top three than the top four. Fourth is not a guarantee of Champions League football.

"The only thing you can say is that (this season) it is very tight. You look in front of you, Manchester City are four points ahead of us, and you look behind you, there's plenty of people chasing us.

"That will be very, very tight and it will be down to consistency in our results and mental strength."