Arsene Wenger refuses to criticise West Ham over performance against Liverpool

15 May 2017 10:54

Arsene Wenger refused to criticise West Ham for their feeble performance against Liverpool which looks set to cost Arsenal a place in the Champions League next season.

The Gunners need a minor miracle to overhaul either Liverpool or Manchester City to finish inside the Premier League top four after all three sides won over the weekend.

Arsenal recorded an impressive 4-1 win at Stoke but were always reliant on one of their rivals dropping points before the end of the season if they were to reel either of them in.

Instead, City edged past last season's champions Leicester before Liverpool, with a seemingly tricky trip to the London Stadium, coasted past a West Ham side that had beaten title-chasing Tottenham just a week earlier.

But Jurgen Klopp's side took a massive step to returning to the Champions League as they eased to a 4-0 win which leaves Arsenal requiring snookers to crash the top four.

Home wins in their remaining two games against Sunderland on Tuesday night and Everton on Sunday would still not guarantee the Gunners a place in the Champions League, but Wenger said he was only interested in what his side did.

"I don't look at the other fixtures. Some teams turn up, some go on holiday," he said.

While that could be implied as taking as swipe at Slaven Bilic and his West Ham players, Wenger went on to say that Arsenal would have only themselves to blame if they failed.

"I don't want to judge that," he said when asked specifically about West Ham's performance.

"We can only influence our own behaviour and take care of ourselves, not judge too much the others. Normally in an ideal world you want to rely on your own results.

"You have to put yourself in a position where you depend on your own results only. Unfortunately for us it's not the case now but the only thing we can have a chance is to influence our own results and keep going."

City finished fourth last season despite amassing just 66 points - Arsenal can gain nine more than that with two final victories and still end up in the Europa League.

"It will be frustrating," Wenger conceded.

"I still think we just have to give our best to get to 75 points and if it doesn't happen, it doesn't happen. At least we have done our job well to the end.

"I would say we would be a victim of a lack of consistency that we have shown through the season. Overall, that is in a very short spell where we have paid for it.

"We are a victim of nobody. If we make 75 points, we can only be beaten by one point. That point can happen in the season one side or the other.

"You will always have regrets because you could have one point more but you forget as well the games you won in the last season where you could the season after not win."

Wenger, who remains under pressure to leave this summer as supporters continue to protest against him signing a new deal, also has an FA Cup final date with Chelsea on the horizon.

It will be his third FA Cup final in four years and the 67-year-old pointed to that record when asked if he would take the Europa League seriously if Arsenal finished outside the top four and he stayed in place.

"Apart from the League Cup, where we play always the younger players to give them a chance to develop, we take all the other competition seriously," he added.

"I think I play in my eighth cup final. You don't do that if you don't take competitions seriously."

Source: PA