London: For Arsenal this season, the target is 85 points and to push for silverware, manager Arsene Wenger has said.
"When you have made 75 points (last season), your target is to get 10 points more. And with 10 points more, you are in there (the title race)," Wenger was quoted as saying by ESPNFC.
Arsenal failed to qualify for the UEFA Champions League for the first time since Arsene Wenger took over as manager in 1996 after the Gunners finished fifth last season.
Since then, catcalls for Wenger's resignation has gathered pace and majority shareholder Stan Kroenke and chief executive Ivan Gazidis have pushed for a major silverware.
Wenger signed a new two-year contract after May's FA Cup final win over Chelsea, but the Frenchman knows he needs to deliver in order to win back support of his bosses and supporters of the club.
Coming to Alexis Sanchez, Wenger has been adamant the Chilean is staying and said he would lead the side this season.
Asked whether he was confident that Sanchez will give everything to the team if he remains at the club this summer, Wenger replied: "Of course. Why not?
"My conviction — and if you look well — it's always in your interests, even if you have a short contract, to do well. And the kind of character he is.
"He is a winner. When he goes on the football pitch, he wants to win. He is a guy who loves football. He has advantages and disadvantages on both sides going into a situation like that."
Wenger added that Champions League return is a priority but also underlined that winning the Europa League and making it to the competition is not the way out.
Manchester United finished sixth last year but will be playing in the Champions League after beating Ajax 2-0 in the Europa League final in May.
"I was always against it,'' he said.
"Because apart from Man United, who did win the Europa League, all the years before it was always a team who was kicked out of the Champions League by having been kicked out of it before.
"You cannot go into the season and think that (you will get into the Champions League by winning the Europa League).
"I always was not in favour of that, because I think at some stage it can influence on the championship, because if a team is in April in a position where they have more chance to win the Europa League they can let some games go in the championship, and not completely focus on that, on the regularity of the competition.
"I will always play a team that has a good chance to win the next game. In the Europa League if we can afford sometimes to rest some players we will do it.
"But we have to adapt to the level of the competition and see first what kind of group we play in."
Published Date: Aug 05, 2017 04:11 pm | Updated Date: Aug 05, 2017 04:11 pm