Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been forced to downgrade his expectations for the current Premier League season after falling 12 points behind leaders Manchester
United following their 2-1 defeat at north London rivals Tottenham.
Wenger endured another frustrating day as his side crashed to their fourth loss in seven league games at White Hart Lane.
Gunners’ disappointment was compounded by a serious injury to Bacary
Sagna, who will be out of action for three months after breaking his
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
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.
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.
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
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.
Redknapp admitted, however,
that the abusive chants directed at Emmanuel Adebayor, Tottenham’s
former Arsenal striker, from Gunners fans had marred the occasion.