ARSENAL manager Arsene Wenger has challenged his players to use the lessons learned from their quest to qualify for the Champions League as a springboard for a Premier League title challenge next term.
The Gunners welcome Wigan to the Emirates Stadium tonight requiring a win to leapfrog rivals Tottenham into fourth place ahead of Sunday’s end of season finale.
Anything less than three points for Arsenal, who have lost just one of their last 10 league fixtures, would hand the initiative to Spurs as the pair continue to battle for a place in next season’s Champions League.
Arsenal have not won the Premier League title since 2004, have finished at least 11 points behind the champions in the last four seasons and currently trail top of the table Manchester United by 21 points, but Wenger insists his side must do better next term.
“Finishing fourth is the minimum required,” he said. “Last year we made 70 points and finished third. This year we can make 73 points and finish fourth, so what you want to do is have a consistency and fight for the Premier League.
“It is difficult to achieve, but we have done it over the years. It is not enough, we want more, but this year Manchester United was above everybody else.”
In the last eight seasons Arsenal have only picked up maximum points from their final two games twice:
■ 2011-12: Norwich D, West Brom W
■ 2010-11: Aston Villa L, Fulham D
■ 2009-10: Blackburn L, Fulham W
■ 2008-09: Man United D, Stoke W
■ 2007-08: Everton W, Sunderland W
■ 2006-07: Chelsea D, Portsmouth D
■ 2005-06: Man City W, Wigan W
■ 2004-05: Everton W, Birmingham L