Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson have effectively conceded the Premier League title by admitting that they cannot match Chelsea’s consistency this season.
The managers of Arsenal and Manchester United respectively saw their sides draw 0-0 at Highbury on Tuesday, leaving leaders Chelsea 13 points clear of second placed United.
“The players were less nervous because we are not going for the title – we cannot compete with Chelsea,” said Wenger afterwards.
His counterpart Ferguson agreed: “Chelsea’s consistency is beyond us.”
Chelsea’s lead over Arsenal stands at a massive 24 points – and Wenger admits that is too much to make up.
“I am not speaking about the title but I feel this result was a positive one for us,” Wenger said.
“If you look at Chelsea, they have a mature team. All their players are between 25 and 30. They have power and a lot of self-belief.
“We have a young team and it is important for us not to lose big games.”
And Ferguson believes his side are not quite ready to challenge Chelsea yet.
He said: “Eventually we hope to reach Chelsea’s level. We have a young team who will get better.
“You can see what is going to happen to us over the next two or three years and in the meantime we just keep going.
“We want to be the nearest team to Chelsea, just in case they collapse. You never know what might happen.”
Subscribe to World Soccer – The essential football magazine