Arsene Wenger does not necessarily believe that the struggles of the Premier League’s elite clubs means it should be regarded as a bad season.
Arsenal moved two points clear at the top of the table with a 1-0 win over Newcastle United on Saturday, but even Wenger admitted that the visitors could feel hard done by to have lost.
At half-time during the game at Emirates Stadium, Wenger checked the scores of the other games and noted them as further evidence of the decreased gap between the usual title contenders and the rest of the league.
“I saw the scores, no goal anywhere basically,” Wenger said. “That shows you the teams are tight, quality-wise. Its surprising that everyone can lose everywhere.”
Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea were also victorious over the weekend, but the former two both needed late goals to secure three points, while Chelsea remain down in 14th after a disastrous first half of the season.
Liverpool are also struggling down in eighth, but Wenger is not sure whether that is down to slipping standards of the elite clubs or a raising in standards of the rest.
“That’s the question people ask at the moment,” Wenger said. “Is this the worst league ever? Or is it the best league ever? I haven’t analysed it, but you can go both ways.
“Clubs which are a little bit smaller now have the financial potential. It’s not a massive difference. I believe that organisation-wise, everybody has improved.
“The players are on the bench of the smaller clubs today are good as well, and that makes a big change.
“In the last 20 minutes when you go forward the team which plays against you in transition always has the resources to come on, come out and kill you.
“They have the quality to finish you off. You have to be ready for it.”