By Chris Harris
Arsène Wenger thinks Arsenal can win the title if they add defensive solidity to their technical ability.
The Frenchman saw his team's Premier League campaign end with a whimper instead of a bang at Craven Cottage on Sunday as Theo Walcott's late goal salvaged a point in a 2-2 draw.
It certainly wasn't how Wenger envisaged the season ending a few weeks ago when Arsenal were fighting for the title - and especially not three months ago when Arsenal were challenging on four fronts.
The manager admits that his players have been affected by a string of setbacks since that Carling Cup Final defeat to Birmingham City in February but he believes he still has the nucleus of a title-winning squad.
"We have shown that we have the technical quality to win the league but certainly not the defensive solidity to do it," said Wenger.
"We have learned that we have the quality, despite what everybody is saying, but of course we need to gain some strength in some areas of the team.
"Mentally of course I hope that the team has learned a lot this season because we could not cope with the number of games nor the pressure in the important moments of the season.
"I felt they lost confidence and you can see that there has not been the same sharpness on the mental front. You never want to forget anything because it is as well the season that we produced our best games ever - but in the end it was difficult to get over the line.
"You could see that the disappointment of the team comes out in the recent games and the belief has gone down. Unfortunately the last disappointment [against Aston Villa] last week has cost us the third place."Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source