Arsene Wenger is not expecting to receive a bottle of red wine from Alex Ferguson as thanks for handing Manchester United the Premiership title – but the Arsenal boss believes the Red Devils have deserved their triumph just the same.
The Gunners’ home draw with Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium means United now have an unassailable seven-point advantage at the top of the table.
And, while his own side out of the running many months ago, Wenger admitted United were worthy champions.
“The table doesn’t lie,” he said.
“Manchester United have scored more goals than anyone else and you can only say they deserve the title.
“No, I don’t expect to receive a bottle of wine from Sir Alex Ferguson but congratulations to him anyway.
“They have been the most consistent side and they also have individual players who can make a difference.
“Chelsea and Manchester United were both strong sides but there were a few turning points when United didn’t show any weakness and they had an offensive ability the others did not have.”
The frustration for Wenger is that Arsenal completed a Premiership double over United this season.
In fact, the Gunners only lost once against their fellow members of England’s so-called ’big four’, defeats against the likes of Sheffield United and Manchester City ultimately letting them down.
“It is a big frustration,” he said.
“What I have to get right in the summer is to evaluate what we need but there are signs that when everybody is fit we have a good chance.
“You could sometimes say we over-complicated things in our finishing this season and we have to consider that we are 20 points behind Manchester United.”
With a place in next season’s Champions League qualifiers secure, Wenger is already planning for the new campaign.
His most immediate priority is to discuss the future of Jose Antonio Reyes, who has spent the season on loan at Real Madrid.
“I will sit down with Madrid and talk about Reyes this week,” confirmed Wenger.
“Once we find out what they want to do with him we will make a decision.
“We have missed him at some points this season because he is a natural winger but we shall wait and see what happens.”