Wenger wants tighter defence

Image: Wenger: Defensive issues

Arsene Wenger knows the Gunners must be tighter at the back if they are to challenge for the title.

Arsenal boss eyes improvement for title challenge

Arsene Wenger knows the Gunners must be tighter at the back if they are to be genuine title contenders next season. The Gunners have been sterling in attack, with only Manchester United and Chelsea scoring more Premier League goals. However, they have lacked such fluency in defence, conceding 39 goals which is bettered by five out of the other top seven clubs. William Gallas and Thomas Vermaelen appear to have struck up a solid understanding at the back but both have been hit by injuries at times this term. Gallas is yet to agree a new deal, while Sol Campbell and Mikael Silvestre are also out of contract in the summer leaving Wenger with possible gaps to fill.

Challenge

The Gunners boss, who has been linked with a move for Fulham defender Brede Hangeland, is adamant his side will be serious title contenders next time. He said: "The squad is convinced we have a strong chance next year because we have room for improvement. "If you assess our situation, going forwards we have been very, very efficient - our goalscoring rate is very good. "Where we want to set ourselves a target next season is we have conceded nearly 40 goals - that is too many to win the championship and is where we want to improve." Arsenal's goalless draw with Manchester City last time saw them out of the running for this year's crown but Wenger insists his side still have a lot to play for. "It is important that we finish well to be faithful to what we have done during the season," stressed the Arsenal manager. "First we need to be in the top three, then as close as possible to the other two. "Compared to the difference which existed early on in the season last year, we have made progress. "But we want to finish as close as possible to the team who will win the championship."

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