Wenger: 'Arsenal not title contenders'

Despite a 5-0 thrashing of Aston Villa on Sunday, Arsene Wenger does not believe his Arsenal side are Premier League title contenders.

Arsene Wenger believes it is too early to consider Arsenal Premier League title challengers after his side thrashed Aston Villa 5-0 on Sunday.

Arsenal are 11 points adrift of leaders Chelsea, despite easing past Paul Lambert's men to record three straight Premier League wins for the first time this season.

Wenger had predicted that the top two - Chelsea and Manchester City - would draw on Saturday, yet although both teams did drop points, he does not envisage them slipping up to allow Arsenal into the race.

"It's too early to say that," said Wenger when asked whether his team were now in the title race.

"We are 11 points behind. That means they [Chelsea and City] need to lose four games and we need to win four. 

"I believe that we should try to be consistent and see what happens."

Arsenal will be aided in their quest to achieve that consistency by the return of several key men.

Mesut Ozil and Theo Walcott made long-awaited returns to the starting line-up on Sunday and both got on the scoresheet, with Ozil also creating Arsenal's first for Olivier Giroud.

Nevertheless, their manager feels they have some way to go before hitting top gear.

"I think [Ozil] still lacks a little bit of competitive edge on the sharpness front, but the quality of his game is exceptional and he is getting back now," Wenger added.

"He worked very, very hard physically and he is now ready to play again.

"I still think [Walcott] needs more sharpness and contact [challenges from opponents].

"He is a very intelligent player, Theo's game is about the quality of his movement, where he gets the ball, where he can be dangerous and when he gets in front of goal he can score." 

Ozil arrived late on transfer deadline day in September 2013, but Wenger does not anticipate such activity when the current window closes on Monday.

"I don't think I will be busy," said Wenger.

"We have done everything we wanted."