Bergamp claims defence cost Arsenal the title


Dennis Bergkamp believes Arsenal would have been genuine Premier League title contenders this season with a stronger defence.

Arsene Wenger's men are 13 points behind leaders Leicester in the title race and, although they have a game in hand over the Foxes and second-placed Tottenham, are seemingly out of contention to win the championship, barring a spectacular collapse from their rivals.

The Gunners having conceded two more goals than Leicester and eight more than Spurs, with Bergkamp, a three-time Premier League winner at Arsenal, claiming the back-line has cost his former team this term.

"Arsenal have a really good team and a really, really good squad," Bergkamp told the Daily Mail.

"They've got tremendous players and they should be able to win the championship, but one of the biggest problems is defence.

"They should be able to win the title but one big problem is the defence. So many times the team have to react to going a goal behind or two goals behind. That happens too much.

"And at this time of the year you can't drop points. We would always have a dip in November, but their dip has come in the second half of the season. That didn't happen a lot in our time."

Bergkamp also questioned the squad's willingness to make sacrifices in the pursuit of glory, their successive FA Cup triumphs as yet failing to spark a successful title charge.

"In Holland, we say you have to live like a monk. You focus on your job, you go home, you eat, you watch television, you go to bed. You get up, you go to training and you just live for football," he added.

"For some people that's more difficult than for others but there's so much glory at the end. There's a certain buzz that goes through the club and you have to cherish that. 

"Sometimes it doesn't look like this current group has that. But once you've tasted success, then you know how it is. If you know how to win games it gets easier.

"When they won the FA Cup, they were in the flow and able to win it again. Now they need a championship and then with this squad they can stay there for many years."