Arsenal missed out on title because of form during first eight games...

Arsene Wenger believes Arsenal have shown their potential for a Premier League title challenge in the second half of the season after conceding the initiative to Chelsea in the opening months of the season.

Chelsea inflicted the Gunners' first loss of the campaign in October, but Wenger's side had already drawn four of their first six games, losing ground to the Blues.

A late season rally - nine wins in a 10-match unbeaten streak - has not been enough for Arsenal to challenge Chelsea, but the Gunners will aim to extend the run against Swansea on Monday night.

'There are many turning points, one of them was that we had some players back and defensively we were much stronger in the second part of the season than the first part,' Wenger said.

'We still have room for improvement there. Maybe we have more stability and more balance in the team.

'We were not consistent enough. After eight games we were 11 points behind Chelsea.

'If we win our game in hand (against Sunderland on May 20) we are 10 points behind Chelsea.

'That means in the first eight games we lost our championship and that's what we have to address next season and start strong.

'We feel we have made progress in our consistency, our quality and our stability.

'That is what we want to continue and I believe it is important to finish as close as possible to Chelsea and come out of the season and think we are ready to challenge next season.' 

Arsenal will finish the season in second place if they can win their four remaining league fixtures - starting with a home match against Swansea on Monday night.

Spirits appeared to be high at Arsenal's London Colney training ground on Sunday as Wenger and his coaching staff put their players through their paces ahead of Swansea's visit to the Emirates Stadium. 

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