Arsene Wenger feels that Arsenal squandered a "fantastic opportunity" to win the Premier League title this season, and that he still doesn't envisage the team finishing outside the top four.
Alluding to what he perceives as the lower quality of the two Manchester clubs this season, the Emirates boss said that neither side were "untouchable".
"I saw Tottenham against Manchester United and you think the difference between us and Manchester United when you see them play. It was a fantastic opportunity this season. To catch Manchester United now is out of sight at the moment. We have to get closer to the people in front of us first before we can think that. Man United is far but there is no untouchable team in the country at the moment. That is for sure."
While many may think Wenger's comments fanciful and that he has enough of a fight to even get into the top four, let alone challenge for the title, the Arsenal manager did acknowledge the problems his team have as well as the difficulty of getting into the Champions League places this season.
"It should not be difficult but it will be tough ... tougher than before. It has been always tough but you have plenty of candidates. Tottenham, Everton who are fighting in there as well but I think we can do and that we will do it. What the last two results have created is we cannot waste any points now."
Wenger also described the next three games, feature home matches in the league against West Ham and Liverpool, punctuated by a trip to Brighton in the FA Cup, as one of the most important weeks of the season.
"It is a massive test, a big test. First of all to see how we respond tomorrow and then we have a cup game as well as Brighton. Then we play Liverpool and Stoke and it's a very important moment of the season for us."
Wenger also admitted that, due to the stretched nature of a thin enough squad, it is imperative his side avoid absences.
"If we have no injuries we are alright. If we have big injuries we are a bit short."