Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes that Manchester United would have won the title even without leading goalscorer Robin van Persie.
The Dutch striker left the Gunners to join the Red Devils last summer and has netted 24 goals in 31 Premier League games since, the most of anyone in the division.
Despite his excellent form, however, Wenger is adamant that the 13-point gap between United and Manchester City is down to the latter's declining standards, as opposed to Van Persie's individual brilliance.
"United have won 20 championships and they won a few without Robin van Persie. No, the difference is that City have dropped off," he told reporters. "Robin has made an impact, of course, I don't deny that, but United lost only on goal difference last year and if QPR did not know they were safe, they [United] would have won it last year.”
Wenger also emphasized the importance of his own side reaching the top four as he highlighted the Gunners' constant presence in the Champions League before vowing to return to title contention at some point in the near future.
"First of all, what we have managed during this period – we have not finished 12th or 16th in one season, we have always been in the top four," he continued. "I don't know if you have read the statement of [Chelsea captain] John Terry after playing in the Europa League. He came out and said: 'There's only one thing that matters for us and that is to finish in the top four'.
"That shows you that it is a real target and we have always been there. We missed something, we have been short a few times during this period to win the title but I'm sure we will be back again."