Many would say that Arsenal have been having one of the worst seasons since the the Premier League has been established. The Gunners ti 6th on the table and there aren’t many people who would place a bet that they could finish in the top 4. The Warsene Wenger’s side are 8 points behind the fifth placed Chelsea and despite that they have a game in hand it is very unlikely that they would be able to finish in the sixth place. Why?
They are playing the most likely champions Manchester City on Thursday, in the first place. Even if they win at Emirates against Pep Guardiola’s side, it looks virtually impossible for the Gunners to beat both Chelsea, Tottenham, Liverpool and Manchester ?United and to grab a Champions League spot. From all those top 4 contenders Arsenal play only against Man Utd at Old Trafford. This is a game scheduled for April 29th when Arsenal will have an eye on the UEFA Europa League trophy, if the manager to pass by Italian Milan and to progress to the final stages of the tournament.
Does this Arsene Wenger side look doomed?
No, they don’t. Wenger has been forced to build a new attack this season and he brought world class strikers in the likes of Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. They are still about for a lethal sticking partnership and I believe that the Arsenal fans will enjoy their attack next season. Wenger, or the next Gunners manager, as it is still likely the Frenchman to depart the club at the end of the season, must bring at least two other top players – one in the defence and one in the midfield – in order to make sure that the Gunners will fight for the title or for the top four finish next season.
As of now Gunners don’t look that bad. They have chances to open the score in the League Cup final against Manchester City and the final score 0:3 doesn’t represent the game very well. It was just Man City who have take their chances and scored goals. If Arsenal managed to score first it would be a different game.
Now at Emirates, Arsenal are playing for their pride and for their fans. Winning the League Cup would be nice, but it would not make the fans happy as Arsenal have won three FA Cups since 2013/14 and virtually dominated the tournament. What the Gunners’ fans want is to see their team fighting for the Premier League title and progressing in the Champions League. This Wenger managed team is still on its road to glory this season as they can win the UEFA Europa League and to secure a place in the next year’s Champions League.
The UEFA League Cup has virtually saved Jose Mourinho’s career at Old Trafford and bought him some time to prove himself at United. It could be the same with Arsene Wenger and his Arsenal.
May would argue that Wenger’s time at Emirates is over and that he came to a point in his career when Arsenal regress with him instead of keep progressing. It might look like that when it comes to Gunners’ failure to get back to the Champions League. However, to be fair to Wenger, we should admit that there has never been such fierce competition for the Premier League’s top 4 position, as we have seen within he last few seasons. So it could be any team with would drop out of the top four. It could be either Manchester United, Liverpool, Tottenham or the reigning champions Chelsea would would be force to play in the Europa League next season.
Thursday night is important for the Gunners. If they get a good result against Manchester City at home, Arsenal will know that they can beat any team in Europe and this will boost their confidence before the two-leg Europa League clash with Milan.