Can Arsenal Still Make The Champions League?
It would be wisest to leave the dissecting of the season until after the final season but it's not unfair to say that this has been the worst season for football under Wenger. What made Arsenal Arsenal looks to be in short supply and once more we find ourselves embroiled in a battle for fourth.
Failure to seriously challenge for the title this season will go down as one of Wenger and Arsenal's biggest failures and his safety net of consistency in qualifying for the Champions League is in real danger. There is also a possibility that Arsenal could finish 4th and still not get into the qualifiers.
Should Man City pip Arsenal to 3rd and win the Champions League and Liverpool prevail in the Europa League (both preferable outcomes for the Premier League's coefficient) then Liverpool would take the qualification place. It is all explained in full on the UEFA website but a good outcome for Arsenal - assuming we continue on our trend for edging into the top four - would be to finish 3rd and watch their Northern rivals emerge victorious from both European competitions as that would increase England's Champions League places to 5 for the season and fight off the charge from Italy to take our 4th spot with an improved coefficient.
I think it's great that Arsenal get into the Champions League every season but I'm also pained that we've reached only one final in 20 years of trying. Arsenal aren't always set up for domestic glory, with a style that better suits European competition, yet we've failed dismally for the past 6 seasons. No other team can boast the qualification record of Arsenal and even Wenger's record as the coach with the most losses in the competition shows just how much we make up the fabric of the competition.
Though sadly, despite many extraordinary players draped in the red and white of Arsenal flourishing their talents in the Champions League, our lack of success has seen no ex-Arsenal player included in the digital round table that is the Champions League's European Knights - a voting system for 24 of the greatest players to grace UEFA's premier club competition. You can get started voting below.
VISIT THE FULL WEBSITE HERE
It is my hope that one day we can boast a Champions League trophy of our own but we can't win a competition we aren't in and it is vital that we remain in the competition to attract the best talent we can this summer. On paper the route to qualification is simple. Arsenal must win all of their remaining games and they will finish no lower than 3rd with the guarantee of Champions League football at the Emirates next season.
Whether Arsenal can do that is an entirely more complicated thing. The next three matches, against West Brom, Sunderland and Norwich, and the final match against already relegated Villa should be relatively straightforward games for a team with the talent Arsenal undoubtedly possess however it is the penultimate match that worries. It is an away trip to Manchester City, the team we hope to pinch 3rd from. When the fixture list was released that game was penned as a title decider and now it will possibly decide who gets into the Champions League automatically.
However, Arsenal could decide their own fate long before that. They need 9 points from 9 going into that match to ensure it isn't a meaningless fixture. Four games ago it was said that a perfect end to the season would see Arsenal crowned Champions despite the points gap and I think there is a good argument for that. Had Arsenal held on against West Ham and Crystal Palace they would be on 64 points with a game in hand which would put them in the mix as much as Sp*rs. That is Arsenal though, a series of what ifs. What if we had beaten Sp*rs or not screwed up against Swansea or Cazorla hadn't been injured or a new striker signed last summer.
We must ensure we do not add another what if to that list. 5 wins from 5 and we're back in the Champions League. Anything less and we are at the mercy of the results of others and in real danger of never being able to join the ranks of the greatest European Knights.Tell us what you think! If you agree, or have a different view, please leave a comment in the comments section or why not write a response or your own article on YouWrite?
Think you know Arsenal? Test your Arsenal knowledge on our trivia page and see if you can beat the top score.
Don't forget to like us on Facebook, add us to your G+ circle and follow us on Twitter.Follow us Follow our podcast