After a run of 5 defeats in 8 games, and dropping out of the Top Four, Arsenal have stuck to Wenger’s formula and suddenly decided to pick up the pace again when our place in next season’s Champions League became in jeopardy. This is like a broken record for Arsenal fans, as this sequence of events seems to occur in every campaign for the last 5 or 6 years.
It seems to be that once we get destroyed by one of the big teams in the Last 16 of the Champions League, the Arsenal team lose form and confidence for a couple of months, and then suddenly remember that they still need to make Top Four to make sure that our cycle can continue next season as well.
As Wenger said after yesterday’s game: “I must say, individually when the confidence is high in the team, you see that all the players play well.
“I think this result is a continuity of what we have done during the week. We played well against Man United, we played well at Southampton and again here. So overall, I think we had an exceptional performance, we have a great team spirit and I am very proud of what we did.
“We have not a lot of recovery because the games come very thick and fast and we just have to maintain the focus and prepare well for the next one.”
We have always managed to get the Top Four in previous seasons but this time though our final placing does not lay in our hands as we await the outcome of Liverpool’s game against West Ham, and there are arguments that if we do not make the Top Four and play in the Europa League instead, then maybe we won’t get the sudden drop in confidence we get every year after being slaughtered in the Champions League.
Obviously I would prefer to play against the giants of Europe, but avoiding them next season may allow the team to keep their confidence in the Premiership for longer and stay in the title race until the closing stages. I’m simply not sure what is best for the club in the long run.
What do you think?