I suppose I should say that there are five things that Arsenal need to compete in the Champions League, because first of all we have to qualify for next season and even though we are looking good to do so for the 18th season in a row, there could still be some twists and turns in the final nine Premier League games.
But Arsene Wenger is a past master at getting the Gunners into the competition and then out of the group stage, something conveniently overlooked by the idiotic Adrian Durham who, not surprisingly, chose to go on all out attack on Arsenal and our manager and claim that the whole of Europe was laughing at us after a great performance in Monaco was not quite enough to see Arsenal in the quarter-finals. Apart from all those clubs that did not make it out of the group stage or even qualify you mean Adrian? Go and crawl back up Louis van Gaal’s bum.
However, it is clear that Arsenal need to do better if we are to progress further in the elite tournament and here are the four things I think we need to do to stand any chance of reaching another final.
1. Win the group. Arsenal are almost certain to be in pot one again and we must make the most of it. We should have done it this time but that awful last 20 minutes against Anderlecht cost us the top spot. Focus in every single group game and the Gunners have the quality. That should give us a better draw and a better chance to go on.
2. Defence and game management. Our young core of players have enough UCL experience now and they must be more focused and solid at the back. That may mean another centre back signing in the summer and the form of Coquelin is certainly a help but it is the whole team that must manage these games better.
3. No complacency! Imagine we win our group and draw a team like Basel or Schalke or Shaktar Donetsk in the knockout round and what would be our reaction? Assume we are already through or prepare for a tough game with the determination not to suffer a surprise? You know the answer, and so do the players after Monaco but they must learn from that mistake.
4. Luck! This one is out of our hands but it is true that in cup competitions, especially with so many quality sides like in the Champions League, a little luck can go a long way. Kondogbia’s deflected opener for instance, Huntelaar only hitting the bar for Schalke in the Bernabeu and many more little incidents can make the difference between winning and losing.
If Wenger looks after the first three, I will put in a good word for him with Lady Luck.