The key questions and answers of an Arsenal fan by OA
This season has been the year of contrasts. At one point there is a result that have us Arsenal fans, jumping with joy, and then there is a disappointing result. The league started off as a poor campaign but now we have found our feet, standing in second place, just behind Man City on goal difference. In comparison, the qualifying process for the Champions league has been difficult to say the least. As a result of the differences between domestic form and European form, where do the Arsenal go from here? In this blog, I will be answering the key questions.
What to do next in the Champions league?
The problem about our position within the Champions league is that we are playing Zagreb, before Olympiakos. This means that if we beat Zagreb, we will finish at least in third place, meaning that we get Europa league football as a minimum. Olympiakos just need to nick one point off Bayern in the next game of the group stages and then Arsenal simply can’t finish in second place to qualify. However, even if Bayern beat Olympiakos, Arsenal will have to go to Greece and win against Olympiakos by two goals, which is insanely difficult to do. I’m sure that any Arsenal fan’s biggest nightmare would be playing on a Thursday night in the Europa League, so the question is whether Arsenal should push for the highly unlikely chance of qualifying or if they should play the youngsters and lose the remaining two games so that Arsenal don’t get Europa league football. Personally, I would like to push for a Champions league spot. We have the players to go to Olympiakos and get a result which will keep us in the pool of Europe’s elite. Of course, this could prove costly and mean we play in the Europa League but we have the quality with the likes of Cazorla, Sanchez and Ozil to get through. However, it will be a necessity to go straight out of the Europa League, if we go into that competition, if we want any chance of winning the League!
Is it the end of Wenger?
As an Arsenal fan through and through, the club wouldn’t feel the same without Arsene. What he has done for the club, the trophies he has won, the consistency of top four every season and getting through the group into the last 16 of the Champions League is what we love about Wenger. This year it has been made clear that winning the Premier League is the priority of the season. If we do win the League it will be a huge achievement for Wenger and the club, one in which fans would love Wenger to stay on as manager – or walk out of the club on a high. However, under Wenger, we are so used to qualifying from our Champions league group and if it doesn’t happen this year, does that destroy the philosophy and consistency of Wenger? This is what Wenger sets out to do and if he fails, than maybe it’s time for him to walk out, or is it signalling the end of his reign? My personal view on the situation is that we will put in a solid domestic performance this year, despite not winning the league. Wenger has to do this before he leaves and I believe that he will do it next season. If he doesn’t, then maybe it’s time to go, but if the title is achieved, then keeping faith in Wenger is what is necessary. Going out of the Champions League could be flipped from a negative to a positive, and instead of it ending Wenger, it could be what proves Wenger to be the top manager for the job.
Can we win the League?
This is arguably our strongest squad in years and this is the year where a lot of Arsenal fans believe that the league is in our grasp, for the first time in years we can win the trophy we have wanted for so long. However, our starting XI may be solid but our squad isn’t in my opinion. With injuries and no Koscielny or Bellerin in the team, you saw what Bayern did to us. There was no-one on the bench who could change a game around for us – whether we are winning or losing. If we are to win the league, there needs to be some winter signings to improve our squad in a way in which we can be the best team in England over 38 games. One transfer window doesn’t do the job for us and therefore we also need the summer transfer window to build the ‘complete’ squad. I believe that we will do this in addition to our current team, and I therefore believe that this year may not be our year, but next year we can certainly win the league with a few world class reinforcements added to the team.