There were suggestions from the TV pundits after Arsenal beat West Bromwich Albion on Thursday evening that it was something of a hollow victory, not only because our chances of the Premier League title are realistically over but due to the fact that there is no longer any pressure on the players to perform.
The theory was that the Gunners can only perform when there is nothing important resting on the result of a match but that is clearly not a theory held by the manager. And Arsene Wenger was quick to stress that there is plenty still riding on the remainder of the Premier League season for Arsenal.
As reported by Arsenal.com, he wants the Gunners to remember that even a fourth placed finish in the EPL table does not guarantee us a place in the Champions League group stage for next season. The Frenchman was talking about the dangers of going into a play-off at the beginning of a new campaign and he has good reason to worry as we have been involved in some tight ones in the past.
Wenger said, “It’s difficult because you can play teams who are in the middle of a championship because they have started already in June. But for us, we don’t know where we will finish.
“We are not guaranteed the top four and we have to fight for that. Manchester United are behind us and they will fight for it as well.
“We have difficult games, they have difficult games as well.
“What has changed over the years is that the impact of the finances in the Champions League is not as big anymore. It was vital for us for a period.
“The supporter impact, the planning of next season changes completely, especially when you have a big tournament like the European Championship, which is now like a World Cup because it starts on June 10 and finishes on July 10. When you have to play qualifiers the European Championship is still going on.”
Also we should remember that however unlikely it might seem, there is a chance that Liverpool could win the Europa League and Man City could win the Champions League and both could finish outside the top four and that would mean that the club that does finish fourth would miss out on a UCL spot.
So adding all that to the fact that Arsenal fans are desperate for the team to play well and try their best to finish above Tottenham, do you agree that the pressure is still very much on Arsenal?