The facts tell us that Arsenal have been nowhere near the Top Four this season, but in this topsy-turvy season where anything can happen, perhaps it is not such a big pipedream considering we are “only” 8 points behind West Ham at this moment.
In the Wenger years, Arsenal were famed for going on long unbeaten runs at the end of the season, often just breaking into the Top Four with just a few games to go, so we can’t say it is impossible just yet. Arteta has made it clear that he and the players have certainly not given up on it. “Well the aim is to go on and beat Burnley,” Arteta told Arsenal.com. “We have been chasing [a top-four place] for a while but it is not in our hands, the only thing we can control is our own results and performances. We are fully determined to do that better than what we have done in the past eight months.
“Of course there is [talk among the players of the top four] because that’s the aim and that is where we want to take the club back to. We’ve been out of it for the last few seasons but our eyes are always there.
“It’s true that it doesn’t depend on us and when that happens we have to rely on other people and that’s never good so we’ve got to do what we have to do first. Then, I’m sure if we do what we have to do, we’ll be in a much better position to see where we are with the last four or five games.
“I think the option to be in Europe [next season] is still available through two different paths and we have to maximise that as much as possible because the club’s history is not just related to the Europa League in recent years but the Champions League and obviously anything that is not at that level is disappointing.”
Arsenal’s form has taken a little upturn again lately, with getting past Benfica in the Europa League, and the great win at Leicester on Sunday, but we really need to keep our heads down and keep grinding out points over the next difficult run of fixtures. After that, if we don’t drop too many points, we have a relatively easy run for a while.
So, could it still be possible for Arsenal to finish in the Top Four?