Do you want Arsenal to beat Spurs to the Conference League spot?

Do You Want Arsenal To Finish 7th? by Dan Smith

It’s taken a crazy sequence of results from those around us, but Arsenal might just make it 26 consecutive seasons in Europe after all. Even though our fate is not in our own hands on the Final day, we seem to have the kinder fixture.

If we beat Brighton, Spurs will have to win at Leicester or Everton will have to win at Man City to stop us finishing 7th.

Yes, we have fallen so far that we are relying on results elsewhere to sneak into 7th, which qualifies us for the inaugural Conference League.

You know how the likes of AFTV hounded out the greatest manager in our history because he ‘only’ finished top 4, well we are struggling to even participate in what essentially will be UEFA’s third tier.

I have heard many gooners (and fans from other clubs) who would rather not be in Europe at all then be in a competition where you’re on the Titanic but very much the last priority.

The Europa League itself has often been labelled a Mickey Mouse Cup in comparison to the Champions League. Well if the Europa is Mickey Mouse, then the Conference is Goofy.

The whole concept of the tournament is more exposure for associations of the smaller nations who traditionally struggle to win their Europa League play offs.

The idea is that this way European Governing bodies can extend their European adventure (and revenue) beyond July – August.

In other words it wasn’t designed for the likes of the Gunners.

We would be one of the massive favourites to win it and because it’s the debut of the format, we wouldn’t know should we celebrate, count it as silverware, or not?

When you could lift a trophy and that provokes banter, you know you’re in a pickle.

Let’s clarify though, if that’s your reason why you don’t want us involved, people will be laughing at us just as much if we start the next campaign in round 2 of the Carabao Cup.

In fact we have been a joke club for years and deserve all the mockery we get.

If Man United were in our situation we would kick them while they were down as well.

 I thought it was worth asking the question again to our supporters because it’s easy to dismiss something when it seemed like it wasn’t going to happen.

So what do you really want this weekend? If it’s the 90th min at the Emirates and you hear it’s 0-0 at the King Power and the Etihad and we get a last second penalty to get three points, what do you deep down want to happen?

My own stance is to find any solution you have to accept you have a problem.

Long term readers will know I feel we have gone backwards and will never win the Premiership under Stan Kroenke. So this theory that 8th/9th could be a blessing in disguise because it might force our owner to invest in just that …. a theory.

The American hasn’t cared in nearly two decades so isn’t going to start now. He’s a Billionaire who owns two of the top 38 most valuable sports teams in the world. Trust me he has zero reason to invest and if he did, it would be in the Rams not us.

So without a massive transfer kitty that rules us out challenging for the top 4 next year.

This group of players would find it easier to win the Europa then finish in the top 4. Now that’s not an option, it kind of sets us back a couple of years.

Could you be confident our current squad will comfortably finish in the top 5 next season? No!

So, where we used to have to win the Europa as our most realistic route to return to the Champions League, we now need to win the Conference as our most realistic way to return to the Europa.

Depressing but true.

That’s why if we finish 7th, we should embrace where we are, don’t care about the laughter from outside and look after ourselves. If being in the Conference speeds up any rebuild then I’ll take it.

There’s no point thinking not being in will speed our recovery up just because we are called Arsenal. Take away our history, the reputation and the badge, we are at this level because that’s how good we are.

The table doesn’t lie.

Most fans against the Super League wanted to protect the pyramid of Football. Well you can’t pick and choose. The pyramid system in England says 7th means the Conference League.

A Lot of fans I have noticed think these players are a lot better than they are, predicting title challenges and over hyping our youngsters.

We haven’t got a divine right to be on the head table of European competition, and maybe this will help humble some.

Plus if the new norm is competing between 6th – 10th, I’d rather the bonus of us winning something?

 There is also a myth that I need to clear up.

No extra European spot has been added to help out the greedy Premiership.

The Conference League was going to be the reward to the League Cup Winners, but they happen to be Man City who obviously will be in the CL. So in most circumstances 7th wouldn’t be enough.

In fact 6th wouldn’t be enough for Europe if the FA Cup Winners hadn’t equally already ensured European qualification. 1st to 5th are the only positions in the table which guarantee European involvement. 6th and/or 7th only become valid depending on who wins the domestic cups.

That’s nothing new.

If you remember 12 months ago Wolves finished 7th and would have been in the Europa if we hadn’t won, the FA Cup. 7th that year (and any other year) would mean a place in Europa.

 

It’s the same principle, just UEFA have changed the layout, largely based on them wanting to reduce how many clubs are in the Europa.

If 7th meant the Europa League and not the Conference, I wonder if morals would be different?

The criteria though stayed the same. Once you get to the run in, you know what means what. Last season we knew 7th would keep us in Europe. This season, exactly the same, UEFA just happened to shake things up.

How would you have felt if you won the League Cup and were placed in the Conference when any other time that was good enough for the Europa?

To be fair to UEFA, they want their new baby to be a success so need some credible teams. In theory they have simply made it harder to qualify for the Europa League which should be the way.

If you’re lucky enough for 7th in your division to get into Europe based on who’s won the cups, then you can’t complain.

 I do think there’s a high chance we will finish 7th.

Spurs were terrible at home to Villa, and I can’t see them believing they can win at Leicester.

Everton are harder to judge because they mostly seem to choke when the pressure is on.

A week before Istanbul, the Champions will surely rest talent, not that their second string is too bad. Pep’s men do seem to have lost focus since getting to the CL Final though.

Of course, it would be very Arsenal-like to slip up to Brighton. In fact, it would sum up our season.

If we do finish 7th and you’re feeling a bit down about the Conference League, here’s some comfort. If we finish 7th, it means we will be above Spurs.

Which means even when we are at our most rubbish, they are still in our shadow.

Of course that works both ways.

 Do you want us to finish 7th, or would you rather not be in Europe at all?

 Be Kind In The Comments

Dan

56 Comments

  1. Declan says:

    Not so worried about the new ECL, but would be good experience for our younger and fringe players. It’s much more important to me that we finish above spurs, to get the pecking order back to normal.

  2. HG says:

    We don’t have a team to play in Europe … seeing miss passes and slow pace of game we r no longer the same arsenal …. we keep passing backwards in our own half , that is our game

  3. Dan kit says:

    “European Conference League”😂
    How the mighty have fallen ,Trust the process the said ,I would rather trust John Terry with my misses than trust anything that comes out of this club and any mouth piece that opens his gob .
    “European Conference League “ SMFH

    1. Highbury Hero says:

      👍👍

      I still don’t agree with the author that we don’t have good players. Give Pep, Klopp or Rodgers this squad and they will win you the league. Give Arteta Man city squad and the most he can achieve is Europa League position.

      He is that bad!

      1. Dan Smith says:

        they really wouldn’t
        what evidence have you got to say these players are good enough to win the Prem ?
        Apart from they happen to wear an Arsenal shirt?
        How many of our players get into Man Citys team ?
        Who’s better then KDB, Dias, Stones , Sterling, Ederson ……anyone

  4. Khadii says:

    I rather care about another St. Totteringham’s day (as its been a long while) than any Thursday night boring football.

    1. abhishek says:

      Yes St Tottenrigham day

  5. gotanidea says:

    Any European competition will benefit us financially and give us an additional chance to win a major trophy. So I’ll be happy if we can participate in European Conference League, although it could also impact our focus on EPL.

    1. Mambo says:

      GAI, I think you don’t know the difference between a major trophy and just a trophy.

      unkess you mean in thr context of it allowing us to qualify for Europa by winning it, and then qualify for ECL by winning Europa?

      1. gotanidea says:

        EPL, CL and EL are major trophies to me, because:

        – We have to qualify for it
        – We’re unable to win any of it for more than sixteen years, due to the high difficulty levels
        – The prize money

        The FA Cup and League Cup are minor to me, because most top English clubs get automatically qualified for those competitions

  6. Logic says:

    Good article, if we have any sort of involvement in Europe then Arteta brigade will have another excuse next season as well for his failure. Although I am of the view that any sort of Europe involvement is important for Arsenal on finencial front. I amazed how people are still putting spin on things and now quoting stat which are meaningless. Some seem to think we did not have a bad season quoting being 2nd on form in last 23 games…blah blah blah. I am telling you this lot have already given excuses in thousand and seeing how creative they are I am pretty sure they will find few more unique ones but will never admit that we made a mistake as club and fans to think Arteta is the guy. These lot are actually accusing the fans who have their eyes open and use their brain to think for having high expectation and against progression.

    1. Highbury Hero says:

      If we are second since Christmas where is our Champions league spot?

    2. Mambo says:

      well we 9th in form over last 37 games.

  7. Grantygooner says:

    As far as it goes it’s a no for me, I think we should concentrate on the Premiere league. I agree it would be good experience for the youngsters but would MA take the chance on playing a young team? There’s always the danger of them getting thumped and that would be counterproductive with our current form.

    1. ozziegunner says:

      Gg, more likely that the younger players would perform better, given the potential opposition at this lower level.
      I always want Arsenal to win every possible game, with the resulting qualifications to whatever competitions being secondary. Que Sera Sera!

      1. Grantygooner says:

        Ozzie I was initially pleased that Arteta got the job. I liked him as a player for us, good attitude and got stuck in and he was coming from Man City with rave reviews about his coaching abilities. This year I’ve gone from disappointed to wanting him out. His singing the praises of the Kronkes really p***ed me off! Even though we have won last four matches it’s still chaotic and I don’t have a lot of confidence in him to be honest. Good point about Conference League, I guess our Europa league performances have made me overly cautious about that.

        1. ozziegunner says:

          The job of taking over from Arsene Wenger was always going to be a difficult one, given the length of his tenure, overall success and Arsenal’s total lack of succession planning. As everyone knows, I believe Unai Emery should have been supported both in the transfer market and with player discipline within the Club. Given his CV and respect from his peers, the potential was there; however he was not given credit for what he achieved in his first season, steps weren’t taken to address the player issues which caused the fall off of performances at the end of that season and Emery was given little chance to turn things around, before his dismissal.
          Mikel Arteta has been supported by the Board; however at considerable cost to clear out the Arsenal squad. His selections, tactics and treatment of certain players have left me dismayed; however I support Arsenal FC not any particular manager. It looks like we are stuck with Arteta, as he appears to be the compliant manager the Kroenkes want.
          We should support him and hope he has learnt from his mistakes and can drive Arsenal up the table next season.

  8. ken1945 says:

    First of all, finishing above the spuds is always paramount and we can do that on Sunday.
    Secondly, no matter what the level, European football brings in the money and, while we are desperate for it, just think about the debt that the spuds find themselves in – si if we can stop that revenue reaching them, that’s the 2nd plus point.
    Thirdly, we could at least have the pulling power of some level of European football, when MA is trying to attract players.

    As said above, it will give us the opportunity to introduce and blood our extremely talented younger players and I’m all for getting as high as we possibly can, for the PL money finishing places.

    Finally, though not as important, we can keep our record of appearing in European football going.

    1. ozziegunner says:

      👍

    2. Reggie says:

      How the mighty has fallen ken.

      1. ken1945 says:

        Indeed we have Reggie, but the grass was always greener… or at least that’s what we were told.

        One thing I should have added about qualifying and that is there would be opportunities for more fans, who haven’t got season tickets, the opportunity to see the club in action.

  9. Dammy says:

    It’s a joke, I know. 2 weeks ago, I would only wish it on Spurs. I was quite chuffed when we won the FA Cup and knocked them into UEL qualifiers last summer. I knew they would start the season strong due to getting in form early, but that they would burn out early because Mourinho does not rotate. They ran out of steam and Mourinho got sacked (win-win 🙂
    However, I think if we finished 7th, we should have a crack at it.
    Pro’s – possibility of silverware and direct route to UEL, better exposure for younger/recovering players to get confidence, improve, increase experience and market value, team hits form early, cheap flight to Andorra for away match 🙂
    Con’s – team burns out early, rivals laugh at our expense,
    I think it’s what we deserve for our inconsistency this season – It should serve as a lesson to Arteta and his team. But first, Brighton. They have nothing to play for, but always seem to hit form in the last 8 games of the season and they do love nick points from teams who really need them.
    Everton, Chelsea, Leeds, West Ham, and Man City have all dropped points to Brighton since match week 31! Let’s focus on winning at the Emirates to finish with 5 more points this season and a higher position than last seasons 8th.

    1. ozziegunner says:

      👍

  10. Alicon says:

    Dan, I agree with most of the things but you need to start letting go of AFTV. you seem so obsessed with those guys.

    1. ozziegunner says:

      Agree Alicon; Dan is obsessive in his dislike of AFTV. By claiming AFTV “drove out” Arsene Wenger is giving a YouTube channel far more power than it has.

      1. Dan Smith says:

        or did I say fans ‘ like’ Aftv lol
        do not fear , am not obsessed with channel
        obsessed with a theory that has been so dramatically proven wrong

    2. Mambo says:

      well they are a bunch of hypocrites and I would not care two hoots if their channel died.

      They got what they wanted and im sure they are happy now.

  11. Sean Williams says:

    Difficult. Probably it is important to finish above Spurs, so we should accept that fate may deal us something that could be of benefit or an obstacle. We should try to beat Brighton because they can play good football and will test us for sure. If we don’t turn up what would that say about Arteta?

  12. S.J says:

    Whichever case it is. It has the pros and cons.
    But, I prefer we finish 7th cause it is a slight improvement from the last season.

    This summer must be busy for us to get back to the Champions league.

  13. Kev82 says:

    Wouldn’t we qualify for Europa league if Chelsea finishes 5th and wins Champions League? That would mean they give up they’re Europa league spot to the team in 7th?

    1. Mambo says:

      I believe it will move Lpool to Europa, so hope Chelsea win it just to see look on Klopps face. PRICELESS

      1. Kev82 says:

        Not entirely certain what happens regarding Europa spot but if Liverpool finish top 4 they will definitely Play champions league as 5 teams can play in the tournament so that would be man city, man utd, Liverpool -Leicester/ Chelsea or all of them providing Liverpool beat Palace, Villa beat Chelsea and Chelsea beat City in the CL final it can get complicated some times 😂

        1. Kev82 says:

          And Leicester beating Totts hopefully 🤞

      2. Daniel Smith says:

        no they confirmed you can have max 5 cl clubs from a country
        Kev is correct
        the only thing i can’t find is would that mean 8th is Conference ?

    2. Dan Smith says:

      Yes Kev your correct

      1. Kev82 says:

        Yes Dan as a spare europa league place would be on offer to nearest team who haven’t qualified for the competition so the Conference spot would go to the next team

  14. Grandad says:

    Our only objective should be to beat Brighton.No other consideration should enter the minds of the Manager nor his players.

    1. ozziegunner says:

      Spot on Grandad, every position higher in the League results in larger dividends for Arsenal from the EPL revenues. In addition each win should give greater confidence for the next season; less ground to make up.

  15. Sue says:

    We’ve got to beat Brighton first, which won’t be easy!! Makes me think back to that 1-1 against them and just missing out on the CL!!
    Welbz is injured…

    1. Quantic Dream says:

      And Maupay suspended.. 😈

      1. Sue says:

        Need all the help we can get, QD!! Although, I have to admit I’m with you, it is nonsense.. and this is what it’s come to – pinning our hopes on this now, as we’ve blown the EL, while we move further away from the CL.. 😬

  16. Vic says:

    Good for finishing 7th
    Above spur and everton.
    Good for rebuild as ECL is a league or ideal platform for new and younger players to polish and see their performance …
    Winning ECL trophy will able to gauge where we are… ready to charge in EPL in top 4 for europa and CL..

  17. Trudeau says:

    Short answer is yes, even though it feels like a competition for sprinters who can’t run 100m in less than 12 seconds.

    Like others have said, if it gives our promising young players a chance to get European experience.

  18. Reggie says:

    We arent good enough for conference football, we would struggle in that and use that as an excuse for tiredness in games. Conference football is only European competition in name, the word competition is used very loosely.

  19. Nige says:

    Give yer head a wobble, mate. “A joke club for years”?? We’ve won four of the last eight FA Cups!! To 99% of clubs that would be an incredible feat. Yeah, we’ve had a tough couple of seasons. You get that. Football is cyclical. The thing is to keep supporting your team. The more they struggle, the stronger you support them. Unlike you, I’m very confident we’ll finish top five next season. We’ll see who’s right, eh… – Gooner since ’77

    1. Mambo says:

      took a screenshot of this to remind you next season when we dont make 5th.

    2. Dan Smith says:

      yeah we will see whos right

  20. Dunchirado says:

    HH, you are right about Arteta, but don’t forget that Pep didn’t win anything in his first season in England with much better players, and it took Rogers many years in to first Trophy in Premier league.took Klop three years to won first trophy, though I want Arteta out

  21. Aaron says:

    Win, forget about the rest.

    Do not get the idea of always hoping other teams lose aspect.

    f spurs, crappy Euro third tier nothingness league and the costs, travel and wear and tear on our players.

    Here is an idea, beef up midfield, score some goals at home, and just win in the EPL.

    Novel, huh???

  22. Andrew Elder says:

    Hoping that results go our way so that we can make the qualifying rounds of UEFA’s 3rd ranked trophy? Shows how far expectations have dropped with our club. My opinion? Give 7th spot to the Spuds so that we can concentrate on gearing up for next year’s EPL. Qualifying rounds for 150+ teams in July just weeks before the start of the season? No thanks!!

  23. Anders Sørensen says:

    The fact is, once the last round is played all teams will be in the place they deseverve and all talk about results going one way or another in any round is subjective nonsense.
    As such, I hope we finish as high as we can and do the best with the opportunities it gives us.

  24. Quantic Dream says:

    Sigh.. I donno, I wouldn’t want to see us get whooped by Brighton but having to play in that Conference nonsense is a big no. Couldn’t even stand Europa now we are not even good enough for Europa… Thank you Arteta!

  25. Joe. S says:

    My best wishes to AFT, I find Turkish ,Moh, James, Stricto and the beautiful Ada much more articulate than many of the grovelling fan boys up above. I learnt at an early age that a lot of idiots follow the same teams and music as myself and there is no reason why I should learn to like them. Actually, I have often come across much nicer people at away games or who have totally different musical tastes than my own. As for the European Conference league. It’s for losers.

  26. leo says:

    we could have a great chance in conference league can win it a trophy + top 4 can be achieved next season need depth in squad to achieve it

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