St Totteringham’s Day, also known as the annual holiday where Arsenal supporters celebrate finishing above their bitter rivals Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League, is likely going to be cancelled for a second consecutive year.
The Gunners find themselves thirteen points behind Spurs with just nine games to go, and when you consider that Mauricio Pochettino’s men are comfortably positioned in fourth spot, that also means Arsene Wenger only has one realistic chance of securing Champions League football at the Emirates next season.
Ironically enough, however, that route could also serve as the perfect foil for Tottenham’s plans of entering Europe’s top club competition in 2018/19.
A route to the top
Essentially, the scenario is as follows – if Tottenham finish in fourth position in the Premier League, Arsenal win the Europa League and Chelsea win the Champions League, then Spurs will be bumped from the UCL courtesy of the two victories from Wenger’s men and the Blues.
That seems like an unfair prospect, but something similar actually happened to Spurs back in the 2011/12 campaign when Chelsea won the European Cup and therefore entered the Champions League at their expense in the following season.
Naturally, this is going to worry Tottenham fans, but when you consider their current unbeaten run and overall form, securing third spot shouldn’t be all too difficult of a task as we enter the final few months of the race.
The task at hand
With that being said, Arsenal supporters need to pick themselves back up in preparation for Thursday’s game against AC Milan, because it could well be the first step on the road to getting one over on their bitter rivals once again.
They’ll need to rely on the Blues to pull off a minor miracle by winning the Champions League, but as we’ve learned in years gone by, anything is possible when you’re an English side competing in European competition.
This may not be the perfect way in which Arsenal fans would want to prioritise their season, but they should still take comfort in the fact that there’s a chance Wenger could well bow out of management with a European title after over two decades of trying.
In terms of the odds, Bet365 have Arsenal as third favourites at 13/2 to win the Europa League in May, with Atletico Madrid and Borussia Dortmund being the only other two sides above them.