Arsenal are back in the hunt again for Champions League football for next season. A 4-1 win at Stoke on Saturday evening kept the Gunners in the running for a place in Europe’s elite competition. A lot hinges on Liverpool’s visit to West Ham later today.
However, the Merseysiders failing to win in the capital will give Arsenal the advantage in the race for a top-four finish this season. The question is will Arsene Wenger and his team be forgiven if the Gunners make the top-four?
A change of system responsible for upturn in fortunes
As is so often the case, Arsenal’s performances have picked up towards the end of the season. Players who have struggled for form have suddenly improved and a change of system has brought the best out of the resources available to Arsene Wenger.
The change has also brought around a change in form and a good run of results. One of the players that has impressed in the system has been young centre-back Rob Holding, who had struggled for first team football in the previous formation.
The change has also seen an increase in the productivity of both Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez in recent games. Ozil has produced a goal and an assist in the last two games, while Sanchez has produced two goals and an assist in the last two Premier League outings.
Still in the FA Cup
The Gunners could still finish fourth and win the FA Cup, with Wenger’s side currently odds of 3/1 to beat Chelsea in the cup final on 27th May. Wenger have described this as a successful season in the past.
In fact, when the Gunners have recorded those twin achievements in the past, the Frenchman has basically declared the campaigns successful.
Still no title challenge
The Wenger out brigade will no doubt not be happy with finishing fourth and winning the FA Cup, as the Gunners have yet again failed to challenge for the Premier League title. The number of Arsenal’s fans that are disenchanted with Wenger seems to be growing.
However, those fans that are undecided on whether Wenger should stay or go could be persuaded to keep the faith with the French boss if the Gunners still clinch a Champions League spot this season.
No doubt Arsenal fans want the club to be competing for the Premier League title, so finishing fourth and winning the FA Cup would just be papering over the cracks of the current regime.
Will all be forgiven if Arsenal finishes in the fourth-place?