Arsenal has a very rich history in English football. In last two decades they have been part of Fab four (Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, and Arsenal) English teams. They have been consistently in Premier League top four teams. And, they boast of unique record in Europe as well with their 19 consecutive season appearance in Uefa Champions League from 1997/98 to 2016/17. It’s longest an English team has qualified for Champions League on consecutive occasions and even in Europe only Real Madrid with 21 seasons and counting eclipse them.
Last season Gunners finished fifth on Premier League points table. It’s first time since 1995/96, Gunners sits out of top four slot. Arsenal were going through a rough patch. Their longest-serving and most admired manager Arsene Wenger faced criticism. The team looked average despite boasting two big names in their squad in Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez. The situation was worse with fans screaming out with posters of “Wenger Out” at Emirates Stadium.
It was very chaotic and Wenger finds himself in a vulnerable position. But he stood firm and carried forward with his team. He along with Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is in exit situation. They are out of top four on Premier League points table. Chelsea and Arsenal have suffered nine and ten defeats respectively this season. We don’t know about Antonio Conte, but it seems the worst has passed for Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal.
They are undefeated in their last six fixtures. 2018 didn’t give a good start for the Wenger men as they suffered eight defeats alone in two months time from the turn of New Year to March 4. They suffered their last defeat against Brighton on March 4. Since then, they have shown their anger and they have recovered well.
Arsenal is not into the Uefa Champions League, but it wasn’t worth staying in without winning the prestigious trophy. Gunners are playing in Europe second-tier now, but it’s worth. They are in Europa League quarterfinals and first-leg 4-1 result has almost earned them a semifinal berth. They could be Europa League champions this season earning their first European silverware.
Gunners are not only winning they are winning aggressively. They defeat AC Milan at home 2-0, goes on to rout Watford 3-0, defeated again Milan 3-1 at Emirates winning Europa League last 16 tie 5-1, return to Premier League winning 3-0 away against Stoke City. In Europa League quarterfinals defeated CSKA Moscow 4-1 at home in first-leg and see off Southampton challenges at home 3-2.
There is something good happening at Arsenal since Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang signing. He really has boosted their confidence and playing well alongside Alexandre Lacazette. Aaron Ramsey is doing good job in midfield alongside Mesut Ozil. After a long-time Gunners look like playing together and there is a cohesiveness in the team.
We can see something brewing in Gunners camp. They have returned to their best, although they still need to be tested against a quality side. We hope Arsenal continues their rejuvenated journey. Their first challenge will be CSKA in Europa League on Thursday, then they’ll face Premier League promoted side Newcastle United. And in the Premier League remaining fixtures they have West Ham lined up at home, Manchester United away, Burnley home, and Leicester and Huddersfield away.
We don’t see them qualifying for Uefa Champions League next season through normal route. They won’t finish in top four on Premier League points table but they definitely have a chance to return to Europe’s elite with Europa League trophy. A season out of Champions League will be worth more than staying in for 19 seasons if they win Europa League.