Daily Archives: October 1, 2011

10 reasons why Arsenal can still qualify for the Champions League next season

Since taking over the helm of affairs at Arsenal in 1996, Arsene Wenger is a manager that has maintained a very good level of consistency in the Premier League. In the late 90’, the boss and Manchester United’s Sir Alex Ferguson locked horns year after year and the final standings showed the dominance of Arsenal and Manchester United in the Premier League.

After making history by being the first manager to lead a team to finish an entire season without defeat in 2004, the Russian billionaire of Chelsea unleashed a Champions League winning manager to the Premier League and he had a devastating winning effect by sealing the Premier League crown in his first season in charge.

Arsene Wenger and Alex Ferguson watched as the Special One swept them apart to win the Premier League in the 2004/05 and 2005/06 campaign. Sir Alex Ferguson reinforced his squad and adjusted a few loose nuts and screws with the end result being three League wins on the trot but Carlo Ancelotti achieved the same feat with Mourinho by winning the League on his first attempt.

While Manchester United and Chelsea rose to become the juggernauts of the Premier League, Arsene Wenger and his Arsenal became a side that was known for mysterious injuries, bad refereeing decisions, squad indiscipline and of course, bad luck.

Arsenal began this season on a very bad note and Wenger’s squad is currently 12th in the Log table with just six games gone but the media Vultures are already reiterating that Arsenal will be knocked off the top four come May.

Here’s my take on 10 reasons why Arsenal can still finish in the top four at the end of the season.

 

Squad depth

Arsene Wenger’s squad is more than capable to challenge for a Champions League spot because it’s big enough to produce players that are good enough to get good results in the worst injury crisis. Arsenal has been without key players like Jack Wilshere and Thomas Vermaelen for a good part of the season so far but the rest of the squad has been good enough.

The inconsistency of Liverpool, Tottenham or any other team challenging for 4th place

With Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea setting the early pace, the chasing pack has been spearheaded by unusual names like Newcastle and Stoke City with Liverpool and Tottenham somewhere in the mix. These are teams that have been inconsistent so far therefore Arsenal stands a chance of leapfrogging them in the final lap.

Van Persie’s goal scoring form

The Flying Dutchman picked up where he left off last season and he’s currently leading the club’s scoring charts and the fact that he has become a goal scoring centurion will be an added incentive for Arsenal’s lethal finisher. His goals can propel Arsenal to a Champions League place at the end of the season.

Quality of the squad

Despite the shortcomings of recent seasons, Arsene Wenger’s squad has quality written all over it this season. Szczesny is rapidly growing to be one of the most consistent keepers in the league while Alex Song is gradually becoming one of the finest holding midfielders in the business. Van Persie and Sagna’s quality is unquestioned.

Injection of new signings

Arsenal has added new ingredients to the potion that can emerge as the 4th placed winner in a contest called the Premier League. The newest ingredients are the Spanish flamboyant Arteta flavor, the German long Mertesack soup, Samba Santa, the Jewish Bennies and Shaolin soccer’s Park.

Good run of results

Each win sums up to 3 points and if Arsenal can achieve this feat consistently in the coming months, there’s no reason why they can’t end up in the top four at the end of the season.

Arsenal’s pedigree

Arsenal is a team that has played in the Champions League for 14 seasons in a row and I’m pretty sure that the manager, players, fans and the Board will want to continue that trend.

Arsene Wenger’s managerial ability

Arsene Wenger’s CV as a manager is very impressive with three league titles, four FA Cups and four Community Shields to his name. He has also been very unlucky with second place finishes in the league as well as settling for silver in the UEFA Cup of 2000 and the Champions League of 2006. If there’s any manager that can take Arsenal to the Champions League spot, it’s Arsene Wenger.

Potential winners of the Champions League

In 2005, Liverpool won the Champions League in stunning fashion and ended up in 5th place in the league so they had to play in the Champions League in the next season to defend their trophy. Arsenal is presently in the Champions League group phase but they’ll have the uphill task of defeating the likes of Bayern, Barcelona and Real Madrid if they want to end up as Champions.

The unpredictability of the Premier League

Last season showed how topsy-turvy the Premier League could be. Manchester United lost their unbeaten record to Wolves, Chelsea got spanked at home by Sunderland and they were plummeting in mediocrity for a large chunk of the season before challenging for the trophy. Arsenal on the other hand drew a match despite being four goals up and were the only team in the league to finish 4th in a two-horse title race with Manchester United.

At least, they finished in fourth place.

What Arsene Wenger would give to finish in 4th place this season after the club’s stuttering start.

Arsenal will qualify for the Champions League next season, they are good enough.

Sayonara.