21
Apr

Stuttering Arsenal fall behind in race for top four finish


Written by Bill McLoughlin

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Following a host of under-par performances and stuttering results, Arsenal are in danger of missing out on a top-four position in the Premier League this season.

Arsene Wenger has endured a turbulent campaign at the Emirates, with many of his top stars such as Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez being linked with exits, and his team falling behind in the Champions League qualification race.

The Gunners’ recent top-flight slip-ups have handed top four place rivals Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool the initiative, and that trio will look to capitalise in the current campaign run-in. Defeats to the likes of West Bromwich Albion and Crystal Palace at this crucial stage of the season have almost derailed their chances and hopes of securing a coveted position in Europe’s elite club competition next season. 

The north Londoners are now trailing outsiders with the tipsters such as Latest Betting Sites, while Jurgen Klopp’s Reds and Jose Mourinho’s Red Devils are the favourites to pip Arsenal to pip Arsenal to the top four spot.

Meanwhile, Pep Guardiola’s City have returned to form in the crucial final stretch as they look to return to the Champions League next season. 

In what is  Wenger’s 21st consecutive season in charge of the north London club, he has faced a backlash of criticism from fans and pundits, while suffering from the constant turmoil of Ozil’s and Sanchez’s respective contract situations. 

The likes of Sanchez and Ozil have been linked with high-profile departures from the Emirates this upcoming summer transfer window, but Arsenal will no doubt attempt to strengthen in all areas. The Gunners are currently linked with a host of top names, despite their recent failings in the current campaign across all competitions. Schalke left back Sead Kolasinac is one of those names, while other stars such as Alexandre Lacazette have been tipped for moves to the London club this summer.

While Arsenal have been linked with multiple players in the summer, Wenger’s contract situation has still not been settled. It has been reported that Wenger will stay on as manager and will be handed £200 million in order to rejuvenate his squad with an overhaul. A lot of that may hang on the club’s attempts to secure a top four finish this current campaign. Without Champions League football to offer next term, many top names from around Europe would subsequently be put off from arriving at the Emirates. 

With defeats to teams like Watford and Everton this term, Arsenal are under considerable pressure and look incapable of bouncing back, but they still boast enough firepower within their ranks in order to make a late surge. The Gunners have a testing run-in, though, as they have to collide with Leicester City, Manchester United and bitter London rivals Tottenham in their final Premier League games. 

This is on top of their FA Cup run, but a top four position will surely be highest on Arsenal’s list of targets at this decisive stage of the campaign. 


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