Arsenal have qualified for the last 17 UEFA Champions League competitions and apart from 2005 when they got to the final, the Gunners have merely just filled the spot in Europe’s biggest club tournament.
Football is a passionate game and draws a lot of emotions, that’s why fans still wear jerseys of the North London club and go to the stadium to support the players and coaching staff but if you ask them to sincerely vote for Arsenal’s withdrawal from the Champions League for one season, perhaps a lot of their fans will support the idea.Read Also | Tottenham enter race to sign Moses
Most of them will prefer the team to concentrate on winning the premier league title which they last won 12 years ago, instead of the constant pain from Champions League participation where they’ve been eliminated six times consecutively in the round of 16 and with a two legged game against Bayern Munich coming up in 2017, it may just be number seven on the cards.
Last season, when all the big teams fumbled and went off the grid – the Gunners decided to be the fat lazy dude that ate cake all day and slept on the coach as they watched Leicester City run away with the premier league title.
Before you ask how? let me refresh your minds: Chelsea were in turmoil as Jose Mourinho made a mess of handling the team and they were battling relegation instead of defending their title, Manchester United were under heavy transition as Louis van Gaal decided to introduce the ‘sleep walk’ football philosophy which was only good enough to earn them a Europa Cup place.
Liverpool brought in Jurgen Klopp and he needed time to settle into new management and English football while Manchester City were hugely distracted by the news that Pep Guardiola will be the new man in charge from January – guess they shut themselves in the foot there.
What about Tottenham Hotspur, you’d ask? Well, they have finished behind Arsenal in 21 consecutive premier league seasons and if there’s one club Arsene Wenger is confident about finishing above, it is Spurs – perhaps their North London rivals needs to top the table until the last day before the Gunners can have hopes of winning the premier league.
However, this season is a little different as the top six teams are looking strong at the moment and that is seen in the fact that last season’s champions Leicester City are nowhere near the top eight at the moment. The various teams have strengthened their squads and new coaches have gotten used to their squads.
Arsenal may not finish in their customary Top Four this season with Chelsea, Liverpool, and Manchester City leading the way and Manchester United
, Tottenham breathing down their neck.
After the Gunners lost 3-4 to Liverpool in front of their home fans on the opening day of the 2016/17 season they quickly arrested the situation as they went unbeaten for 14 matches but that run halted against Everton when they fell 2-1 at Goodison Park and the following weekend were dazed in similar fashion by Manchester City at the Etihad.
The two consecutive defeats pushed them back to fourth but they have a massive opportunity of regaining lost grounds when they battle West Bromwich Albion and Crystal palace in quick succession before the New Year.
But with contract rebels, Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil still very important components of Arsene Wenger’s team, the psychological effect of the ongoing negotiations may give the team negative energy which can be detrimental to the title winning hopes of the Gunners.
Arsenal are insisting they won’t be bullied into giving into the crazy demands of both players who are insisting on £290,000-per-week instead of the £200,000-per-week offered them by the club.
Wenger has even insisted that whatever happens he is ready to force both players to see out the remaining 18 months on their contract which may not be a positive thing for the Gunners at this stage of the competition.Read Also | BREAKING NEWS: Mourinho completes £42m Lindelof deal
The club knows that if they give in to the demands of Sanchez and Ozil, other players will demand for a pay increase which may upset the pay structure at the Emirates. So, the contract saga will play a huge part as to how Arsenal will end up this season and maybe it will finally be an opportunity for Tottenham to finish ahead of the Gunners.
In the past, Arsenal competed well in Europe’s lesser competitions, getting to the finals of the UEFA Cup and UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup and it may just suit them again for the main time.
At least, it can allow them feel a sense of lost and comeback strongly into the UEFA Champions League in the 2017/18 season and try to win it instead of merely competing for a round of 16 place.
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