A top four finish is no longer a mirage for Arsenal
Arsenal are set to finish outside of the Champions League for the first time during Arsene Wenger’s reign at the club. The French boss of the Emirates saw his side knocked-out from all cups and competitions, extending Arsenal’s trophy drought to eight years.
Former Gunners striker Tony Woodcock believes Arsenal will be able to replace their archrivals Tottenham Hotspur for a spot in the top four before the end of the season. Arsene Wenger and Co. are only four points behind Tottenham Hotspur with a game in hand and five points behind third-placed Chelsea.
Arsenal’s miserful campaign continued this season with embarrasing exits from the Capital One Cup, the FA Cup and the Champions League. Moreover, they are 24 points behind Premier League leaders Manchester United.
Tony Woodcock believes lack of competition will allow Arsenal to focus on the Premier League, thus increasing their chances of acquiring a Champions League spot. Besides, Arsenal have also already played most of their tough games in the campaign.
“The strange thing with Arsenal is when they are in all competitions they sell themselves short, but now I think they've got only fourth place to go for they've got a really good chance of taking it. They've got one competition to concentrate on and I expect them to go for it and probably pull it off and get into the Champions League,” Tony Woodcock told talkSPORT.
Tottenham Hotspur are in the quarterfinal stage of Europea League this season. Manager Andres Villas-Boas insists the Europa League campaign won’t disturb Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League, but the risk of an upset is ominous.
Tottenham Hotspur, who have lost three matches recently, will be bombarded with a long line of tough games in the upcoming days. Therefore, Arsenal’s chances of entering the top four are quite realistic. Tony Woodock believes Arsenal have grown as a team, an attribute that will allow them to end their trophy drought soon.
If you look at any team, you look for a spine through the middle - a top goalkeeper, centre-half, midfielder and striker and you build the rest of the team around that,” Tony Woodcock added. “ I'm not sure they've got that. But over the last two or three years they've been there or thereabouts. Although everyone wants the team to win something they're not too far away from doing that. It's a question of whether they can find that extra ingredient to do that.”