There never seem to be that many good times anymore if you’re an Arsenal fan.
With the consistent performances of Everton and Spurs, some of the fanbase might be worried that their team will miss out on the coveted 4th place Champions League spot. But there are still plenty of reasons why Arsenal will finish in the top 4 for the 15th straight year.
The attacking quartet of Olivier Giroud, Lucas Podolski, Santi Cazorla and Theo Walcott are all developing a sound understanding of how their playing styles can complement others. Always a goal threat and with plenty of pace between them, there is still more to come as they hone their craft. Supported by the resurgent Jack Wilshere and (if fit) Abou Diaby, Arsenal are not short of ability in going forward. At times, they might lack the creative spark of players like David Silva, but it’s not a criticism limited to them out of those aiming to sneak into the top 4.
That’s not to say Arsenal can rely on their attacking prowess alone to secure the 4th place finish. Any side trying for silverware has to maintain their defensive stability, and the lack of it has been well documented in the media since the likes of Campbell and Toure left the Emirates. Worries will probably persist around the consistency of Per Mertesacker, but in Kieran Gibbs, Thomas Vermaelan and an on form Bacary Sagna, Arsene Wenger’s side are not short of quality. Provided they can improve defending at set piece, there’s no reason they can’t pass Everton and Spurs in the table.
It also seems no one values experience these days in football. Arsene Wenger is the 2nd longest serving manager in the Premier League, behind only Sir Alex Ferguson. While some fans might be disillusioned with his relentless attempts to sign young players, he is a manager that knows how capable players are and what he expects from them. If that missing piece of the puzzle can be found in the transfer market, Arsenal is well equipped to finish in the top 4.
That’s not to say Everton and Spurs aren’t capable of outdoing Arsenal. Both teams have defied expectations and found form at the right time of the season, but if I was forced to call the top 4 on the last day of the season, Arsenal would be in it.