Monday, October 3, 2022

Champions League Or The League Title: What Should Arsenal’s Realistic Target For This Season Be?

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Anas Molla
An ageing teenager who apparently still likes Twenty One Pilots and HIMYM. Also fascinated by Greek and Egyptian mythology and history. Still waiting for my man Milos Raonic to win a Grand Slam.

Many fans and experts believe that Arsenal have been one of the most(if not the most) – mediocre teams in the league for the past few seasons. The London giants have failed to post a strong challenge to the title nor make themselves heard in the Champions League for the last few years or so, despite boasting quite a strong squadron.

Things went even worse last season, when the Gunners finished fifth in the Premier League and thereby, failed to make the Champions League for the first time since the 1997-98 season – which more or less boosted the protest from the fans and calls for Arsene Wenger to be sacked as the head coach were more prominent than ever.

And judging by their performance early on in the new season – many would argue the sacking of Arsene Wenger right now is productive, especially with fascinating alternatives such as Carlo Ancelotti or Thomas Tuchel lurking in the market.

So, what should be the main objective for Arsene Wenger this season? Should the Frenchman go all out all guns blazing to fight for the title or just secure the top four spot?

The answer looks quite obvious at the moment. Arsenal are currently tied with fourth-placed Chelsea with 13 points but have an inferior goal difference compared to the defending champions. In these times of imbalance and complete turmoil, Arsene Wenger needs to be very reserved in his approach and of course, be more realistic in his objectives. Therefore, a top-four finish should only be the main objective for the Gunners this season.

Third-placed Tottenham have looked significantly better than their rivals Arsenal for the past few seasons. The Lilywhites are much more composed and stabilized in their overall game and are genuine contenders for the top four this term. The title race seems like a far-fetched analogy for the Gooners at the moment, considering the fiery performances from the two Manchester clubs.

Both the clubs have played astonishing football this season, and it is reflected in their league placings so far. Manchester City are leading the table with 19 points, being the leading goalscorer in the league so far 22 goals in seven matches.

But their city rivals United have also claimed 19 points and scored only a goal less than City this term. Both teams have also stayed solid in defence, conceding two goals each with seven games already played – a figure which seems impossible for Arsene Wenger’s team at the moment.

Even Liverpool have come knocking the door in the early parts of the season but are constantly let down by their shambolic defence. And taking note of Arsenal’s problems within the squad, with Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil both looking unlikely extend their contracts with the club – Arsenal may face a huge task in the second half of the season, even if any one of them leaves the club in the winter transfer window.

So, it makes sense for Arsenal to keep a low profile for the rest of the season but at the moment same time, they should also become optimistic of their chances of bettering last season’s champions Chelsea and fierce rivals Tottenham along with Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool and an impressive Watford. Arsene Wenger’s job will be in serious doubt if he doesn’t manage to outdo these teams come the end of this season and eventually fail to make the Champions League for two successive times.

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