Why Arsenal can still secure a top-four finish by the end of the season
Arsenal have been on a roller-coaster of sorts throughout the season so far. Barring the inconsistencies in their performances, the fans were also subjected to quite a lot of emotions during the January transfer window. First, there was frustration at losing Alexis Sanchez and mixed reactions at receiving Henrikh Mkhitaryan in return.
Then, there were feelings of exultation and joy once the club announced the £56m signing of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Their happiness was short-lived as the Gunners dropped a massive bomb in the dying minutes of the window, confirming that star forward Olivier Giroud had completed a deal to join their London rivals, Chelsea.
Regardless of their January business, the rest of the season is ahead of us and Arsenal are currently gracing the 6th spot in the Premier League table, which is a less-than-ideal spot for a club that is pushing for a Champions League spot.
There has been a growing unrest among the fans for quite some time now and chants of ‘Wenger out’ only seem to be intensifying. Hence, it is imperative for Arsene Wenger to ensure he can guide the team to secure a top-four finish at the very least.
At face value, it might seem like their chances are virtually over but a lot will depend on how Aubameyang works for the Gunners. More than anything else, Arsenal have lacked an out-and-out goalscoring machine this season. Alexandre Lacazette boasts of sublime finishing skills and can be lethal but he has managed to score only 9 goals so far.
In contrast, Aubameyang’s numbers at Borussia Dortmund seem a lot more lethal. He has scored a whopping 21 goals in almost as many appearances as Lacazette and a lot of Arsenal’s success will depend on how soon the former Bundesliga star can hit the ground running.
To make matters worse, Arsenal endured a crushing 3-1 loss to Swansea City in the mid-week PL clash and the situation does not seem all that great for them. However, given Mesut Ozil’s creativity and Aubameyang’s goalscoring exploits, the Gunners can work wonders.
They have Jack Wilshere back in the midfield and his presence has truly uplifted their performances on the whole. If they can all work together to create and score goals up front while ensuring they do a decent job at defending, the Gunners might just pip their competitors and land a top-four spot. Simply said, the Gunners have to play to their ability.
They have a set of tough fixtures coming up and will have to play against the likes of Everton, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City, thus making it all the more important for them to ensure that their performances do not drop off at any cost. This period will prove to be crucial in their potential ascent to a top-four spot and if they can manage to get through unscathed, Wenger might just be able to buy himself more time as Arsenal’s manager.