Wenger: Top four finish perfectly possible

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Arsene Wenger says achieving a top four finish this season represents a ‘good challenge’ for his beleaguered Arsenal squad but insists it’s ‘perfectly possible’ to maintain his long-standing record of securing Champions League football.

The Gunners currently sit sixth in the Premier League standings, seven points adrift of fourth place Manchester City but with two games in hand on third place Liverpool who are eight points in front.

Taking a swipe at those who for so long have taken for granted Arsenal’s regular top four finishes, the boss drew attention to recent comments by Pep Guardiola who claimed such a feat was akin to a trophy these days.

“It’s a good challenge,” Wenger told press ahead of West Ham’s visit to the Emirates on Wednesday.

“I think it’s perfectly possible. For 20 years I’ve done it and it’s looked like it’s nothing. Suddenly it becomes important and I’m pleased to realise that people realise that it’s not as easy as it looks.

“If you listen to Guardiola he said the other day to achieve the top four is a trophy because it’s so difficult.

“So of course we have a difficult task in front of us but I’m happy that people realise that it’s not as easy as it has looked.”

After tomorrow night’s game with West Ham, the Gunners face Crystal Palace, Middlesbrough, Leicester and Sp*rs in the league this April, as well as taking on Man City in the FA Cup semi-final.

“I give my best for every game,” continued Wenger who underlined the importance of building on Sunday’s draw with City.

“We will see where we stand at the end. I think it’s possible, but we need a strong run. There are a lot of games in April. We need everybody on board.

“We need to work like we did against Manchester City, with the support of our fans during the games.

“We play as well the semi-final so its all to go for. It’s a good opportunity to show we are united and strong.”

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Change
Change
3 years ago

What would you rather:
Vote up for: Finish 4th and Wenger stays or
Vote down for: Finish 5th and Wenger goes?

Del
Del
3 years ago
Reply to  Change

How about finishing as high as possible and winning fa cup then wenger stepping down?

Hoosier Gunner
Hoosier Gunner
3 years ago
Reply to  Change

How about finish top 4, win the FA cup and see the big man leave on a high?

Change
Change
3 years ago
Reply to  Hoosier Gunner

That’s a good option, I didn’t have a 3rd vote though. I’m on the fence about Wenger in/out but my overriding view at the moment is pessimistic about the top 4 and the cup. I am hoping that something good will come out of all of this. A totally reinvented Wenger and a big summer spend would be ideal, but short of that a new manager is needed, but not at the cost of destabilising the club if the scope of Wengers role cannot be accurately assessed and satisfied in the short period between now and the start of next… Read more »

Santori
Santori
3 years ago
Reply to  Change

I think we want to finish as high as possible, win the FA cup for a record time, AND wait to see what options there are in terms of succession.

If it makes better sense to wait till post 2018 Wcup for a better selection (plus put things in place properly, I won’t begrudge the great man having another final go at it.

He deserves it. AND it will be a classy thing to do.

But he has to hit those marks first.

Hemerrhoidinho
Hemerrhoidinho
3 years ago
Reply to  Change

Vote up if you want Arseblog to block polls.
Vote down if you love cancer and ebola.

Change
Change
3 years ago
Reply to  Hemerrhoidinho

This actually made me LOL

uncle D
uncle D
3 years ago
Reply to  Change

I vote to support Arsenal FC!

clins
clins
3 years ago
Reply to  Change

at this point its not what we want , its what we can acheive. and we cannot finish in top four . even the stubborn wenger admitted that in earlier interview. if he admitted it then it is more likely to happen than not .

GoonerN16
3 years ago
Reply to  clins

@clins, where in that quote does AW say we cannot make top four? He said it will be difficult but, that is their aim….he said ‘that’s possible’, with ‘everyone’ pulling together and crucially, ‘the support of the fans’….

punter
punter
3 years ago
Reply to  Change

As much as I want wenger to leave..why will I not want AFC to finish in top 4? what a dumbass comment. There seriously are some idiot fans around..lets get something clear we are supporters of AFC..not ‘wenger in’ or ‘wenger out’ brigade. Wenger is just a custodian of the club and currently most of us are not happy with him. Don’t confuse the two.

Change
Change
3 years ago
Reply to  punter

The reason for the two options are because I see them as the only possible outcomes. If we finish in the top 4 Wenger stays, I don’t see anything else happening. Conversely, the only way I see him leaving is if we finish outside the top 4. So, given those beliefs I hold, which outcome would you rather have? Its not a ‘dumbass’ comment, its a comment based firmly in reality. Id rather us win the league and Wenger to leave on a high, however saying that would be a dumbass comment as it is based on fantasy.

Southpaw
Southpaw
3 years ago

Every year I put a bet on Arsenal finishing 2nd to fourth for the past 6 years. This season the odds have been awfully generous at 13/4. I hope you are right Wenger.

punter
punter
3 years ago
Reply to  Southpaw

And out of curiosity, what has the average return of investment been?

Southpaw
Southpaw
3 years ago
Reply to  punter

Safe to say I’m on my way to take over the club and pay Mou Pep Klopp and Conte enough to fight to death in a pit. Last man standing can coach Messi and Ronaldo in the new Highbury (yeah stadium name is my first priority).
I’d pay fans whom shout my name in new Highbury with gold and women.

Bloody Hair Ljungberg
Bloody Hair Ljungberg
3 years ago
Reply to  Southpaw

All hail lord Southpaw.

Bendt it like Bendtner
Bendt it like Bendtner
3 years ago

A good challenge. Heh.

Glocken
Glocken
3 years ago

It’s perfectly possible that one night I could meet Scarlett Johansson with a bottle of wine and an open mind. Unfortunately much like our top four chances, it’s extremely doubtful that it will happen.

Godfrey Twatsloch
Godfrey Twatsloch
3 years ago
Reply to  Glocken

I hear Wenger did her last night and asked her kindly that while in town anyway to pay you a visit as well. She’s considering the option.

Lord Nicki B
Lord Nicki B
3 years ago

Arsene is a legend in his own right, but, if he does choose to extend, it’s time to move on from fourth place is a trophy mentality.

Right now considering where we are, it’s the best we could hope for.

But we should never have been in such a position in the first place.

Andy Mack
Andy Mack
3 years ago
Reply to  Lord Nicki B

When the options are 5th or lower then 4th becomes something worth playing for. We’ve got 4th 5 times in the last 10 years but we’ve bettered it 5 times as well (OK we’ve not won it regretably), so it’s never been anything but a last resort ‘win’.

richardanus
richardanus
3 years ago

Struggling Arsene, struggling mate.

Ars
Ars
3 years ago

Wenger out !

Ars
Ars
3 years ago
Reply to  Ars

Those who dislike my comments : where are your brains ?

Godfrey Twatsloch
Godfrey Twatsloch
3 years ago
Reply to  Ars

Mine is lodged inside my skull which sits on top of my shoulders. Unlike yours which sits considerably lower down on a part of your anatomy which rhymes with your chosen name.

Ars
Ars
3 years ago
Reply to  Ars

Go to hell !!

Godfrey Twatsloch
Godfrey Twatsloch
3 years ago
Reply to  Ars

You know you’re starving you brain of oxygen when you sit on it but if you stand up you’ll be able to oxygenate it a bit which might improve your vocabulary. Maybe even your thinking capacity.

Dawn
Dawn
3 years ago
Reply to  Ars

Those who like your comment, where are your brains and YOU out!

Mootilated
Mootilated
3 years ago

aaah this old article. that time of the year already? You seemed to have changed the article template this season. i like it.

gooner of Oz
gooner of Oz
3 years ago
Reply to  Mootilated

Lol. At least this is far more realistic than Febuary when he says we have a good chance to win the league or on March when every game is like a final ?

Flyingmonkey
Flyingmonkey
3 years ago

I can remember the first day i watched Arsenal. It was the match arsenal lost their unbeaten run to machester united. At the time I was a manchester united fan because in my neigbourhood in Nigeria they were all Man U fans so ya. But man that match between manu and arsenal was just epic, even though arsenal lost, i loved the way arsenal played, and ever since then i have supported arsenal. Wenger is a role model of mine. This man is just class and there was a statement he made long ago that goes likes this ” do… Read more »

catbiscuits
catbiscuits
3 years ago

Putting aside Wenger in / out, I wouldn’t mind the Europa League next year. It reminds me of how the European Cup used to be – challenging trips to exotic sounding places you’ve got to look up on the map, avoiding the monotony of the Bayern and Barca thrashings, the chance to meet high quality teams once you get past the group stages, and who knows, maybe even a viable trophy challenge.

Bring on 5th place!

(definitely not rationalising)

Godfrey Twatsloch
Godfrey Twatsloch
3 years ago
Reply to  catbiscuits

Not keen on the team playing on Thursdays but a break from the inevitably ludicrous UEFA bias in favour of Bayern, Barcelona and Real would be a breath of fresh air.

That’s providing we even make it that far. I could see us slipping further than where we are already.

Spanish Gooner
Spanish Gooner
3 years ago
Reply to  catbiscuits

I’ll admit I’m almost jealous of some of my Man United friends who’ve been on trips to all kinds of interesting places this year to watch games they might actually win (and that have affordable tickets and hotels)

Godfrey Twatsloch
Godfrey Twatsloch
3 years ago
Reply to  Spanish Gooner

Places like Twatsnojarsk playing the mighty Dinamo Twatsno or Spudnograd with their league champions Spudnograd Fuzboll Klub. Medieval town centres filled with buxom maidens and bistros serving chilled local beers on every corner at fractional cost. A particular favourite being Südpfoten Ballverein who win everything against everyone every time.

Arsepedant
Arsepedant
3 years ago
Reply to  Spanish Gooner

I have to agree with you. Even if we play FC Nobody in Narnia on a pitch that’s a converted unicorn farm, it would be different and a breath of fresh air. Some of us foreigners might even have a chance at an away ticket then.

Atom
Atom
3 years ago
Reply to  catbiscuits

This team needs to learn how to compete and win things again (the FA cup just doesn’t seem to be taken as seriously anymore). We have no chance at winning the Champions League and unless something major changes at the club no real chance of winning the Premier League next year either. At least the Europa League might prove to be a building block similar to how Athletic Madrid used it.

Andy Mack
Andy Mack
3 years ago
Reply to  Atom

The FA Cup is taken seriously by the players and clubs, just less so by some fans.

Atom
Atom
3 years ago
Reply to  Andy Mack

I’m not sure that’s entirely true anymore. It’s really only the big clubs not competing for anything else that prioritize it now. I think that’s partly why the last few years has seen a top 5 club playing a relegation threatened club in the final

Andy Mack
Andy Mack
3 years ago
Reply to  Atom

There have been some really pissed off losing PL players and managers so far this season. Same last season. It’s definately not as important as the CL or PL but it’s still big for them, but less so for some fans.

clins
clins
3 years ago
Reply to  catbiscuits

off the point , why do arsenal get bayern and barca every year , but leicestre reached champions league once and they got freaking sevilla??

Godfrey Twatsloch
Godfrey Twatsloch
3 years ago
Reply to  clins

It’s so the three anointed teams (Barca, Bayern and Real) get the easiest possible opponents to better the chances of either of them reaching the final and winning it.

Do you even have to ask?

gee
gee
3 years ago
Reply to  clins

Hot balls?

Faisal Narrage
Faisal Narrage
3 years ago
Reply to  clins

You do know Leicester finished top of their group, right? They also won the league and got a good seeding.

In the last few years we’ve regularly finished second in our group, which gave us harder teams.
But let’s not turn into Liverpool fans and conjure up conspiracy theories. We also got Monaco that one time and they weren’t as good as they are now. We were the clear favourites and it was finally seen that we got an easy fixture.

But we still Arsenaled it up.

Godfrey Twatsloch
Godfrey Twatsloch
3 years ago
Reply to  Faisal Narrage

Absolutely no disrespect to Leicester or anyone else. They have earned the right to be there and their achievements shouldn’t be belittled. Nor should Arsenal’s various moments of fluffing it be described as anything else. With all that said though, it’s still hard not to get the feeling of bias in the CL when it’s the same 3 giants who get the fluky draws and go through to win year after year.

Arsepedant
Arsepedant
3 years ago
Reply to  Faisal Narrage

You do know that we also finished top of our group, right? You do know that the only seeding in the elimination stage is group winners versus runners-up, right?

Elixir
Elixir
3 years ago

August: We will try to win the league this season September: We are getting good results, the spirit of team is high this time October: Manager of month, Player of month, Top of table after 12 games November: Injuries and referee decisions cost us, but I don’t doubt on the spirit of this team December: Fixture congestion and referee decisions January: We won FA cup against non league teams, we are doing good February: We lost against top teams, the season’s success depends on how we respond to those losses March: Crash time, Lose against likes of Westbrom, Swansea, Watford… Read more »

beau
beau
3 years ago

what a smug bastard wenger is. so, if finishing fourth place is the only reason he’s been kept around this long, as in his own words “it’s not as easy as it looks”, then by inference shouldn’t he step down if he’s no longer able to obtain said fourth place?

stop allowing this team to lull you into a comfortable sense of mediocrity.

Faisal Narrage
Faisal Narrage
3 years ago

“but insists it’s ‘perfectly possible’ to maintain his long-standing record of securing Champions League football” Is that to go along with our record of going out of the last 16? Neg me down if you guys like, but personally whether he stays or goes, I probably don’t want to be in the CL next season. I know the money is lots, but what does that matter to me? It’s not like they’ll use it for ticket price cuts, instead to just to fuel Kroenke’s coffers. And the whole “top players only come for CL” is now a bit of a… Read more »

JAL
JAL
3 years ago

It’s possible i will someday get a six pack. Pretty fucking unlikely though.

spinner
spinner
3 years ago
Reply to  JAL
Skinnyarse
Skinnyarse
3 years ago

Might be good for Arsenal not to be in all the competitions for once and just try and win the Prmier league next season. Wait for thumbs down hehe

Andy Mack
Andy Mack
3 years ago
Reply to  Skinnyarse

It would be better to miss the Thursday night football than to play it, but the CL’s a different level.

Santori
Santori
3 years ago

30 points to play for. Perfectly possible. BUT we have to do the business and none of these rubbish excuses anymore. In fact, it will be EXTREMELY difficult but not outside the realm of possibilities that we can also catch Spurs for another St Totteringham’s. They will have to of course have a slump. We have a game in hand. If they lose 3 in a row (and we have done that so they can), we will be very close to them. Another draw or two and we may just pip them. Would love it if we could do it… Read more »