Arsenal have not finished outside the top four of the Premier League since Arsene Wenger took over from Bruce Rioch in 1996. Everybody at the club is determined that this season will not change that statistic and a win against Wigan at the Emirates tonight will make that almost secure.
Arsenal are so used to finishing in the Top Four but not challenging for the title, that the odds in the Premiership betting with Unibet for next season reflect those tips. Arsenal are odds on at 5/6 to finish in the Champions League places, but a massive 16/1 to actually win the title.
Next season however, if the Gunners are in a similar situation, it will have been a failure according to the manager. It could be regarded as a success this year only because of the financial situation and the rebuilding required, but that will not be the case next year.
“Last year we made 70 points and finished third,” said Wenger. “This year we can make 73 points and finish fourth, so what you want to do is have a consistency and fight for the Premier League.
“It is difficult to achieve, but we have done it over the years. Is it enough? No. We want more, but this year Manchester United was above everybody else.”
We certainly do! Gooners do not want a trophy at the expense of a top four finish. We wouldn’t swap places with Wigan, but eight years is way too long for a club like Arsenal to win nothing. We understand about the finances and stadium debt, even if we don’t agree, but we are assured those times are past and we want to be up at the top again now.
After his first season, Wenger and Arsenal were never out of the top two for eight seasons, but have not been in it for the next eight. With Ferguson retiring, Mancini sacked and Chelsea doing the usual, Arsenal may never get a better chance to stamp a marker on the Premier League in the next campaign. Even if we don’t win it, we must be a lot closer than 20 points off the top.
Now that Arsenal finally have a settled team that are unlikely to have any stars poached from, and if Wenger really does invest the rumoured 70million GBP that he has been promised to improve the squad drastically, then maybe that 16/1 from Unibet could begin to look like a very attractive price indeed!