Obviously, to make the finish Arsenal need in order to remain a member of the top 4 in the Premier League and play in the Champions League. Arsene Wenger is lamenting the firings of fellow managers, but while doing that is trying to save his own ass by hiding his own failures for the last seven years.
Arsenal, 5th, with 67 points and a match less played than Tottenham, have two more games to play. Win both of them – playing at home against a jubilant but desperate for the points Wigan team followed by an away match at Newcastle, who might be safe from relegation on the final day of the season, and they’ll finish fourth, ahead of Tottenham, who are at 69 points and with only one match left to play.
But Wenger, cleverly, is setting up the ground for two things – being praised if Arsenal do make it into the Champions League, showing his steady hand and the stability at the club, but also preventing a witch hunt from descending upon his head should the team fail to finish above their fierce North London rivals.
Last year we made 70 points and finished third. This year, we can make 73 points and finish 4th so what you want to do is have a consistency and fight for the championship. What I said is the minimum required. You could see that when Chelsea’s Champions League position was under threat, they came out quickly and said ‘no, what is most important for us is to be in the Champions League next year.’ It is difficult to achieve but we have done it over the years. Is it enough? No. We want more. But this year, Man United was above everybody else.
Every season there seems to be someone else who is above everybody else. Arsenal just trot in the same place, and watch teams pass them by on their way to the top. Maybe it’s a short stay, based on money instead of a true, solid and strong foundation when it comes to clubs like Manchester City and Chelsea, but it’s not like Arsenal are claiming their place once one of those two fails.
Arsenal keeps moving backwards, while Wenger becomes more and more creative with his explanations and excuses. Unless the team make their fans understand that anything above the fourth position is a huge success for them, which seems to be what they’re trying to do through the media, every season is going to feel like a failure and a waste in the eyes of most. But Wenger is persistent in his old mantra. Stability, not success, is what matters, even if that stability gets devalued each and every season.
I believe in stability. We have rebuilt the team and since January we have certainly done very well if you look at the number of points we have taken compared to the other teams. We have created a good basis and that stability can help us start strongly next season.