Another day, another nightmare for Arsenal fans. After a couple of 5-1 defeats to a deadly Bayern Munich squad, Arsenal’s last hope for a happy season ending was heavily reliant on Premier League success. Although Arsenal still remains in the battle for the FA Cup, the Premier League is a far more important venture. And losing to West Bromwich Albion by any margin is not helping the gunners’ chances of snagging a top four spot.
Now Arsenal sits in fifth place, five points behind fourth place Liverpool, tied on points with sixth place Everton, and only one point ahead of seventh place Manchester United. Arsenal’s continuous downward momentum combined with Manchester United and Everton’s upward momentum will spell danger for the gunners’ top four hopes. And the injuries that have plagued players such as Santi Cazorla, Hector Bellerin, and more recently, Lucas Perez, will not help Arsenal in the home stretch.
At their current rate, Arsenal will likely be left out of the Champions League next season. It’s hard to remember a time when the gunners weren’t participants in the Champions League, and it would be strange and disappointing for many to see Arsenal in the Europa League or perhaps in no European competition at all. Realistically, Arsenal would have to really mess up to be left out of European competition as a whole. But with the way they have been playing, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Arsenal restricted to domestic competition next season.
And even if the gunners scrounge together a top six finish, Europa League football isn’t a great compensation for a club of Arsenal’s caliber. The supporters, players, coaches, and the club in general expect the best competition in Europe, not matches against middle-of-the-pack German and French clubs.
Arsenal desperately needs to find form in this difficult time. Anything can happen at the end of the season. Whether a team is in a battle for a top position or trying to avoid relegation, the conclusion of a given season holds plenty of excitement and possibilities. If Arsenal can’t grab a hold of some momentum, then the Emirates will be hosting teams like FC Rostov on Thursday nights next season.