When Arsène Wenger once said that finishing in the top 4 was like winning a trophy, his statement was ridiculed beyond belief. The Frenchman can feel vindicated in his beliefs though as many teams now value finishing in the top 4 over winning a domestic trophy like the FA Cup and Carabao Cup.
The revenue that the UEFA Champions League brings to teams is substantial and can make or break a lot of teams' financial models.
Arsenal have not played Champions League football for three seasons, meaning they’ve missed out on an injection of funds for three summers now. Not only does the Champions League come with financial gain, but it is also needed to attract new signings.
As things stand, Arsenal trail the top 4 by 10 points. But in a season that has already provided us several surprises, it’s not out of the realms of possibility for the Gunners to finish in the top 4.
Here are 3 reasons why Arsenal will manage to secure a top 4 spot this season.
#3 Lack of consistency among all major contenders
This season, there are a number of teams competing for UCL qualification, including Leicester City, Chelsea, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur, and Arsenal. Assuming the top two spots go to Liverpool and Manchester City, the 5 clubs mentioned above are fighting for the remaining 2 spots.
This season, Chelsea have lost 8 games, Leicester 6, Manchester United 8, Tottenham 8 and Arsenal 6. No team has shown the ability to string together a run of wins which means Arsenal have as good a chance as any other side to finish behind Manchester City and Liverpool.
If Arsenal are able to produce a string of consistent results and win more than half of their remaining games, a top 4 spot is theirs for the taking. Arsenal will only face the other members of the top four race on four occasions across the remainder of the season, leaving them with many winnable games.