Arsenal FC are set for a busy end to the season. With two-thirds of the English Premier League played, the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League upon us, and a place in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, The Gunners are in prime position for a successful end to the 2014-2015 season. But is it enough?
Arsenal Football Club tickets are highly sought after and every game at The Emirates Stadium reaches a sellout. That is despite the nine-year trophy drought that was ended by last year’s FA Cup final win against Hull City.
Season after season, Arsenal have managed to finish in a Champions League qualifying place but this was often a bone of contention for Arsenal fans. Is Arsene Wenger really content with just ensuring his side finishes at least fourth so that they can compete with Europe’s elite each season, rather than making a real play for the league title?
Arsenal are off the title pace again this year, third or fourth place looks likely to be the best position that The Gunners can make. And although in AS Monaco, they appear to have been drawn against one of the weaker sides in the Champions League, few would argue in favour of them brushing aside the likes of Real Madrid, FC Barcelona or FC Bayern Munich later in the tournament.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, often a fan of verbal jousting matches with Wenger, opened the debate again recently when he spoke to Sky Sports’ Goals on Sunday programme:
“He (Wenger) has a dream job that we’d all love to have. I think every manager in the world would like the stability by being here year after year after year, to buy to sell and rebuild and wait and wait for success.”
Back in December, a section of the Arsenal support in attendance at the Britannia Stadium booed Arsene Wenger following their 3-2 defeat to Stoke City. Later that day, Wenger was confronted by angry fans at the rail station who, unhappy at the club seemingly treading water each year, told their manager to “get out” of the club.
But Wenger remains. With the mega-rich Chelsea and Manchester City looking likely to dominate English football over the next few years, then perhaps third place is not so bad. However, Mourinho still thinks that expectations should be higher at The Emirates.
“What he did winning so many titles in a certain period gave him that credibility that he deserves.
He’s a fantastic manager but I think he has a fantastic situation to be successful. When I look at the players and the squad, I really think they have to win.”
Does Mourinho have a point?