Generally, it has been a rather strange debut season for Emery’s Gunners. One week Arsenal tops Sp*rs 4-2, yet a few weeks later they suffer a horrible loss at Liverpool and an embarrassing defeat at West Ham.
Through all of the ups and down, AFC has managed to claim a top-four spot following a 2-0 home win against Manchester United. With Chelsea’s season seemingly on the fritz, it seems the final UCL spot will come down to a battle of wits between United and Arsenal.
Obviously, a Champions League position is a step up from Wenger’s final season(s) at the Emirates, but Emery could push the Gunners to be title contenders come next season. With the right transfers brought in, and maintaining healthy starters, Arsenal could be competing with City and Liverpool for the trophy.
Despite starting the season incredibly strong, Arsenal’s campaign has been a rollercoaster since December. A large part of this has sadly been an unexpected number of injuries. Not only did Emery lose his starting right back, but the under-praised Rob Holding also went down with a knee injury.
In games that Holding played, Emery’s men acquired 22 points in just ten matches and maintained an unbeaten run in this time. Yet after his injury, Arsenal’s form has fluctuated on a weekly basis.
Recently, everything is looking great for the Gunners. Arsenal has won four of their last five, with a +9 goal differential. This five-game-stretch has included not only a controversial draw at Sp*rs but a world-class performance at home against a high-flying Manchester United.
The end of the season looks rather positive for Emery, though. With no “Big 6” clubs left to play, Arsenal’s path to a top four finish is far easier than both Chelsea and United. And if things continue how are are, Emery could lead Arsenal to a third place finish in his debut season.
I would not be surprised to see Sp*urs falling out of a Champions League spot—with Arsenal finishing third and United claiming the final top four position.
However it turns out, there is no doubt that the race for the the top four will come down to the final ties of the season, on Championship Sunday. It is safe to say that this will be a race for the ages.