Bruce Forsyth has the catchphrase “Nice to see you, to see you nice”, The Terminator preferred “I’ll be back” and Victor Meldrew is always remembered for “I don’t belieeeeeeve it”.
Arsene Wenger is not recognised for having a catchphrase as such, but the regularity that he has used the line “judge me at the end of the season” in recent campaigns suggests that he may as well claim it as his own.
And more than any other campaign in recent years, this season may be the one where this potential catchphrase rings true the most.
Yes, Arsenal were top of the Premier League on the final day of 2013.
Yes, Arsenal have been woefully outclassed in their away visits to their fellow top-four contenders, losing these four road trips by an aggregate score 20-4.
Yes, Arsenal did make a big mistake in not strengthening the squad in the January transfer window, especially not bringing in a more mobile striker and midfielders to replace vital injured duo Aaron Ramsey and Theo Walcott.
However, as long as the squad continues to get stronger (as it has this season with Mesut Ozil’s arrival) and other forms of progress are being made, Gunners fans cannot be overcritical.
After all, Arsenal finished last season in fourth spot on 73. If Wenger guides them to a greater points tally and also wins the FA Cup, this has to be regarded as progress, despite recollections of what might have been.
Finishing in the top four is now out of Arsenal’s hands after defeat at Everton, but 10 points from their final five games would improve upon last season’s tally.
And with their remaining games all being against opposition outside of the Premier League’s current top eight, a 15-point haul is far from out of the question.
With Everton still having to face Manchester City and Manchester United, while enduring a tricky trip to Southampton, Arsenal’s odds of 1/2 to finish in the top four look tempting.
Meanwhile, the 7/5 on Arsenal finishing in the top four and winning the FA Cup could prove profitable, with Championship side Wigan standing in Wenger’s way in the semi finals.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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