Arsene Wenger once created a different kind of trophy during his time in charge at Arsenal, and Mikel Arteta can still deliver that this season by finishing fourth
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Wenger famously called fourth place a “trophy” back in 2012, as he said: “The first trophy is to finish in the top four. I believe finishing fourth is vital for us: [Arsenal]. “However, back then it was jeered by the Gunners fans as they were desperate to challenge for the: Premier League: title.
A decade later, Arsenal are far from challenging for the title as they have struggled to secure: Champions League: football under Arteta. But the Spaniard can finally get them back into Europe’s elite competition this season, and build off Wenger’s previous “trophy” claim.
Arsenal have won 13 domestic titles, three of which have been since the Premier League was formed in 1992. But they’re closing in on 20 years since being crowned as the Champions of England. Although they boast an exceptional record in the: FA Cup:it’s the only trophy they have managed to win since 2004.
But it’s Europe that Arteta is focusing on, after Arsenal missed out for the first time in 26 years this season. And it would be some turnaround if he was able to get them back into the Champions League.
They are just four games away from doing so, and they must equal or better: Tottenham:‘s results until the end of the season in order to do so. Arteta will be hoping that: Liverpool: can do them a favor and beat Tottenham on Saturday, as Arsenal could move five points clear of Spurs if they beat Leeds.
Getting to the Champions League is the first step in a long ‘process’ at Arsenal under Arteta, and the Spaniard will be hoping to try and win the one trophy that escaped Wenger during his time at the club. The Gunners seemed to struggle in the latter stages of the competition, when the knockout rounds began.
And they came so agonizingly close to winning the Champions League in 2006, but Sol Campbell’s early header was cancelled out by two late Barcelona: goals. And they fell at the final in the Europa League final under Unai Emery in 2019 too, as: Chelsea: remain the only London side with a European Cup.
Arsenal are miles away from even dreaming of winning the competition, but if Arteta can win Wenger’s metaphorical “trophy” then it will at least send them on their way. Arteta has proved doubters wrong this season, as his job has been under threat ever since he was appointed in December 2019.
And it looked as though he could be the first manager to walk this season, as Arsenal were rooted to the bottom of the Premier League after three games. But they’ve bounced back with some force, and are on the cusp of beating: Manchester United: and Tottenham to a place in the top four.
Wenger criticized the club for how they treated Emery, and the Spaniard has since proved just how good a manager he can be, as he almost produced a major upset against Liverpool with Villarreal. And his words may have influenced Arsenal’s position with Arteta.
And their patience has paid off, and if Arteta can get them back into the Champions League then they will be one step closer to getting back to their best. They may not receive any physical prize for coming fourth, but it could be the most important “trophy” Arteta has ever won.