Saturday 12 May 2012

Arsenal shouldn't rule out Newcastle

Looking at the The Gooner, it's obvious that some fans see the race for third and fourth as strictly between us and Spurs. But let's not forget, if Newcastle can better our result, they will finish above us. Therefore there is a real danger that we could finish fifth and be looking at Europa League football next season.

Some fans have argued that we might be capable of winning the Europa League and that if we failed to qualify for the Champions League, the club might actually splash the cash to address the deficiencies in our squad.

While all of the above may or may not be true, I just can't wish for that. I've been sold on the importance of Champions League football, but not just for monetary reasons. The involvement in Europe's top competition ensures that we keep our profile where it belongs: in the elite.

The Europa League has less credibility than the Carling Cup, right now. We can't even win the Carling Cup, so how can we do lift a trophy that involves much more travelling and many more games?

It will an unmitigated disaster if we finish fifth. If we finish fourth and Chelsea win the Champions League final to steal England's last allocated place in next season's competition, we'll only have ourselves to blame. We've gone backwards through lack of investment. That needs to be addressed, regardless of our finishing position this season and Champions League involvement or not next season.

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