With 8 games to go, Arsenal sit 10th. And we deserve to be there.
We have no one to blame but ourselves. Yes, we might have had some decisions go against us at key points which have turned wins into draws, and draws into defeats. But this season we have been our own worst enemy.
Too many mistakes gifting goals to opponents. Not enough chances created to win games.
To be frank, Arsenal have been average this season.
We are not the first “big 5” side to have an average season.
Only really Manchester City have been consistently in the top 4 over the last decade.
Chelsea finished 10th in 2016. Liverpool 8th that same season. And Manchester United 7th in 2014.
The hope was that last seasons 8th place finish would be our low point. That was our season to struggle. But our issues have continued throughout this season.
Whilst there are some clear improvements under Mikel Arteta, it definitely feels like he is at a crossroads in his Arsenal career.
And his future path starts tomorrow with the Europa League.
We are 7 points off of Liverpool in 7th – the lowest a European place will go down too.
With just 8 games remaining, we would probably need to win 7 of 8 to finishing top 7. That is unlikely considering our form throughout the season.
Finishing outside of a Champions League spot has cost the club hundreds of millions. No Europe at all will cost the club a further £40million next season. It is money Arsenal can not afford to lose.
Last season we won the FA Cup in fantastic style, securing a European spot in the process. We do not have that comfort blanket this season.
So it is all or nothing in the Europa League.
Win it and we are in the Champions League, and the reaches and gravitas that brings.
Lose and it could condemn the club to a decade of fighting the likes of Leicester City, West Ham and Everton for a European spot.