Arsenal’s loss in the north London derby against Tottenham Hotspur was a big blow, but may not be as catastrophic as it first appeared.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has accepted that the loss to arch rivals Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League yesterday was a big blow to their hopes of reaching the UEFA Champions League next season, but they should not be ruled out.
The Gunners fell seven points behind their rivals in the north London derby yesterday, and face a fight with Spurs and Chelsea to reach the top tier of European competition for next season.
“We have to fight and it will be difficult now, because we dropped points that we couldn’t afford to drop,” Wenger told the BBC after the game.
“But we will fight and we will keep our spirit.”
Whilst the top four currently seems a near-impossible task for Arsenal, there are a couple of factors in their favour.
The turmoil currently surrounding Chelsea – and in particular their interim manager Rafa Benitez – could well help Arsenal, with the Blues still misfiring.
Perhaps more importantly, Arsenal’s remaining fixtures are by far the easiest of the three sides.
The only team above them that they have yet to face for the second time in the Premier League is Manchester United on April 28th 2013, with Tottenham and Benitez’s side each having much harder run ins.
Spurs and Chelsea also have yet to play each other, meaning that at least one of them will drop points, and Arsenal will hope to profit.
So long as the Gunners do not throw matches away themselves with error-prone performances, they still have a real shot at making the top four.