Can Arteta lead Arsenal back into the Champions League?

By on January 10, 2020

Mikel Arteta Arsenal

Mikel Arteta’s appointment as Arsenal manager was a risky decision by the club, but there have already been signs that it could turn out to be a positive move.

The Gunners’ 2-0 victory over Manchester United on New Years’ day was certainly a step in the right direction, moving the club back into the top half of the Premier League.

A hard fought 1-0 home win against Leeds United in the third round of the FA Cup looks less impressive on paper, although on closer examination there were plus points to take from the game.

However, while Arteta will be pleased with those results it is clear that he still has a big job on his hands if he is to restore the club to its former glories.

In the short term getting back into the Champions League is the main priority, as this would help the new manager attract better players to the club. Read on as we look at whether Arteta can lead Arsenal to the promised land.

Top four finish looks an impossible task

With 17 games to play Arsenal remain closer to the relegation zone than the top four, making qualification for the Champions League a tough ask.

With Liverpool, Leicester City and Manchester City looking nailed on to fill three of places, the chasing pack are battling for just one spot.

Chelsea are in pole position at the moment, but Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and Wolverhampton Wanderers will fancy their chances of overhauling them.

Punters who check BetEasy will discover that Arsenal are not fancied to bridge the nine point gap to Chelsea and it’s difficult to argue with that assessment.

A top six finish isn’t beyond the Gunners, but that is likely to be the height of what they will be able to achieve in the league this season.

Europa League offers renewed hope

Arsenal’s struggles under former boss Unai Emery were well documented, yet they still managed to finish top of Group F in the Europa League.

A tie against Olympiakos in the round of 32 should hold no fears for the Gunners and they are strongly fancied to make progress.

There will undoubtedly be some bigger hurdles to overcome as the competition progresses, with the likes of Man Utd, Sevilla and Inter Milan amongst the front-runners to lift the trophy.

Ajax, Roma and Wolves are other teams who should not be underestimated, but Arsenal are certainly capable of making it to the final once again.

Their squad has looked better suited to the demands of the Europa League in recent times and it is undoubtedly their best route back into the Champions League.

Verdict: A top four finish in the Premier League is likely to be beyond Arsenal this season, meaning that winning the Europa League takes on even greater importance. The Gunners were outclassed by Chelsea in last season’s final, but with Arteta’s influence already evident they may well go one better this time around.