Arsenal are on the verge of failing to qualify for the Champions League for the first time since Arsene Wenger arrived in the 1996/97 season.
And whilst it may be an unattractive prospect, losing out could do the north London club some good.
The north London club find themselves languishing in fifth, with four points separating them and Tottenham and there is genuine fear from fans that the club are on course for the Europa League and the consequences that come with that.
However, whilst the situation may not be desirable, it may be the kick up the backside the club desperately needs.
It's no secret that Arsenal have plenty of money in the transfer kitty but also have a reluctance to spend, much to the fans outrage and the clubs detriment. Failing to qualify could offer the club’s board members a reason to finally put their hands in their pockets – as I’m sure they would not like to fall behind bitter rivals Spurs once again.
The possible pit falls of failing to qualify for Europe’s top football tournament is that Arsenal’s top players may leave to find Champions League football, namely Santi Cazorla, Olivier Giroud, Lukas Podolski, Theo Walcott and Jack Wilshire.
Having spent four years at Villarreal and a year at Malaga, Cazorla is no stranger to dropping in and out of Champions League football. The Spaniard, along with Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski, only joined at the start of the season and would be unlikely to jump ship so quickly – Podolski going as far as distancing himself from transfer speculation from Juventus.
Walcott signed a three-year deal only in January and Wilshire seems to be loyal to the Gunners, so is there need for worry?
Putting it into perspective, many of Juventus’ top players stayed with the club when they were relegated to Serie B - it would seem premature to leave Arsenal for one year out of the Champions League.
Playing in the Europa League could prove to be of more help than a hindrance. Yes playing on a Thursday and then on the weekend seems unappealing but a good run in the tournament could do a world of good for the players’ confidence. Also, should the team go on to win the tournament, it would provide the winning mentality that Arsene Wenger’s side have been lacking in recent years.
Should the Gunners lose out on fourth spot to Tottenham of all teams, the long-serving Arsenal players will have an added determination and a hunger to go out next season and put their bitter rivals back in their place that could propel them to great heights.
Lastly, there's always next season - if Arsene Wenger's side fail to qualify for the tournament this year it's not as if they won't qualify ever again. The club have plenty of quality to battle for qualification and even the season next year, so it's hardly a time to panic.
Champions League is the pinnacle of club football tournaments, but for Arsenal failing to qualify won’t be the end of the world, it may even give them an added incentive not to make the same mistakes again.
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