If Arsenal finish third will Wenger have the last laugh?

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has had undoubtedly his most testing season in his 17-year reign in North London.

He’s overseen, however you look at it, the sale of his best player to his greatest rival in Robin van Persie’s transfer to Manchester United.

He’s seen his season ambitions fall apart, in the Premier League, long before Christmas and has experienced some of the most unsavory and aggressive backlash from the fans after disappointing cup defeats.

The media have jeered and jabbed at him at every turn of opportunity – of which there have been numerous – and the fans have followed suit with their ‘WengerOut’ hashtags on Twitter and ‘you don’t know what you’re doing’ chants on one or two occasions.

Arsenal are currently fifth, two points behind with a game in hand on North London rivals Tottenham as they chase ardently for a top four finish to qualify for next season’s Champions League.

The Gunners moved up to fourth briefly on Saturday following a determined win over West Brom. Chelsea and Tottenham both have one eye on their Europa League ambitions and the latter are now missing their best player and talisman Gareth Bale.

Arsenal could very well finish third – I expect them to finish fourth – behind Manchester City and leaders Manchester United.

Whilst their exit from the Champions League, FA Cup, League Cup and their complete omission from the title race this term will not make a satisfactory season for the fans, players, or the manager.

However, should Arsenal emerge as the third best team in the country, I think Wenger will be entitled to a giggle at the expense the press and media who so casually dismissed him and his team this term.

Third and fourth place do not equal a trophy, you can’t argue with that but it would provide some vindication to the Frenchman who comes in for some flack he probably doesn’t deserve on an increasingly regular basis.

If they don’t make fourth, it’ll be no laughing matter. But if they finish third, it’ll be the Arsenal manager who has the last laugh. The 63-year-old now has 7 games left to prove the old adage remains true: “Arsene knows.”

image: © wonker

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