Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has said that it is not easy to qualify for the Champions League year after year.
The Gunners ended the 2013-14 Premier League campaign in fourth place and will go through a qualifier before the start of next season. If the Gunners do make it to the group stage of Europe’s premier club competition, then it will be the 18th successive year in which they will have featured in it.
The North London club have not won any major trophy since 2005 and last clinched the Premier League in 2004. This season they did look like they could finally win the title, but Wenger’s side got derailed in March and eventually had to settle for fourth spot.
Last season Arsenal also ended up fourth as well, just a point ahead of Tottenham Hotspur. Many of the club’s fans are exasperated that they are yet to taste trophy success in almost a decade, but Wenger believes that featuring in the Champions League year after year in an achievement in itself.
‘It’s not a trophy, but it’s a difficult achievement’, The Sunday People quotes him as saying. ‘If you look across Europe, only one other club has done it in all the major leagues. If it was easy, why do the others not do it?’
Wenger does indeed have a point. Arsenal have established themselves as a Champions League regular and it is not really easy to do that. The Premier League is one of the most competitive domestic leagues in the world and competing with no fewer than seven clubs for a top-four finish is not easy at all.
However, Arsenal have failed to take the next step. Having made themselves a regular in Europe’s premier club competition and a top-four side in England, the Gunners have struggled to go to the next level.
Can they do it next season? Let’s wait and watch.