Why Arsene Wenger's shortcomings are actually helping Arsenal

The division of opinion created by Arsene Wenger is rarely matched by any other character in football.

Some Arsenal fans, loyal to the Frenchman, love him. Others - without saying hate - feel Wenger is and has for some time been past his best. Some high-profile Arsenal fans change their mind every few minutes...

His achievements within English football are unquestionable but as, after all this time, is his lack of silverware over the last decade or so.

Yes, Arsenal won the FA Cup last season and could do so again this term, while they are still in the Champions League - as ever when it comes to the last 16 (but rarely beyond that stage).

Compared to the riches of yesteryear, however, one FA Cup simply doesn't cut it - hence the bout of anti-Wengerism.

But, at the same time, Wenger and the Gunners' shortcomings of late have actually aided the north London side.

Arsenal's impressive recent win at Manchester City aside - that kind of result has rarely ever happened and could provide change - the Gunners have had an air about them in recent years that they will win any game that means finishing in the top four and lose every game that could win them a league title or take them into the top two.

Focusing on the positives, though, Arsenal's lack of competitiveness at the top is a double-sided coin. The players seem lazy - as if they know what they have to do finish third or fourth and won't do anything more.

The caveat is that they will do whatever it takes to get into the top four - and have done so time after time. If it came down to an all-or-nothing clash with Tottenham, Liverpool or Southampton to make it into the Champions League, you would fancy Wenger's men every time.

As such, would you really back anyone to finish fourth over Arsenal this term?

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