The season has ended with a new breath of life for English football in Europe, after Arsene Wenger and his men were officially sent packing from the uefa champions league for the first time in the last 20 years under the French manager.
Arsenal got it wrong from the begin of the season, having a strong believe that finishing top four is a right for the club, a feat which the French manager had maintained since 1996/1997 season. But how did they get it wrong?
Chelsea, Manchester City, Tottenham, Manchester United and Liverpool all had a long term dream of being consistent with top four, subsequently representing England in the champions league, the manner with which these clubs hired and fired managers clearly shows they had a vision.
All the managers currently in charge of these five clubs arrived to their various clubs within the last four seasons, with Tottenham’s manager Mauricio Pochettino being the oldest in his club (2014 till date). Mourinho, Conte and Guardiola arrived their clubs just last season, while Klopp is currently going to his third season with Liverpool. Obviously all these managers would want to finish top four, but Arsenal did not in anyway take them serious.
Jose Mourinho saw danger ahead, and opted to concentrate on the Europa League lifeline as an option of getting to the champions league, he even did Wenger and his men a favour, losing for the first time to Wenger by 2-0 in a premier league game that gave Arsenal the boost to continue their quest for a champions league slot, but it was the duo of Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp who reminded the French manager that his time in the champions league had expired, the two managers won their last premier league games convincingly to secure top four spot behind Chelsea and Tottenham respectively.
What Next For Arsenal?
Arsenal need to go back to the drawing board and find out what they intend to achieve in the next 10 years. First they have to adjust towards life in the Europa League and bring their long-term experience in the elite European championship to the second tier European clubs tournament. At least they can learn from Chelsea who won the champions league in 2012 and dropped to the second tier tournament after poor group stage finishing and eventually won the Europa in 2013.
Arsenal could further get inspiration from Manchester United who failed to finish top four under former manager Louis Van Gaal, but are currently in the finals of the Europa League, and with high hopes of winning the trophy for the first time and qualifying for the champions league through that medium.
If Arsenal really want to renew Wenger’s contract, it is their business, but they must set a new goal for him or whoever takes over from him to enable fans enjoy fresh breath at the Emirate stadium.