‘Best of the rest’ – Perry Groves fancies Arsenal’s Champions League chances
Arsenal legend Perry Groves feels the club have to “be realistic” with their hopes of success next season – but suggests that fourth place is well within The Gunners’ reach in 2019/20.
Unai Emery’s side agonisingly missed out on a Champions League berth on two fronts last year, but Groves is counting on the “turmoil” at some of their top-six rivals to give Arsenal a fighting chance in achieving a first CL spot in four years come the end of the next campaign.
Speaking up his former side’s chances of a top-four finish on TalkSPORT, Groves admitted Arsenal are no longer one of the best in England, but Champions League qualification is still very much on the cards.
He said: “I know we’re battling to be best of the rest again. Realistically, that’s fourth.
“Manchester United are in a bit of turmoil – Solskjaer is not going to be good enough. Chelsea are in a little bit of turmoil; they can’t sign any players.
“So fourth place is really going to be competitive and I want us to be in a position to be able to compete.
“I know it shows how far we’ve dropped, competing for fourth place – but we’ve got to be realistic.”
Arsenal have not finished in the top four since their second-place finish in 2016, when they were runners-up to Leicester City.
A Europa League triumph would have bypassed their failure to achieve a top-four finish, though their Champions League dream ended after their emphatic final defeat to Chelsea.
However, the singular point between themselves and the top four will surely give The Gunners hope considering the struggles of their rivals that Groves alludes to.
Given Arsenal only lost one of their league matches against Chelsea, United and Spurs last season, The Gunners have previous of performing in the bigger games under Unai Emery.
Unless a surprise candidate emerges, something will have to give between the vying clubs – though with Chelsea unable to buy players and Manchester United having not won in the league since April – Arsenal could yet find themselves well-positioned for a top-four place come May.Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!