It might be three years now since Arsenal last played in the Champions League but the current season hints that worrying fact could now be put to an end. While there are still whispers of discontent from the fans at Emery’s treatment of Mesut Ozil coupled with Nicolas Pepe’s slow start to the Premier League, there is still lots of room for positives and the most important is that Arsenal are now in a good position to finish in the top four. Unai Emery and the Gunners faithful have their incredible home form to thank for that.
Arsenal have the third-best home form out of any team in the Premier League since the start of last season, something which has helped to see them go into the international break in an automatic qualification spot for the Champions League.
An awful run of form at the end of last season saw Arsenal surrender their place in the top four for another year in the Europa League, suffering defeats to Everton, Crystal Palace, Wolves and Leicester City in the last few weeks of the campaign.
Arsenal still haven’t reached their vintage best under Emery but have now picked up 17 home wins under the former Paris Saint-Germain boss since he took over, a record Opta confirm is only bettered by Pep Guardiola at Manchester City (20) and Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool (21).
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 6, 2019
Sunday’s win against Bournemouth has seen the Gunners move to within one point of Manchester City, with Arsenal leapfrogging Chelsea and Leicester City to go into the international break in third – a better reality than any Arsenal fan would have imagined going into the first quarter of the season.
David Luiz scored his first-ever goal in Arsenal colours to secure the win and although the hosts didn’t offer much else in the form of chances to extend their lead, they were solid enough defensively to hold out for a vital win. Yet another positive character which we don’t see in the Arsenal side very often.
Arsenal’s resilient home form now gives them an extra edge that could see the Gunners sneak into the top four. Furthermore, with some notable members of the traditional “top-six” in the names of Manchester United and Tottenham looking out of all sorts, there is further room for Arsenal to capitalize on this fragile period and gather as many points as they can over the next coming games.
Arsenal are famously known for “bottling” towards the end of the season which is the more reason the open nature of the league standings right now means good news for Arsenal – if they are serious about making the top four. To spot Tottenham, last season’s Champions League finalists, one would have to look as far as ninth place. Manchester United are even in a more critical situation as they lie in 12th position. Their tally of nine points means Solskjaer’s side are currently closer to the relegation zone than they are to a top-four spot (Skysports). Even Guardiola’s Manchester City are only just one point ahead of Arsenal and the Gunners can even see themselves in second place should any more “possible” upsets happen.
With four out of Arsenal’s next seven EPL games coming at home (Skysports), the Gunners will have the mental advantage of getting good results from those games. When you further realize the fact that Arsenal have already played three out of the top five opponents this season, the narrative is that they should expect a more “friendly” run of fixtures, on paper at least. Unai Emery’s side might have been shaky in past weeks, but the fact remains that Arsenal are now unbeaten in their last eight games in all competitions (Skysports).
If the Gunners can maintain their resilience and keep the consistency at home, then they are definitely now in a prime position for a top-four finish.