With seven games to go in the premier league season, Arsenal are sitting in 4th position ( a position we know far too well) but more importantly have an FA cup semi-final to look forward to in April vs Wigan. This position is one of strength but also a position that can leap-frog Arsenal into future success if we can beat Wigan in the Fa cup and Sheffield United/ Hull in the final.
Arsenal's success over the past nine years has been dramatically different to the past success we had with the infamous "Invincibles" of the 2003/2004 season and this nine year period has left us without a single piece of silverware since the FA cup in 2005. Over this time we have come close on some occasions such as the heartbreak of conceding a last minute goal in the Champions league final in 2006 and the Birmingham Carling cup final in 2011. These are moments that I do not look at with fondness,but although we have reached these finals I do not feel you can regard them as a success if there is no silverware at the end.
This season could be different as we are so close to silverware like before but I do not think we will be as complacent as we were in those previous finals and the players will know what's at stake in these games. The typical response of Arsenal fans(myself included) when they saw Wigan progress against Man City was one of happiness in knowing you have an easier opponent to face but also that we cannot underestimate our opponent. Wigan are the FA cup holders and are known for causing cup upsets so it will not be an easy game but if we approach it the right way could be a game that sees us go into the final and get closer to ending this trophy drought.
So what would you define as a successful season? Winning the FA cup and finishing in the top 4 would for me be a successful season and one that is an improvement on the last, this target is very realistic but we need to approach the games right in order to do so. Aside from the FA cup, for Arsenal champions league qualification this year seemed a formality but recent results have changed this dramatically. With a defeat to Chelsea and a disappointing draw at home to Swansea it has left Arsenal only six points ahead of Everton but crucially the toffees have a game in hand with the fixture between the two sides beckoning. If Arsenal can keep this six point margin after the game against Everton in a few weeks then qualification for the Champions league should be secured but we need to avoid defeat against City and Everton which will be no easy task. If we do, by the end of the season win the FA cup and qualify for the Champions league then I would consider this season to be a success but if we do not then it will be again another disappointing season with a lack of silverware