I’ve gone on record that I think Arsenal are going to finish fourth and qualify for the Champions League. That belief stems mostly from confidence in the team and the way they are playing, but also a bit from my desire to look at the glass half full in as many aspects of my life as I possibly can.
There’s a decent chance that the Gunners don’t qualify for the Champions League next season. That chance had dropped to 34% before Spurs won yesterday, now it’s back to 40%. It feels as though a lot of us, because Arsenal are in the midst of a run of good form, the team is really likeable, and we are desperate to believe in our club again are not fully registering that 40% is a significant portion of the time!
I’ve written about tempering expectations and trying to be realistic with what is still a near impossibly young Arsenal side. But from a practical standpoint, what does that look like? If the Gunners miss the Champions League, should Mikel Arteta still get a new contract? Arteta is entering the final year of his contract with Arsenal (and Pep Guardiola’s time at Manchester City is likely winding down. What do you do about Bukayo Saka, who also needs a new contract and has said he wants to be playing in the Champions League?
If things don’t work out this season, what do you do if you’re Arsenal? And in the case of Bukayo Saka, is there anything you can do?