Arsenal legend Ian Wright believes a top-four finish in the Premier League is off the table and suggested fans were fooled into thinking of it by their 22-match unbeaten run.
After two years without Champions League football, Arsenal turned to Unai Emery to change that as Arsene Wenger’s replacement last summer.
In fairness, Emery has delivered about what could have been expected of him with Arsenal in sixth-place in the standings and through to the knockout stages of the Europa League.
Wright expected no better either and instead believes the Gunners should focus all their efforts in winning the Europa League, which would grant them a place in next season’s Champions League.
“Going back to the unbeaten run, I think that gave people false hope in respect to finishing fourth,” Wright told Radio 5 Live.
“It was a great run but during that run, there were times in it where you thought, ‘Ooh, that was a bit tricky for us, could have done better here, could have done better there.’
“But the fact is that that kind of elevated everybody’s expectations a bit and I still feel top four is still out of our reach if I’m going to be totally honest.
“The Europa League is something that Arsenal should be really focusing on, for me.
“To be honest it’s the only thing you can focus on because if you look at the way it has gone in the Premier League, and it looks like they’ve fallen away a bit, Arsenal.
“Chelsea look like they’re maybe going to emerge a little bit now they’ve got the striker they need, Man United are really on form.
“You have to say that it’s looking a little bit worrying in respect of top four.
“But I think that Europa League is what Arsenal should be focusing on.
“The manager’s got a bit of pedigree in it and I think we can get some guys back [from injury] and have a blast for that.”
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— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) February 6, 2019