On Tuesday night Arsenal went back into the top four of the Premier League, as they gutted out a 3-1 win over London rivals West Ham United at the Emirates Stadium.
Talking to reporters after the game, their manager Arsene Wenger knows his side must keep their foot to the floor for the rest of the season if they’re going to overhaul Everton’s slender advantage in the race for a top four finish.
The Toffees have a game in hand and are one point behind Arsenal, meaning that if Roberto Martinez’s side win out, they will finish fourth and qualify for the UEFA Champions League at Arsenal’s expense.
However Wenger is adamant there will be no easy games between now and the end of the season, as he’s focusing on what the Gunners can do.
“In the Premier League, if you can find me some easy games I am taking them, but I haven’t seen some this season,” Wenger said. “We know we have to win our games and hope that Everton will slip up somewhere. Let’s focus on our job and not look too much at Everton. If we need that we’ll see when we need it, but at the moment we can only do it if we win our games, so let’s focus on that.”
With back-to-back wins (well, we are calling Saturday’s PK defeat of Wigan in the FA Cup semifinal a win) confidence is building in Arsenal’s camp ahead of their four remaining games. With away trips to Hull and Norwich to negotiate, plus extremely winnable home matches against Newcastle and West Brom, you’d expect Wenger’s men to pick up maximum points and finish on 79 points at the end of the season.
If they win out, will Arsenal clinch the final UCL spot over Everton? Wenger believes his side have a very good chance.
“It improves the confidence of the team. Saturday and tonight improves the confidence of the team, but we know we have one advantage – the picture is very clear in front of us,” Wenger said. “We have compulsory wins in front of us. We want to do it of course. It doesn’t depend solely on us but it’s a good chance that if we win all our games it’s possible, yes.”