Arsenal: 8 Reasons the Gunners Can Topple Manchester City and United Next Year
Arsenal could challenge both Manchester clubs for the title next year though they don't have to.
The Gunners are in a very precarious position at the moment and could be passed by both Newcastle and Tottenham should they lose to West Bromwich Albion on the final day of the season.
If everything goes well for the club both on the field and off it, they could surprise everyone and become the champions.
Here are eight reasons why Arsenal could topple Manchester City and United next season.
Arsene Wenger has to take some credit for the fact that Arsenal can possibly still finish in third place. He has definitely taken a lot of hits and criticism this season, more so than others, but he is the club's longest tenured manager for a reason.
It will start in the transfer market—it already has with Lukas Podolski—and then Wenger will have to fine-tune his team to compete as they should next season.
Wenger will ensure that Arsenal does not recreate some of this season's poor performances, and his managerial experience will go a long way to help the club get back to the top.
Players Jack Wilshere and Abou Diaby have missed the entire season and their return—that of the Englishman in particular—will provide a solid boost to the club.
These players, almost like new signings for the club, will strengthen the team’s midfield depth. There are several loan players returning as well but it is unlikely any of them will be a part of the team next season.
Robin Van Persie
If he stays, it's obvious that Robin Van Persie will have a major impact on the team's fortune next season.
The PFA Player of the Year will look to lead again from the front-line, and if he gets a little bit more help, some really good things could happen for the Gunners.
Lukas Podolski has already joined the club, and Arsenal fans are hopeful that one or two more quality signings are on the way.
Podolski's signing alone has strengthened the attack and provided Robin Van Persie with some much needed help, but Arsenal could still do with help in other areas.
Defense has remained an issue throughout the season. While the various injuries have to be taken into account, a quality addition at left-back could be especially helpful.
Second Year for Mikel Arteta
Mikel Arteta has come into the squad and done a very solid job of replacing Cesc Fabregas. He hasn't filled up the statistical categories but his play-making skills, experience and composure have made for some very good moments for the teams play on the pitch.
With one year under his belt, learning the Arsenal style of play and his teammate’s tendencies, Arteta could prove to be much more effective and influential next season.
Improved Wing Play
Gervinho, Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are the players up for discussion, and there is also a possibility that Lukas Podolski could see himself on the wings from time to time.
Gervinho and Theo Walcott have had similar seasons; They have each impressed at various intervals and disappointed at others.
Every time fans think Walcott is ready to become the player who fulfills his potential he falls back into some of his old habits.
Gervinho deserves a little forgiveness considering this is his first year in England. With any luck, he will come back with a much better return in both the goals and assist categories.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has shown great promise and will certainly see more playing time next season. If he continues to play as he has, he could become an important player for the team.
Along with these players, Lukas Podolski will hope to make productive use of his experience and skill whenever he plays on the wing.
If the three returning players can up their productivity and consistency—and Podoslki can provide some of his own, Arsenal will be a much more potent attacking force.
It's not that Manchester City, United or any other English club lack team unity but this Arsenal team has a great bond.
The team's unity kept them through tough times and helped them produce some good runs of form this season. There aren't any players voicing discontent at the club's problems and that's good.
Arsenal will have a lot to prove next season, and the team's unity will help them find success.
Arsenal's reputation has taken a hit due to their lack of success over the last few seasons. The fact that they may finish in third place is a bit of a surprise considering some of the results this season.
If results don't go their way on Sunday and the team ends up in fifth place, things could be even worse.
Arsenal may get a little less respect next season, though not to the point of being dismissed entirely. The players could certainly use that to their advantage and make a statement with each and every game during the campaign.
Arsenal may be underestimated as a title contender despite the club's pedigree and the lack of pressure on the players.
Fans may be looking for silverware, and rightly so, but the players and staff of the club should take things a game at a time.
At the end of the season, Arsenal may find itself on top.