5 reasons for Arsenal to be cheerful
Published 17/03/2016 | 09:01
Arsenal were knocked out of the Champions League on Wednesday night as Barcelona saw them off comfortably 3-1 at the Nou Camp.
It means the Gunners have crashed out of both the FA Cup and Champions League in the space of four days and, having surrendered the lead of the Barclays Premier League they held at the turn of the year, things are not looking rosy for Arsene Wenger's men.
They travel to Everton for Saturday's early kick-off 11 points adrift of table-topping Leicester. But do not despair Arsenal fans, as here Press Association Sport's Mark Bryans highlights just five reasons to be positive at the moment.
NO MORE EXPENSIVE EUROPEAN AWAY DAYS
Arsenal have the dearest home tickets in the Premier League, so if there is one positive way of viewing yet another Champions League last 16 exit it is to see it as a cash in the bank rather than shelling out for trips to Munich, Madrid or Paris.
Likewise, Sunday's FA Cup defeat to Watford has saved Arsenal fans the cost of funding two trips to Wembley. Now all they have left to worry about are the nine remaining Premier League games - bargain!
THE EMIRATES CUP IS ONLY FOUR MONTHS AWAY
Arsenal can look to defend their last trophy in style over the two-day, four-match tournament hosted exclusively at their Emirates Stadium home.
Wenger's men have actually won the Emirates Cup four times in the eight seasons it has been running, making them by far the most successful club in the competition's history - so this could come as a timely pick-me-up if the current campaign leaves Arsenal empty-handed.
YOU HAVE £135MILLION IN THE BANK TO SPLURGE IN THE SUMMER
Whether Wenger will spend any of the club's cash reserve remains to be seen but what a transfer window Arsenal fans can look forward to.
Only Petr Cech was added last year as Arsenal were the only club out of Europe's top five leagues not to sign an outfield player - but what if some of their wealth is invested in the next Alexis Sanchez or Mesut Ozil?
UEFA COEFFICENT - MAY THE FOURTH BE WITH YOU
Pep Guardiola's arrival at Manchester City in the summer will upset some Arsenal fans who would rather have seen him take the place of Wenger at the Emirates helm.
But his current Bayern Munich side did Arsenal a huge favour by knocking Juventus out of the Champions League on Wednesday night as it means England has a better coefficient than Italy.
As such, a fourth-placed finish in the Premier League, for this season and next at least, will still mean qualification into the Champions League, something which will come as music to the ears of most Gunners supporters.
YOU ARE STILL BETTER THAN RIVALS CHELSEA & MANCHESTER UNITED
That has to count for something - particularly in terms of gloating.
Forget that fiercest foes Tottenham are threatening to finish above the Gunners and potentially yet win the title, getting one over both Chelsea and United is enough to raise a smile.
While reigning Premier League champions Chelsea have sacked Jose Mourinho and Louis van Gaal's tenure at Old Trafford continues to stutter, Arsenal have performed better, or on par, in both the league and in Europe. In Arsene they trust.