Lukas Podolski feels that winning the FA Cup will be a huge boost for Arsenal but the club’s first priority should be top four finish in the league.
The German international says, it would be a “disaster” for the Gunners, should they fail to qualify for the Champions League.
Podolski said: “Every season is a pressure when you don’t win anything and the newspapers speak about it, the fans gets nervous but we have the chance this year to win the FA Cup so maybe it helps the club, us and the boss.
“But the other important thing is to get fourth place back because when you don’t play in the Champions League, it’s a disaster.”
‘May be it helps’ the club? May be?
I can fully understand the dilemma Podolski is facing.
For any international player coming to a big club, playing in the Champions League always holds the first priority.
Already, fans have started to question, whether this season will be considered a success, should Arsenal end their trophy drought but finish in top four. Or may be fail to do so.
Arsene Wenger, all these years has managed to keep the club competitive by guiding his team into the Champions League, each and every season.
But, in doing so, they’ve been endured a trophy drought spell for the last nine years. The winning mentality that was once the hallmark of Wenger’s Arsenal has corroded while the London club was drawn into the vortex of stagnation.
Therefore, winning the FA Cup is so vital for Arsenal this season. Not ‘may be’ but ‘it will’ inject a new belief in the team. No matter how good your players are and how tactically astute your manager might be, but ‘motivation’ and ‘belief’ is something without which, nothing is possible.
It will inculcate the winning mentality again in the squad that will help them push for league glory next season, or ‘may be’ something bigger.
The best example they’ve in front as blue print is Manchester United. Sir Alex Ferguson’s young Manchester United side won the league cup in 2006 and went on to win the Premier League for the next three consecutive seasons.
Wenger himself stressed on the fact that post 2004-05, when they moved to the new stadium, Champions League was important for the club to maintain the financial stability.
“The Champions League was vital for us to survive at the top until now,” he said.
“For me, it was the minimum requirement at the start of the season. But don’t imagine I haven’t sacrificed every day of my life to win a trophy. Everybody fights for that.”
Now, the situation has changed. Arsenal are financially one of the stable clubs in entire Europe. Not only they can bring in quality players, without the Champions League football, but Wenger can hand over the club in a very good shape to his successor, should the Frenchman leaves the club.
Mere finishing in top four won’t lift the Arsenal camp at all. In fact, it will just create another ground of instability, where questions will be asked over the calibre of the manager – the same man who made Arsenal a global brand in modern era.