Arsenal aim for top four place sooner rather than later

Can we win the Champions League? It’s possible, though unlikely if everyone else plays to the best of their abilities.

Can we win the Premier League title? With Manchester United in the form they’re in, who would bet against them?

Of course, we HAVE to believe, we have to keep going and watch as the wonderful game of football throws up more surprises and unpredictable moments that make it such a soap opera.

But the REAL challenge starts tomorrow night at Everton as the chase for fourth place hots up.

The Blue side of Liverpool has been impressive of late and they aren’t very far behind us.

True, they may well be short of a few strikers with Yakubu injured for the season and Louis Saha crocked as usual, but they have players who can do damage.

Joleon Lescott has  knack of scoring and Tim Cahill has been a quality player since his Millwall days.

West Ham seem to have got through a few of their teething troubles under Gianfranco Zola and despite being fortunate to coast past Hartlepool at the weekend, they always raise their game against us.

Every Arsenal win or defeat is met with dramatic overstatement thesedays but if we came out with six points from the next two league games, I predict that we will be back in the top four by the start of February...

Wigan and Portsmouth may not provide quite the challenge to strike fear into Aston Villa over the rest of the season, but I still have a sneaking suspicion that Villa will drop points against them.

Oh yes, they’ve signed Emile Heskey. Who has as many goals as goalshy midfielder Denilson and crocked Theo Walcott. His stats are rubbish and although he can be a nuisance, even his passing is woeful.

Pompey on a wintery night is an intimidating place to go and even with the clueless TA in charge (he is not cut out to be a manager and will never be put in charge of Arsenal), they may just pull something out of the bag.

And Wigan gave us a hard time at the Emirates earlier this season – Steve Bruce has them well organised, has replaced decent players with hungry players capable of stepping up – I could see the Latics snatching a draw as well.

I’d prefer it if our games were the other way round – we could do with a home fixture to get things moving again, but at least against Everton, their position hopefully means that the proper Arsenal will turn up rather than the one who sometimes takes opponents too lightly.

Which brings us onto the FA Cup. Cardiff next week could be definitive, given the yearning for trophies and the generally held view that it’s our best chance of silverware.

Arsène Wenger clearly thinks getting injuries in the cup would hamper our league form and whatever he says, dropping out of the top four is a potential disaster on so many different levels.

I’m more optimistic than ever that we will return to the top four.

Eduardo is only days away from a return and his potency will be like a new signing. By the end of next month we should have Theo back and, rumour has it, Tomas Rosicknote has started training again.

I’ll be quite happy scraping our way through another turgid month of close shaves and near things before the big Guns return.

Then just watch us go....