Arsenal on Saturday were knocked out of the FA cup 1-0 by Southampton in the fourth round. It was a painful exit to many Arsenal supporters who have become fond of this competition.
The exit means that Arsenal will not be adding a 15th FA trophy to their cabinet this season but will remain record holders of the competition.
Besides the negative aspect of the situation they’re a few positives that could be termed as “blessings in disguise” that could come as a result of the FA cup exit.
Arsenal will now solely focus on qualification for the Champions League. With two competitions left (Premier & Europa League) Arsenal can now put their ambitions on Europe’s top tier competition.
The Gunner’s squad could not compete in three competitions so at some point a sacrifice was to be made and in this case its the FA cup.
The Premier and Europa League give Arsenal two chances of finally qualifying for Champions League football. A finish in the top four on the table or winning the Europa League.
As things stand Arsenal sit 11th on the table, about 7 points away from the top four after nineteen matches. The League has nineteen more matches before concludes so Arsenal still have a decent chance of finishing in the top four though it will be a tough struggle.
Plan B would be winning the elusive Europa League which would be direct qualification for next seasons Champions League.
However, should last seasons events happen again, an early exit from the Europa League and finishing eighth in the League Arsenal would completely miss out on European football.
The FA cup victory last season bailed Arsenal out of that situation, getting them straight into the Europa League group stage.
Therefore Arsenal must make a big effort of either finishing at least fourth in the League or winning the Europa League to qualify for the Champions League. If not, finish at least sixth in the League to qualify for the Europa League