Although Arsenal are unlikely to make the top four this season, they’ve beaten the odds before.
Arsenal have a habit of playing as if they don’t care about the Champions League for large chunks of the season before recovering and somehow ambling over the final hurdle.
It was 2006 and Arsenal were fifth in the league with five games left. Four points behind bitter rivals, Tottenham.
The Gunners drew the North London Derby at Highbury 1-1 with a late goal from Thierry Henry saving the home team a point.
Arsenal went on to win their remaining fixtures while Spurs lost on the final day of the season to West Ham after the team were hindered by a virus – not food poisoning caused by lasagna, as reports claimed.
Arsenal finished fourth with 67 points; Spurs finished fifth with 65.
It was the season in which Arsenal had previously been crushed 8-2 away to Manchester United.
Come February, the Gunners were still in seventh. However, seven wins on the bounce saw Arsenal climb the table by the end of March.
A win away again West Brom on the final day of the season meant that the Gunners finished third in the league, one point ahead of Spurs in fourth.
However, due Chelsea winning the Champions League that season, Tottenham were still demoted to Europa.
Once again, Arsenal managed to beat Spurs to a Champions League spot after losing 2-1 at White Hart Lane.
In March, they were fifth. However, after the defeat to their north London rivals, they didn’t lose another league game, while Spurs lost two.
Arsenal pipped Spurs to a Champions League spot by one point yet again.
A 3-0 win for Everton over Arsenal on 6 April meant that the Toffees moved to within one point of the Gunners with a game in hand.
Arsenal, however, did what they always do and won their final five games, clinching that fourth spot, five points above Everton.