He may have apologized for taking his shirt off in ecstatic celebration of a goal that eventually broke a 27-year old record but the hero of last weekend’s late evening Super Sunday clash at Old Trafford has no fears about his belief that Southampton will pip one of the traditional big boys to a fourth place finish in the League this season.
Tadic had barely come to earth the last time United suffered a home defeat to Southampton but his second half goal was the difference between two teams under the tutelage of Dutch craftsmen, and the Serb believes there is no limit to what they can achieve this season, which includes a place in the Champions League next season.
“The race for a top four finish will go down to the wire and if we keep up the food form, playing in Europe’s premier club competition could easily become a reality.” Tadic said, according to the Express.
“It will be tough because Manchester United and Arsenal are very good teams and will do everything they can to leapfrog us, but it’s now down to us to repel their onslaught.”
For a team many tipped to have a potential relegation battle on their hands after the massive exodus that saw them lose 6 of their best first team players last season, sitting in third place and above all the clubs where those players and former manager abandoned them for is not only a right to be proud of their hardwork but also gives them belief that they can go on and build on it. Tadic was only one of the unknowns who Ronald Koeman brought into the team this season, but four League goals and more than half-a-dozen assists has established him as one of the Saints’ stars this season.
Despite a poor showing in the first round of their supposed ‘big tests’ in December, losing three in a row to City, United and Arsenal, they have now taken 7 of 9 possible points from the Chelsea, Arsenal and United, and it’d be a joke to dismiss Tadic’s ambitions now.
But is there any reason to be scared of the challenge? Football as a sport, would be dead without new challenges and the matter of Southampton challenging Arsenal and United for a top four spot should add more to the zest that both put into their coming games, which is only good for the League.
For the regular Arsenal fan, however, the battle of top four has become a regular occurrence and if recent events are anything to go by, Arsene Wenger somehow knows how to claim that fourth place trophy, even if it takes him to the final day of the season. Tottenham and Everton have pushed the Gunners to the very limit in recent years but be it via a Lasagne or a man called Pulis, Arsenal always pull through.
It may be worth noting to Tadic that Tottenham and Liverpool are not out of the top four race either and maybe a complacency when facing them may cost them, if he has already ruled them out, thereby opening the door for both Arsenal and United.
This time last season, Arsenal were first; then fifth by the second week of April, then fourth after the penultimate game of the season. It’s still a marathon, the League.
Follow oohtobeagooner on Facebook
for more latest Arsenal transfer news, injury news, team news and rumours.