Alan Smith writes off Arsenal title chances

The sports pundit Alan Smith may have been an Arsenal striker earlier in his career but he doesn’t seem to have any loyalty or belief in Arsene Wenger’s team. In fact he doesn’t think that the Gunners have any chance at all of stopping the title from ending up at Chelsea or Manchester City this season.

“Another trophy would be great this season, but I can’t see them winning the title, I really can’t,” Smith told Talksport. “They’re still a few furlongs behind Chelsea and Manchester City, as well as they might have done in the summer transfer window.

“I think they have moved forward with the signings of Alexis Sanchez, Danny Welbeck and [teenage defender] Calum Chambers, but I still think they are weak in terms of protecting the back-four.

“Realistically you’re looking at another top-four finish, and maybe they can nick a cup again, but unfortunately I still don’t see them as title challengers.”

After the busy transfer window where Arsenal have definitely improved the quality of the squad, I think Smith is being a bit hard on his old team. Surely if we can avoid a repeat of last seasons injury woes then I am certain we can make a sustained challenge on all fronts?

Or am I being overly optimistic?

Tags Chelsea Man City Smith


    1. I hate Arsenal fans for one reason: they are often unrealistic. We often write off opposition teams, then the come back to bite our ass. We often exaggerate our title chances, when in truth the most we can achieve is 3rd or 4th.

    2. Let’s be honest, predictions after 4 games between teams that had comparable squad depth and players would be futile but look at Chelsea and City’s squads, they have top class cover in every position.
      Injuries simply wont derail their season, they could end ours and see us finish outside the top 4, fact.
      We have 6 first team defenders, what if Kos is injured, Gibbs is injured 50% of the time, Mert gets injured and someone gets carded?
      That is not an unreasonable scenario and if it happens we are dead!

      A lot of fans want Wenger out and they are justified in that.
      Cesc has given Chelsea 5 assists in 4 games, Costa has scored 4 of 6 shots on target.

      2 instances where players could and should have come to Arsenal.
      Allowing Cesc to go to a rival was a sackable offence, who would you rather have in your squad for the city game, Cesc or ‘fall to the ground or run at a wall of defenders’ Jack?

      We had another transfer window that could have been a complete shambles, another deadline day where we were running around like amateurs looking for players that were desperately needed to make the team competitive.
      I am glad we got Welbeck, I think he will come good but it was a close run thing and our search for a striker was only achieved with an extension request plus we didn’t get a CB or a DM, unforgivable.

      The transfer team at this club should be sacked but in truth we all know that one deluded old man controls that and way too many other things at the club.
      We have a good squad with glaring gaps and a manager with the tactical nous of George Bush in a nursery on 9/11.

      “we have often been ahead at Christmas” really?
      Is there not a stat that the team that was ahead at Christmas won the league 6 out of 10 years or something similar, don’t remember us winning the league for a long time so your statement sounds misinformed or made up.

  1. The great Arsenal makeover is only starting, we will get to the top soon…maybe not this season but we are coming back.

    COYG! And best of luck to Jack, Alex and Danny tonight!

    1. As long as scrooge weneger is managing we will never n I mean never will win epl or champion league. Mark my word.his happy taking 7 millions a year n finishing 4th.them weneger licker akb will always cher him on cos they dont love the club only thing they care abt is there lord weneger.
      Keep thinging

  2. I do think injuries will play a big part in how far we go this season, if we can have a relatively injury free season i think we have a decent shot at the title. But wenger has also got to play the everyone in the right positions, like ozil should be played in his preferred central role rather than on the left wing where he is relatively ineffective, hopefully he will be once walcott is back. Am quietly confident about this season but dont want to open my mouth too soon.

  3. Even if we retain our FA Cup and have a nice run in the League and CL, i am happy.

    We are actually one year away from challenging for the title.

    1. we said that last season too. If we had just bought a DM we could be challenging honestly. The thing that separates us from City and Chelsea is mainly a powerful midfield. And a top striker, but i get the feeling we already have the answer somewhere in our squad. Even for CB, we have Chambers, and possibly Hayden for now.

      And unfortunately, there are zero guarentees Wenger will buy a new CDM this January, or summer. He always likes to leave gaping holes in our squad.

      1. @sumo its frustrating cos two more buys – we would have been contenders this year, we had more than enough to spend.

        theres always a risk out of stubborness wenger will never fully plug all the gaps in our squad down to blind faith.
        last year was a bitter pill to swallow-one buy an the title was ours

        1. @Muff-
          Welbz- 16mil
          Sanchez- 35mil
          Debuchy- 12mil
          Chambers- 16mil
          Ospina- 4mil

          Total- 83mil in one transfer window.

          Forget net spend and outgoing.
          83mil in one window. January is still left.
          Had you ever forseen Wenger spending 60mil even?

          Give it till January. And next summer window.

          1. WelbecK . Addition
            Sanchez Addition

            Deubuchy A Replacement

            Ospina A Replacement

            Chambers A Replacement

            I make that two new players at 51m / 50m short of what he had to spend.

            1. like i have mentioned before nobody really knows what the transfer budget is so we might have not even spend a quarter of what the real budget(all in that is)was we will never know, its in arsenals best interests not to let anyone know how much there is. But as you have correctly pointed out though is that we only really spent the budget on 2 additional players really (even thought i believe that they would have been covered by c/l monies and other finances from building projects we make money and monies owed from debts owed to us from barca and others for players sold in years gone buy on thus not really touching the puma and emirates money at all £70 million+).
              All others were covered by sales of there replacements or wages off the wage bill(we shifted 11 players of the bill no doubt saving us millions towards new transfers and brought 5 in) and sales of fringe players. that wenger (economics genius) is crafty sod with the clubs money all slight of hand and the money disappears(poof!) without a trace lol

              1. same problem next season when we got to replace more aging first teamers and squad players budget will be wasted on replacing all those players instead of additional 2 worldy class player to boost the squad we have diaby and hopefully arteta(am hoping contract talks are false) coming off the books at least to worry about replacing am hoping the youths can step up in to those position they are positions we are strong in at academy level atm my wish is wenger at least can use a good size budget in jan to start covering problematic d/m and c/b pos then he only has to worry about using summer budget to get a big bid in on any world class player that is available to us in any position wengers choice!

      2. RSH. Do you really believe Wenger did NOT try and get a CB and DM in the transfer window.
        I know we were linked with dozens, and, most would have been Red Herrings, but, not all.
        Smith IS being honest, and I share his opinion. Cty and Chelsea have had a massive financial advantage over us for 5-10 years. and a couple of transfer windows can not pull that back in such a short period.
        Wenger could have done a Utd, and spent £200 million and rising, but, that would have put us in the very financial situation that our Club would never go down.

      3. Why is it 8 defenders is ok for chelsea but not ok for arsenal? In Chelsea’s 7 they have youngsters like zouma and ake we have bellerin chambers and hayden. They also play players out of position, their right back plays left back so that their 3rd choice centre back can play at right back. Look at Chelsea’s champions league squad, just 20 players on the A list. Other teams don’t fair too much better, city obviously could only name 21 and when you look who is in their squad there is a few that wouldn’t get in arsenals squad. Liverpool similarly could only name 22. We also have more players than them on our b list too.

        1. it’s cuz they’ve got cesc and Diego costa, we have arteta and Giroud/Welbeck for those positions.

          what we really need is to figure out what to do with the midfield player overload.
          I sincerely think that diaby has to go if he’s not gonna feature more than 3 games.

  4. I for once feel Wenger has got this attitude of leaving some gaps in his team so that at the end of the season everyone will be saying, “If only we could have” done this or that…. He knows what he is doing and has a rizin for that. If he strengthens on all fronts and fails to get anything, his weaknesses will b exposed… So…. fellow Gunners, let’s lower our expectations a bit, at least kip supporting our team thru these difficult Wenger times….

    1. exactly. We all said this summer, to just fill a few positions and were just as good as any other team. Wenger fails to do it, waits until deadline day to try to sign a bunch of players, and now were so blatantly weak in CDM position. The whole fanbase and pundits say the position were weak in and its ignored completely. Cannot be by accident.

      1. I personally just don’t think there’s the right calibre of DMF available to sign.. is carvalho so much better than flamini (im actually asking cus ive not seen the lad play) ???

        1. when the media and fans say its a quality then its a quality….

          players like Mvilla, Capoue, Sissoko, Mbigwa, Tiote, Diame are some world class DM.. Wenger misses out

          1. mvilla diame.. these names you mentioned are not world class in my book and not sure if there much better if any than mikel or flam so just not sure it would be worthwhile signing.

            a bender brother on the other hand but apart from them im struggling to think of the player that would raise our level ahead of what we already have

            1. Schneiderlin, Luiz Gustavo, heck we couldve showed even more ambition and tried for Xabi Alonso when he was available. If Mouriho can get Fab to join Chelsea, why couldnt we get Alonso. Instead Wenger just waited for deadline day.

        2. Schneiderlin, was available most of the summer as well until we waited for Liverpool to buy all their players. Still not believing Khedira was never available (though hes not a pure CDM). Bender we never even tried… We never even tried to bid for a CDM

            1. twitter sources say we bid for Carvalho and they arent the most reliable. But bidding too low for a player sounds 100% like us so I’d believe it.

        3. Carlvaho is unproven, but that’s not the only player we could have gotten…
          There’s no player without a price.
          We could have gotten Bender, Morgan, Matuidi etc. But ur fu**ing manager has project ” Build Youngster” as his primary Objective.

  5. Think we’ve got a great squad that can rival anyone but unfortunately man c n chelsea have assembled sides with players that have already won a lot throughout their careers giving them the edge come crunch time when it comes down to mental strength, not saying our players haven’t got it but there’s more pressure on them to prove they can handle it.

    I believe were on the cusp of a special team, hope the lads prove me right.

  6. Only deluded fans believe that we can win the League. But if we win, that is football, anything can happen.

  7. We are actually 3 players away from being a top team.
    Welbeck is an unknown entity, he might or might not be the striker we need.He might score 25+ goals in which case we have found our man or he might not, so there is definitely a question mark there.
    Per is too slow and getting slower, we need a replacement. Is Chambers the one who can replace him? Not very likely in the short term but possible.
    Arteta,Flamini,Coquelin are not good enough to be our first choice DM. Can Wilshire be the one? Highly unlikely. Can Diaby stay fit? I wouldn’t bet on it.

    So these are the three positions where we need, PROVEN quality to be able to challenge this season or hope that Chambers, Welbeck and Wilshire fulfill their potentials.

    Cavani,Carvalho,Hummels would have been the ideal players in those positions. Maybe next year or maybe our kids are ready…

      1. Dude it would have been beta, if we had spent that 90million and be sure of some real competition, rather than spending 60million+ & be wishing or hoping that sanchez can play top 9, chambers fufil his potential, welbeck can be the man 4 us, wilshere achieves his potential, with so many other wishes & at the end of the day end up with nothing.

  8. arsenal needs 2 do well till jan & sign say William carvalho/ a cb & if possible a striker it could change things around & hope wenger doesn’t bring the bullsh*t about no players being available in jan chelski brought matic for 25m in jan

    1. do u remember alotta people here laughing about matic buy…even though he was player of the year in that league past season,
      not so funny now is it?

  9. United have Falcao, RVP, Rooney, Di Maria, Mata
    City have Aguero, Dzeko, Nasri, yaya, fernandinho, kompany, Jovetic
    Chelsea have Costa, fabregas, Remy, Hazard, Matic, Willian
    We have Walcott, Sanchez, Ramsey, Ozil, Cazorla

    We are missing a top striker unlike the other teams who have Falcao, Aguero, Costa

    Also Fabregas is better than Ozil in that he not only assists goal scorers but scores goals himself. United are oozing quality in midfield and up front.

    Realistically, I see us fighting City for 3rd place and that’s if Walcott returns and plays his best, Ozil improves and Giroud/Welbeck play the best they have ever played. If Not, we will fight Liverpool for 4th.

    1. we only need a defensive mid for us to be regarded as true contenders but Wenger always has something off his sleeves but on a reality check I’m not expecting us to win the title but 3rd place would be an improvement.

  10. we were suppose 2 use the FA cup win to take us 2 next level yet it’s the same story this season we are still 3-4 players short away from being title contenders/complete squad

    how the heck did diaby stay at arsenal this long is amazing & why doesn’t wenger give chance 2 akpom he is being wasted in u-21’s he is better than sanogo + how does sanogo play ahead of Campbell/podolski is again beyond me

  11. Bla Bla Bla,

    same every year we have to except that Arsenal don’t want to pay players so much money and that’s that move on and support what we have because we don’t have a choice we love our club end of,

    they buy one good player and a few replacements to shut us up but the truth is we can compete with the best clubs in the transfer wars.

  12. I think we have some good players in the squad but the problem is they are not playing their best in my opinion. Our young players also seem to take too long to be integrated into the team. Sterling will walk into our first 11 but players like Alex and Wilshere are yet to hit top form. I thought 3rd place was guaranteed but with the purchases Man u has made in the last month, we need to play very well to make top 4

  13. Now that’s twice you said the same thing.
    Why? Aren’t you happy in life? No one is allowed to repeate sentences here.
    Do you just want MORE and MOOR?

    Kidding bro.

  14. Can we win the league this season??? Rather than answering that question, answer this 1… Do we have a better team this season then we had last season???

    I really do believe we have a better team/squad this season than we had last season and we only ended up 7 points off the title!

    If we can keep the core of our team injury free then why can’t we win it? Toure carried city last year and he has not looked as good this season. Suarez was magical for Liverpool but he has now gone.

    It’s only Chelsea who look better than last year, if we can finally beat these sides at home and avoid defeat away than yea we can win the league!

  15. Honestly, Leo,, u right… How Sanogo plays ahead of Podolsky beats me.That guy is crap to say the least. Camphell and Akpom are faaaaaar much better options… Maybe Wenger watches football with one eye… Sanogo should go for a loan spell at Preston or MKD…. Promote Akpom instead, that boy has talent… Wenger is breaking my heart….

  16. On Deadline day Wenger was not even in the Country he was in ITALY every other Manager was at his trying to do business so if you think Wenger gives a Sxxx think again.

    1. Thats my poind dandy gunner, that morron manager dont give a f**k abt our club.his happy taking 7 millions a year.i mean look on transfer day deadlines he should have been busted his ass looking for a dm or a world class striker but instead wat he does his out promoting him self.look at them morrons akb lickers stiil deffend there lord.

  17. If we had signed Lars Bender and another competent Cb then I’d say would have had an excellent shot at the title. Right now I think Alan Smith is spot on though and without being too pessimistic, we are just one or two injuries short at the back from being an utter catastrophe. If two of our Cb’s get injured, we are tickets, not to mention in front of them we gave the aging legs of Arteta and Flamini.

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