Arsenal must win all the games this coming week – Why do I feel like it’s ‘deja vu’ from last year

To be a big club you have to think like a big club. by Dan Smith

Out of the 8 sides in the Champions League Quarter Finals, Arsenal were the only ones in the second leg to play it safe, not dying on their sword.

Man, City were knocked out on penalties while the two Spanish sides actually led at times on Tuesday.

Some Gooners in their desperation to defend their club certainly didn’t make us sound like a big club.

Some wanted a pat on the back just for us competing. Others think Arteta should be immune from criticism because he’s the man who took us back to this level.

There was even attempts to rewrite the narrative. Younger fans are being taught that in midweek the Gunners finally fulfilled a promise that was made when we moved to the Emirates. Now we were competing with Bayern Munich. Except we were not. We won a group we were favourites to win, beat Porto as expected and then were eliminated by the first decent opposition we faced.

You know just like the majority of Arsene Wenger’s European efforts which were mocked?

The irony is the most competitive we ever have been in Europe remains when we were at Highbury.

Talk of our manager losing his job is crazy but he hasn’t reinvented the wheel either.

Think back to the day Mr Wenger walked away.

For years he had been verbally abused for just being happy to sit at the UEFA’s head table without making a fuss. 6 years later, we have gone round the houses, spent lots of money and nothing has changed. Mr Wenger would have beat Lens, PSV, Seville and Porto. He would have been told it was not good enough by the same fans who now call it progress.

Yet, do those supporters mean that?

I ask that because I know the same people who are saying we should be proud just to on this big a stage again, are the same individuals who said we would get to Wembley.

I have written long enough to know that some fans will be positive for the sake of positivity because they believe a definition of a fan is to say everything is wonderful about the team they love.

Everyone is entitled to support how they wish, but simply put, if your always positive for the sake of it, your opinion has zero substance.

For example, do you believe Eddie Nketiah belongs at this level or do you feel obliged to just say that?

The spin I heard on Thursday was that maybe Arsenal would benefit from our defeat in Germany because now we could focus on the Prem run in.

I suddenly was suffering from Deja Vu!

Where had I heard this before?

Oh yeah, 12 months ago when Sporting Lisbon kicked us out of the Europa League.

Remember how that would give us an advantage because Man City would be distracted by three competitions?

How did that work out?

Again, a big club thinks Iike a big club and that includes the fanbase. A big club learns from their disappointments. Yet why are we having the same conversations from last year ……

Liverpool 2-2 Arsenal – it’s okay some said, we have built up a gap to give us room for error.

West Ham 2-2 Arsenal – This draw meant we would now have to get a result at the Etihad to keep our destiny in our own hands, yet some fans reminded us we would have bit your hand off for this situation.

Arsenal 3-3 Southampton

We would now have to win at the Etihad to stay top, but some were happy to keep our destiny in our own hands.

Man City 4-1 Arsenal

Arsenal fate no longer in our own hands but Gooners were quick to stress that there were zero guarantees City would win their games in hand.

 Arsenal 0-3 Brighton

Reminiscent of our second half performance from last Sunday, Man City only had to win one of the last three fixtures.

Yet still some of our fans said ‘stranger things have happened‘.

Forest 1-0 Arsenal

Worryingly reminiscent to how we have played this week. As soon as title race is officially over Gooners preach how this is progress and we would have bitten your hand off for this situation.

Anyone else suffering from Deja Vu this week?

So, let’s make this clear because there will some who will tell you otherwise no matter what happens ….

Some will be positive no matter the reality.

Facts don’t protect your feelings.

Arsenal have to win all three games this week to have a chance of being Champions.

I fear I may suffer from more Deja Vu!



So here are some simple rules which I must insist commenters follow….

You agree not to give any personal abuse to other Arsenal fans. Everyone is allowed to hold their own opinions even if you disagree with them. It COSTS NOTHING TO BE POLITE TO OTHER ARSENAL FANS.

Tags Arsenal title challenge end of season collapse


  1. It’d be a miracle if we can win against Chelsea, Spuds and Man United, while Man City only have EPL and FA Cup to focus on

    1. I don’t think we need a miracle to beat those 3 teams. They are below us in the table and they are certainly beatable. Im not saying they won’t be difficult but we don’t need a miracle to beat them.

      1. @Stephanie

        Be rest assured that those three teams will raise their game when it’s Arsenal they’re facing. We need to take them seriously regardless of their league standing.

      2. To win all the games will be I miracle basing on the current performance of the squad, you don’t see that????

    2. @Gai Considering our performance against Aston Villa in which I had high hopes just like Arsenal legend Ian Write, I now have have cautious optimism for Chelsea, Spuds & ManU matches.
      After draw with ManCity at Etihad our goals festival seem to have dried up. I guess some of our regulars are already having tired legs.
      In my opinion it would take bigger miracle for us to win Epl this season. Next season is more realistic if we do the needful in the coming .transfer market Arteta’s tenure in terms of trophy already seeming like Porchetino at Spuds

      1. I’m also afraid that Arteta and Edu might have to leave if they don’t sign the right players in the summer

    3. Well, city have to play chelsea in the cup and spuds in the league, so what’s your point?
      We only have the PL to concentrate on.

  2. To be realistic we will drop points to at least one of the three teams, or worse still against all of them. This season is gone. Plan for that needed striker next season.

  3. A far more sober minded, less agenda ridden and realistic point of view would disagree with DAN about the reason we have for many seasons. going right backin time long before MA came, had a bad April, is that we have NOT, for lack of financial reasons, UNTIL RECENT SEASONS been able to seriously compete in financial matters with City.

    Which means having a less deep in quality quad, hence the real reason we run out of legs in late season, as we ,unlike City, are not able to rest key players, as evidence shows IS true

    A sober minded view would suggest that City, well before anyone took PSR seriously , WERE ABLE ,free from financial penaties, to buy and thus build that HUGELY GREAT AND NUMEROUS IN QUALITY SQUAD THEY STILL HAVE.

    They have, it is true, been able to sell wisely some of their players( two to ourselves) and extract from other clubs far better transfer fees than, say we ourselves, have done.

    That is true and needs to be said, if one wishes AS I DO, to be honest.

    But all in football are aware that somewhere down the track, RETRIBUTION AWAITS CITY.
    They are charged with 115 charges of breaking rules and the only thing that MIGHT save them from relegation when, AS I STRONGLY BELIEVE, they will be found guilty of multiple rule breaking, is the new “suggestion” that in future, clubs who break rules will MERELY pay a fine, which will go to help lower divisuonj clubs.

    That would be grossly unjust, but as excessive money is footballs GOD, who knows what WILL happoen.

    I know what SHOULD , as do we all, but who knows what ACTUALLY WILL??

    Buit above all the above explains in TRUTH, a large part of WHY we regularly blow up in late season.

    True or not true?

    You decide, but please think SERIOUSLY before replying!

    1. Jon
      so your basic premis is that Arsenal have awful April’s simply because Man City are billionaires? Do they pay refs to help Arsenal to fail every April? I can’t make the connection personally….

      1. PAT Then you are admitting you cannot even understand plain basic use of English words, as I FULLY EXPLAINED WHY, in my post.

        Odd for a site admin to effectively “admit” such a weakness in misunderstanding plain English!
        However, I WILL try AGAIN! Arsenal fo many years had nowhere near th transfe money to spend that City did in their first decade and bit, under the Sheikhs ownership City have been free, as were Chelsea both before and during the same period to drive a coach andhorses through FINANCIA FAIR PLAY.

        FFP, was back then, simply an entirely toothless phrase meaning nothing ,in effect.

        So not only us but all other properly and fairly run clubs were at an enormous disadvatage compared with the TWO corruptly owned and corruptly run clubs above. That is obvious to all knowing football fans , indeed KEN OFTEN AND CORRECTLY, mentions it.

        He is far from alone in doing so.

        City and Chelsea BOTH have retribution still awaiting them and both have ABUSED THE SYSYEM FOR MANY YEARS BY CHEATING , financially speaking. You know that, I know it and we all know it!

        But apparently you ” cant make the connection”!
        Frankly PAT, I DONT BELIEVE YOU!

        Had City not been bought by crooks and corruptly run , then right now Arsenal Fooball Club, managed by Arteta would be on the brink of retaining the title won last season.
        Quite a thought for the negative and moany brigade to consider!!

          1. And, Jon, would Arsene Wenger also have been able to compete more on the level playing field you despair for Mikel Arteta to have?

            1. Ken,, YES, if ONLY he could have ever recognised he needed a CDM and CBs of undoubted TOP quality, which sadly he never did, since around 2008 onwards.

              It is true though that HE still was at a huge financial disadvantage.
              AND because he was his own worst enemy in never recognising even BASIC , BLINDINGLY OBVIOUS holes in the positions I list above.

              IMO, his whole style of play philosophy never gave DEFENCE the attention it badly needed, That was true for the majoity of his 22 years here

              1. So your saying that a manager who led our club to seven cup wins, two doubles, three titles and two decades of CL football, a squad that went unbeaten for FORTY NINE games never realised during the majority of his career at The Arsenal, that he needed CB’s and a CDM while creating the above Jon?

                The same manager who had a better GD than George Graham Jon?

                The same manager who was wanted by the likes of Real Madrid, PSG, Bayern to name a few Jon?

                The same manager who you say, due to his philosophy, neglected his defence – yet with the wonderful attacking players we had, of 1235 games under him, we scored 2298, yet let in 1227…less than one more for than against.

                I wonder how Arsene was so successful in his career, rated as one of the best to ever grace the PL, wanted by the elite clubs (and countries) as their manager, yet YOU Jon, were able to say it was BLINDINGLY Obvious how wrong he was!!

                Imagine what a career YOU could have had in football Jon 😂😂😂

                1. Ken imagine how much better he COULD and SHOULD have been, had he taken the defensive side of football as seriously as he took the creative attacking side

                  I do not argue that he WAS definitely a great manager. But he coasted through his final decade plus, on former glories.

                  I wonder what DAN and Reggie and Dan kit ,plus others on here, who all seem to “think” that unless a manager wins a Prem or goes a very long way in the CL virtually every season that he is sackable, would have said about Wengers last decade IF he not had the previous glory decade.

                  They would not be so in thrall to him in THAT scenario. They were and still are hankering after that first glory decade, but that is not how fooball works in REALITY.
                  I wonder if any of them would have stood for the final years of Wenger alone, without his previous decade, when “all” we won were FA Cups, not apparently, big or important honours.

                  Wait til my article appears on here about the massive difference in supporting philosophy berween PROPER LIFELONG SUPPORTERS and, on the other hand, that silverware DEMANDING bunch and their type,that I listed above.. Probably tomorrow, or at latest by Tuesday.

              2. 100% agree with you mr Jon on this. Wenger main weakness was not having a cdm and quality center halfs in the second half of his tenure.
                Arteta’s is not going for a out and out quality forward and over reliance on certain players from start to finish without gettin quality options for the bench who can replace/ start matches when his main players need rest.

          2. I will try for a third time. We and most clubs are not able , financially to have bought squds as deep andrich inquality as Citys and Chesea too, when Abramovitch was there.

            Consequently, most clubs not only ours, when chasing such a rich in talent squad as Citys at the very top(meaning added pressure, esp when compared to say Bournemouth and co) fall short in the final run in. LESS CHANCE TO ROTATE, MEANING MORE KEY PLAYERS WITH FATIGUE, as evidence shows consistently.

            We are well clear of all save City and Liverpool, and last seeson but for corruptly run City, would have walked the Prem.

            I will admit to one mistake though; I ought not to have overestimated the power to think logically that CERTAIN others, when compared to myself , PLAINLY LACK”

        1. Mate, the fact City have built a bigger squad has literally nothing in common to why we fail in April.

          We do have a squad which can be rotated, Fabio Vieira and Partey are just two players that come to mind who never come on the pitch. Saka plays every single game, so does White, Gabriel, Saliba, Rice, Odegaard and Havertz.

          You easily ignore the fact that there are quite a few starters at Arsenal that have already played 40 games, while City don’t have one. Not one! It’s not because of money. Pep is a better manager, because he actually MANAGES his squad. We have a good bench, not using it is on Mikel, not on City having money.

          1. Sorry Konstantin
            I’m with Jon Fox
            Over a number of years now, City as an example have had the financial clout to have bought the best. They are now in the happy position of having had the time and money to buy and then refresh their squad whenever they want They also have a hugely talented manager
            Most teams are not in that rarified atmosphere and have to grow bit by bit. Newcastle, although massively rich are bound by rules that didn’t exist when City and Chelsea under Abramovitch started pumping vast sums into their clubs.

            1. Context and truth as ever Sue! I have long considered you the very wisest, most sensible, best of ALL thinkers on JA. I do not possess you diplomatic skills, as it is not my style, though sad for me personally as I freely admit!

          2. You are simply mistaken old son! You mention Viera and there is a good reason WHY MA doesnt select him, as he was a bad buy,admittedly MAs fault. Partey is injury prone, unrelible and though talented, cannot be RELIED upon.

            FACTS are that compared to Citys squad, which is freakishly rich in depth of QUALITY,as for many years they threw money at it, buying top players without financial penalties applying BACK THEN

            .All other clubs(Chelsea apart) are at a huge disadvantage by comparison.
            REALISTS, which include all other Prem managers and fans such as myself , have long known this. So would you, IF ONLY you too were a realist.
            But you are not!

            You are an arch moaner and self entitled fan, as your constantly bleak and dismal articles full of self woes, show all we realists only too clearly.
            Finally i have neve denied and have many times posted that MA has made buying mistakes Of course he has!

            So has PEP btw. And Klopp too. All managers do at times, but when you look at the overall picture as you are demonstrably unable, or else determined, NOT TO DO, you(not you personally) should be easily be able to see what a top class manager we haveinMA .


            I genuinely feel sorry for you and your determinedly PESSIMISTIC fellow moaners. Blinkered, all of you! How truly sad!!

            1. That kind of mindset is the reason we haven’t won a league title in 20 years and won’t win another one soon.

              Conte came and beat Pep, so did Klopp. Chelsea spent a billion, and are a mid-table team? Money alone does not win. Arteta has spent 700 million. All this talk like he works on pennies are nonesence.

              1. I strongly believe there’s a correlation between organisation/resourches/results, and you will find it more or less in all of the big leagues. But there’s only one league where you need between 85 and 100 points to win, and there’s not many capable of doing that.

    2. Good on you Jon, that explains why AW couldn’t compete with city then?
      At LAST a chunk of light in your thinking of Wenger’s time since 2008.

      1. Ken I have neevr denied that fact. I have always pointed out AW s lack of ability to sign a CDM after Gilberto and his long list of plain awful CBs, other rhan CAMPBELL, a few not great but good ones, some average ones and a lot of DUD CB;s

        IF only you had the ability and the conscience to see that truth Ken, we COULD HAVE AVOIDED ENDLESS QUARRELS.

        All are now ancient history with no relevance today and I DO NOT CHOOSE TO BRING UP AW in OUR discussions But you still DO. SIGH!

      2. Merci Wenger got very much out of very little most of the time in his last decade. We shouldn’t forget that we had an unclear owner situation and you can’t expect people to throw their money after a football club they don’t control.

        Once again I recommend a very good article from Forbes about Arsenal’s economy when building the Emerirates Stadium and the decade after. “Tracking The Impact Of
        Arsenal’s Move To Emirates Stadium Ten Years On: Was It Worth It?”

        Being a football supporter is very easy, perhaps too easy, because most of us are lacking perspective and understanding 🔴⚪️

        This is very interesting reading, and shows that our core business football had red figures almost every year. We kept us floating by player sales and property investments.

        1. I ENJOYED YOUR POST,a lot of people who want to compare Arsene with small boys should think about the project he built and sustained compared to those who buy players they cant use and fail to win trophies let alone play entertaining football.

    3. I have to disagree, Jon. Whilst you are correct that our squad lacks the same quality in depth than that of Man City and Liverpool, the main problem is that Arteta doesn’t use his players efficiently or fairly. For example, Klopp was able to bring on Salah, Nunez, and Mac Allister on 70 mins against Fulham not only because he had better options than Arsenal do but because he trusts them.

      There’s no reason Arteta couldn’t leave out Saka and play Jesus on the RW or ESR in midfield or LW but he won’t. We always know who will play and where and when they will come off and for who. It’s awful squad management that’s as much to blame as anything else. And Arteta has bought many of these players, so it’s all on him.

      1. I agree, but what would we have said if he did it twice and lost games you guys expect us to win? Played them in wrong position, let them use wrong colour on their football shoes or simply a useless manager 😂

  4. “Everyone is entitled to support how they wish, but simply put, if your always positive for the sake of it, your opinion has zero substance”

    Great article Dan!

  5. Look right I get it, it’s very frustrating and heart breaking with the last two results but we move forward. We will finish on more points than last season and a better g/a. In my eyes progress is progress and we keep getting it every season with Arteta. If we make more progress next season then surely we will win something major. I can’t see Arteta getting back with anything less than previous transfer windows and with a few sales we can buy one or two true game changers. I also understand we have spent a lot of money on the team however a full rebuild was required. The area we have spent least is the front three and with one world class game changer in one of those positions we will even better. I also feel it won’t be too difficult to find a top draw addition to complement rice and Odegard in midfield. Imagine if we can bring in someone in the mould of Douglas luiz and a forward like Leao. I for one am behind Arteta aslong as we keeps improving like we have.

    1. So am I behind MA liam, but I don’t denegrate our most successful manager ever to try and boost his profile and I will continue to point out such inconsistencies.

    2. Liam you are aware that we are 4 points worse off currently at the same stage as last year? and a win less

  6. The trouble I see is many of our fans accept mediocre players just because they put on an Arsenal shirt. If you criticize a player for continually underperforming you are accused of scapegoating.
    Yes Pat I also feel Deja Vu

  7. Good article, Dan. A lot of common sense being preached that will get support from some and abuse from others, but I personally agree. Simply being on the same pitch isn’t enough, we have to actually compete and against Bayern we just didn’t over both legs.

    Given Bayern’s offense no one in their right mind should be upset or surprised they scored. Indeed, defensively we did ok against the German juggernaut. However, as pointed out by others, this is not a vintage Munich team and we just didn’t cause them any problems. That’s what is disappointing. We went out with a whimper.

    There are no guarantees and it’s great to be back in the ECL but if we are just going to be eliminated by the first difficult opponent without offering any resistance, what’s the point.

  8. That kind of mindset is the reason we haven’t won a league title in 20 years and won’t win another one soon.

    Conte came and beat Pep, so did Klopp. Chelsea spent a billion, and are a mid-table team? Money alone does not win. Arteta has spent 700 million. All this talk like he works on pennies are nonesence.

  9. The Dubai break told us that our squad was overloaded,
    we need to get players that can relief Saka and Rice of
    playing every game.. also I am fearing for Saliba

    1. I agree, therefore are we going to build a stronger squad to compete in all four tournaments. In addition, the competition in the Premier League is on a totally different level than the other big football leagues. When you need between 85 and 100 points to win the league there’s a crazy competition, and this competition might influence on quality delivered in other tournaments, unless you are Manchester City.

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