Arsenal to win the Champions League? Does Willian really believe that?

Are Some Gooners Being Arrogant? by Dan Smith

To find a solution, first you have to admit there is a problem. We are in a delicate period in our history where I don’t need a player telling us what he thinks we want to hear. That’s what William did with his first interview with the press since becoming a gunner.

He says the reason he signed a three-year contract was that it gives him enough time to win the Champions League, having won everything else in England. Now, say you like London; explain your best friend from the age of 8 is at the club, even lie and say you read a book when you were young, and Arsenal were your all favourite team. Just don’t insult our intelligence…

If winning the European Cup was your ambition you don’t move to the Emirates. You were more likely to win it at Chelsea based on them actually being in the competition.

The Brazilian has to take one year away, as first we need to qualify for the tournament. So, at best he’s got two chances to win something with a team who just finished 8th in the League?

I would like to think maybe he’s been told something we don’t know. Maybe Arteta has whispered to him that Stan Kroenke has plans to invest. Yet then you remember we offered contracts to David Luiz and Cedric, that 55 staff were made redundant to save 2 million.

If I said to you Leicester, Spurs or Wolves would win the CL in three years you would laugh. But they finished above us. Yet reading articles recently, some gooners believe it.

I have read why it’s not impossible we can win the Prem, that may be the dark days of Arsene Wenger are over and my fave, Maitland Niles is better than Kante?

I was mocked for not understanding how a player who can’t replace Xhaka in our midfield has proven he’s better than a World Cup winner. Apparently, his versatility is the only reason he doesn’t get a chance there. Which would make sense if he had been first our first-choice full back in the last 3 years. Apparently only now has a manager recognised his talent.

Or maybe we should stop making excuses? If we had a Kante under our noses, the cream would have risen to the top by now.

Another Gooner wrote that we can challenge for the title even if we brought in no one else? Of course, everyone is entitled to their opinion and I’m not saying I’m right. Yet it’s music to our owners ears. Instead of demanding what he will do to correct our 8th place finish, I’m sure he’s happy fans are making such claims while purchasing the latest Adidas merchandise.

You see it’s not arrogance if you can back it up. Thierry was arrogant but backed it up. It’s insulting to legends from the past to say after our worst finish in 25 years we could be champions.

Even common sense would suggest how are we closing a 33-point gap on Liverpool? Because we got a 32-year-old on a free? Because we are getting Gabriel?

Chelsea have already brought in Werner and Ziyech, and as much as we listen to links for Gabriel, the Blues are taking about Chilwell and Havertz.

So, as much as Arteta has shown tactically he has ideas and good man management skills, the days of coaching a group to being champions are over.

History shows most of the time, the more you invest, the higher you finish. We can’t and won’t win an EPL under the current ownership.

Don’t think that I don’t rate our manager because I do, but just because we won the Cup, I can’t ignore that these players were not good enough over the whole campaign.

In many ways I’m protecting Arteta. Because if some really are expecting a title challenge and expecting Niles to be better than Kante, then we are putting unfair pressure on the Spaniard (all based on two games really?).

It means let’s say if we finished 6th, some would turn on him because they spent this period thinking the players are a lot better than he has made them so far.

If Arteta wins the Champions League in the next three years, it will be with Man City when he replaces Pep, realising the Kroenke family don’t match his ambition.

So, is it impossible for us to win Premier League next season? Taking the words literally, of course not, but then we may just as well say Sheffield United, Burnley and Southampton (all finished a few points below us) can win it as well then. The go to argument is of course …. ‘everyone said that about Leicester’.

We are Arsenal FC. We are a huge club. To be a big club, you have to think like one. We shouldn’t be finishing 8th and extending a contract to someone who conceded the most penalties and red cards.

We shouldn’t be telling players who can’t get in our team consistently that they are immune to being sold.

We shouldn’t be telling a squad who finished outside the top 6 for first time in over two decades they are so good they can challenge for titles.

We should be angry and demanding our owner do what our rivals are doing.

Here’s what happens. We will buy a couple of players (if we are honest), we had never heard of two months ago, while Chelsea, United and City sign quality. Then we will sell a few players in the last few days of window reducing the net spend.

It’s an insult to Arsene Wenger to say that a team who finished 8th are exorcising demons. Only when Arsenal fans admit we have problems (Stan Kroenke) will we find a solution.

Dan Smith

45 Comments

  1. Danny says:

    Absolutely no chance of winning champions league a million miles away from challenging for anything doubt he will even play a champions league game with Arsenal!!

    1. Knight says:

      You really have little regard for our Manager

      1. Oz akhenisi says:

        Such negativity and pessimism,arsenal is still a top club and am choosing to believe arteta when he says he can do it.

  2. Robert Acedius says:

    Yeah, if we buy the new Joe Bugner, “Dirty Harry” Maguire. He would punch out Bob Lewandowski in the first round. Tommy Müller and Serge “WBA” Gnabry too. The Sledgehammer from Sheffield – all the way!

    1. Sue says:

      😂😂

  3. Justin says:

    I don’t think your considering this critical moment for Arsenal and what Arteta said about if you won’t championship you got to spend and spend and sale they will it’s not Thiago aouar or Partey it’s all of them plus a few more he is planning on winning Europe and challenge this year league bank it

  4. Eddie says:

    If Arteta really told him him that he plans to win the UCL in 3 years then Arteta is clearly a lunatic, but then that’s the exact type of lunatic we’ve always needed for us to get back to the top

    1. Robert Acedius says:

      I don’t think he is a traditional lunatic, but a very determined man. I call him a jesuit priest. He’s on a mission to get Asn’l back where we all want the club to be. At the top. Hallelujah. Look at the burning charcoal in hes eyes. Yes, maybe he is the half mad guy we’ve been looking for for so long. Some of the best coaches have been like that: Mat Busby, Don Revie or Bill Shankley… “Some people say football is a matter of life and death. Baloney! It’s much more serious than that.” I’m sure Mikel Arteta do agree.

      1. Robert Acedius says:

        Correction: HIS eyes. Sorry.

  5. Angus says:

    Pointless negative article that mostly serves to continue your rant with one or two posters on here.

    Willian honestly answered what Arteta had laid for him. He also stated he wanted Chelsea to win the FA Cup too so very obviously isn’t doing what you imply in this article. Ambitious plan maybe but entirely possible and quite literally what Liverpool managed under Klopp. The article on us winning the league wasn’t stating it as a fact either and your reaction is totally over the top just like that with Willian. State your protecting Arteta then moan about Luiz extension which was clearly Arteta’s wish.

    What does finishing 8th have to do with anything? Given that we were already in that dire position when the manager came in. Why having mentioned that then complain that we are selling players? Why is the FA Cup win ignored? The impressive results against the larger clubs? What about the money we spent last year? Net spend over the last 5 years? Oh yeah we’re 3rd (ahead of Liverpool, Chelsea and Spurs.) What about our wage budget? That too is the 3rd most in the league. Seems to me you don’t actually know what your talking about because Arsenal have been spending money for awhile now just not very well so it’s nonsense to claim Kronke has been tight with the purse strings. We’ve literally spent more than Liverpool/Chelsea/Spurs over the last 5 years.

    Fair enough complain about the people who were put in charge of things who spent it poorly but don’t pretend we haven’t had money to spend. We clearly have.

    1. Dan says:

      I think finishing 8 has allot to.do with it
      It shows how far we have to come back from.
      We lost 10/games in Premier league, 5 were with Arteta so he contributed to that
      The net spend argument is only based on Liverpool/ Chelsea selling for huge profit

  6. Hydrogen_afc says:

    Arsenal fans with negativity, would you think Liverpool would win the champions league 3 or 4 years ago?
    The manager said he wants to qualify for the champions league this season and win in by 3 years time, I don’t think there’s anything wrong in believing and being ambitious, Wenger said before the invincible season that we can go unbeaten for a whole season and everyone thinks he’s saying shit, you can’t achieve anything if you don’t have a goal set and work towards achieving it. We all know we’re far from competing at the top level but there’s nothing bad in thinking positively and being ambitious.

    1. ClassyGunner says:

      Absolutely right, Hydrogen. The year when Leicester won the league most top teams were in a transition/turmoil. And now we see usual champions league suspects like barca, real, atletico etc are not in great shape at the moment. It is very likely that a surprise package can win it in the near future. Am not saying, Arsenal has a great chance of being CL champions in the next 3 years. But we can definitely get in and maybe make it to the quarters or semis. After that you never know what happens.

    2. Dan says:

      When Wenger said that we were one of top teams in land
      Had won things consistently
      We had henry, Vieira , pires , Cole , Campbell, Bergkamp etc

      Who do we have now ?

  7. Eddie says:

    Also Dan while I laughs at first after reading his statement too, I also believe he opened his mouth too wide to bring unwanted attention and maybe ridicule to the club.
    I don’t believe we’ll win the UCL in three years, but I do believe we will sooner than later. That’s not to say I expect us to be challenging for it in three years time, in three years time I expect us to be challenging for the EPL after rebuilding our team entire for the next two.
    Then again I’d like to point out something, I think you’re too negative or probably pushed an agenda too far

    “History shows most of the time, the more you invest, the higher you finish. We can’t and won’t win an EPL under the current ownership.”
    I think that statement is exaggerated, while we all question Kroenke’s ambitions, it’s wrong to completely write us of. You’re saying if Kroenke doesn’t sell Arsenal, we’ll never win the league.
    The solution really isn’t just investing the solution is investing smartly
    The Glazers investing millions over there at Manchester hasn’t changed anything.
    I just think we need proper structure and smart buys.. Take a look at Bayern’s first team in the semi’s. They didn’t spend up to £100 million to build that team. I envy them, they buy smart and cheaply most of the time for close to world class players.
    That’s what we need to do, Kroenke or not

    1. jon fox says:

      Eddie. I would say that yes, it is JUST POSSIBLE to win the CL under Kroenkes ownership, PROVIDED that all other departments of decision making in our club are working perfectly well. BUT it is far less likely we win it with a hands off owner who will not personally invest , and given what rival owners WILL DO , unlike Kroenke.

      1. ozziegunner says:

        jon, you are correct, in that even with Kroenke’s ownership and KS&E not investing, all Arsenal really needs is for Kroenke to be hands on enough to select and retain the best people in senior management and the Board. He has shown his hand in the appointment of Tim Lewis as a non executive director and the removal of Raul Sanheili.
        An overhaul is required because the previous Board and senior executive have squandered Arsenal’s financial and player assets
        .

    2. Dan says:

      Would you say investment has helped Chelsea , man city to win things ?
      You could argue man finished top 4 due to buying fernandes in Jan
      We brought an injured Cedric

      1. ozziegunner says:

        Dan, not only investment, but how it is spent.
        Where did 20+ years of Champions League money go?

  8. Goodness enyoojo says:

    Mr HYDROGEN,bless u for that ur comment,it take only wise ones to understand what u said.

  9. Robert Acedius says:

    If Mikel Arteta have said that to Willian between four eyes, the latter ought to be intelligent enough to keep it for himself. Not go public with it, and make a fool of his coach. No good beginning of a relationship. A jesuit priest never forget, never forgive. Poor Willie. Three years on the bench. Good luck.

    1. Sid says:

      Oh My, LMFAO!

  10. Loose Cannon says:

    yeah why not? next season the jersey merchant will be GONE FOR GOOD.We can hire 2 to 3 solid players on that wage, not like having a new born purring kitten in the kitchen on a lion’s diet. Nice that Mikel has a desire and brain that dreams to make us elite, yes those questioning/mocking him are those AKBs who loved mediocrity and humiliations and cannot get over it he’s gone and the club is moving up the ladder without his “inputs”
    Good Willian for his ambition, win every game and who knows where we could be?In three years all deadwood of the Wenger era will be gone, so why not dream big? Decades of small thought mentality kept us behind times while Spurs and Wolves leap in front of us.
    Shame to those not willing to believe in the coach and his aspirations.

  11. Robert Acedius says:

    That “CL in three years” is an ambition, not a promise. And Mikel Arteta is a very ambitious man, maybe overambitious. But I prefer that than accept a mid-table position as an inevitable fact. “Hellre lyss till den sträng som brast, än att aldrig våga spänna en båge.” A Swedish guy named von Heidenstam wrote that more than 100 years ago. I wont try to translate it, but it’s about “if you want to win something, you must take the risk to lose”.
    Just give us a new owner next year (Mr Aliko Dangote buys Asn’l in March 2021), and we can get cash for the three och four new guys to complete what MA now are building. Then we go for the CL title.
    And for those who laughs at others: Learn how to laugh at yourself (use the bathroom mirror) and then you stop laugh at others.

  12. Stephen says:

    Need I remind the writer that Leeds united got to the semifinals of the UCL, guided by David O’Leary and led by the likes of Harry Kewell, Mark Viduka and Alan Smith, after just one season of top flight football, that’s you are not too young to remember.

    Of course by your analysis this is not possible. It can’t happen. It just can not happen. It’s insane. Well that’s the type of insanity a team like ours need to get there in 3yrs! If Mikael has it, and has fed it to Will-I-AM, why should anyone complain?

    1. Loose Cannon says:

      When we don’t win we complain, when a player wants to win they mock him. Disgusting. They seem happy with players grabbing money for doing nothing worthwhile but laugh at someone who wants to win us something.Fans like that will make us relegation fodder insisting their sickly players are given gametime to drag us into shame.

      1. ozziegunner says:

        👍 Loose Cannon, give me ambitious players every day, who play to win.

    2. Dan says:

      I remember?
      How does Leeds getting to a semi final prove anything
      Btw , there was investment at Leeds

      1. Sid says:

        I think Arsenal also has investment, just not smart investment for a while. Maybe with the recent structural changes and the supposedly new transfer approach, we may be able to do semi or a final in three years in the CL and maybe even win it, who knows? There is always hope.

      2. Stephen says:

        @Dan
        Coming from the championship, they qualified for the Champions League. And the next season, they got to the Semi finals. Arsenal just finished 8th ( not getting promoted from the Championship). Arsenal has been in the top flight like forever, and just won the FA cup after beating City, Chelsea! How dear you chastise the coach and players for dreaming of winning the UCL? And you even mentioned Sheffield, Burnley in the same category as Arsenal in terms of UCL ambition. That’s sad for an argument even for you Dan. My humble “logomacki.”

        1. Dan says:

          So your argument is Arsenal can win the CL because Leeds got newly promoted and got to a CL semi Final? How does that prove anything ?

          For a start it’s flawed as in …..it never happened
          Leeds had been a constant in the Prem since it’s inception
          In fact they won the title in 92?

          So I don’t understand how a random club getting to a semi final proves we can go from 8 the to CL in three years ?

          but also ….it’s a lie ?

          1. Stephen says:

            No sir! My argument is that the coach and players should be allowed to dream. And while they work at achieving them, Our role is to support those dreams, not to complain or chastise them for even dreaming.

            If Leeds it’s can go from Championship to premier League to UCL semi finals, and missing the final narrowly, then a team like ours can dream it up and pursue it. Now can we win it in 3yrs, only time will tell, but complaining about such ambitious move is simply being negative…

          2. Dan says:

            But your highlighting Leeds as a example why I think it’s arrogant to think a team who finished in our worst ever position in 25 years will.win CL.in three years
            Again …..Leeds qualifying for Cl.n their first season after promotion is something you made up

  13. James says:

    what a pointless article this is. The negativity displayed by ‘fans’ on social media and here at JA is just shocking. First off going after Arteta for setting out his dream to his players is just stupid(sorry man). Three years is a pretty long time in football, things change, teams improve others die off slowly (Barca? ha ha ha) that’s the beauty of sport! Embracing MA’s dream is the least we could do as fans and then review the same after three years. Simple.

    1. Robert Acedius says:

      Hallo, James. Do you think that the pride of Catalonia (Barca) got a death in beauty? For me it was the most monstrous assassination I’ve ever seen on a football pitch. The only comparison in resent years is the manslaughter in Belo Horizonte on the evening of 8th of July 2014, Brazil vs Germany in the WC semi. That brutality say something about the Sachsens, I guess. They have no pity for a weak opponent.

      1. Robert Acedius says:

        SACHSONS, rather…

  14. Knight says:

    I would be more disappointed in Willian if he said less.It would disappoint me if he said,”you know i came here to see how far we can go in the league blah blah..”Focus is important.And this shows that the manager and the group he is recruiting have their sights on something.Did someone say he was Amazed at the project that Arteta presented to him?

  15. jon fox says:

    Writing as someone who always claims I am one of the minority of arch realists among fans, ANYWHERE, SINCE SO MANY , EVERYWHERE, CONSTANTLY FOOL THEMSELVES, Dans “tell it as it actually is” article has my full admiration.

    I LOVE TRUTH AND PITY SELF FOOLERS AND LIARS. This is precisely why I can never wait until Dans next fine article comes along. In football as in life, unless you have the courage and honesty to even ADMIT you have a problem , then you have no hope at all of ever solving it.

    Rather like sad old folk who drink to excess, smoke, are four stone overweight and wonder WHY they lack energy and can’t walk far. At almost 70 I run daily, am slim, fit and active and impatient and I pity those who refuse to look facts in the face , merely because those facts are unpleasant. I say this not to boast but to point out that actions and LACK of actions have consequences. Hope without action is useless!

    When you at least recognise they EXIST, then you at least have a CHANCE to do something about putting them right. But if you are too cowardly to be honest with yourself and bury your head in the sand – for example by pretending to yourself that some moderate players here today are good enough for a top club with REAL ambition – then more fool you and so you reap what you have sown. Our club is now reaping what Kroenke, Gazidis and Wenger(in his last few years), in that order of responsibility, have sown.

    Thankfully, the arch realist MA recognises that this club has multiple long term neglect problems and has already started, gloriously too, to put things right. Arch realists know that will take some considerable time. Others will continue fooling themselves, sadly, and some will even think we can will the title next season. How desperately sad! For THEM personally.

  16. Dan says:

    Thing is we do Arteta zero favours saying he can win title
    Means if we finish 6 fans will get negative
    If your realistic though in your expectations it gives Arteta more time
    Dan

  17. Stephen says:

    The last time check, those who jailed Galileo, the scientists, for his findings about the earth not being the center if the universe were “REALISTS”.

    Being a realist is so limited that it limits the beauty and creativity of imagination.

    No realist would give Arsenal any chance against Man City in a Cup game at a period when they’ve lost the league and have very little to gun for.

    1. SueP says:

      I absolutely love your 2nd paragraph

    2. ClassyGunner says:

      Stephen, what a beautiful composition that is. Take a bow, Sir, that was phenomenal

    3. Victor says:

      As much as I respect the “OGs” Dan and Jon Fox, I have to say their conception of “realism” is over rated, and honestly, is better called what it more “realistically” is: “pessimism”.

      As someone already said, no ‘realist’ would have pegged us to win the FA against both City AND Chelsea in it, never mind our history in the competition.

      No “realist” would have pegged Chelsea to win the UCL against Bayern, given the comparative form and league positions of both sides.

      No realist would have pegged Sheffield to finish ahead of us at the start of this season.
      Few realists would have given Chelsea a top four chance.

      Their brand of “realism” seems to me a convenient excuse to aim for nothing, or even less, for a few more years.

      I would much rather align with an ambitious MA and Willian over a “realistic” and underambitious duo any day.

  18. Lenohappy says:

    Stephen that is a beautiful composition, I love that 2nd paragraph, thank you sir.

  19. lcw says:

    Willian is in for a rude awakening. At Chelsea he had many good players to link with and a good mid-field to support him and cover up for him. Good luck playing with Peppe, xhaha and the inexperienced young kids. As for Artera unless he gets 4 or 5 players re enforcement in addition to a a good CB, next year will be a lot harder because the rest of the coaches won’t be surprised by his tactics and will game plan for him. I love Arsenal but I am also realistic. this team needs rebuilding and 32 year old wingers are not the answer.

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