Don’t panic – The Top Four is still in Arsenal’s hands

Top four is still in our hands – no need to panic

Today has not been a good day there is no denying that but Manchester United lost earlier to Everton and Tottenham lost yesterday and that means a top-four finish is still safely within our hands.

We still have a decent run in and yes we have lingering issues on the road but Chelsea and Man Utd have difficult opponents to face, including each other.

It should also not be forgotten that we still have two routes into the Champions League because the winners of the Europa League get automatic entry.

The team selection was dubious I will admit but look at the fixture congestion and the finger can only be pointed at Unai Emery to some extent, the team he picked was more than good enough to win the game, they just played badly in defence simple as that.

Though we cannot blame the defence alone, the midfield was found wanting a lot of the time as well but that is a different story for a different article.

No, what we need to keep in mind now is that the Palace game is done, it is over with and we need to look forward and there is absolutely no point whining about it.

We had a dreadful game against Everton and we bounced back, one defeat will not define our whole season, though another defeat could be catastrophic.

But if this weekend has shown us anything it is that all of us fighting for a Champions League spot are not guaranteed wins, home or away.

So, be pissed off but don’t overreact, the table does not lie, we are fourth and the power still remains with us whether we qualify for the Champions League next season or not.



  1. I keep saying it and will say it until most of this squad is gotten rid of in the next few seasons. They are average, mainly the wenger residue (players). Emery has squeezed as much as he can from them.
    Keep the Emery signings apart from Lichtsteiner, give them another season to prove themselves more. Keep laca, Auba, Bellerin, may be Koscielny, AMN, may be Xhaka ( I have never been a fan, but Emery and some fans seem to have seen something in him).
    We need a nearly completely new squad with a different mentality and attitude different from this lot.

    1. Icant accept all these, in this moment we need lose when qualty is thrown in the pitch. I’espected monreal and torreira to start but not mavropanos and ibeg, keep us happy all time by playing our quality

    2. Goonster , Pretty much spot on. My thinking too but I WOULD ALSO KEEP ALL THE YOUNG FRINGE PLAYERS WHO ARE NOT YET PROVEN NO GOOD , AS WELL AS THE ONES YOU LIST. Attitude is also vital; the reason CITY AND Liverpool are rolling over teams is ALSO their will to win, as well as their talent. We STILL lack that will to win in many players and until ALL players have that we will never seriously challenge at the very top. It is a vital necessity. Or you fail!

      1. Unfortunately many of the senior players are only interested in money so until they leave which will be difficult .In the short term we have to do the best we can and that’s exactly what Emery is doing .I think we have to look at it as a 5 year plan.Get rid of the lazy sods the best we can ,spend the small transfer budget wisely and start to use the younger players .This is why I am quiet happy with being in the Europa league as it gives the younger players some game time .At the moment this club isn’t good enough for the Champions League so what’s the point

        1. Oh Joy! A fellow realist. We are becoming an endangered species on this site, sadly! It seems most on here seem to think Emery is the Devil Incarnate, simply for being forced to pick the defensive dross left behind by Wenger and Gazidis and not aided , except with “peanuts”, by Kroenke. Presumably those idiots believe Emery wanted dross like Mustafi, Elneny, Jenkinson et al in our club. Emery did not choose MUSTAFI AND CO WHEN HE TOOK THE JOB; THEY WERE FOISTED ON HIM AND HE HAS NO CHOICE , THROUGH INJURIES, SUSPENSIONS AND PLAYERS NEEDING RESTS. You might have thought even their shallow IQ’s could have worked that out but oh no, that is too complicated for these “masterminds ” on their keyboards. Emery is either a hero or a villain to them . NO perspective at all. MOST OF THEM DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT PERSPECTIVE IS!

          1. jon, it would be interesting to hear what some of these people have achieved in sport, their careers or in life in general. From the level of their comments, I would expect not much.

  2. How many times have we seen this? The chance to take advantage of those around us losing – and we always screw it up

  3. The truth is, the team lack character, and it’s affecting the spirit around the whole club.

  4. Yes. But we’ve made it needlessly, incredibly tough for us by not winning a Home game against CP

    I Expect Chelsea to win their home match against Burnley tonight and push us to fifth

  5. All thanks to the time bomb we have in our team,Mustaphi. He is always there to spoil things for us. That guy is simply a virus that has to be removed from our team. He likes making things very difficult for us.
    But Emery shares a lot in this whole thing. If he was going to play Guendouzi and Elneny, why did he add another calamity in defence to our calamitous midfield of Elneny and Guendouzi and a light weight Mezut Ozil?

  6. I blame the coach for parading players like elneny , gendouzi, jenkinson in a match that he supposed not to lose to boost his top four finish. Also, players like Ozil, Kolasinic, are always timid when Arsenal is losing let them be sold in d summer. Also Iwobi is contributing to d attack but poor finish. Arsenal need players that can hold ball and attack.

    1. Are Ova bring the buyers lets sell them all. You think US didn’t want to sell Mustafi? Truth is there are really no buyers…

    2. Kola… Timid… Eh?
      He didn’t once look scared, frightened or apprehensive, he didn’t lack courage…

      Kola is one of the players who has fight right till the end, he may lack on the def side a bit and not the best dribbler of the ball but he is anything but timid.

      1. Kola is panic stricken if he receives the ball with an opposition player anywhere near him and so passes it back or sideways every time. He only LOOKS like he’s a hard man and so has fooled many people. In actuality he’s been proven to be a complete chicken heart.
        By contrast Rob Holding does not LOOK like a hard man, but give him a tough attacker to deal with and he’s your man.
        Lesson to be learnt – don’t go by looks! Go by performance!

  7. I know he’s got his critics, but the only time we looked ok was when Ozil was on the ball, he’s got to have the right midfielders to play along side him to get the best out of him, Guendouzi and Elneny were not up to it. Having said that, Mustafi should never play for Arsenal again, sell him in the summer or give him away, his decision to let Zaha in was the worst bit of defending this season and could have cost us a Champions League place. Now, just to change the topic, as I’ve said before on these pages, there’s one thing the majority of Arsenal, West Ham and Tottenham fans have got in common is a soft spot for Leyton Orient. Well they’ve just kicked off in the game of the National League season so far against Solihull Moors, a win will see that back in the Football League. Goin the O’s

    1. Kenny, I agree Mezut Ozil played well and gave 100% in this match. Unfortunately the ignorance of some gets shown. He may have deserved criticism in other matches, but not this one.

  8. I think the caution comes from not knowing who Emery will play, he might decide to try ElNeny and Guendouzi again in CM ahead of a back 3 again…

    You all know it is not just a might happen but a real possibility with Emery.

    When he used Ramsey in CM while playing a back 3 then it looked better due to Ramsey being able to contribute in attack as well as Emery orders to press, we needed to replace that dynamic variable if he wishes to keep the 3412 formation, ElNeny isn’t the answer and playing the inexperienced Guendouzi next to him is quite frankly… Disgusting from Emery to let down Guendouzi like that! Guendouzi has done well, young and inexperienced but he has a lot of promise, we can’t partner him with such poor quality and expect Guendouzi to not suffer. He needs a leader next to him to help him, not ElNeny.

    It is why I would have kept Jenks on and put AMN in CM for ElNeny in the starting lineup.

    Mustafi is always an accident waiting to happen, I hoped Emery could coach the errors out of him but I think Mustafi is beyond help at this point, I have bashed Emery so to be fair I will praise him now. Emery coaching is a joy to see the results on the pitch, the players press a lot better in general now and they have real fight in them, I couldn’t want better coaching from a manager. Praise for Emery, see, not totally against him lol. Also it is a dig at Mustafi, as great as Emery is in coaching, Mustafi isn’t showing improvements.

    I would say Jenks has shown more improvement compared to Mustafi, I know Jenks will never be good enough to win us the EPL but I do think Emery could make him a decent backup. See, more praise for Emery 😛

    I believe the squad is capable of third and I blame Emery for not doing better than he has in tactics, he has been pig headed about his tinkering and it is costing us. All Arsenal needed for this season was Emery to use tactics the team is familiar with while implementing his press style along with his coaching ethics.

    Imagine if Emery had picked the ‘right’ team/tactics for CP game and Everton and WHU… 9 points dropped due to Emery having to tinker and not adapt himself somewhat to the players until he can get players who can fulfil the tactics/formation he desires.

    Do not forget that this is the same set of players who beat the spuds, Chelsea and UTD who are our closest threats currently. Not only beat then but in style! We made them look bad, it wasn’t that they just rolled over, we outplayed them!

    Of course this team is capable of top 4.
    The question is, can Emery get this team into the top 4?

  9. As long as the manager keeps doing this same selection mistake, forget it. I don’t like this notion that we got tight schedule and so on. Do we play more games than Liverpool? Look at their squad.same team day in day out . If these players can not play three times per week then the name proffessionals is not worth at AFC

    1. Before yesterday Emery had the best record in points gained straight after the European games, better than Liv, City, Che, Manu, Tott. They also have bigger squads and in many minds better number of good players than we have. Emery was making the right calls after Europe and it was highlighted, the players probably read too much into that and too many relaxed rather than doing his job properly.

      Elneny and Guendoui don’t go together, they just don’t pair well, I do believe that was something Emery should’ve been aware of. Elneny comes on to try to help hold a lead and bring fresh legs, that is the only place I see that player. He is not someone you want to start in an important game unless he has all the starters playing with him and he is the only option for CDM. Even then I’d still think otherwise before throwing him in.

      Sokratis was a huge loss, and he and Xhaka are great at set piece defending. Holding, Bellerin, it’s a pity we don’t have a full set of players because I think we’d have third place sewn up by now.

  10. Ade Oya bring the buyers lets sell them all. You think US didn’t want to sell Mustafi? Truth is there are really no buyers…

  11. I’ll happily wrap mustafi in a big gift box and deposit him to any club or sport that will accept him. just don’t forget to specify:
    no returns accepted and we don’t take any responsibility for any mental or physical damage sustained to receiving club when watching mustafi play.

  12. If we weren’t in Europe we’d be playing our best players and I think we’d be on a good winning run right now, so if we don’t make the CL, the heat will come even from people who wrote us off and understood that finishing in the top four this season was a difficult task/ask. Emery seems to be prioritizing Europe over the league, but when we look like we’ve lost a good chance, then he tries to bounce back by not prioritizing either comp, it’s a bit of a tightrope move.

    Then there’s the fact we chose not to spend in Jan, a lot of clubs in our position would have spent, we were in a rough patch at the time and sometimes players coming in can lift the entire team, they all want to see what they’re about and make them welcome, and then there’s the players who play in the same area as the new guys.

  13. Karius blunder cost Liverpool UCL trophy. Liverpool and Klopp showed ruthlessness and intolerance to blunders by making an example of Karius by shipping him out of the club and replacing him with a statement upgrade signing in Allison. This act by club and Liverpool sent serious message to the rest of Liverpool players, the message is clear: blunders will not be tolerated no more, and it’s really paying off for them.
    Of course, it isn’t that straight forward,as there is also the Van dijk factor, but Allison has been the best goal keeper in the division this season. So Klopp took a position of weakness, and turned it into a position of strength. That’s the stuff ambition and ruthlessness pursuit of success is made of.

    Arsenal and Emery has to show ambition by shipping Mustafi off next season, even if for free, and replacing him with an upgrade. This will send message to the rest of the squad members who would still remain with us next season.
    If Mustafi remain here next season, I will know for sure that Arsenal has no lofty ambitions.

    1. I like what you said about showing ambition and shipping Mustafi out, even if it is for free…
      I would replace him with Chambers though, we’re going to have a lot of work with players contracts running out and leaving… plus any sales we may make…

      Can’t invest with ambition in all the replacements but we can reward players who do well on loan (Chambers) by bringing them back and letting them compete with Sokratis for the Right CB role 🙂

      Loan Mavrop with option to recall, assuming Holding is back in time, then let Holding and Kos be the other CB role. Mavrop needs mins now and he has the physical aspect to dominate the EPL.

      While I moan about Emery tactics, I do think he is a top coach and our def has been better organised in general… Mustafi the exception. I think he could really help Chambers over 12 months, I am impressed with Holdings development before getting injured and I have faith Emery could do that to Chambers.

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