Fifth place is simply not good enough for Arsenal

Arsenal may have gone 22 games without losing, but with the current competition in the Premier League, that has still only left us in 5th position, even if it is only by a whisker.

It makes you wonder just how good you have to be to make the Top Four, but that is exactly what Unai Emery is aiming for. “I think we need more.” he told “I think our beginning is good, but at the moment in the table we are fifth and our mind is focused on being in the first four positions. I think we are doing our way and in one process improving, but the reality is that we need more.

The fact is that we used to complain about Wenger’s target always being Top Four, but we now know that it is not such an easy target to attain consistently, and it’s getting harder every season, but the boss believes we are still improving every day. “I think first our ideas and work with the players is to learn together.” Emery continued. “All of us can give everybody new ideas. I think the players are open to listening to us about our new tactical work with our analysis in videos. We need to do this work quickly, but we also need patience. I think at the moment we are doing that with good results, but as I said to you, we need more. We are improving step by step – and I think the players are also showing very, very good commitment and behaviour every day.”

We certainly can’t knock his philosophy and his desire to get the Gunners to improve in every single training session and every single game. He made his thoughts clear when he was asked about our 22-game unbeaten run, and he emphasised that the past is irrelevant, we just need to win the next game! “There is no secret. The only thing is the next match. We’ve used the last matches to help us improve through our analysis. We can improve things individually and collectively, and also tactically and some things with the mentality. There is no secret in our way. We think only about the next match and prepare with our focus being very clear that we can progress and we can improve in the next matches. This development with us is clear with the players. We don’t want to think about the past, the most important thing is the present and the near future.”

And the near future is tomorrows game at Southampton. I have so much faith that he will have his team gagging at the bit and raring to go.

Onwards and Upwards. Fifth is simply not good enough!



  1. shortboygooner says:

    what utter rubbish. wenger getting top 4 was not easy. utter rubbish. previously the teams have not been so good. before klopp and pep only chelsea were doing any good. bloody if we had unai from before we would have won the league when Leicester did. wenger lost the plot in the last 3-5 years and it was like watching ronaldinho still trying to play for Barcelona he eventually declined and had to move on. but oh no mr wenger didnt want to move. so when we could have been winning we wasnt until it was too too too late and had gone to pot. unai is under ratted still and doing a great job at the moment. the competition is harder than every atm. the top 6 are alll very good unlike before liverpoool were not and neither were spuds. top 4 was a given and wenger knew it im sick of this now. wenger was great in his day and unai is great. top 4 will not be easy but it is the 1st step. we then need a few new faces and players like elneny jenko (maybe ozil) and anyone else who doesnt cut the mustard need to be shipped out. lets run this club like a big club


  2. jon fox says:


    1. Declan says:

      Yes Jon I noticed it had disappeared too along with his reply to your post as well. Hmmm censorship…. what happened to freedom of speech?

  3. Gunnerphic says:

    Getting to the top four is the first and most realistic step to winning the Premiership. Arsenal are on he right path at the moment to doing just that.

    Credit where it’s due. Wenger did not win the league for so many years and stayed too long, but he left a healthy enough club to do that.

    Emery inherited a crop of players that, with a few deft additions, will get the league in the bag.

    Man. U won the league so many times but have really struggled to be in the top four consistently, talk less of winning the league since Sir Alex left. He left an ageing and spent force behind. They had to start building from scratch. They have spent, I think they will spend much more before they win it again. But I think we are closer to it than they are.

    Just my thoughts.

  4. Durand says:

    I agree with you 100% on level of competition now. Several years ago there were 4 teams fighting for pecking order, city, utd, Arsenal and Chelsea. Top clubs and then a significant drop off for the next set of teams.

    Now with influx of tv money and coaches its much harder to finish in top 4.

    Secondly top 4 is a stepping stone not an end goal.
    Do we blame Wenger? Was CL qualification his goal not the title?
    Do we blame Kronke and his phobia of spending money for not competing for title?

    I don’t know to be honest so I would say both bare responsibility. Kronke for being cheap, uninterested, and “not getting involved in ownership to win titles” to qoute our mug of an owner.

    It’s such a dishonest comparison; talent, money, coaching, and owners on a completely different level.

    A more honest comparison would be the last 2 years regarding Wenger managing and top 4 target and achievement.

    1. Shortboygooner says:

      @Durand unfortunately you are correct. Apart from utd. The table usually reflects who spends the most money and has the most expensive squad. Madrid have been at it for years before city and chelski. However I do feel that arsenal in particular have the ability to change their own fortune. I strongly believe that arsenal until the last 2 years of Wenger were strong enough to win the league and the lack of investment cost them. Had we of brought players like kante we could well have won and been floating in money and living within our means. I think emry has taken us back to this place and a extra push is needed

    2. TW14-TH14 says:

      Only 4 teams competing for top four in those years? Yet while Arsenal made it always, Liverpool, Chelsea and United missed out on several occassions despite spending significantly higher than Arsenal. The revisionist history that tries to diminish what Wenger achieved is pure evil.

      1. Durand says:

        About as bad as revising history to excuse over a decade without a title. No one is taking away what he’s done; but Wenger was at it for 20 years, and you seemingly give impression Emery in his first year held to same standard as Wenger who had 20 years.

        I’m glad what Wenger did, but glad he’s gone because he quite obviously couldn’t right our ship.

  5. Gavana says:

    Wenger is gone. Let Arsenal win trophies now. Don’t hide behind “teams have improved ” or something like that. Unai won’t do something of note if there isn’t investment in the team. Imagine something something terrible happens and Torreira is injured (God forbid),what will happen to our season? This has been the case with Wenger, losing key players at crusal moments in the season.

  6. ThirdManJW says:

    Well the season isn’t even half done yet, and it’s a transitional year anyway. I hope we make top 4, but I am fine even if we finish 6th or lower. Emery has a free season from me.

  7. Samuel Akinsola Adebosin says:

    Let’s not get entangled into argument on impersonating Wenger with, top 4 is not a trophy slogan as being submitted against him by some Gooners. Who in their frustrations for not seen Arsene Wenger’s build another PL title or a Ucl trophy winning team again to win one of these two major titles at least if not the two in his last 14 season’s campaign at the club have in their anger turned their backs on him and have been berating him ceaselessly even after he has left the club to move on leaving Arsenal to move on as well. And Arsenal are looking to be moving on rightly so far in this season’s campaign in the 3 competitions they are playing in them to win titles for Arsenal.

    In this quest, let me beseech all Gooners not to show anxieties or to start worrying as to whether Arsenal will beat Southampton tomorrow in the PL or not, Arsenal will beat Southampton soundly in the match and collect all the 3 points that will be at stake in the match and return with them all to the Ems I can assure all the sundry of the Gooners. For, Arsenal got what it takes in totality to put the Saints to the sword, and that exactly what the Gunners will do tomorrow to Southampton in the game at St. Mary’s Stadium putting the Saints to the sword.

  8. Innit says:

    Well with Spurs winning today and Chelsea highly likely to win tomorrow, I think tomorrow is a must WIN match

    Its far too early to talk about Top 4
    1. We have another half of the season
    2. We are technically not as good as City, Liverpool, Chelsea and Spuds who at this moment are more likely to finish Top 4
    3. Emery needs to make 1 or 2 signings in January to give us a good chance
    4. United are in with a chance too if they make quality signings in January

    Let’s Just take it ONE MATCH AT A TIME

  9. Andrew E says:

    Even if we finish 5th we could still qualify for the ECL, we have the Europa Cup king as our manager. By the start of next season we should see the ‘real’ Emery team. So let’s not jump the gun.

  10. Invisible says:

    What a garbage of an article. 5th place is not good enough? It’s Emery’s first season, on a 22 matches unbeaten run, it’s barely half a season and 5th place because of inferior GD, yes we do have a defensive crisis but the window is just round the corner. And, still 5th place is not good enough? What is it that you want? Lead the league all the way till mar-apr and then drop like dominoes? What I want is what Emery is doing, building a capable squad, hardening the boys, grinding out results when playing badly etc. Do not forget that it’s Emery’s first season after inheriting a squad in shambles, and we can all see the improvements.

    How many away matches won last season? How many away matches have Emery won till now?

    1. TW14-TH14 says:

      And how many home matches won last season? If Emery records many away wins and doesn’t match same at home as last season, then it’s meaningless to point to the away record as an improvement. Let’s wait for the end of the season before we hype this away wins narrative. Every point matters whether earned away or at home.

      1. Durand says:

        It’s also about the boys showing passion and spirit, a fighting spirit we haven’t had for years. They show grit and can grind out results, thats been missing for several years.

        We can leave the tactics and timely, relevant substitutions for another thread.

  11. malaysian gunner says:

    Agree with sbg.In truth the fm shd have been fire at least much earlier.Arsenal were
    stagnating thanks to his pretty soccer and passing to the death.
    Thats why Arsenal continued to be the whipping boys of the top teams
    It is unheard of a manager beaten 8-2 to still manage.
    The unbeaten run will rum out but I believe
    the Spaniard is a far more down to earth
    boss who plays to win

  12. Uchman says:

    Kudos to the guys 4 putting up such a fight Buh the 22 matches unbeaten run has only earned us few more points, few more goals and we v conceded same number of goals as last season, Chelsea has lost more points than @ this stage last season same As man city, soo not surprised we r in 5th, arsenal is a team in form , u can only know how good a coach is if he can give us 3-4 years consistent performances, now we r just in form with great attacking players, don’t wanna read much into it because last season dyche and Burnley were in great form they even qualified for Europe Buh this season they r struggling badly with almost same players under same manager, at the begining of the season Eddie Howe and his Bournemouth soldiers were in great form Buh look @ them now just a win in seven matches loosing the other 6 daz not good @ll, we v bn riding on our luck most often this season and in many occasions we v found the resources to get the desired points Buh I know it won’t always be the case, the season is still very far from ending,there will still be a lot of twists and turns till the end of the season,, a 5th placed finished can only earn us an European spot which is same as our “termed” disastrous season of last year unless we add a trophy to it!

  13. Uchman says:

    @ shirtboygooner Must we always bring Wenger in our coments?Top 4 was like a plague under Wenger, Wenger finishing 5th and sixth was TERMED disaster, it was like relegation to us how then can we justify finishing 5th? Is it not hypocrisy @ the highest level, coming to downplay the efforts of wenger in giving us 20 years of consecutive champions league football is utter rubbish, is this present Chelsea team better than the Chelsea team of lampard? Drogba? Ballack? John terry? Essien? Etc? Is this man u team better than the man u team of C Ronaldo’s,Rooney?Giggsy? Scholley? Vidic Ferdinand? Is this Tottenham’s team better than the Tottenham’s team of modric, Gareth bale? Adebayor? Van der vartrt? And other great guys that got to champions league quarter finals? We had a man city of yaya ture? Silva? Dzeko? Company @ his peak? Nasri? Aguero that went as far as the semi finals the champions league,is this Liverpool better than the Liverpool of Gerald’s? Alonso’s? Mascheranos? Fernando Torres? Kuyt? Etc etc there was an Aston villa team of ogbunlahor,Ashley young, Darren bent etc there was even Portsmouth of pappilo nwankwo KANU papa buba diop, lassana diarra, Kevin boereng john utaka and other great guys an Everton ream of martinez (current belgiun coach? Is even a better team than this present Everton? Ut haa always bn a difgicult league in england, There was a time we had 3 epl teams in semis of champions league, the era of EPL teams doing extremely well in champions league bcos of the quality in EPL,these r the teams Wenger battled with for years, how can some one in his real sense come out and say Wenger competed against inferior teams just to disscredit his consistent performances in his 22 years with us, its alter bulshit the way we write shit about Wenger just to make some baseless points,arsenal presently is a team in form no more no less, , u can only rate how good the team is if they can give us @ least 3 or 4 good years consistent performances, Wenger gave us 20 years consistent performances , his last two years might not be pleasing Buh it was enough to give us an fa cup trophy,,a community shield, a place in colarabo cup finals and a semi final finish in Europa cup, under another coach it could have bn a good season Buh under Wenger it was a disaster, let’s stop this hypocrisy!!!!! Wenger is our legend the greatest we v ever gotten on and off the pitch,a class of a coach and great manager of both human and financial resources he waa a gem a catalyst and a perfect gentleman , no wonder he won many individual awards and accolades and yet he’s still bn honored today,let’s pls face what is facing us and allow Wenger enjoy he’s deserved rest ,he offered us soooo much we will always be proud of, its a pity that other fans respect Wenger more than our own fans! Very disgraceful,

    1. Phil says:


      1. Durand says:

        I stopped when he began repeating himself in same article and counted community shield as a trophy. A friendly counts as a trophy now? Why not mention preseason trophies won also?

        20 years no CL trophy, and rd of 16 our standard exit. 5-1 both legs by Bayern and we should be grateful for that?

  14. Declan says:

    Just been reading about Bielik’s and Chambers’ performances for the clubs they are loaned out to. Both playing impressively aparantly. Rumours that Bielik might be recalled in January because of our centrehalf problems. Chambers has been impressive converted to defensive midfield. Both loans seem to be working well.

    1. Phil says:

      Declan-I have. Fulham supporting Pal who says Chambers had been very poor up until he was put into midfield.The problem is though he was played as a FB and CB both in a Four and Five at the back,No continuity and no chance to settle with players.Chambers was the best CB at Arsenal last season from January and looked to be well worth his place in the side.At least he is getting minute even if he is at a struggling Club rooted to the bottom of the League.
      I personally would like thecplayer to have at least a season under Dmery sho has coached all the defenders to perform better as the season has progressed.FFS he has somehow managed Mustafi to look half decent.

  15. GB says:

    Yes Phil I agree too, Mustafi is playing well under Emery.

  16. AndersS says:

    I think we need to look at the positives.
    We have a new manager, who has only been in charge for 6 months, and he has only had very little to do with assembling the group of players at his disposal.
    Even so, he has managed not only to stop our disastrous slide as a team but in fact to put us in a significant better position than last year. We have more points, and we are closer to the to the top spot.
    He has managed to get much more out of our players individually as well, and there seems be a very positive spirit all around.

    In the long run, we can not be satisfied with being 5’th nor with only competing for a top 4 spot.
    But there is no doubt, we are improving, and we are in a position, we can be happy with for now all things considered.

    I have a feeling, that if Spurs hadn’t got their lucky win yesterday, a lot more positive comments could have been found here, and that is clouding the issue.

    If we look at Arsenal isolated, we are on the up, and it is very exciting.

  17. Sue says:

    It’s match day & Mesut is fit ?

    1. Phil says:

      Sue-I thought it was Kolasinac you thought was fit?

      1. Sue says:

        Hahaha it is! Very good Phil ?

  18. Grandad says:

    Given the squad of players he inherited and the modest fund for recruiting new players,Emery has done remarkably well to make 5th in the Premier League. Indeed it is fair to say he has exceeded the expectations of most rational and realistic Arsenal fans.I very much doubt if he has the resources to land a big fish to bolster his defence in the January window where real quality is difficult to prize away from other Clubs.I for one would be content with a fifth position in year one of Emery’s tenure.He is doing very well indeed but even be cannot change Mustafi into the top quality centre back we need to move to the next level.

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