Former Gunner claims Champions League return is ‘really realistic goal’ this season

Martin Keown has claimed that Arsenal have a ‘really realistic’ chance of finishing in the Champions League places this season.

The Gunners have really come to life since an abysmal start to the new campaign, when we were sat rock-bottom of the table after just three games.

We’ve since remained unbeaten in all competitions since however, and while our initial victories were hard-fought 1-0 wins, we have really begun to dominate matches in recent weeks.

We now find ourselves sixth in the table, just three points behind West Ham in the fourth and final CL spot, and Keown believes that a top four finish is a realistic finishing position for our side.

“I think the win against Leicester was a statement victory,” Keown told the Mirror. “When you go there and you do that to Leicester, you’ve climbed another major hurdle in your development. That’s all it is at the minute, just a team developing but going in the right direction.

“They’ve done really well to turn it around after losing the first three games of the season. It was about the manager identifying after that first international break, these are the personnel that I can rely on. They’ve made a number of changes since that City game, but it’s now paying dividends.

“The form team of the season is West Ham going into fourth place. With Manchester United and Tottenham having a difficult run, that top-four place comes into view. I think t’s about Arsenal rebuilding the reputation as it is about anything else. There was a feeling they had a soft underbelly, but they have been able to wipe that away. in just a few games.

“The top four is up for grabs. They definitely need to get back into Europe, fourth or fifth position is a really realistic goal for Arsenal this season.’

“It now feels like the team is starting to click into gear. The manager has found the players he can trust, starting with the keeper and the back four playing really solid.”

You could argue that our form would make us a shoo-in for the top four, but this could well be one of the toughest races for that spot in recent seasons. All of Manchester United, West Ham and possibly Antonio Conte’s Spurs could mount a serious challenge for fourth, while Wolves only sit one point behind us with the best form in the division at present.

Is it too early to be thinking about fourth or have we shown that we deserve to be taken seriously already?


Tags Martin Keown


  1. Loose Cannon’s take :

    “What’s the point of qualifying, if we get knocked out every time in the quarter finals”?

    Quite right LC, quite right!!!

    1. Actually with Mikel we can win it brother! Need a clinical striker and a CDM and the sky is the limit. I’m excited and looking forward to return back in Europe, aren’t you? The fear of being spanked are long gone,so are the whipping boys, just a few left and they too will be gone by summer. Trust Mikel, trust the process.

  2. Setting impossible goals is the forte of many football fans. There is only one title and a couple of cups so mathematically + logically only 2-3 teams can win each season. Yet most fans still believe they should win something every season. Is it fair to postulate then that many Football fans like gambling addicts set impossible goals opening the way for constant disappointment. Why am I so unlucky? Why is life against me narrative. The constant revisiting the invinciles era only serves to further fuel the llogical level of expectation and therefor sense of failure. But fueling the sense of failure, disappointment and resentment seems to be a very popular and profitable business. Positive and resonable does not sell so well apparently.
    For me top 4 would be miraculous, top 6 excellent, 7th/8th ok because we are just half way through the process but 9th/10th would be disapponting and a review neccessary. Lower than 10th then a managerial change would be required. So for me 6th-8th is our most likely finish. Expected even 🙂

  3. I agree with Keown. Pool, Chavski are not certain either. We’re in November not in April, all can drop points.

    Leicester won in 2016. 2015 Leicester was fighting to prevent relegation.

  4. Just because we won at Leicester everyone now has high hopes for the season. Don’t get me wrong, winning Leicester at their own tuft is huge for me but we have a long way to go. Our squad is so thin and we will still lose Auba and Partey to Afcon. Partey is so important for us

  5. It’s a positive this (C L qualification) is even being discussed right now.

    I remember Durham on Talkrubbish, saying we should relinquish our spot each year in the C L as we simply got out of our group and went out.

    We may now be building something that will attempt to better that.

    Again, a positive surely ?

  6. The top 4 should be our ideal target, but a top 6 finish is a must. Europe is a real requirement for this squad. Get a DM and a striker in January and we shall be very strong in our squad depth.

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