Former Gunner dismisses Arsenal’s top four aspirations

Stewart Robson has claimed that Arsenal have come as far as they can this season and won’t be able to hold onto their place in the top four.

The Gunners had climbed up into fourth in recent weeks, but after losing to Manchester City as well as having their game with Tottenham postponed, they now find themselves down in sixth, a place which will guarantee a place in either the Europa League or Europa Conference League next term.

While there is huge hope in the red side of north London that we will in fact be able to fight our way back into the Champions League places, competition is extremely tough, and one former Arsenal midfielder in Stewart Robson believes we have already hit our ‘ceiling’ this term.

“I think this is their ceiling at the moment,” Robson told ESPN.

“I think in maybe a couple of years time when the likes of [Bukayo] Saka, Emile Smith Rowe and these sort of players, [Gabriel] Martinelli who’s had a good spell in the team, and some of the younger players come through, I think Arsenal will be a good side.

“But I just think it’s hit its ceiling at the moment.

“I think they’ve gone as far as they can with Arteta this season and I think top four would be a great position for them.

“I don’t think they’re going to get it.”

On paper, our recent form is a cause for concern, but not beating Liverpool in two legs, or losing to Manchester City could happen to any team in Europe. Our league form is something we should still be able to take pride and confidence in, and we should have a reasonably routine return to PL action against Burnley come Sunday.

We win at the Emirates this weekend and that good feeling will come straight back into the squad, and I really think it is way too early to discount our bid for the top four, especially with our squad currently running thin with absences and other issues.

I’m certainly not ruling out our chances for the CL places until somebody else is showing more than we are in the fight for it, and at present, there is too many question marks over every team including Chelsea who currently occupy third in the table.

Do you think there is still more to come from this team this term? Or is our bid to return to the CL set to fizzle out?


Watch Mikel Arteta talk about Arsenal v Burnley and the pressure on the race for Top Four

Tags Stewart Robson


  1. I suspect we are ahead of where Arteta and Edu expected us to be this season. Meaning I don’t think they were expecting a top four challenge. Whether we are in the race because of our play or because other top four contenders underperforming is open for debate.

    But now that we are here, Edu and Arteta need to decide whether to stick with top six goal or aim higher. With the current side I agree that top six is the realistic aim. But with the right two signings I think top four is still an outside shot.

    I’d like to see a battle-hardened MF a la Winjaldum and a CF like Toney. Both won’t break the bank and will give us some more fight for a top four push.

    1. Couldn’t agree more Voyageur, although I do think
      Brentford would command a kings ransom for IT
      especially in this window. WTS there are other
      quality strikers available (Cabral, Scamacca, D Nunez,
      Isaak, Luka Jovic) that would add quality competition
      to Laca upfront.

      Bruno G, Renato Sanchez, Y Bissouma, and D Zakaria
      are all available and any of the three would walk (if MA
      would remove his lips from Xhaka’s keester) into the
      Arsenal midfield and provide a fantastic partner to TP
      in the middle of the pitch.

      As you mentioned Edu and MA may feel the Project is
      ahead of schedule but with a realistic shout @ the top
      4 it would be criminal for the Arsenal brass not to
      strengthen this window.

  2. This guy is among the skeptics who castigated Arteta recruitments from the beginning of the campaign claiming that we won’t even be among the top 6 any time soon. How can he judge from a single game against Liverpool?

    However, he may be right because our players lack the psychological drive that is helping Tottenham and others to keep winning. It’s not that they can’t do it. At times, they tend to be too nonchalant. I don’t think Arteta has what it takes to grow the winning culture in the players.

    1. Where does anyone expect you to be when you are the biggest spenders this summer in the whole of Europe and no European football to back it up? We are not achieving what we should be, the season is starting to stutter and fizzle out.

  3. like I remarked in a previous article, it’s incredibly difficult to win now and play for the future….usually when one tries to do so they tend to fail on both accounts

    1. 100% right RVL.
      I agree that Arteta, after such a poor start to his managerial career and also bad start to this season, didn’t expect to be where we are now. His purchases together with his young homegrowns pointed very much to the future rather than the present. I would argue that our relative “success” is more down to inconsistancy all around us than anything other than sporadic signs of progress here. Nobody could have foreseen all of Leicester, Man U, Spurs, Villa, Wolves etc (ie our genuine competition for Europe) ALL failing to gel this season.
      Arteta was not ready and had no “plan” to sustain an immediate challenge, so (as we have seen before) he panicked – hence the January transfer chaos, and we are looking both desperate and ridiculous this month, with both of the players he has set his sights on being major risks, and safer investments being ignored.

  4. Win tomorrow and this pressure will relieve a bit

    It’s realistically possible we can make top 4 but gotta sort our midfield and get a striker as well. Arsenal can snap bissuoma. Boy is just perfect partey partner

  5. Take one game at a time….IF we win our three games in hand.. we will be equal points with Chelsea and a point behind pool…….

    1. We’ve had a week to prepare for every game for the last 3 weeks ,where’s that got us ,out of the fA cup and out of the EL cup and now sit 7th .

  6. We are near the end of the window, 9 days in fact and we haven’t really done a thing which is worrying.

    Bissouma ticks all boxes and is ready to walk into our team with Partey in the base of midfield. Playing brilliantly last couple of seasons in the league so knows it very well. Xhakas comments don’t help him much and should be shipped out in the summer.

    If Vhalovic doesn’t want to come then stop wasting time and go get another target like Jonathan David but we need these 2 positions filled now with quality additions to get us in the Top4.

    Come the summer if we are in the champions league then targets completely change and more bigger player’s will want to come for that reason alone especially living in London.

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