Former rival tips Arsenal to ‘surprise a few’ this season

Danny Murphy has tipped Arsenal to be a surprise package this season without the distraction of European football.

The Gunners will play out their first year without European football in 25 years, and it could well be a blessing in disguise.

The owners appear to have heeded the warning and have sanctioned off a summer transfer budget, with Ben White expected to take our spending up to around £75 Million at this early point in the window, with more incomings expected to follow.

The rigours of European football and playing and travelling in midweek does take it’s toll on playing squads, and that also has to be taken into consideration.

Danny Murphy has certainly analysed the above, and despite his former allegiances to Tottenham and Liverpool, is tipping us to be a surprise package this term.

“I’ve got a feeling and I don’t know where it’s come from,” he told TalkSPORT listeners(via the DailyStar).

“I think with no European football and it looks like they’re having a go in the market, I think Arsenal might surprise a few.

“Although they’ve got a tough start, I think some of their young players – Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka, for example, are tremendous.

“If [Thomas] Partey stays fit, we’ve seen glimpses of his ability.

“It could rest on [Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang], he’s only had the one bad season.

“I think Arsenal might just surprise a few people but we’ve been wrong before about them.”

We all said it on the back-end to last season that a season without European football could be a blessing, with the intention of mounting a serious challenge for the top four, and with our club showing they are serious in the transfer window thus far, it wouldn’t be a mad shock if we was to push for the top four.

There is definitely no guarantees or expectation of such a push at present, but I would be shocked if we didn’t at least claim a European spot through our league position in the coming season.


Tags Danny Murphy


  1. Chelsea missed out on Europe and the next season they won the EPL. I’m not expecting that but with much less games we should have a decent advantage of having fresher players, best 11 more often, less injuries and more time to work on training.

    We should expect nothing less than top 4, no more excuses from the usual bunch.

    1. I agree. A few years ago top 4 was mocked, now it’s the holy grail. Strange don’t you think? No more excuses, minimum top 4 required.

    2. A lot of things fell into place for Chelsea during the 16/17 season, when they won the league.

      1. The previous season flaws were addressed by bringing in Kante and Luiz (would you believe that).
      2. The reigning Fan’s player of the season and Player’s player of the season awardee, Willian (again, would you believe that) penned a new four year contract.
      3. Most importantly, a proven manager with a clear philosophy of how the game is to be played, Conte, was brought in.

      We haven’t done anything of that sort until now to dream of claiming the league title as Chelsea did in 16/17. But, with a little bit of proper tweaking, top 4 is a possibility.

  2. The hope of many Arsenal fans, including me, that we will improve our league position from last season is entirely down to that one reason – NO EUROPEAN DISTRACTION FOR AN ENTIRE SEASON. With less games to play, more time on the training ground, more rest time for players and less probabilities for injuries, the management have no more excuse if they can’t improve their league standing.

    If Arteta is smart enough, he must take a cue from Wenger and pick fringe players and academy prospects for the domestic cup games without risking any of the league’s starting eleven until we reach the finals of those cup competitions.

    If Arteta can add a “Plan B” in attack before the season kick-starts, retain Karl Hein as our second-choice GK (replace if he wants out) and leave out Willain in the final squad list, qualifying for Europe will be a real possibility.

  3. Not sure I have any faith in the Kronkes at all.

    We would need 2 midfielders if Xhaha and Torriera leave I think despite the links they will never sanction the madison deal at that sort of price or the wolves midfielder.
    If bellerin goes we would need to loan with an option to buy someone of the calibre of sergio dest

    we will end up the same as every season 2 players minimum short of what this team needs to compete with the likes of the big clubs

    more years of friekken misery under the kronkes

  4. Why would it have beeen a distraction? We would have been playing our youngsters should we have qualified for the ECL.

    1. I don’t think that UEFA will remain silent if we pick a squad full of youngsters who won’t feature for us in the league games. Guess you were not aware of the controversies a few clubs (including our’s) created when they elected to field a team full of youngsters in domestic cup competitions citing fixture congestion and first-team players’ welfare. We are already in the good books of UEFA after our failed Super League fiasco. Do you think our management will do anything to further enhance their reputation with UEFA?

  5. yipes – just looking at Chelsea – with a couple of absentees our squad syill looks paper thin once you step outside the first 11!

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