If Arsenal make Top Four with this squad it will be an incredible achievement

I have always maintained this Arsenal squad is not good enough to finish in the top 4. There’s been enough evidence to suggest that when the pressure is on, a young team lacks the experience to get them over the line.

I didn’t trust the Kroenke Family to have the ambition to bring in that leadership in January, and as I feared another Winter Transfer Window was spent slashing our wage bill.

Yet I will be the first to hold my hands up and say I’m wrong if the Gunners qualify for the Champions League.

I want to be proven not correct. The team I love doing well is more important than validation of what is simply an opinion.

Not just will I say well done to Mikel Arteta, I will call it an incredible achievement.

To give away your top earner, save money and yet still meet your targets would be genius management.

It would mean the Spaniard triumphed without a productive goal scorer, something most clubs have if they find themselves in UEFA’s premiere competition.

Forget even the question mark over if Lacazette or Eddie Nketiah are strikers who can score 20 plus goals in the League.

It seems fanciful to predict that Laca with 3 goals in the Prem this season and Eddie with 0, are suddenly going to find top form from now till May. If they were going to be motivated it would have happened by now.

It was clear from early December that Aubameyang had no future in North London.

That was both strikers chance to prove a point, show they could be the number one forward at the Emirates and earn a pay rise along the way.

At the City Ground and in the 2nd leg of the Carabao Cup we didn’t look like scoring.

We also drew a blank at Anfield and against Burnley.

Enough evidence to show they are not prolific enough for the level we want to get too.

Which makes it more the stranger, the decision to give Auba away without a replacement.

If our two strikers haven’t delivered yet, why would they suddenly when they both have a few months left till their contracts expire,

Both can sign agreements with foreign clubs right now.

So, where’s the motivation?

I’m not questioning eithers professionalism, but are you really going to be bothered about If Arsenal are in Europe or Not when you know you won’t be around this time next year?

It will take man management skills we are yet to see from their boss to have suddenly perform to a standard not apparent all campaign.

What’s the carrot?

What’s the reason for either not to go through the motions for a manager who undervalued them before, but now needs them because he has no one else?

Why wouldn’t they be thinking about their next place of employment?

Arsenal can’t expect any loyalty when they have been paying talent to sit at home, trying to make them so miserable they rip up contacts.

Laca is a friend of Aubameyang’s, so it would be strange to preach to him about being professional till the last day of your contract.

Arsenal have two strikers, one had 3 Prem goals and wouldn’t get into any of the traditional big 5-line ups. Eddie Nketiah has 0 goals and wouldn’t make the bench of any of the big 5.

Oh, and they are both running down their deals with no need it seems to negotiate.

These are the resources we have to get into the Champions League.

Man United have Ronaldo!

Spurs have Kane and Son!

If this were a boxing contest, your cornerman has thrown in the towel because the fight is an unfair one.

The more you think about it the more you realise how unrealistic it is.

Yet if we pull it off, I will say it’s an amazing achievement.

Be Kind in The Comments

Dan Smith


  1. Let’s face it. You don’t want to be proven wrong at all.

    Given your constant barage of criticism towards the club across the board, I can’t see you being all of a sudden magnanimous.

    This just sounds like you’re leaving the door open for a retreat if arsenal do happen come good to some extent

    1. Well it’s not a retreat mate
      It’s factual
      If Arsenal finish top 4 I have to admit I’m wrong because I would be …..wrong ?

      And yes I have been critical of a club who finished 8th twice
      If Man United and Chelsea did that you wouldn’t say ‘ well they are doing amazing ‘ would you ?

      1. Even now, you still can’t say anything positive without there being a negative. You didn’t need to mention or compare us to Man U or Chelsea at all, but felt the need to.

        You’re obsessed with how other clubs go about their business and seem to want to shame us if we don’t seem to follow their lead. Some of us despite our desire to be exceptional and win major honours or to receive accolade are also happy to support the club with much less cynicism when those things don’t immediately materialise

        1. Yeah I agree I have nothing positive to say about our decline mate
          Don’t immediately materialise ?
          It’s been 18 years since we won the title
          We are regressing every year !
          If we were second and I was moaning then okay
          But we are not even in Europe and I have a fellow gooner wanting praise heaped on the team?

          1. You talk as if we have an automatic right to success. The premier league is a hard nut to cracking when it comes to winning outright. Even finishing in the three consolation places behind the outright winner is not a task which is easily overcome.

            You make it sound as if their is an abject lack of ambition within all facets of the club ie the board, management, players, fans et al and it’s all carefully contrived for some nefarious reason.

            The board, management, players and some of the fanbase might not be up to your exacting standards. But for some of us, we don’t take it personally, we know that we’ve had some good times but, times have changed, the game has changed and most of the teams that make up the premiership are constantly playing catch-up, including arsenal. It’s always going to be a slow process of catch-up or, for some administrative process to level the playing field but until then, we have to do what we can with what we’ve got, the best we can and stop using other clubs and their fortunes as the ultimate yard stick by which we’re judged.

            I don’t denigrate those teams in the lower half of the table or in the relegation zone, just because of their position or inability to compete in an ever changing market place. And by the same token, I don’t denigrate Arsenal for not always acceding to my desires of guaranteed, immediate success.

            We’re on a bit of a rocky broad at the moment. But remember a lot has changed. The old guard that made up the board have gone the Hill-Woods, Dein, Bracewell Smith, Friar,Fiszman. With that, a lot of the arsenal ethos has also gone or been diluted which has affected management structures in the process.

            We used to be a football club first and then a business. It’s all change now but despite a massive overhaul of corporate, administrative and managerial change were still not doing that bad. We just need to be a bit more patient !

            1. We are not doing that bad ?
              We finished in our worse League position In quarter of a century lol

    2. Agree 100% both are leaving in the summer …..give them 10 minutes game time only..that’s right goals win games….invincible team played with 2or3 strikers upfront…..Maybe Artete should unwind….

  2. I disagree ,we have the squad to get top 4 and that’s should have been the minimum target all season ,with money spent over 2 seasons which have hit 250 million any tho g less for me will be seen as a massive failure .
    How many more seasons are we going to have to hear those dreaded words
    by the time this young team gel they will be retiring form the sport .
    unfortunately the goal posts have now moved and we have fans saying top 6 will be an achievement .

  3. Well for me the manager has decided who his current best 20 players are and rather than keep a squad of deadwood he has challenged some of them to go on loan and force their way back in. Now Arteta needs to lay his best x1 in every match and for me it is quite simple what that is. Play with no main striker but have those front 3 rotating around, to cause mayhem.

    Tomiyasu White Gabriel Tierney
    Saka Partey Odegaard
    Pepe SmithRowe Martinelli

    Bench: Leno, Cedric, Holding, Tavares, Elneny Xhaka Sambi, Nketiah, Lacazette.

    Injuries, suspensions and covid testing, will mean some academy players will have to fill in at times. However, I do not expect any of them to leapfrog those on the bench.

    When you look at the bench you have the 7 favourites to depart in the summer.

  4. A key thing is that the three teams we are competing are equally capable on self-imploding at any given time.
    Arsenal removed a disruptive influence in Ozil and the squad cohesion improved and they have removed another one in Aubameyang. It has opened up opportunities for players who might otherwise have their first team chances scuttered by a player on huge wages who didn’t want to be here.
    If we can qualify for Europe that would be nice but it is a good thing that we trimmed the squad of those players that were just there poncing a living from the club (AMN, Mari, Aubameyang etc).
    Resolving the problems with this club was always going to take a long time – I believe we are almost there.
    What is a concern is whether Arteta can learn to handle people a bit better – disagreements are part of life. Arsenal comes before him.

    1. Agreed and to be fair we did only go for a player that would’ve brought us up a level in Vhalovic in January’s window.

      If we manage Top4 then hats off to all of the staff as we are in the middle of a clear out and re form of the clubs structure that should take a few years, and it has, but we are seeing a light at the end of the tunnel with these youngsters.

      There’s many more in that Academy ready to step up & trust me they will be motivated more than ever seeing what’s going on at the club and alot of young prospects will look at Arsenal and k ow if they are good enough they will get a shot.

      Come the summer Elneny, Mari, Soares, Laca, Eddie & Leno are all certain to be gone along with Matteo, Lucas, Hector & Dino. Can see Saliba coming back but we need to get him tied down to a fresh new improved deal and starting 11 spot.

      The names above leaving leaves so much space in the squad and not that is not including sales of possibly Xhaka or Pepe if he doesn’t step up in the run up here for top4.

      It’s all to play for at this point in the season regarding the top4 and we have as good a chance as the rest with the squad as long as everyone can stay fit.
      If we manage Top4 this season along with finishing touches of the clearing of the “deadwood” then the replacements incoming will only be quality I am confident of that.

  5. Utter nonsense. The squad is good enough that’s why we trim down deadwood and refuse to add more, nothing less than top 4, missing out by few points still acceptable

  6. Everybody talks about making top four this season, To some extent it’s beginning to sound like if we make top four this season, then that would be our permanent position given to us by the Fa, season after season..

    We still have alot to address at Arsenal, personally am not still convinced about the manager or technical director.. The managers footballing ethics are awesome but his man management is terrible.. We can’t ignore that, cos MAN MANAGEMENT is one of or the most important aspect of football..
    Someone from the board needs to recognise this and speak to the manager concerning it…

    Top four this season is not the end of the world.

  7. To be honest, 2 seasons at 8th place then say 6th place won’t be a huge achievement, so i hope we finish 4th

  8. European football is a must before anyone can talk about “progression.” To fail a third year of placing in the top 6 should be seen as a problem, and grounds to sack the manager.

    Anything less is unacceptable. His players and squad now, deadwood and malcontents are gone. Received nearly 250 million to build a squad to return to European football.

    Is top 6 asking too much? His players, tons of money spent, and it will be 2 1/2 years in charge.

    Time for accountability, time for performance standards from players and managers. Time also for Edu and Vinai to be under the microscope.

    Exhausting always blaming the players for this and that. No intensity, poor performances, disgruntled malcontents, Deadwood drifters, on and on.

  9. Top 4 has been gambled away. It’s highly unlikely that we will make top 4. Arteta has shot himself in the foot.

  10. So, If Arsenal do not make the top 4 with this squad, will it be a deemed huge disaster?

    If not……

    What final League position would be deemed a total and utter failure of a season?

    Top 6?

    Top Half?

    Bottom half?

    Bottom 3?

    I would suggest outside the Top 6!!!!

  11. Vito Mannone
    Justin hoyte, Johan Djourou, Ignasi Miquel, Kieran Gibbs
    Emmanuel Frimpong, Thomas Eisfeld, Carl Jenkinson
    Chuba Akpom, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, Serge Gnabry

    This squad slay most Carling Cup, FA Cup, and some EPL matches

    and everyone want Wenger Out

  12. It just got a bit harder to achieve top 4, both Wolves and Man U are out of the FA Cup with only the EPL to concentrate on.

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