It is never a positive that Arsenal are not playing in Europe…

Last season I commended Rob Holding for stepping up as a leader, and maintain he’s at an age where he will get better.

Yet I wonder if Vieira would have looked at the ‘positives’ of having zero European Football?

What about a Tony Adams? He would be having honest conversations in training, insisting that 8th is simply not good enough for The Arsenal.

Thierry Henry would be embarrassed to represent the worst Gunners squad in a quarter of a century.

These were men with a winning DNA who, while accepting you can lose at sport; you don’t let standards drop.

Hence, I just named three captains who never finished outside the top 4 under Arsene Wenger.

There’s been comparisons with us and Chelsea in 2017.

The year before the Blues had finished 10th. So in 12 months, they had transformed from mid table to Champions.

This is the narrative that many (including Holding) are using to suggest that our form will improve without the distraction of The Champions League or Europa. It allows our manager more time on the training pitch where he has more days to focus solely on one opponent.

Context though is key,

Antonio Conte was joining a group of winners. They imploded under Mourinho, but the season before had won the Premiership comfortably.

That’s a big difference in comparison to a squad who simply haven’t been near the top 4 in years.

On top of changing managers, Abramovich responded by adversity by re investing.

Big money was spent on Ake, Luiz, Alonso, Kante and Curado.

They were joining a Terry, Courtois, Willian, Costa and Hazard.

We are not buying a Kante and don’t have a Hazard waiting for him.

In comparison, with two weeks of ao off-season to go, it doesn’t seem we will be investing enough to dramatically improve our league position.

I maintain our net spend will be between 50/80 million which isn’t enough considering how many points we were behind Man City (where’s that loan we took out?)

Man United for example are buying a Sancho and Varane so common sense says that gap will grow.

If you’re not going to make that signing that can make a difference (shock – Sterling and Grealish didn’t join us) then it needs to come from coaching.

One thing we do have is great youngsters. They though need to be taught the correct ethos and principles.

Under no circumstances can they be told that 8th Is okay for a club our size.

There can be no justification for that.

Even me as a Gooner, when I get accused of being negative, I simply agree because we should be negative about our worst team in 25 years.

We should demand more.

Being positive for the sake of it won’t change that

If you accept mediocrity, that’s what you get back.

I just hope Holding, as one of our few leaders, isn’t doing that.


Be Kind In The Comments


Tags Holding


  1. Let’s celebrate once ben white puts on the Arsenal shirt. The xhaka stay is the worst ever because this club need to improve not sinking like titanic. Rob is not a problem.

  2. The silver lining is we’ll have more preparation time for the EPL matches

    Arteta’s detractors must remain calm and stay positive, because Arteta will have no excuse if he fails in November or December

    The board have also been listening to your moans, because they’ve spent around 80 M in one month for Tavares, Lokonga and White. There will be more new players, so stop your negativity FFS

    1. How will you judge whether he fails or not in Nov/Dec? Position on the Table?
      Just curious

      1. He said he’d judge MA after the end of last season based on the whole season. We ended 8th and the he said he’ll judge him by this December.

        He shifts goal posts all the time.

        Reality is MA may come good but not from his coaching ability at all, but by the cheque book.

        1. So ESR, Saka, Bologun, Azeez are chequebook squad players? Fans are screaming for big money buys like Maddison, Grealish etc. Did Lokonga, Tierney, Tavares cost a fortune? Every top club spends money on players, and fans demand at least one marque signing every season. but we have more local products than any of them in and around the squad. But perhaps you think we should have more, that AMN, Nelson, Nketiah are good enough to take us top 4 and should also be starting every week? So show me how MA is buying success, MTB, when most fans are saying he should be spending more?

          1. guy, Joe Willock certainly deserves game time this coming season. Arsenal couldn’t do worse if they gave opportunities to the Hale End graduates, given that Willian took valuable opportunities from Pepe, Nheketia and Martinelli.

        2. Arteta didn’t really have a fair 2020-21 season to be judged properly, because of the players’ red cards. Most notably Xhaka’s deliberate neck grabbing and Pepe’s headbutt incidents

          Arteta made some weird line-ups, but he couldn’t do anything about the players’ short temper

          1. These are excuses. In other managers’ terms, these things happened.

            Red cards affect few games but we have lost how many matches in a season and cannot win most of home games? Red cards cannot be the excuse of 8th position. The worst season in recent few decades. Better than the year Arsenal was relegated.

            Why we can’t we use the same yardstick for all managers?

            Remember, Arsenal is bigger than managers.

          2. No excuses were accepted for Unai Emery, when he was sacked after a season he finished fifth by a point due to a missed Aubameyang penalty (not blaming the player, but bad luck) against Spurs.
            He didn’t receive any support to move on disruptive players who downed tools on him at large financial cost to the Club, had no say in transfers, was supposed to coach the players provided to him and was sacked when the Club was in eighth position, after fifth and a loss in the Europa League final the previous season.

    2. 80 million is not enough to close the gap
      I predict net spend will be 50-80
      Man United brought sancho and verane …..that’s levels we are competing with

        1. Plus Man City, who finished first are apparently in the process of buying Kane and Grealish!

  3. We will see in the coming season. Players have to show the ambition & spirit & mentality of a top 4 club.

    Same goes for the board, owner, and manager.

    Unless the tactics and negative football changes our results likely will not change.

  4. Too negative an article by far.
    Look, I do agree that based on Prem positions we DO have the worst squad since before AW came, That cannot be sensibly disputed.

    BUT, after Whites signing, we have a far better squad now than last Christmans, as results prior and since show so well and that is the more sensible comparison, surely!

    Comparing now with a 25 year period does us no favours. We need to be rational, not negative and plan ahead, not look backward.
    IMO- others will violently disagree, as is their right – we are firmly on the up, albeit from a low base but constant moaning and “woe, woe and thrice woe” type comments do us no good. Do they!

    As supporters, I firmly suggest we ALL SUPPORT and CEASE wailing and “woe is me” comments!

    1. If you think the single signing of Ben White makes us that much better then it may be time for a head test, jon!

      This article emphasizes the scale of work and change that this squad needs to at least get into the top four again.

      You can brush things under the carpet as much as you want but eventually you’ll just nee a higher ceiling!

      1. Jon, im afraid i dont agree, i go on reality and what i see and what i see is disappointing. I hope i am totally wrong but at this moment in time, it is all pretty much modern Arsenal and Modern Arsenal ways.

      2. He improves us Ray. One brick at a time. Yes still a lot to do, but Lokanga too is a good step.
        Some fans can’t even admit its a good thing, so busy complaining.

        1. He hasn’t improved us
          That’s simply made up
          We finished in our worst position for 25 years but he’s improved us ?

        2. guy, agree on the positives of White, Lokonga, Tavares and Mika Biereth. Its just that Arsenal must get back into Europe, not only for the money, but the drawing power to attract the quality players the Club needs to progress up the table. The table does not lie.

    2. It’s a factual statement…..this group of players finished in worst position in quarter of a century
      Nothing positive about that

    3. “RESET” is a necessity, especially after consistently making mistake after mistake in the past few seasons. If our current management have learnt from the past and try not to repeat those same mistakes in the coming seasons, we can only get better. So far in this summer, no mistake has been made which is a good sign.

      People may argue that we still haven’t signed enough players to improve our starting eleven. But, I’m content with having not signed any player who may possibly become a burden to us moving forward in the future.

      My only concern right now is our management’s reluctance to make decisions on the future of players who have entered their final two years of their current contract this summer. Seven players are into their final two years and 4 players in their final year. Now, that’s enough players to put on the pitch for a competitive fixture. If decisions are not made in this window, this will definitely make their work a lot tougher for the next two or three transfer windows. We’ll know for sure at the end of this transfer window, if we have learned something from our past failures.

  5. I’m trying to be very kind in my comments, but see very little connection between the title and what is actually written in the body of the article. Trust me on this one, I’m just not saying this to be negative.

    1. Àwww are you one of those fans who need to read your team are great
      Okay here goes…..we will win prem , Auba best in world and our manager is great
      Easy to write that mate ….don’t make it a reality

  6. Stop being negative and come into your senses, the yester years you are mourning will never come back. Rally behind what we have, instead of pin pointing players

  7. Come to think of it since u mentioned this
    ” Big money was spent on Ake, Luiz, Alonso, Kante and Curado.

    They were joining a Terry, Courtois, Willian, Costa and Hazard.”
    Ake/lokonga luiz/white Alonso/tavares and if we go on to get odeggard and Martinez I did say Kante and cuadrado has been covered,
    Then again Terry/Gabriel courtois/Leno willian/saka Costa/auba and harzard/ESR

    I say we re going to have a good season

    1. Apart from the following
      Gabriel not as good as Terry in 2017
      Auba not as good as Costa
      Leno not as good as courtouis
      And Smith Rowe has so much levels to go before we can say he is 2017 Hazard
      And who’s better then kante

  8. “If you accept mediocrity that what you get back” final comment saying by Dan in this his article posting has said it all for Arsenal.

    For, in all truths and honesty, Arsenal for whatever unacceptable reason they might have to tender have looked to have accepted mediocrity to be reigning at the club. To thus become the identity norm us have become identified with ever since the Arsenal Inviolables last won the Pl title.

    But I believe this negative team performance trend that has seemed to have engulfed Arsenal from 2005 season’s campaign in the PL to date stopping the Gunners from winning the PL title since then, will be all over ultimately as from next season’s campaign.

    This is because this negative team performance that has been reigning at Arsenal in the PL since 2005 season is what Mikel Arteta and Edu are trying to stop from it’s continuing to reign at Arsenal from next season in the PL will be stopped with the team rebuilding exercise the duo Arsenal chieftains are embarking upon this summer and are being seen to ruthlessly carrying it out.

    My best wishes to them the Arsenal duo Chiefs to have a remarkable success in the Arsenal first team squad rebuilding exercise that they are currently carrying out in this summer transfer window.

  9. Arsenal have been a joke in Europe for such a long time, that it’s actually good for the club’s reputation to have time away from it.

    I will not miss it at next season, even the CL.

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