Just Arsenal Show – Dan Smith discusses why 6th place is now progress? Call me negative…

Just Arsenal’s very own Dan Smith discusses why he has been labelled ‘Mr Negative’ because he was continually predicting all season that Mikel Arteta’s young team would not have the mentality to end up in the Champions League places.

He does not hold back on why fans are happy with our progress. The one thing that really annoys him is the fact that many fans would be happy if Arsenal continue to finish in the Top Six next season, whereas the great Arsene Wenger was hounded out by the Arsenal fans for ‘only’ finishing 4th!!!



Just Arsenal Show – Dan Smith – Am I Mr Negative Or Do Some Gooners Not Like Any Criticism?

CALLING ALL ARSENAL FANS! Anyone who would like to contribute an Article or Video opinion piece on JustArsenal, please contact us through this link

Tags Arteta Dan Smith Wenger


  1. They don’t have the mentality to finish top four – at least going by what we saw last season.

    My concern is when the pressure is on they just fold and vanish from matches. The Spurs game was an example. Newcastle, Southampton., Brighton and Palace are further examples. Its not good enough to beat the likes of Chelsea and United then take the day off against these teams.

    Arsenal have the foundation of a good team but a young team and inexperienced manager is a combination that does not bode well for maintaining continuity.

    I don’t know – perhaps MA and Edu have a transfer plan in place for this summer but its not about just spending money – tactics and people management are essential..

    I suspect it will be much the same next season until fan disharmony forces MA out…

    1. Perhaps that had something to do with our paper thin squad related to the ongoing rebuilding? Do you expect our young squad to punch above their weight the whole season? From my point of view four or five clubs have a stronger squad than us, which we are going to do something about in the transfer window. I expect that our positive development will continue.

            1. You blatantly ignoring the mess we have been through, and the state of our club in May 2018 and November 2019?

              1. And Didrik, you are blatantly ignoring the mistakes that we are now still making and making excuses.

                1. Not at all, but I don’t take for granted that we should be successful when other clubs have more resources and better players than us. I didn’t expect us to be successful when Wenger left either. On the contrary did I expect a vacuum and several years in no man’s land.

                  Since we won the league in 2004, Man.City have won the league six times, Chelsea and Man.United 5 times, and Liverpool one time. Liverpool with Klopp and their great squad have only managed to win the league one time last five years! Is it hard to admit that other clubs are bigger and better than us?

                  I’m optimistic about our future and believe we have build a strong foundation for further development.

                  1. So from where we were this season, clear in 4th, not getting it was down to Spuds having more resourses than us, just for starters. I dont think so!

                    1. Fans (some) have definitely lowered their expectations and are finding more and more excuses, instead of demanding success. Its quite sad really.

                    2. You can demand whatever you want even if it’s unrealistic at the moment. I agree with you but I’m more patient 😉

                    3. In my opinion we don’t have the fourth best squad in the league. We had a paper thin squad and were punching above our weight. I didn’t expect top four but top six, next season do I expect us to compete top four and I believe we will have better squad depth, which I believe is necessary to take the next step.

                    4. You didn’t answer the question, did we have less resources than the Spuds? I will answer it for you, No

  2. Comparing Wengers last decade to MA s first two and a half years are a very false and meaningless comparison.

    Wenger was a highly experienced manager by the time of the Invincibles season and for some years previously too, BTW.
    MA had worked as assistant to Pep for over three full seasons but had no experience at all as a number one. It is widely agreed by those who are pro and anti MA that so far he has been learning on the job and made mistakes. I have never said differently , not once, despite being a firm supporter of his.

    And I’ll explain why!

    I value and respect the complete change in discipline and not being lax with non hard working players and also players who are ill disciplined off the field and arrogant and juvenile too. These things are harmful to the ALL IMPORANT team harmony, in both the dressing room and onfield.
    I see HOW important that clear and welcome change of direction is and how it is impossible to ever win titles with the lax attitude toward players that Wenger encouraged and indulged more and more as the Invincibles faded from view.

    BACK THEN THE TEAM POLICED ITSELF. We had men, not children in the team and the like of Adams, Keown Bergkamp, Vieira would NEVER have tolerated the like of Guendouzi, the idle Auba and the even more idle Ozil.


    Few if any MA suppporters are daft enough to claim he is anywhere near a world class manager . But clear sighted ones see his enormous potential and have the patience to wait for that to come through.

    We DO like his clear sense of direction and his refusal to put up with so much nonsense from players that AW regularly put with; egWalcotts regular laziness and way of disappearing from games even when “playing” . And AW was without the problem of having other SUPER RICH clubs(other thanUnited only) as rivals.

    Wenger had a huge advantage that MA does not have in this day of owner wealth by countries rather than individuals owning CERTAIN clubs.
    Altogether, a completely different time , a different environment and a different set of circumstances that make comparisons between AW and his early years with MA and his early years , POINTLESS AND MEANINGLESS.

    UNLESS comparisons compare like with like and NOT like with unlike , then they are false and unthinking ! That is my considered view as an older and deep thinking fan.

      1. And then DAN given me a very brief “credit” while choosing not to expand on that simple comment, have you anything to say to challenge my view?
        It would be good to actually have a proper and adult debate with you.
        But that entails you saying something PROPER and not just a soundbite, in response to views which oppose yours.
        So are you even interested in a proper debate beteen two almost polar views, or are you too busy and/or too afraid to debate ,albeit in an adult manner, with me ? CARE TO REPLY THEN PLEASE?

          1. I ask you again DAN, as I easily see through your attempt to deflect from and not to PROPERLY answer my legit question. Will you debate sensibly and substantially with me? YES OR NO?

            1. Jon I made a promise along time ago not to debate with you
              think your a bully on this site who is lonely and uses this blog as attention
              I won’t be feeding that I’m afraid

              1. Dan, Well at least I know not to even try debating with you again. It is pointless and in some ways a relief to know my opinion about you was correct all along.

                In future, I will not waste my time by reading your one sided, biased pieces.

    1. Jon,I actually disagree with you!I believe that the likes of Adam,Keown, Viera..would have embraced Guendouzi.unlike MA they would have taken the time to teach him how to better channel his energy/temper.. whatever you want to call it.

      1. Siamois, given trhe very different behviour off the field and non arrogance insisted upon back then, the truth is that Guendouzi would have been far too afraid of the likes of Adams, Keown etc to have even started his nonsense. He would have know n that he would be ostracised and told to shup up or else. And back then , there would have been an “or else!
        He would have been dealing with GROWN UP MEN, back then, not fellow children, themselves too timid or afraid to tell him to shut up, as todays generation generally are.

        Where they shout an make waves, the older generation ACTED. MA is of that older generation at least in attitude. Thankfully too!

  3. Short sweet article but also correct.

    Arteta has a new contract so for the minute isn’t going anywhere. Let’s what the full transfer window brings. If he is backed and we get the right players then top4 should be the target and if it’s not archived then it be MA out

  4. I have never thought it was going to be easy to replace our best manager of modern times. One of the most influential individuals of English football. I expected a tremendous vacuum, and we didn’t made it easier for ourselves having a total shake-up in all departments, and replacing more or less all key people.

    What about the state of our club in May 2018 and November 2019? Did you expect a manager to come in and being successful in this not so constructive atmosphere?

    Now state of the club is much better and we have made a foundation for further development. We have a young squad with potential to get better, and we are going to build a stronger and more competitive squad. Which I believe is necessary if we have ambitions to compete for silverware. At the moment at least four or five clubs have stronger squad than us and I don’t expect us to punch above our weight during a whole season.

    I’m trying to have realistic expectations for the next season and expect us to compete top four, but it will not be easy.

    1. Ah Didrik, sensible, moderate and intelligent Didrik. I wonder whether you even realise how GREAT a joy it is to read your posts!

    2. There is a real problem with the narrative being churned out by the “negatives” on a regular basis.
      One of the points repeated frequently is that fans are celebrating 5th and 6th. This is a dishonest reductive attribution frequently referenced on this site.
      Most fans are aware that we are in completely different world from the early Wenger years. By the time he left there were already several stronger teams. Many fans had lost confidence in his methods and even the quality of football had declined. This was despite the fact that we had spent huge amounts of money and had one of the highest wage bills.
      By the time Arteta joined we were almost in freefall.
      It was necessary to make significant changes. How big these changes needed to be were probably only realized during Arteta’s first full season.
      There is little doubt that the ownership and the manager want Arsenal to be successful. However, we are in a different world from a few years ago. We do not have the near unlimited funds of some other teams. The current management team are competing against other well run franchises and we are years behind several other top European teams.
      To be successful we need a strong squad as well as a good manager. We have not had a strong squad for years. Consider the players we have transferred out over the last few years. How many have ended up at another top tier team? A number of these players were on huge wages at Arsenal.
      To build a strong squad takes years unless you have unlimited wealth.
      Many fans can see that there has been a lot of work during the past couple of years to make significant changes to the profile of Arsenal players and make the team more competitive.
      There is a foundation that is promising even if we fell short last season. With more astute signings many believe Arsenal can become a force in the PL once more. This is what makes fans hopeful and positive rather than relentlessly negative as several contributors seem to be. There is a vision even though it may take time for it to be fully realized.

    3. Totally agree, Didrik. I am not sure why some contributors continuously interpret any comment based on the premise that we were in a real mess which can’t be fixed overnight as “lacking ambition”. The former does not necessarily imply the latter, and it is disingenuous of intelligent fans to accuse other fans of not wanting the best for their club. It is merely an opinion as to the dire straits we were in, regardless of whether or not you believe Arteta is advancing us sufficiently, or even at all.

  5. When fans wanted Wenger to leave, it was because we didn’t want to simply settle for top 4. We wanted to challenge for the title. That is why top 6 is seen massively as a club in decline.

    The whole reason for moving from Highbury to The Emirates was to become a better and bigger club in every way. Unfortunately, poor ownership and management has seen the club become stale and unattractive. We have gone backwards and, that began under Arsene Wenger, Under the Kronkes. The selling club!

    The fact we talk about sixth being acceptable shows just how far we have fallen. When we were settling for top four we were selling out the clubs ethos and values built by Arsene Wenger himself!
    I do admit that maybe we should have put more pressure on the owners and not Arsene himself but, at the same maybe time Arsene should have resigned in protest against them. Arsenal are just another franchise. An investment that works without having to reach great heights to make good profit!

    Please, lets not thank the Kronkes for bringing in Vieria, Marquinhos (a kid) and signing Nketiah to a new contract. Knowing Arsenal, that may just be our business for the summer? Who would be surprised? We’re been here before. Lots of names being touted with Arsenal, only to see the deadline end and have the deflating feeling of not brining in the big targets again!

    Top 6 will not be progress next year when we finish 5th this year. Progress would be top 4. There is no other way to view it. And top four has been our goal for decades. How is that progress? It’s stale and it’s nothing more that just existing without a bigger target to achieve.

    1. After we build Emirates Stadium the football economy have changed dramatically. FA’s multibillion media deals and the new super rich club owners have changed the map.

      Today the map is totally changed and the numbers of clubs competing top four are increasing year by year. I have been an Arsenal fan since 1971 and have no problems to admit that we are not the biggest fish in the sea, nor in the PL. Since we won the PL in 2004, Man.City has won it six times, Chelsea and Man.United five times and Liverpool one time.
      It’s remarkable that Liverpool with Klopp and their strong squad have only been able to win the league one time.

      Like it or not, but demanding success in todays football is unrealistic, unless you are able to compete about the best players and managers. Tottenham have appointed Conte one of the best managers in today’s football, but I’m not convinced he will make them successful.

      We can only influence on ourselves and what we are doing.
      But there’s always a risk that others can do it better, which is an crucial factor we can’t ignore. Even if we do everything right there’s no guarantee for regular success.

      1. You can try and change hearts and minds but there are too many who don’t listen or see the reality

    2. Spot on Ray. Personally I find it difficult to compare managers as football has evolved (often not for the better) so much, so quickly.
      State owned clubs, huge money in the hands of a few, increased agent and player power, less player loyalty, an increase in mercenary journeymen, less British players, disposable managers etc.
      You’re correct that the only progress from 5th will be 4th or above – is anybody saying otherwise? Just as by the same yardstick 5th was an improvement from 8th. It is as easy to say falling from 4th to 5th was “unacceptable” (a totally meaningless word) as it is to say climbing to 5th after our first three games was “miraculous”.
      Whilst it’s also easy to say that because we have only bought two players after a whole 9 days of the window we won’t buy more based on history (conveniently ignoring that there was investment last season, and that there have previously been major purchases under the Kroenke’s, just bad ones.

  6. You and your buddy claiming we are proud of arteta for finishing outside top four as a trophy and not as a PROGRESS TO A PROCESS is INSANITY.Y’ALL NEED HELP to be sincere.

  7. The truth is that Arsenal and Arteta ‘bottled’ it on the run in. They had to get points against bang average teams. Arteta and Edu let us down by not buying in January whereas Conte signed Dejan Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentancur, very good players who made the difference. Arteta/Edu made a BAD decision and let all of us down. They have lot to make up to us in this window. They owe us.

    1. The last 3 games were:

      Spurs who are not “average”.
      Newcastle were certainly no longer average at that stage.
      And Everton were beaten 5-1.

      January signings are always a risk. It was sensible to avoid them.

      Although 5th ended up being a disappointment due the way it panned out, I don’t believe top4 was seen as a target last season by the club. It would have been seen as an over-achievement, but the near-miss does seem to have sparked some investment activity.

      1. IDontKnowWhyIcare

        Crystal Palace, Brighton, Southampton, a pathetic display against Newcastle….did you watch it? And destroyed by the bloodsuckers from N17. Tottenham signed Dejan Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentancur, two good players….we signed sweet FA. Would you call that a well made call. We were let down by Edu/Arteta. We should have had players in January….that is agreed on by most Arsenal supporters, maybe not you but you would be a minority.

      2. IDKWI

        You said
        “January signings are always a risk. It was sensible to avoid them”.

        ‘Sensible to avoid January signings’. What can I say but you clearly make 1+ 1 = 3. Tottenham signed players….and guess what….they finished above us. Reality has proved you are factually wrong.

  8. As others pointed out above, the comparison between Wenger’s era and now is not valid.

    I’m a fan of Wenger and his achievements (I count consistently delivering CL football during the years when the spiralling new stadium costs were crippling the club as being among his greatest achievements) – but there were fewer big money clubs back then so it’s an apples/pears comparison.

    These days if you’ve only got a mere billionaire you’re not guaranteed even to get into any European competition (think: Everton, Leicester). You need a country pretending not to be a country or a pet kleptocrat (at least until the authorities sanction him and send him off into exile) just to have a chance of top 7 on a regular basis.

  9. Anyone who can’t see the myriad of similarities between what’s presently transpiring at our club and what took place during the latter Wenger years is either incredibly obtuse or so enamored by our present “manager” that they’re unable and/or unwilling to see what’s staring them straight in the face…I could literally write for hours about the obvious comparisons, but I fear it would fall on deaf ears

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors
JustArsenal Top Ten UK Blogs