Not even Pep Guardiola could get Arsenal into the Top Four?

Arsenal fans came into this new campaign with great hopes that Unai Emery could breathe fresh life into an Arsenal side that had plummetted down the table at the end of Arsene Wenger’s reign. His new pressing tactics were going to get the Gunners running rings around our opponents and he was going to get our back line back into solid shape and stop them conceding Keystone Kop type goals.

Sadly this has not happened yet and it looks like the Spaniard has not got such an easy task as we had hoped, and according to Jamie Redknapp, we have no hope at all of fighting our way back into the Top Four. He said: “I don’t think any manager could [get this team into the top four], not at the moment. I just think it is going to take time. Arsenal have been falling further and further behind and I think Arsene Wenger has left Unai Emery with a badly-balanced squad with not enough quality in it. It’s as simple as that. I don’t care who the manager is – Pep Guardiola or whoever – it is going to take time and he needs it.

“What the squad and the type of players Emery has brought in has told you, is that the finances have been pretty strict on him. You look at the squad that Wenger inherited with that famous back four and the goalkeeper, he’s got a lot more work to do with this group. I don’t think he’s inherited a great squad. I don’t think they’re as bad as what they showed last year but he’s got a lot of work to do with them.

“If you’ve got the right manager, it’s going to take a couple of windows. I said last week, with the Arsenal team that played Chelsea, how many of those players would have got in the Blues’ side? Not many, maybe Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ahead of Alvaro Morata but there wouldn’t be many more and I think that’s the most worrying thing for Arsenal.

“I think they’ve got a good manager now, they needed to change, but when you want to play out from the back like he does, I think you’ve got to give it a bit of time because it doesn’t happen straight away. My only worry with it is that I don’t think he’s got the personnel to do that, I really don’t, but then comes the question of ‘do you adapt or do you keep working that way even if you’re going to make mistakes and concede goals?'”

So what do you think? Is it as bad as Jamie thinks it is? Is the squad really as bad as all that? Or do you think Emery can still get the team improving steadily for us to challenge for Top Four?



  1. gotanidea says:

    Yes, I bet not even Guardiola could bring Arsenal into the top four without major overhaul in the squad. For instance, Pellegrini was a great manager in Spain and England, but he suffered four defeats in a row with his current players’ quality

    Ranieri won with limited resources, because he had several players that could make fast impact. He also tried a completely different system that what he had at Chelsea and the experiment was successful

    That is what Emery and Arsenal staffs should also do with their current budget and players. But I think we might see a big transfer in January, like the Aubameyang deal

    1. kev says:

      The only problem is the backline and mentality of the boys.Emery must also learn to choose the right eleven and put attackers in their proper positions.This team playing at its best is a top four team.The only difficulty is for Emery to help change the mentality and implement the right tactics.Bit if we are talking quality wise it’s a top four team easily

  2. kev says:

    Let’s not overrated this fight for top four thing.If most of our players are in form and play well then this team is a top four team.Even though our team was off form we gave Man City and Chelsea a good game.It was defensive lapses which cost us not because the opposing team was fantastic.All Emery needs to do is to find the right starting eleven and work with them.To me he’s not utilising our players well.His tactics have been poor relative the type of players hes using in this system.He must play all players in the right positions and also bench those who deserved to.If this Arsenal team is in form it’s easily a top four team.

    1. Xxnofx says:

      Not even close Kev ,this team is no where near good enough to get top 4.The teams he keeps putting out (tomorrow probably the same )are not good enough ,that defence is a disaster waiting to happen ,and the midfield is again the weakest out of the top 6 .so I’m not sure how you can say that our team is top 4 ,I don’t blame emery I blame sly Stan and slimy Ivan .wheres this promise of competing with the tops boys after the stadium was built ,cause by my calculations that was over a decade ago and the team as got worse season after 3 for me are nailed on in Chelsea Liverpool and Man City ,and leaves 1 spot and the way spurs play together that’s my bet ,while us and Man Utd struggle to keep up with them with a surprise package maybe Everton or wolves .

      1. kev says:

        Well imo the defense is the problem.I believe if he can improve the mentality of the team top four is a realistic target.Our arrack is very good if in form .We gave Chelsea and City a good contest despite being average.Those two teams are complete and should be beating us easily.The way we played even tells me that Chelsea will struggle against us away.

        1. Midkemma says:

          I’m with you on this one Kev, I do think we have a squad capable of top 4 but Emery is key in making it happen.

          I do feel he has finished games with a stronger starting 11 and it does infuriate me that he doesn’t pick that 11 to start, typical sub examples are Laca and Torreira and we do better with those changes made… Please.. Please start them!

          But I am keeping in mind that although he has done his homework, Emery still needs to learn his best 11 for situations, I hope this will help in in the long run as it’ll mean he can adapt to surprises better than we are used to. Frustrating at the start but it brings hope.

          Lol, I am delusional enough to think we are only a couple/few signings away from competing for the EPL as long as we can develop our talent at the same time. Top 4 should be achievable with this squad if Emery can figure the puzzle out.

          1. kev says:

            Thank you for seeing my point.If this team plays to it’s full potential then top 4 can be achieved.I also share in your view that Emery’s team selection has been poor.Ive also seen people overrate his substitutions forgetting that the players he brings on are the obvious choices.So why not start them?The attack is very dangerous and all we need is Emery to select the right eleven,change the mentality and implement his tactics.

  3. Sue says:

    Well he’s never going to say anything good about us is he???!!!

    1. Phil says:

      Actually Sue I believe Redknapp was being openly thoughtful in his comments this time and actually said what most of us believe anyway.Im not too sure the system Emery wants to play can ever be successful with the players we have in the squad.The midfield with the exception of Torreira is not defensive minded.The whole back line he has started with against Chelski and West Ham need replacing or educating and time will dictate which one is best.
      Why can’t we set up as a 442 in Cardiff and let them come on to us?Our game was built on pace and movement not high press.But Emery must be given time so we must wait and see if his ideas can work.Im not convinced they will

      1. Sue says:

        Well Phil there isn’t much I can say to that, as I’m not overly convinced by Mustafi/Sokratis. I wasn’t for one minute thinking we were going to win the league, but I do think we’ll finish higher than last season. If we don’t then you can all remind me of this & take the pi*s ?

        1. Sue says:

          Also Phil, enjoy the match tomorrow. At 12.30 when the line ups are out, we’ll have a better idea of how we’ll do. Torreira & Laca had better start!!

          1. ozziegunner says:

            Sue, if Socrates and Mustafi had Lichtsteiner at RB, the back four with Monreal at LB would be stronger. What Arsenal lack in defense is leadership; Lichtsteiner is the current Swiss captain and is a strong, combative, experienced serial winner. Bellerin’s immediate future until he learns to tackle and defend with tactical awareness is as a wide right attacking midfielder or as a male model.
            Torreira must start as DM with Xhaka starting in a more advanced position.
            Jamie Redknapp is correct in his assessment and it wasn’t just a back four that Arsene Wenger inherited if you check out that team. Also Guardiola inherited much better players at Manchester City, yet it still took him a number of transfer windows and a lot of money to develop the champion team he has now.

          2. Sue says:

            Well I’m surprised he hasn’t played him… is it because they’re both Spanish or his assists??!
            Yes I see what you’re saying about Pep… but he’s never managed a mediocre team has he?? Bayern, Barca & now City with the bottomless pot of cash!

          3. Sue says:

            Plus all I meant was Jamie being an ex spud!!

  4. Samuel Akinsola Adebosin says:

    Let the Gunners and us the Gooners forget about Jamie Redknapp’s anti-Arsenal antics which looks to be ingrained in him as he’ll well known for that. And move on in our quest to win tons of games and the PLTitle this season’s campaign. To this ends, I personally is expecting Arsenal to confidently put aside Cardiff City resistant against Arsenal in the game tomorrow in the PL with some ease at the Cardiff City Stadium to keep pushing up in the table to catch all their PL 5 big clubs Title win rivals and pass them after they’ve caught them.
    Walker has just hit a sitter in for Man City to give them a 2-1 lead in the game. But can Newcastle come back to draw level again in the match and hold on to it to the end to force Man City to drop another 2 valuable points this season again? Well, we’ll see.

  5. Valentine chitiya says:

    unai needs a little bit of time before his team becomes a well oiled machine,look at pep it took him 500m and 2seasons to build the current champions,so gunners take a chill pill

  6. jon fox says:

    For the avoidance of doubt, as there are some real dimwits on here, some of then writing articles too; Guardiola is NOT a miracle worker but a dedicated and brilliant coach who works with clubs where the owner fully supports him in buying the very best players available world wide. Even had he had to work under Ebenezer Kreonke , he would never have bought the defensive rubbish WENGER BROUGHT IN FOR TEN YEARS PAST. Show me a single Gooner who can honestly say he thinks Guardiola would have bought and played Bellerin, Mustafi, Xhaka, Elneny etc , and I will show you a liar or a madman. THAT is the real difference between him and WeNGER. Plus Pep believes in coaching and organisation , whereas Wenger believes in making lame excuses and hoping for the best. The difference between a professional and an amateur.

    1. Xxnofx says:

      Wengers gone Jon if you hadn’t noticed why are you not now giving emery grief with his shitty team selections ,he had all summer to rectify the situation but he didn’t ,he’s bought in players and for some strange reason he’s not playing them ,you said in an early post wenger never bought a defensive midfielder ,emerys bought one apparently but where is he ?you can’t keep blaming wenger ,I wanted him gone also but now we are meant to be starting afresh but emery to me is more wenger than wenger himself .maybe let the wenger thing go now it’s in the past .maybe the problem your looking for is the board and owners because from where I’m looking in it’s their fault .

      1. kev says:

        You’re wasting your time with him about Wenger.Wenger became an average coach but let’s be honest our board lacks vision.The best of the best managers wouldn’t like to work under our structure.This is why I felt they made Wenger overstay.He keeps getting insulted here time and time again as if he’s still in charge.Most of those who bash him have as much class as Mourinho yet someway they think they’re better than him.It’s annoying reading the same old thing time and time again.Some of us need to get a life.

        1. Xxnofx says:

          I’m with you on the wenger bashing Kev ,I wanted him gone 5 years ago ,now he’s gone I’ve not once metioned his name in anger ,what he gave us in terms of the teams he put out for us to enjoy will always be my favourite time as an arsenal supporter,yes he didn’t do himself any favours the last couple of years ,but how much was that down to the board ? I’ll always remember what he did in the 1st 10 years ,the best team ever seen in the premier league and some of the best football (that’s not being biased that’s a fact ) .even the last 10 years he gave us 3 fa cups ,not enough for me but still a outstanding achievement .

          1. Phil says:

            Have you never thought that what Jon is saying is in defence of Emery and the unbalanced squad with hardly a defender worth his salt that the new manager now has to try and gel into the lean mean defensive machine you all believe we should have?
            I feel for Emery I really do.He wants to persevere with the pressing game and I understand why he feels this new system COULD work.But to make this work you need disciplined players who have the tactical sense to MAKE it work.We simply do not have these players.And as for the Manager being criticised for buying an aging RB In Lichstiener And a CB without pace I would say what more could we seriously expect with a transfer budget that Citeh almost matched by signing their only purchase in Myrez?
            Kev-you continue to amuse me with your comments.You spend the entire transfer window telling who we are buying and who we are not.What there wages are.What contract offer they are getting.Now you have morphed yourself into the all knowing expert on what is wrong and how you would put it right.All Jon Fox has done is remind everyone we are in this position because of ONE PERSON.Wenger was the one who left us in the position we are in.When you start to accept this and understand the job he has left Emery with then the sooner you might start to comment more sensibly.
            Just for the record-Do you think Tomas Lemar will play tomorrow?

          2. Xxnofx says:

            @phil you come across as a proper arsenal fan but please don’t stick up for Jon when it’s not called for .
            My beef was with him and why he’s still having ago at wenger when he’s gone . You talk about the defence but emerys had the summer to sign the players why isn’t Jon not having ago at emery like he does at wenger ?im not sticking up for Kev I don’t Lille his fake transfers the same as most on here ,but I was agreeing with the fact Jon is way to much in people’s faces ,yes we don’t all agree but ffs don’t belittle other people baecause they don’t agree with you .i come on here to read a civil conversation usually when I’m eating but I don’t like some of the stuff that certain members come out with .
            Phil I always read what you post and the same with another members including Ken 1945 and ozziegunner and a few more .fans that are not in your face with posts ,yes I’ve come across tonight in here as a d1ck against Jon but I think maybe he’s had it coming

          3. Phil says:

            @Xxnofx-but that’s my point.Jon is critical of Wengers last 10-12 years as am I and many others.The decline has left the Club with little money and a depleted squad.Emery had no money to buy the players who could have come in and made a difference immediately so had no choice but to try to introduce a new system that hopefully makes us tighter defensively.Sure the owner is the one at fault but let’s not forget Wenger was being paid a Kings Ransom to manage the Club
            It’s a very frustrating time at the moment to be a Gooner.The ownership is one thing.A fairly typical collapse in our first two games.A disjointed performance against a poor WHU.We have little to be excited about but we do have optimism and Emery is at least trying to do something different.Supporters see thing differently and some will never accept criticism of Wenger.Jon and I are like many who do hold him responsible and are not too concerned about others getting annoyed about comments that are viewed on this site.But Jon voices his very loudly and he has the right to do this.He loves the Club you know.

      2. Midkemma says:

        Jon can’t let Wenger go, he will refuse to acknowledge any other perspective other than a bandwagon he has jumped on.

        Look at the way he refuses to see how some signings was board made while other was Wenger pushed. Elneny is one mention but why would Wenger speak to Xhaka 6 months prior and talk to him about how he must come to the EPL then go and buy Elneny? To put the icing on the cake, Wenger still pushes for Xhaka deal to be done early. Wenger said in an interview that he wouldn’t have signed Welbroke and only wanted him on loan… We signed him though and earned the nickname with volume of injuries. Why did Arsenal buy Perez when Wenger wanted Laca? Wenger got Laca eventually… but it took YEARS of failing before it happened. Wenger never appeared to show Perez any faith in him did he? Wanted by Wenger or board bought? History to me indicates a board buy that the manager didn’t want.

        I think it was Ken Friar who said that Wenger was given a budget and he would never moan about it, 5 million or 50 million… Wenger would always say thank you and get to work. This feels accurate as we have all read how Wenger dislikes confrontation… I feel this fault got worse with age which answers for a lot of progressive faults.

      3. jon fox says:

        Of course I can and should blame Wenger. FACT: the vast majority of players now available for selection were brought in by him. The entire defence , barring the two outright defenders Emery bought- and Sokratis was coming anyway before Emery got the job, remember – were WeNGERS TRIPE. UNCOACHED , NO DISCERNIBLE TACTICS and with only ONE WINDOW left for Emery to buy better . Also Scrooge Kroenke will not let him buy the quality we really need, as Klopp was able to do with Liverpools defence. Torreira was rightly given a period to recover from his world cup exertions where he played til semi final. He will play regularly from now on , clearly. Yes, I agree Emery should have played LICHTSTEINER AS A REGULAR BEFORE NOW AND SHOULD DITCH THE APPALLING BELLERIN. EMERY DID NOT HAVE ALL SUMMER, AS YOU WRONGLY CLAIM AND DID NOT COME TIL AROUND MAY 7TH , WHEN HE HAD NO OPPPORTUNITY TO SEE wENGERS TRIPE IN ACTION AS SEASON WAS VIRTUALLY OVER. Also any possible buys wewre either at thr WC or beyond our financial reach, thanks to Scrooge. Even a miracle worker could not make WeNGERS TRIPE PLAY PROPERLY DEFENSIVELY IN SUCH A SHORT TIME. EMERY WILL NEED SEVERAL MORE WINDOWS AND BACKING FROM SCROOGE TO GET THIS LOT INTO TOP FOUR SERIOUS CHALLENGERS. THANKS TO WENGERS IDIOCY. FACT!!!!!!

      4. jon fox says:

        Xxnofx, If you have read my many regular posts , you must know that I DO also much blame the owner and board for being useless, as well as WeNGER. I never said they were not useless, but oddly you accuse me of letting them off. I have not done so. Prior to Gazidis’ long overdue regime change, bringing in Huss, Raul and Sven and getting WeNGER SACKED-WITH THE OVERWHELMING HELP OF THOUSANDS OF REGULARLY ABSENT SEASON TICKET HOLDERS AT GAMES – the whole club was a total shambles and run by rank amateurs who care only for money, not glory . I have said this so often that I am amazed that you, as a regular, seem not to know this. But KROENKE, GAZIDIS, SIR ARROGANT KESWICK and the other then board pygmies, do not pick, fail to coach and ruin players like Wenger has done for a decade. Or perhaps you think they do? But they are still culpable in other ways, as we all know . I also do not blame a new manager whoes financial hands are tied after just three games. I prefer, correctly, to blame the idiot who managed for 22 years and whose last decade was hopeless, despite what went gloriously LONG before that.

        1. gunner22 says:

          Jon, what would you say if Wenger was in charge and had bought Lich, Socrates, Guendozi and Leno, extended Xhaka’s and Elneny’s contracts, mentioned of making Ramsey the captain, etc.? The point Im making is that the manager was/is not at fault, but the system/board/ownership is. Paucity of funds was a major cause of this decline.Remember when Wenger played youth (Fabregas/Nasri/Sagna/Clichy/etc) we were never so bad until we began selling them and going for cheaper players. Wenger was at fault for the Xhaka and Ozil signings, but the rest was the situation. Wenger’s gone, had a good farewell, lets move and hound the board/ownership and not target the manager. Emery is a good coach but is following Wenger’s path, so something in the set up is definitely wrong.Hope Emery remains cool and committed and not leave in a huff/puff due to internal issues if any.

    2. Sarmmie says:

      Jon pls stop insulting people while you disagree with their opinions
      The other day here, someone said ‘all foxes lack intergrity’ and you threatened him with a lawsuit for questioning your integrity
      If you dislike being insulted, why should you take joy in insulting others?

      1. jon fox says:

        Incorrect analysis. I threatened to sue someone for questioning my integrity and meant what I said. I do not question other peoples INTEGRITY, only their opinions. And almost all on here question others opinions; that is what a dicussion site does, in case you have not noticed. There is a vital difference between being called an idiot/ fool/ brainless etc, which I am comfortable with and being called a liar which I will not allow . Savvy? tO WRITE THAT SOMEONE IS A LIAR WITHOUT EVIDENCE AND PROOF ON A PUBLIC FORUM IS AN OFFENCE IN CIVIL LAW IF THE RECEIVER PERCEIVES IT AS SUCH. To question someones opinion is allowable and happens all the time on all forums and social media at large. True or not true?

        1. Dan says:

          Get a life John fox everyone is entitled to their opinions you constantly blame Wenger for our failure what would this club have been without him would not have enjoyed the success and great football played over many years yes the latter years was hard to take but you should respect what he achieved as you will never see it again!!

          1. jon fox says:

            Dan and Xxnofx, If you do not want to read my posts on Wenger, then don’t . THAT IS FINE BY ME. NO ONE FORCES YOU TO. And equally, no one , not you or anyone else will stop me giving my honest opinions on what I believe. Argue with my opinions by all means- that is partly what this forum is for – but don’t assume you have the right to shut me up. You do not. Savvy?

        2. jon fox says:

          If you care to specify why you say I am a liar I will take you on. As it is, your posts are just arrant nonsense written because you dislike me. That is your right as mine is also to dislike you. You will not shut me up no matter how much you try, and fail, to bully me. I suggest you don’t read my oposts if you don’t like them. I don’t mind at all.

          1. Xxnofx says:

            I don’t dislike no one jon , but maybe act your age which you remind us a lot . Like I’ve saud countless times on here it’s only opinions that’s what a public forum is about , but you seem to attack people all the time .dont ever call me a bully as I’ve stuck up for people on here that are getting abused even though I don’t agree with some of the crap they come out with .people who know me know that I would give my last pennny or would help them them out in dire situations . We’ve fallen out before Jon because of the way you come across I don’t know you all feel the need to .but when I feel the need to speak out I will

          2. kev says:

            Age does not mean sense indeed.Instead of you to be an example to us the young ones here you rather decide to bash Wenger and show arrogance to others.You are old so please behave like one.

  7. Aardvark says:

    Not a hope in hell of getting top 4 this season or winning Europa League. It will take Emery at least a season or two to put right the mess that Wenger made of the last few years. Defence can’t defend and attack misfiring badly. Midfield? What midfield?

    1. ken1945 says:

      Aardvak, can we just stop for a second and talk facts?
      When Wenger left at the end of the season, we were sixth
      . Let’s repeat that…. SIXTH.
      The article claims that we had”plummeted down the table”?!?!
      Actually it was from fifth to sixth if I remember correctly and those last two painful seasons were the only ones that Wenger’s teams failed to qualify for the CL.
      Everything so far are FACTS.
      These are the FACTS that some on here choose to ignore as they have their own private agendas in my opinion.

      I have not read one article on this site that actually praises the last two seasons and I believe all Gooners realised the time had come for a change.

      If Wenger left the club in such a mess, how come we still finished sixth?
      Emery has signed five new players with the insulting transfer kitty offered and one assumes these will bring the club a higher position than sixth. If not, why buy them?
      Furthermore, why buy them and not play them?

      A question was asked if Pep would have bought the players Wenger had, well the answer is we’ll never know because he’s NEVER had to work under the cash restraints that Wenger and Emery found)find themselves in.
      I would also like to remind everyone how many playersPep has bought and how much money he has spent.
      More in three years than Wenger spent in twenty years?
      Same goes with Klop, who still hasn’t won anything.

      Finally, let’s put the lie to bed about Wenger having complete and utter control of the club, so he’s to blame for everything.
      PLEASE just ask yourself if Kronkie would hand over his cash cow investment to one person, bypassing the board by the way, and let him spend his money with no control, idea, concerns whatsoever? REALLY! HONESTLY?
      It’s the most ridiculous point of view that any intelligent person could possibly believe in my opinion.
      I don’t want Kronkie, but one should at least recognise his business acumen, especially as he is a billionaire in his own right.
      Can I just add this? Age is a privilege that allows numerous experiences. That doesn’t mean that I have no regrets or not made mistakes in my life.
      My three grandsons teach me something new every day and long may it last (that’s my view anyway).
      If one doesn’t move on, they become boring and irrelevant to others.

      1. ozziegunner says:


  8. sanmi.marvellous says:


    This was not Gervinho that played for us. He is having and playing best game of his live. In fact, he is clearly best player on the pitch in this 1st half of Prama 1-1 Juventus. Better than Cuadrado, Ronaldo and other ‘-dos’ on the pitch so far.


  9. sanmi.marvellous says:

    Chris Willock on scorer sheet for Benfica in Portuguese league.
    What are good start.

    1. Phil says:

      It will be interesting to see how the young players that have left Arsenal to go to other leagues get on with their careers over the next few seasons.I believe we have just lost a 16 year old to Celtic this week.

      1. kev says:

        Remember the name Ismael Bennacer.This guy is the next big thing.

        1. mobella says:

          His name his Okoflex.

  10. ken1945 says:

    Our U21’s looked really good last night against Spuds.
    The problem Emery has is he’s got to produce results NOW.
    Some of our fans want immediate success and won’t allow time for him to blend in the youngsters.
    I say give him at least two years, unless of course we PLUMMET DOWN THE LEAGUE!!!!!!

  11. ade says:

    We conseded 5 goals in three games under emry, no clean sheet yet this shows nothing changes as per our defence n that was our major problem b4 he was signed

  12. David Rusa says:

    I don’t quite understand the purpose for this article. Is it to refute Jamie Redknapp’s views about our team or to concur with him? Is our team as doomed as Redknapp says? Is it too much to expect a top four finish from our current squad? My simple answer is an emphatic no. Anyone who watched our games against Man City and Chelsea would have realised that we were not really outclassed despite the losses. It was expected that a new coach would struggle to put his mark on the team. Nobody expected miracles at all. What would anyone expect from a former Spurs player-turned pundit? Praises for Arsenal? Whereas all our rivals have been winning their games it is still very early in the season and there are bound to be a lot of twists and turns. I don’t care much for clean sheets so long as we win our games. Our emphasis should be on outscoring our opponents and we have the resources to achieve this. We need to defend and attack as a unit. The Coach needs to do due diligence, in, his team selection. He should avoid the Wenger syndrome of selecting particular player regardless of their current form. No player should take his position for granted. All players need to know that if they don’t perform to their best they will be substituted or not selected at all. That way the long talked about discipline will be instilled into the players. I don’t believe that our players are of low quality but rather that they have taken playing time for granted. All players must be accountable at all times.

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