Roy Keane has moved to defend Arsenal after they were the subject of criticism early on in the season, claiming they ‘didn’t deserve that’.
The Gunners started the campaign with three straight losses in the Premier League, a run in which they failed to score a single goal, and were sat rock-bottom of the table at the end of August.
We swiftly turned things around with a 100% record in September however, and have since climbed our way up to sit fourth in the division as we close in on a potential return to the Champions League.
Roy Keane has now moved to claim that the next four weeks will be ‘vital’ in how the club’s progress will be judged, and while he believes they were harshly judged previously, he also believes that a failure to hold onto fourth now could see the fans turn against them.
“The next month is going to be vital for Arsenal,” Keane told The Overlap.
“Their reflection at the end of the season, as much as they are getting praise now. The criticism early in the season, they probably didn’t deserve that.
“But if they finish fifth or sixth. There will still probably be a disappointment for Arsenal. That’s the reality. This is the big test for the team over the next two months. All the plaudits for the last months, this is crunch time for teams.
“If Arsenal finish sixth. I don’t think Arsenal fans will be going ‘it’s a great project we are behind it’. There will be an element of another disappointment. The next two months are huge.”
It is rare to think that I’m on the same page as Roy Keane, who hasn’t been amongst our biggest fans over the years. Our fans are known for their reactionary opinions, and I have no doubt that many of those onside with the Spaniard will turn on him if the campaign takes a downward turn in the coming weeks, and with such a comfortable position at present, I think it could be difficult to stay on his side if there was a dramatic implosion.
It is possible that we could beat all the little teams while the likes of Chelsea, Man United and Spurs could be our downfall in our bid for fourth, but that would likely rely on one of those below us finishing the season with near-perfect results, and that seems a near impossibility on what we’ve seen from any of the chasing pack in recent months.
Do you think you’d still be 100% behind Arteta if we gave up fourth and dropped to finish the term in fifth or sixth?
If Arsenal collapsed and fell to 6th it would depend on the circumstances. For example, if Laca and Partey missed several weeks from injury while Saka, Tomi, and Ramsdale were also out, I wouldn’t be too harsh on Arteta.
If we don’t have any additional injuries but fall to 6th from bad tactics or underperforming, then Arteta should go.
Great job achieving 4th, but if we can’t hold on then it doesn’t bode well for facing future pressures.
It may seem harsh, but at some point standards and accountability have to return to our club. 3 finishes outside the top 4 with the financial backing is not acceptable.
Previous managers had less financial support yet were held to a higher standard. At some point Arteta has to be treated the same. Excuses simply won’t work anymore.
That being said, I believe we will finish 4th, and Arteta will get an extension which he would have earned IMHO.
The shine is now off the ball
Don’t want to dwell too much on if we’ve not to finish in the top four.
What’s is important now, is that the team continue to give a good account of their self. In my opinion the gaffer is doing a remarkable job.
There was a time at the beginning of the gaffer appointment there were two head coaches available Ancelotti and Arteta.
And the then thinking because of the state of Arsenal
and the youngsters involved, the wise thing would have been to appoint the more experience one, which would have been Ancelotti.
Fast forward to now and am convinced along with the Emirates hierarchy the correct decision was taken.
So we must exercise a little patience our culture is different, we dont need to develop this quick fire and replace method,
What is paramount a clear direction of where we are going, significant improvements in doing so and the style of play.
Once these are achieved the sky is the limit.
The overall performance of the club is a solid 8
For once Roy Keen seems to be on the side of Arsenal players, a rare sight to see. That said, it is very difficult to predict what will happen in the coming weeks. No team is small and no game is easy as demonstrated in the PL time and over again. Arsenal and Arteta will have to take each game by game, prepare well tactically, play well and avoid red cards. Also it is very important that we have no injury issues, given our lack of squad depth and hopefully if all the boxes tick in our favor, Arsenal will be playing CL football next season.
A number of those Gooners who have been firmly against having MA stay as manager , have in recent weeks, been absent from their one time daily rants againsn him.
Many of those have now repositioned their views, rather cunningly, to say that it all depends on whether or not we make 4th place. If we do not , then we many be sure the rants will, depressingly, start again.
As a fan now over 70 and having spent well over 60 years as a devoted fan (and never having even HEARD of Wenger for forty of those years), I find the fickle, self entitled nature and superficial ethics of so many younger fans to be depressingly obnoxious.
I agree with you Jon Fox. Top 4 should not be the standard for keeping his job. I believe that we have a direction and clear pattern is a sign of the times to come.
Besides, I thought top 6 was the line. Who adjusted it???🙄🙄🙄
Again our squad is very YOUNG!! That carries with it some draw back. They may not have the maturity yet to make it through.. they’ve done a good job. I hope they Carry on through
Seems most fans never learn patience. Where would Liverpool be if they fired Klop after his first 4 seasons??
Arteta remains the man for the project top 4 or not.
Get behind the team.
In as much as arteta deserves some credit, it is quite ridiculous to always compare him with klopp or this Asrenal team with that of klopp Liverpool. They are not build on the same structure so it’s incomparable. Liverpool sold 2players alone for 250+. That’s like all Arteta transfer budget since he got here. Do you know how many players we have let go free. Auba and laca cost 100m plus, now it looks like we ain’t going to make a million from their sale come end of the season. Liverpool sold their unproven kid for 20m, after losing the PK against us, we went to sell our own best keeper that won us that trophy for the same fees. Lastly, Liverpool didn’t higher any assistant to come and be a manager. They got those who have proven themselves as a winner in their previous club. Lastly someone said Liverpool didn’t sack klopp after 4years. Do I need to remind the person that klopp already won it all for them in that 4years so why sack him? Back to back champion league final and back to back EPL challenge. They won one and came up as a runner up in the other. I didn’t even mention the runners up in klopp first season in two finals. That comparison is no for me. Also remember chealse wouldn’t have won either if lampad remain the coach of Chelsea, neither Barca would be here if koeman still remain the manager. Manager getting sack is not a crime. Sometimes it works and the other time it doesn’t. Most of the top Managers have faced sacking in their career and it won’t stop. I remember man u sacking van gal even after winning them the fa cup, mourniho got sacked by spurs after getting them to final. Arteta is extremely lucky to still have his job after that poor finish in two seasons in a row. He has done extremely well this season but keep it in mind how much we spent and not having many matches to play for really helped.