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?