The reasons why Arsenal cannot realistically win the Premier League this season

So, I been putting off writing this post due to the inevitable accusations of negativity and of having an agenda.

Yet as the Gunners continue to win most weeks, I have to commit my opinion to something.

I am delighted to finally say I enjoy watching Arsenal again, we have an ethos and an identity, and I am relieved to see players proud to wear the red and white shirt.

That’s a credit to our manager. I maintain that if Mikel Arteta returns us to the Champions League, I will say ‘job well done’.

He uses a word I like right now called ‘humble’ perhaps sensing that Gooners are in danger of getting carried away?

See, there is a difference between confidence and arrogance and there’s something quite arrogant about the notion that we have closed a 24-point gap between us and Man City, based on 8 fixtures for evidence.

Take the emotion out of things, if it were a rival fan talking like some of our fanbase have been, we would accuse them of being disillusioned and wishing them to fall flat on their face?

Not just will we not become Champions this season, we won’t end up anywhere near Pep Guardiola’s men.

There will be a point in this campaign where we look back at talk of a title challenge and seem a little silly. I’d rather commit my point of view how then be wise after the fact.

Here’s why we can’t Win the Prem…….

Early Days

Sir Alex Ferguson famously said he didn’t take notice of the table till Feb/ March. He knew his teams traditionally played well in the home straight, so as long as they were in a fairly strong positions that’s all he cared about.

In other words where you are in October is kind of irrelevant.

I remember the likes of a Sunderland and Charlton being top near Xmas, I don’t recall picking them to win the title.

In November 2013 we beat Liverpool in our 10th Prem fixture to go 5 points clear …….we finished 4th!

After 8 matches 12 months ago, Chelsea were top and ended up third.

Brighton were 4th but a bid to qualify for the Champions League never materialised.

Been Here Before

It’s been nearly two decades since we were last Champions.
In that time there have been occasions where we got to Xmas top, and it led to nothing.

In January 2008 we were five points clear but ended up third.

In 2010 were two points off top but finished 4th.

We were top on boxing Day in 2013 but fell away to 4th.

We were two points off top on Xmas Day in 2015 but ended up behind Leicester.

In other words, this isn’t unfamiliar territory.

We have been in this position before with a lot more games played, and simply bottled it ….

Who have we faced?

Let me stress we can only beat who is in front of us so I’m not taking away what these players have done so far.

Yet when we went away from home to a ‘big six’ rival we again lost, looking naive.

Yes, we beat Spurs last week but take the emotion out of everything, we always beat them at home, they have won once in our stadium In nearly three decades.

We are improving in fixtures where you have to scrap for the points, winning at grounds we maybe would have been bullied at in previous years.

Yet we await that result where we put our flag in the hand.

That’s why this Sunday feels so significant.

Mentally weak

Last season we knew if we won at the Lane we would qualify for the Champions League.

Even after a 3-0 drubbing we knew our fate was still in our own hands.

Given what was at stake it’s inexcusable that we could be that bad at Newcastle.

The truth is the pressure of the top 4 chase got the better of us.

Like Roy Keane pointed out; if we are at a point in our history where just finishing 4th is something seen as too big a mental hurdle then how far have, we fallen?

It’s not a critique because, apart from Southampton, we still possess the youngest team in the division. So logically at times we will lack leadership.

Jesus and Zinchenko have brought in a winning mindset, but it’s still mostly the same players who choked in May.

Can they now logically cope with the pressure the run in brings?

It’s romantic to talk about in in the winter, but in reality, actually getting over that line is a huge step.

The points tally Man City have set over the years means from the New Year onwards you have to win every few days, even a draw is a crisis.

If players froze when the price was 4th, how will they now magically cope when the whole Prem is at stake?

It’s too big a step for now…

Our Squad

Again, there’s a big difference between having a squad who flirt with 4th compared to one who finish 1st.

As I have alluded to before, the standards set in previous seasons means you need to be getting 90 plus points to be considered potential champions.

Having to win every few days physically and mentally means you need to be able to rotate.

Outside of our first XI we don’t have talent at the standard to be lifting the Prem.

If anything happens to Jesus we are relying on Eddie Nketiah, who is yet to prove he can consistently score at this level

Partey (injury prone) gets a knock, he’s replaced by Lokonga, again a youngster.

Many fans argued this is the summer that too much pressure was put on young shoulders.

Jesus and Zinchenko changed this slightly but to be Champions, we need so much more.

Man City

The counter argument is that Leicester once won the title, so why can’t Arsenal have their own fairy tale?

Of course, they can ….

It’s just that the Foxes are very much the exception to the rule.

Look at history of this league and most of the time, logically the team with the best players win the thing.

Man, City are so much better than us, it’s a slap in the face to everything they have achieved to suggest that a group of players who have finished 8th, 8th and 5th are suddenly equal to them.

Put it like this, how many of our players get in City’s first 11.

I argue for one? And that’s being kind

Again, it doesn’t make you less of a fan if you think we are not good enough to win the title. Just because you love the badge doesn’t mean you have to say what your peers want you to say.

Let’s not lose sight of what our target should be.

Arsenal have to return to the Champions League. Finishing in the top 4 or winning the Europa League would be expectations met for this season.

That’s how I’m looking at things. Getting points on the board early could be the difference between 4th and 5th.

Opening a gap now could afford us any buckling of pressure in the run in.

Do you honestly think Arsenal can win the title?

Dan Smith

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64 Comments

  1. Agreed. We haven’t faced Liverpool, Man City and Chelsea yet, so let’s see how we deal with Liverpool first

    Leicester won EPL using highly effective counter-attack tactics with low ball possession. Maybe Conte is trying to use similar scheme with Spurs, but I don’t think Arsenal will do that

    We can only hope the big teams’ key players get injury or motivation problems after World Cup and get overwhelmed by UCL. I think most of our international players will play less minutes than them, except Xhaka, Partey and Tomiyasu

    1. Leicester also won what was a particularly weak league. None of the bigger clubs were really at it, and Leicester just happened to click in a major way. We’d have an outside chance of achieving something like that if man City weren’t looking like their usual selves, but i don’t think that’s the case.

      1. Yes. But most of Man City’s key players would likely play more minutes in World Cup than most of our key players, so hopefully they’ll get exhausted or unfit afterwards

        1. I don’t like to think like that – it’s a stupid world cup this year, and I wouldn’t want to win a title just because we have fewer players at that tournament, but you do have a point.

  2. Intelligent journalists use the phrase ” he/ she failed to read the room”; meaning they are wildly out of step with mainstream opinion.

    Others would call it being a loose cannon Boy, has DS as ever, failed to read the room!

    His paragraph where he dwells on years gone by is completely irrelevent to todays team But he uses it to bolster his fallaciouis argument; an argument that he is in a tiny minority in stating.

    I am not claiming we will beat Man City to this years title. But neither am I a relentless pessimist, given to nothing BUT negative takes on all articles about our club.

    I actually feel rather sorry for DAN AND WONDER WHY HE BOTHERS TO WRITE SUCH RELENTLESSLY NEGATIVE TRASH!
    Unless of course – as I truly believe – his real aim is to promote himself, rather than to support the club. So my conclusion is, reality, yes of course I am all for it.

    But relentless negativity and nothing else; no not for me, since I believe in SUPPORTING. Thankfully, so do almost ALL OF US , in the “room”

    1. Ive not seen an article from Dan in quite a while (does not like to write when we are winning, I can only assume) – to my shock the first one he does write is negative…… not that I disagree we wont win the league this year, its just the fact there is (nearly) never an article wrote by Dan which you could say it is positive.

      1. Article this week where I praised Xakha ?
        Article last week where I priased atmosphere at the Emiraites

    2. Wait Jon do you agree with me or not
      You insult me but then say but I agree with Dan lol
      Yes or no Jon will arsenal win title ?

      1. DAN THAT WAS NOT MY POINT, AS WELL YOU KNOW. Read what I actually said and read it PROPERLY. Then, if you wish, ask me something based on what I wrote, NOT what I did not say.

        Cunning underhand tactics DS, but I am no patsy and will not fall for it!

          1. Nothing wrong with being realistic.

            My mind says we wont win the league but we will be closing the gap and if we keep squad together for another year or two or three then we could potentially challenge for title.

            My heart is hoping we do something special and win, but if I had to bet my home on it I would say no.

            Nothing wrong with being realistic, but at least be hopeful.

          2. DS I know you are not stupid andso that is NOT the reason , therefore, why you ignore my point. The reason is because you are not humble enough to admit that what I AND MANY OTHERS say about you being RELENTLESSLY NEGATIVE AND HARDLY EVER ANYTHING ELSE, is true! wE BOTH AGREE THAT aRAENAL ARE UNLIKELY TO WIN THE PREM , But as toy well know , THAT is not my pont and NOT what I saId either.

            Typically DS, in deceitful and cunning style, you try- but fail-to move the goalposts about what I SAID AND MISREPRESENT ME .

            I REPEAT that you not only misread the room , SPECTACULARLY, this time, but you are increasingly out of step with mainstream Gooner opinion.

            Unless you change your NEGATIVE outlook , you will become more and more marginalised as a writer many Gooners will take MUCH notice of AND you will become derided as a figure of fun. Your choice!

    3. Today we won’t just beat Liverpool, we will smash them. We will win the league this year and can’t wait to play City, where at the end of the game you will be asking “Where was Haaland?” and the response will be “He was in Saliba’s back pocket!”.

      This is our year, better start believing this… We’re gonna win the league!!!

      Come on Arsenal ❤️🤍

  3. Hi Dan….I agree wholeheartedly with your comments and believe that we have a super chance of a top 4 finish at best. What I would add is I feel that we are as good as Chelsea and Tottenham if not better which gives me hope, I think they are also vulnerable in a run in scenario and with CLeague commitments playing with a first choice team they may struggle. I am intrigued by Sunday’s match as I think we look fresher, fitter and a bit more interested than Liverpool….I think Martinelli could give TAA a night to forget…..win that one and I might just reevaluate our potential for this season! Sodie

  4. The article may or may not end up being correct in what it is trying to say but they are not “reasons” they are opinions. In the great scheme of things nobody knows what direction this premier league will take. We should not be trying to find excuses or over hype what we can or cant do but say, we have no excuse why we cant win the league and have no excuse why we cant challenge. Just scraping into top 4 for some would be an achievement (which it is) so was getting EL football this season but it was below the standard we should have achieved. So we are set up for more than just that, dont let your standards drop.

  5. I cannot categorically agree with most of these points or references because they are far too focused on the PAST. Back then there was no halaand, not a team this young has ever achieved such a feat. Believe in the team and stop living in the past

  6. I’m completely sick of this kind of negativity for no good reason. Get behind the team and they may actually surprise us all. I seriously don’t understand the point of this post.

  7. “Man, City are so much better than us, it’s a slap in the face to everything they have achieved to suggest that a group of players who have finished 8th, 8th and 5th are suddenly equal to them.”

    I do believe they are better than us this year, but I’m not prepared to commit to saying they are “so much” better at this stage. I do think we’ll find out a lot when we play them – my suspicion is that city would prove the better side, but not by a great distance. (but you really never know, especially when they have haaland playing)

    One thing to highlight is that haaland is making them incredible at the moment, improving what was already a great side quite significantly, but he hasn’t stayed injury-free during his career to date. Losing him for a significant period wouldn’t prevent City from winning the league imo (they have other great players of course!), but it would give others more of a chance. We’re yet to see how good Alvarez would be as his replacement.

  8. Not unduly pessimistic but this is a very different group of players to the past few seasons with our manager being Pep Guardiola MK 11. I would have thought we had a chance of catching City if they had not signed Haaland; what a monster.
    If the rumours of us signing Kante from Chelsea actually happened then one of the missing links would be in place and a top 4 very realistic

  9. Dan spends too much time on years gone by. There is a here and now too. This young Arsenal team, week in, week out, are outscoring and out-defending the opposition. These talented youngsters are doing it with energy, zeal and humility. They are getting results, which may very lead them much closer to the title than history suggests.

  10. I get what you’re trying to say and I somewhat agree but I haven’t seen anyone (in arsenal blogs) talk about winning the league only the mainstream media brought such notion many arsenal fans are just happy to be in the conversation instead of languishing in 8th or 10th by October Like last season.

    1. We will win the league this year, been saying since pre-season. What is even more exciting is that we will dominate for years to come, with our young group of players.

  11. Pessimistic people always hid behind saying they are a realist.

    Sir Alex Ferguson famously said he didn’t take notice of the table till February/ March.

    What the writer fails to show these chats were mainly mind games.
    Jose Mourinho Famously said he only takes notice of teams above him in the table.
    This was the era of when mind games was king and games were some time won and loss on miscalculations.

    Some time the sounds were echoed to take pressure off their misfiring team.

    The writer is clever though and really knows how to provoke a response , yes we fail the Man u test and haven’t really face Pool, Chelsea and Man City, and realist and pessimist will quickly reminds you only Real Madrid and Barcelona can match them in terms of a mighty assemble squad on paper.

    But Klopp wouldn’t be waiting until March to look at the table on neither will the gaffer

  12. Early Days
    The last time arsenal had 21 points out of 8 games was with the ‘invincibles’
    So we can have hopes if we beat Liverpool
    Been here before
    We have a stronger team than in 2010..2013..etc……We can do better than those teams this season
    Who have we faced?
    We outplayed united and spuds and that should mean something….Hopefully we out play Liverpool too
    Mentally weak. ?????
    Judging from this season alone Arsenal don’t seem to be Mentally weak….a team like Arsenal cannot be Mentally weak forever
    Our Squad
    Judge our squad after the next transfer window
    All teams will drop points….so far all teams dropped more points than us
    Later today when I’m a few beers up I’ll bet you guys Arsenal will win the league…You have my reasons
    😂

  13. In spite of all the logic in this article, there could be only one stumbling block to our aspirations: the fitness of Partey.

    Arteta and Edu knew this better than us but they didn’t go all the way to find a solution even though they had been trying to do this since January.

    For me the further we go largely depends on Partey’s fitness until we eventually find a viable. option
    They understand the importance of valuable DM options and that Lokonga isn’t a player for that task.

  14. The author has a subtle misunderstanding between can and will. If all things remain equal at this present time you could assume that City will most likely win the league. However as we all know things don’t often remain equal, especially in a world cup year. Given our form, unity and depth, and a bit of fortune on our side there is no reason why we cannot challenge for the title. DS seems to be more concerned about being proven correct over being optimistic about Arsenal. There is potentially a i told you so coming at the of the year, followed by MA not good enough article.

  15. Since the game against City last Season at Emirates stadium where WE outplayed them in all areas of thé field i have the faith that WE are closing the gap progressively. This year if partey IS fit i think WE CAN beat anyone in this League.

  16. Yup, finishing top 4 and winning UEFA Cup is the only way forward this season. Our best players will be itching to move on if we failed both. The squad have a decent depth and a proper pre-season. Now, it’s just up to the players to rise to the occasion. After the World Cup, we will have Elneny and ESR to further rotations. Maybe a couple of addition in the market will push us forward. But I guess Arteta knows what he is doing. COYG!

  17. How many fans actually believe, we will the title this year. Not many I suspect. Nor do I.
    But it is of course not impossible. In fact, in theory it is possible as long as it is mathematically possible. Our good start does not make us favourites, but it does improve our chances.

    Some of your arguments can be dismissed though.
    Does the fact, that we in earlier years with different teams didn’t win the title make it impossible? Of course not and it is a silly argument. Because then you have chosen to ignore that we have in fact also won in earlier years.
    And should we be forever prevented from winning again, just because, we haven’t won for xx years? Did that prevent Liverpool? Chelsea? Even Man C?
    Also your argument about “bottling” it last season for top 4 is a self made one. While it is true, we faltered in the end, it seems all sorts of reasons have been given:
    1) Our manager wasn’t good enough
    2) We “gave away” Auba
    3) We recruited the wrong players
    4) We didn’t recruit in January
    5) We were too inconsistent
    Several more have been given, and suddenly now it is our metality. So which is it?
    All? Hardly, as if so many things are/were wrong, then how could we possibly end no. 5 with the youngest team in the league? And how can we suddenly be miles better?
    Maybe, we were just not good enough for the entire season, but we are improving all the time.

    1. Most fans have not been claiming that we are the best or we are likely to win the league.
      Somehow it seems this author always seem to want to write something controversial and inherently negative. He makes certain sweeping claims about “many fans” views which he presents as if it is the mainstream view.
      Many of the counter-arguments are simply a rehash of negative views and cynical perspectives to which he regularly returns. The team has clearly evolved from last season; which is a point that is glossed over.
      Most fans are simply enjoying the fact that we are looking much better than we have in years; enjoying the progress that the team has made. Arsenal are looking increasingly like a real top side but we are not there yet. The team and the players know this and so do most fans.
      Given how well the team has done so far the focus on a few over-exuberant fans is disingenuous.

  18. Dan, we weren’t good enough to win the league since the last time we won it!!!

    When Leicester won it, how many people were saying they would at this point in that campaign?… but they did!!

    I am now certain that we are on the right track and I see no reason whatsoever to think that, all things being equal, we cannot challenge for the title.

    I’m not looking through red and white tinted glasses, just passing my opinion on what I’ve seen this season to date.

    Of course, injuries, suspensions and new signings would / could play a massive part in deciding where the trophies will go, but I would love to be playing City at the Emirates tomorrow, such is the level of confidence, teamwork, attitude and belief…. from both the players and the fans.

    1. I completely agree Ken. I also wish we were playing City today. It seems only after we beat them, will the doubters start believing. This is our season and so will be next and the season after that. Our players near the end of their contracts will sign new ones because they will taste success and want to remain part of what is about to be, one of the most successful decades ever, in the history of our club.

  19. Well written article and I hate to agree.
    That being said, some of our young talent may not be the finished article, but with enough young talent with enough belief on the day – I believe they can outperform or at least match the best players out there! It’s imperative that cohesion happens when it matters the most. When we play like that we look unstoppable. Just looks at the first half against City last season…

    I’d be over the moon with 4th, I even think 2nd would be deserving. And 1st is only a miracle away but they do happen.
    You never know, Erling may get injured – but I hope it doesn’t happen as that kid is history in the making…

    1. Most fans have not been claiming that we are the best or we are likely to win the league.
      Somehow it seems this author always wants to write something controversial and inherently negative. He makes certain sweeping claims about “many fans” views which he presents as if it is the mainstream view.
      Many of the counter-arguments are simply a rehash of negative views and cynical perspectives to which he regularly returns. The team has clearly evolved from last season; which is a point that is glossed over.
      Most fans are simply enjoying the fact that we are looking much better than we have in years; enjoying the progress that the team has made. Arsenal are looking increasingly like a real top side but we are not there yet. The team and the players know this and so do most fans.
      Given how well the team has done so far the focus on a few over-exuberant fans is disingenuous.

  20. At the end of Dan’s article he asks the question “Do you think arsenal CAN win the league this year” when I think that he means “Do you think they WILL”. Dan’s overall arguement is that he thinks that Arsenal will not win this year for the reasons he lists, but within the article itself he answers his own question when he discusses Leicester’s win and says of Arsenal: “Of course they can”… win

    It seems to me that Dan, like many of us, is struggling with how to feel. He, like myself, has a new found optimism going into each new game even if he thinks that after 38 games the overwhelming probability is that we will not win the league.

    Dan sees “improvement” and now “enjoys watching” and “credits” Arteta with a new “ethos and identity” but also says in a forthright manner “We will not become champions this season” and “we will look back and think we were silly” in reference to the talk of some that Arsenal will win it all.

    I would argue with this last point, not because I think there is a high probability that we will win the league, but rather because I just don’t see very many gooners saying this either. So what silly talk will we look back on? He says “we” implying a majority of fans are saying such things when I can only see a very small minority – if that.

    Optimism about each next game is not the same as confidently saying that we will definitely win the league this year. Dan himself is a case in point. He says “that is why this Sunday feels so significant” referring to our next game against Liverpool. This is a statement of cautious optimism. Dan is implying that we could win this game and that if we do that it adds one more piece of “significant” evidence to the slowly building optimism that we “could” challenge for the title. A pessimist would have no confidence that we could win this game (or the league) and would therefore not view this game as “significant” to what will or will not unfold over the next 29 games.

    My own thoughts are:
    1. We “can” win the league this year
    2. We are better positioned than we have been in a long time to challenge for the title (both because of our improvements and because of the faltering of teams around us except M City)
    3. Because of our youth and lack depth (though we have improved this area as well) it is not very “probable” that we will win the league (as most gooners are saying).
    4. But that we have the increased right to dream about the league and to go into every game with a sense of optimism that we can and even will win.

  21. The bit about the the players finishing 8th8th and 5th got to me.
    When the team finished 8th the first time the ckub had a manager in his first role. I recall the giddy heights of Mustafi, Sokratis and the other remnants of a toxic dressing room. Saka was at the beginning of his career and Tomi, Odegaard, Jesus and Zinchenko hadn’t joined. Nor had Maghaeles or Ben White.
    So, over the last couple of years, Saka and Martinelli have been maturing, and Arteta is moving forward with HIS players. I’ve read enough times that he will sink or swim now the team is his, team coupled with the squillions that Kroenke has signed off to rebuild
    Well it looks to me that Arteta is moving the club upwards.
    Like others, I think it’s rubbish to suggest that just because we haven’t won the league in years that it will be forever thus.
    I’d be amazed and delighted if Arsenal win the league. At present, ManC look impressive with top players throughout.
    Dan refers to our team having weaknesses beyond the first eleven but it’s a damn sight stronger this season. Bottling 4th can legitimately be aimed at a young team evolving but they look altogether better now.
    There is the assumption that we’ll show lack of resolve and that Chelsea, Liverpool and Spurs will power past us later on
    Why put the possibility of that out there?

    1. The 8, 8, 5 is the usual from the anti Arteta crowd. They conveniently leave out the first 8’th place came, when Arteta took over mid season and we were 11’th when he took over.

        1. Same response as usual Dan
          Unless Arteta wins the league then he will always be a failure in your eyes. No doubt the failure to win the league for eons means AW was a failure too

            1. But then what Dan? The titlyor that becomes the new failure?
              AW did do it a lot but he failed in the end. That and Emery failing too certainly didn’t help. No seamless transition. ManU have failed for 10 years and are still off the pace.
              I can agree that we are most unlikely to win the league due to the superiority of City but it doesn’t mean that we can’t compete

              1. No Sue you said even if he won title I would critique him , implying that he can’t win, that I give him a hard time no matter what .
                In reality he’s never given me a league finish that can be viewed as sucess
                You just called Wenger and Emery failures for finishing outside top 4
                Yet when I say same about Arteta that’s not allowed ?

                1. You are having a laugh Dan
                  Wenger had 20 odd years to perfect his craft and failed after not keeping the club in the CL
                  Arteta was picking up the remnants so didn’t he deserve a bedding in period?

        2. @Dan Smith
          Was last season a failure, because we finished 5’th?
          Or was it a very good season, because we laid the foundations with a very young and talented team?
          Maybe time will tell.

            1. Not a failure- it’s called rebuilding with solid foundations for the future. Look at the bigger picture of where we are now, in terms of personnel, compared to last season or the season before. No more end of career mercanaries being recruited but signings for the future. During our rebuilding, for me the results were irrelevant. I did not care where we finished or who we lost against because we where developing our style and identity, of who we wanted to become. Now, I see this identity has become more prominent. Yes, we still can improve and will improve further but I am surprised that more people can it see our evolution into a high tempo, high pressing unit that is well drilled in defending and attacking as one. The togetherness we are showing, is so much more important than any single individual players brilliance. This togetherness is what will win us the league. This is my opinion and I don’t expect everyone to share it and respect yours and other people opinion. Secretly, in every gooners heart though, I am sure they are wondering, is this our season? With every game we win, whether against lower positioned opposition or top 6, top 4 or 2, that belief will grow louder until it’s we are over the line, even then some supporters will still think it’s all a dream and I don’t blame them. Our journey to the top will be a magic one and we are on that journey now. Choo Choo, all aboard, the train is about to leave the station. Where on the way to winning the league. Enjoy the ride. Arsenal forever ❤️🤍

      1. Take away the first 8th Anders, but then one can’t give MA credit for the fa cup win can they?
        Then he did finish 8th and 5th, while taking the club out of European football for the first time in two decades.

        That’s not “anti Arteta”, that’s stating the facts – just as those who quote Wenger not winning a European trophy.

        Why is quoting facts seen as being pro or anti?

        1. I agree with that Ken, i think this anti arteta is just BS, we all want the best, whoever is manager. 8th and 5th was fact, not anti anything.

        2. I am not talking about the FA.
          The fact is, Arteta took over, when were 11’th. At the end of the season we were 8´th. How on earth people can criticise that is beyond me.
          I will admit to also being very disappointed with his first full season, when we only finished eigth again, and I had no confidence in him at that time.
          But last season was tremendous progress, when he finally assembled the youngest, and possibly the most talented team in the league and nearly made CL. The foundations for a possible very bright future, which may already be here.
          So keep up the 8, 8, 5, if you want to, as if that is the fair and clever assesment in your opinion.
          Some see it differently.

          1. I’m with you Anders. Trotting out those numbers constantly gets on my nerves
            Such has been the domination by City and Chelsea over a number of years that only left 2 spaces for CL football. Liverpool’s revival under Klopp made it even harder. Any of the chasing pack could have a storming year in 2022/23 and that now includes Newcastle. We have no divine right to top the league but there are those who think we do
            I do believe that we are an improved and improving side so who is to say that the chasing pack will impact on us? Why is there the assumption that we aren’t good enough to at least compete?

        3. Ken I agree with you on this. I always thought and sometimes said, that MA inhis first yearor two, was plainly still learningand making mistakes, on the job.

          But unlike so many who were nothing but ever negative- I do not mean you- but those like Reggie, Dan kit and DAN SMITH inparticular, who seems to me to have a pig headed unchangable view(even in spite of all current evidence) that we will go on failing, as he said we did in theyears he mentions way back when.

          “Way back when” we also won four title in five seasons, the thirties, but for whatever rreasons, hss choice of “failure” as a template for th present and future,only goes back a relative and also irrelevant, few years.

          Now KEN, as with Xhaka , about whom I HAD, until this season been negative, when the facts and evidence HAS so PLAINLY changed, I had the wit to change my mind. along with that evidence.

          DANS problem is that he seems incapable and unwilling , despite all the positive current evidencen to admit, even to himself, that things are NOW massively improved
          I blame no fan for having expressed doubts about MA inhis first period- I expressed them myself, more than once .

          BUT I also saw his many top man magagemnt qualities. Unlike so many, I ADMIRED his correct exclusion of Oxil Guendouzi and Auba as being harmful influences. I only wish, and have said, that I WISHED HE HAD ACTED SOONER, AND I STAND BY THAT VIEW.

          We all make errors of judgement but sensible and non stubborn folk change their minds when the evidence for them having been wrong is OVERWHELMING.

          SADLY, BUT ONLY FOR HIMSELF PERSONALLY , DAN IS ONE OF THOSE POOR STUBBORN AND THEREFORE FOOLISH FOLK.

          1. There you go again jon pretending that you speak for all gunners ,like I’ve said countless times if I wanted advice on how to be An Arsenal supporter (fan) I would not be taking it from you .
            Jon “I wish he becomes Ill so he leaves “ Fox .

  22. Dan…

    I understand you prefer to remain “humble” by not attempting the impossible… Great men, on the other hand, defy history and reach for the stars.

    You seem to have contradicted yourself… You stated that our modest goal should be to finish in the top four, but the historical data, which you have presented in your article has revealed that those who were in Arsenal’s current position always finished in the top four… Shouldn’t this support the goal of competing for the title? Not winning it will then mean nothing in the grand scheme of things, because we will atleast finish fourth… So, what is your point of contention?

    I will say it again: why don’t we speak in probabilities rather than absolutes like “we will not” win the league? Isn’t this more of an arrogant statement, which you frequently criticize?

    As I have previously stated, I am confident that if the inputs (i.e., good ball retention, accurate passing, hard work out of possession, and good trapping and controlling) are met, we will have a fantastic season.

    Remain positive!

    Cheers!

      1. Wait and enjoy the football … Don’t look so far..everything can happen..injury, out of form,suspension and missile from marikh can change the outcome..

        1. Missile from marikh unrealisticly can happen but arsenal to challenge for the title realisticly can happen..😁.just enjoy the football mate..

  23. One premise I disagree with is that the same players who finished 8th still form part of the current. Firstly, you ignore the fact that there have been quality additions that have improved the squad. Secondly, and most importantly, the players who finished 8th and still form part of the squad are no longer the same players because they have grown. I say this because they were/ are players in the developing phase of their careers. The likes of Saka,Martinelli, ESR,Odegaard,Tierney,have clearly improved from two years ago and still have lots of room for improvement. Their newer teammates like White, Ramsdale, Tomi,Saliba,Viera have enhanced the quality of the squad and can only improve given their age. Even Xhaka is not the same player given his new role. The more seasoned players in Partey, Jesus, Xhaka,and Zinchenko are there to help the younger players. Overall it’s a much better squad.

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