‘This is what we left Highbury for’ – Is mediocrity now acceptable at Arsenal?

Dan Smith is fuming after seeing Arsenal’s players celebrating a 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace this weekend, but insists that the lack of ambition trickles down from the top.

The Gunners rescued a point at the Emirates on Monday night, after being second-best for the majority of the match, and we witnessed a number of our players jumping into the crowd to celebrate the result.

Dan believes that celebrating a draw at home in such a tie is unacceptable, and that Stan Kroenke and Mikel Arteta have made it acceptable not to have that winning mentality as he also opens up on why he has given up on the Spaniard being the man to return us into a regular top team.

We all remember being told that the move from Highbury to the Emirates was supposed to bring us into a position to be competitive with the big spenders in the division, and we have certainly not seen enough of that in recent years.

I don’t think anyone will disagree with Just Arsenal’s Dan Smith that we didn’t leave our beloved Highbury to become also-rans in the division, and our ethos of playing positive exciting football is quickly becoming a myth in north London.

Does Mikel Arteta need a reality check? Is there a confidence issue at present which is affecting the job being done? Or is the club simply being damaged from the top down by the acceptance of mediocrity?


Tags Dan Smith


  1. This is not the Arsenal we fell in love with?
    If you grew to love the Arsenal 1989 to 2010
    yes naturally you will feel disappointed.
    But if like many of us you learned to love Arsenal during the lean years 1972- 1988 then this two year lean spell for us is simply a return to the “REAL” Arsenal we learned to love with all her flaws and blemishes.
    Younger Arsenal fans became entitled with unrealistic expectations and don’t know how to do it tough.
    In case you don’t know.
    The “Great” Liverpool Everton and Leeds last won 30 years ago. Villa last won 40 years ago. Burnley won 60 years ago Spurs last won a title 61 years ago. Wolves last won 62 years ago. Newcastle has not won the title for 95 years. Westham Brighton Watford Southampton Brentford Palace Norwich all over a hundred years old have never won the title.
    Man City and Chelsea went generations as mediocre clubs before financial doping allowed them to dominate these last 15 years.
    A little perspective is recomended.

    1. “A little perspective is needed”???????
      I will remember that when renewing my season ticket next may for the FORTY FOURTH YEAR.
      Some accept mediocrity. Some are prepared to give Arteta and the board time. The “Realists” among us clearly see we are going nowhere in a hurry with this novice manager. The sooner we change Arteta and bring in someone who will at least have this Top 6/7 squad playing like a Top 6/7 side the less chance we have of becoming a the mid-table embarrassment we are now.

      1. @Phil. You accept 6th/7th which for many proves you accept mediocrity. BTW we are 3 points off top 6.

        1. That’s not what Phil said though was it?
          We all know this squad is capable of 6/7 place, but no higher.
          We are miles behind city, pool, chelsea, leicester and with whu and everton flexing their muscles and the newcastle revolution soon to split the PL wide open, 6/7 is realistic….but only if everything is in place and working.

          It is NOT and as I watch players like Tierney and Partey start to become mediocre, the question has to be WHY?

          1. Ken- with some it’s pointless and @fairfanny just proves the point.
            To clarify EXACTLY why we are in the position we are in.
            AW left and we were at that time no more than a top 5/6/7th place side that needed fresh ideas.
            UE came in and was dismissed because there was clearly no improvement.
            Arteta was appointed and somehow, and to his great credit, won us an FA Cup and a EL place. He was given time. He was seen as a young coach with the tactical nous to deliver a team capable of slowly progressing. Not too many expected a top 4 return immediately but what we did expect was something that we could, as supporters, get behind. It was labelled as “The Process”. Arteta was given total power and over £200m to spend, which is a credit in my mind to Kronke bearing in mind the global pandemic has decimated every clubs financial position. And here we are, nearly a third through the second season, and we seem to be accepting a late equaliser against an average Palace side as a moral victory. Just how far we have degreased is there for all to see.
            We have no Devine right to expect l3 points against any EPL team, but surely we should expect to be witnessing progress. Or am I just missing something?
            Viera, a novice coach like Arteta, had a game plan. Where was ours? Even after scoring early, where was the confidence to keep playing as we started the game? We had zero impetus and no direction out there Monday. Yet a far less talented group of players had us desperately looking for a system to break them down. Viera knew how to play us. As did Brighton, Norwich and Burnley. Why did we allow Spurs to dominate the second half against us when we should have repeated the intensity of the first 45 minutes.
            This is a very good squad of players. We should easily be capable of achieving top 6/7 and getting EL football for next season. This will give us a platform to progress. Is Arteta capable of achieving this? I do not believe he is. And can you see the “Realists” appearing with their comments after results and performances like we witnessed on Monday? Of course not. Why? Because they realise their views are totally outdated and embarrassing when attempting to back this incompetent novice who is taking this club backwards

      2. If you’ve been a ST holder for 44 years you ought to know better. We’ve had far worse dross than this during that time. Forty-four years – righto.

        1. Your right. We have had far far worst than this. But explain to me just how we have fallen behind so quickly that now it seems acceptable to be scrambling draws with teams such as Palace. I’m not talking the past. I’m talking now. Whatever we achieved before now is history. I’m looking at the “Process” we were told is in place. Can you tell me what’s happening? Can you explain the improvement we were told would follow? Can you you give me reasons to trust this manager with rebuilding this club?
          George Graham took over a team that was in far more dire straits than this one. Within 3 seasons we won the league. He went about rebuilding the club from top to bottom using the youngsters he inherited and ditching the non-performing so-called stars. Within a few games of him arriving the team had an identity. Arteta has been here coming up to 2 seasons and I have yet to see anything that gives me a clue as to what he is trying to achieve. The football is as bland as I’ve witnessed. The players seem clueless as to what they are supposed to be doing. The team is set up to defend, yet we get ripped apart by Brighton and Palace, two sides that would struggle to get a single player into our squad based on ability. Yet both these teams were set up to attack us, and we were very very fortunate to get two draws from games this squad of players should have been winning.
          Let me know if I’m missing something obvious here PAL because I just cannot see it

  2. Did we leave Highbury for a manager that has no experience of premier league football and no real plan that looks like we know what we are doing and can see real progress?

  3. We left Highbury to make the club more attractive (& lucrative for shareholders) for a buy out. Bad luck that the wrong person bought the club, who has no interest in football or serious ambition for the club. Mediocrity is the price that’s been payed for over a decade regardless of manager.

  4. The club left Highbury because the ground had 1920’s facilities and with no standing cold accomodate only 38,000. The Emirates is a modern stadium fully equipped and can accomodate 60k. Nobody forsaw the financal doping from Man City which made everyone else in the league financially unable to compete at their level. The PL landscape is so much tougher than it was even 7 years ago. No one forsaw the emergence of Liverpool Spurs Westham Wolves Leicester to the table pushing Arsenal down to 6/7th/8th.
    People need to move on from past glories and focus on now the next game.

    1. That I can agree with fairfan.
      I would add the Russian rouble and the upcoming newcastle revolution to your scenario….. my question is, why wasn’t this taken into consideration when some fans were not satisfied with top four, fa cups and CL quarter finals?
      All of which seem to be in a distant past, never to return!!

  5. The board,don’t understand foothball.no good collective plan to achieve.why loan saliba & keep chambers,mari as what.u send epl experience lucas & ghuendozie loan,to play inexperience sambi no challenge for partey if he is off form i don,t get arteta partey and odegard need to have a better personnel pushing for their sport just like leno is feeling now if given a chance now he will sit up.am sorry arteta is the one to lead arsenal back to glory he just learning the job with arsenal korenke & arteta have to go

  6. Let’s just be honest, we left so the rich could get richer, which includes everyone from the owner to the manager to the administrators and of course the players themselves, while risking absolutely nothing, as the whole thing was wholly financed by the fans, who gained functionally nothing, besides the obvious benefits that any modern facility provides and the delusional dreams of a Christmas future that would never come

    1. Man, you spend a lot of time on here. Given which, you really ought to learn how to construct a sentence. Not only is the content nonsensical but you’re incapable of expressing your warped views correctly. Hence, it’s doubly tiresome.

      1. Jimmy My real objection, even as an English graduate, is not TRVL’s lack of punctuation and inability to write in sentences, since I can still understand his points.

        My objection is that he makes so many wrong points and misses the real truth so very often.

        1. Well Non- it goes without saying that you are by far the most educated poster on JA. We all know this because you remind everyone at every opportunity. But despite my not agreeing with everything TRVL has to say, I would state that he knows a lot more about the game than most and very rarely is left second best in his “debates”. He is one I read all the time. His comments are relevant and football related. Who actually gives a flying fcuk about punctuation on a football site? I don’t and I would suggest not too many others do either.

  7. Mikel ” terrific” Arteta is a symbol of gross mediocrity and raw kindergaten tactics which have brought sorrow to many arsenal fans the world over

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